Salon Management

Written by David Kenney


Sales Force

Written by David Kenney

Salon ownership is a difficult job. Over the coming months I will try to impart some minor tidbits of guidance to those that are interested. I have been in retail for over 30 years. -Dave

Todays lesson, if you will, is to discuss the salon owner relationship with external sales forces.

External Sales

Many salon owners don't realize that in this industry EVERYONE you buy from is commission based. This means that often times certain products make your "trusted" representative more money to sell.

The end result is a core conflict between that sales persons TAKE HOME PAY and your salons viability.

This is why whenever I speak to salon owners (which I am happy to do) I stress that all information should be deemed unreliable until proven accurate by an impartial party.

Commissioned salespeople are everywhere.
  • Every representative you speak to at any supplier
  • Salespeople own the tanning forums
  • Salespeople are the primary posters on the tanning forums
  • they are at every convention and show
  • they advertise in every magazine.


It's really comes down to price and support. Do you get a quality price? And if a mistake is made do you get the support and get the problem resolved.

When you are asking your salesperson for advise regarding your business remember this

  1. They are not business owners
  2. They likely have never owned a business
  3. They may be incentivized to sell you lesser products
  4. They are incentivized to sell you things at the highest price they can achieve
  5. Your viability is not their primary concern

So next time someone says to you that their lamp (or whatever) is the best get some facts. There are two remaining lamp makers one is based in Hungary and one is based in Germany. Each maker produces a range of tanning lamps for the US market. And each maker sells their lamps inder a myriad of brand names. But the core lamp is the same from one place to the next.

A bit about TBG. TBG collects a flat fee on all member purchases to support it's function. This, I believe, maintains the arms length to remain impartial. I am a salon owner. Ask any TBG supplier who I fight for every day.


Private Label Costs Less

Written by David Kenney

Tanning is much like any other industry. There are several major producers/manufacturers of industry products. These producers wholesale their products to industry distribution outlets and the outlets wholesale their accumulated products to Salon Owners.

To maximize revenue streams the producers sell their products in two ways.

1) They sell under their own brand names. They advertise and support that brand name to build brand awareness and separate themselves from other market competition.

2) They sell under private label brand names. These private label brands are like products which have been contracted for purchase in bulk by a third party.

The private label and producer brands come off the same production line but are packaged or labelled according to that purchasers guidelines.

Often I see chatrooms banter that private label products and manufacturer brand name products are not the same.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you go into any of the major retailers like Target and Walmart you will see major brand products being sold as Target or Walmart brand. To figure out who made the Walmart detergent, for example, one need only compare the origination and ingredient data to a couple of the majors and you will know who private labelled it.

So why are private label goods less expensive?

They have to be to get any traction in the marketplace because

1) They receive no manufacturer support advertising

2) No brand support via manufacturers established brand

3) Less market reach due to limited supply chain

Why would a producer sell their top quality products via private label?

Simple, they make the same or in most cases MORE selling private label in bulk. So if you sell tanning lamps as an example. Clearly they are not running 60 versions of a 100 watt non-reflector. The cost to re-engineer the production line would not offset the material cost reduction.

In other words. It costs more for them to produce additional SKU's versus just taking existing SKU's and private labelling them.

So, the next time somebody wants to sell you their brand of tanning lamps which is a 100 watt F71 UVB rating 6% country of origin Hungary. You can have confidence to know that it is one SKU being produced by that company so you are reduced to price. Because be it Name Brand or label A, B or C it really doesn't matter. It's all about price.


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