THE TALK: Drugstore Products

Victoria Wurdinger | November 4, 2013 | 12:56 PM


“I can buy that product in the drugstore.”

THE TALK: Drugstore Products




The perception that professional products are less expensive in stores is easily disproved. In several instances, journalists and The Beauty Industry Fund found that diverted products cost significantly more than salons were charging for the same items.


Track how often your client buys, so you know when she’s running out of a product and can suggest a purchase while she is present.

Ideas: Make buying even more convenient by offering to ship products anytime the client calls and orders. Talk with your salon owner about setting up online ordering, so clients can register and get a code for product ordering. Your salon can also create a program to mail out 3-4 products on a quarterly basis. (Weigh shipping cost against loyalty.) Test demand by asking clients: Would you like/do this?


You should have more influence over your clients than a store. If you’ve been acting as a true beauty advisor, your personalized advice will have great value. You can also discuss value packages at salon meetings, such as three products pre-packaged 10% below the individual prices, frequent buyers and rewards programs, or retail packages that come with a free styling lesson.



Where do you start? Danielle Victory-Franceschelli, who owns Enzo’s Salon & Spa in North Royalton, Ohio, says, “I explain to clients, nicely, that the product they are buying in stores is usually more expensive, possibly expired, and it may not even be the correct product for them. I’d say 85 percent of my clients purchase from me.”

Then, incorporate in your own language, these ideas from David Stanko, a colorist at Cutler Salon in New York City:

1. Diverted products are often more expensive.

2. Diverted products offer no guarantee of the actual proprietary formula, or a guarantee on results or returns.

3. Diverted products don’t come with a professional recommendation (and consumers are often wrong about their hair’s needs).

4. You might get a knock-off instead of an original.

5. Ask the client, “Would you rather get Botox in a physician’s office or sign up for a hotel-room Botox party posted on Craiglist?”

6. Diverted products could be past their expiration date, contaminated or compromised.

If your client respects you and your advice, she’ll buy from you, but you have to start by suggesting.


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