Priced as Marked

How I charge for services has become increasingly varied over the last few years. It’s not a simple matter of “how much is a full set” anymore, now it’s more like, “Well it starts at X and goes up depending on Y and Z.”
So posting prices anywhere — website, online booking system, even printed brochures — makes me nervous. I’m worried that someone is going to focus in on that base price and not notice all that fine print about length, shape, glitter, and nail art contributing to higher prices. I’m not worried about it in a way that I dwell on it, and it’s not like I’m not capable of putting my foot down and standing up for myself — but let’s face it, if I never have to have an uncomfortable confrontation about it, that would be ideal.
For the most part, I assume that my clients are keenly aware that I charge for my services. So I expect them to be prepared to pay for them. But, invariably, a situation arises that makes me reconsider that assumption.
When, for example, I’m faced with a slightly dazed/slightly terrified look when I tell someone what they owe me and I realize they obviously expected an entirely different total.
Well, if you come in regularly and regularly get, say, a basic fill on a gel overlay. No polish, no art, no glitter, no rhinestones, not even pink-and-whites. Just basic clear gel over natural nails. I can see how you would get used to the price of that service.
So if you walk in one day and announce that you would like to take those gel overlays off entirely, and then replace them with a set of two-inch stiletto rockstar acrylics using these seven glitters you just set down on my table with one nail covered entirely in rhinestones and 3D flowers....
You know that’s not going to cost the same as that gel overlay, right?
I feel compelled to bring up the additional charge when that gel fill wants to add a little touch of nail art — like, “OK, cool, that’s going to cost a little extra though, OK?”
But with an extreme request like the scenario above, I don’t really figure I need to mention the difference in the cost. I figure my client has probably already looked up these things on my website, or doesn’t care about the cost. I figure it goes without saying that you should expect this gel removal/3-D/rockstar/stiletto extravaganza to set you back several times the amount you normally pay for that simple gel fill.
So why do I feel like I’m shining a light in a deer’s eyes when I tell them what they owe me?

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