Can "cheap" be more expensive?
On the forums and chat groups I keep seeing the same question - what are the cheapest lashes or what’s the cheapest glue?
Now, I know we all want to save a penny and we all want to have a super profit margin to make lots of money, right?
We also know that ‘cheap’ isn't really a good thing to begin with and over time using inferior or cheap products will cheapen your service and you will have to reduce your prices to get clients to book in. Through the lower prices you are then forced to buy even cheaper products and you see where this is going?
Yes, its a vicious circle and you can't win this!
Another pitfall is the idea that you can buy really ‘cheap’ products from the Far East and sadly there is a lot of false and misleading information in the groups.
You will find a lot of therapists commenting on the quality (or lack of) so buying cheap might actually mean buying twice which in return will work out more expensive.
Even if the supplier says you don't have to pay freight and you don't have to pay customs charges and import tax etc......you actually do!
Yes, you might get away with an order or two (if you are lucky even more) but you are liable for these charges and you can imagine what happens when HMRC starts looking at this as part of their compliance checks to see if the products are being imported and taxed correctly. As you can imagine the tax man is losing money with every tray you import, every adhesive, or every brush so there are huge amounts of money to chase, and this could be costly for you!
The additional hurdle is the cosmetic regulations which mean that any product imported in the EU will have to be notified on the CPNP (cosmetics product notification panel) which involves cosmetic assessments, safety and challenge tests etc (ever wondered why companies charge a bit more?
Yes, they have undergone all this to ensure that the products you buy comply and can be used safely). Using illegal products also means that your insurance is void so you could end up with a whole lot of problems for a few pence (this is generally the difference between buying a safe and compliant product and importing an illegal one).
Anyway, back to the original idea of saving you some money! So there are ways of saving money and shopping clever so you can actually maintain high quality products AND buy at a good value!
Let’s have a look at the options by picking some examples....
You see a cheap tray of lashes for £8.....got to be a bargain hasnt it?
Your usual supplier charges £14.95 so you can save sooooo much, right?
Well the cheap tray might only have 10 or 12 rows versus the 16 rows from your usual supplier so effectively the £8 would actually cost you between £10-12 if you compare like for like.
Then there is the delivery charge, import fees, handling etc but even if we ignore this for the moment and just look at the product cost itself.
Flirties, for example (other brands might have similar offers) offers 20% discount on lashes (buy 5 and get 1 free) which means the tray is only costing you £12.45 and with that promotion you can also take advantage of the free delivery option so there is another saving right there for you!
As a regular customer you would also be part of the loyalty scheme which means you might be saving another 10% on anything you buy (Yes, anything for the whole year).
So back to the tray of lashes, which is only costing you £11 now BUT if you shop cleverly and take advantage of Birthday discounts, special offers or VATFREE days you can actually shop at a better price AND you know you get support, reliable quality and the backup from a local supplier!
You also got to look at the reality of the price difference! Let’s take an adhesive which you find abroad for £5 cheaper! Great isn't it?
Well firstly you have all the other points to consider that we already mentioned but if you break the difference down per treatment price then the £5 might only work out as £0.16-0.20 per treatment.....is it really worth all the hassle, risk, time and effort?
Also, buying from various suppliers will increase the risk you expose your business to, transport and delivery charges and inconsistency of quality not to even mention the time it takes to do all the ordering for your business from so many different suppliers (what happens if they dont deliver or you dont get the product you ordered?)
Here is the thing, if you are loyal to your supplier you can actually benefit far more by getting ALL your products at a better price, get special offers or exclusive discounts.
We can see customers thrive in their business because they shop smartly and also have their work shared on social media, with backing of a brand, reliability and safety for their business and their clients.
We know it works, and so do our customers but its not just flirties customers as I am sure that other brands offer similar support so keep an eye out for it so you can maximise on your saving and improve the margins of your business!
Make money the clever way!