A Closer Look
Results for the Grooming Prices Survey 2002 with
Pricing Comparison Table
In 2002, a record number of groomers
completed PetGroomer.com Grooming Surveys. More than
Grooming Pricing 4,000 surveys were completed. The U.S. (89%) and Canada (9%)
were best represented by the survey. All areas of the U.S. were represented in alignment with
density. The largest area of response was the Eastern Time Zone with 27% of
groomers surveyed residing there followed by 25% for the Pacific Time
Before taking a look the average
grooming prices, the survey revealed some interesting surprises in how grooming
business owners manage their pricing strategies and policies. Perhaps the most
controversial topic was the "customer price sheet." A majority (55%) indicated they
do not even offer a price sheet to their customers. One groomer commented, "I
don't want my competition to have easy access to my prices. They can match or
break them too easily that way. Pet owners must come by for a quote." In light
of this it makes sense that a commanding 92% said they do not advertise their
grooming prices. Another groomer commented, "My customers found my price sheet
too complicated to use on their own. I have a price for Shelties but many pet
owners bring in mixed breeds they call a Sheltie but it isn't. It's larger, more
like a Collie and they get upset with the higher Collie price. We don't give
fixed quotes over the phone either." Whether justified or not, a large majority of
grooming industry members make it inconvenient for pet owning consumers to easily get a
grooming quote without having to bring their pets to groomers.
Many career seekers visiting PetGroomer.com have an interest
in "self-service" or "you wash" grooming. They plan to offer some
full-service grooming but imagine that self-service with its lower fees will
attract the majority of their business income. Our survey of today's groomers indicated
that 85% of them did not
offer self-service grooming. Where it was offered a
remarkable 63% said that 50% or less of their business income came from
self-services. Clearly the majority of pet owners that use grooming services
desire full-service grooming, and self-service grooming as a stand alone
operation is best localized to unique market areas.
If you host a party and have a room full of
quiet groomers you need an ice breaker. Here's a good one, "Who
discounts your grooming prices?" Next to debates over cage drying or vocational
licensing, discounting your labor usually gets your guests livened up very quickly. The 2002 grooming prices survey indicated that 55% of groomers
discount their labor, but not often. Nearly one-third (29%) said they don't
discount services. One groomer commented, "I am not a product, and sometimes I
have a sale on pet care products, but never me!" Another commented, "I only
discount the second grooming service to get them to used to coming back to me. I
give them a discount coupon for their next grooming when they pick-up their pet
on the first grooming."
Pet owners prepare! Over 87% of all groomers surveyed in 2002
are planning price increases in 2003 and 2004. According to 27% of groomers
surveyed, the last price raise was justified to them by the rising cost of
grooming supplies. There was a tie for the second most popular reason for
raising prices. Twenty-one percent of
groomers indicated that the rising cost of utilities (gas for mobile groomers)
led them to raise prices, and another 21% indicated labor costs. One groomer
commented, "I have to pass along my fuel increases, it's getting out of hand."
Another commented, "I won't use inferior products, and the best products usually
cost more. I don't know what else to do."
Pet owners with tight budgets do have some hope
facing rising grooming costs. A strong 60% of groomers
surveyed indicated they try to allow at least 1 year before price increases.
Madeline Ogle, author of the popular grooming business book,
From Problems to
Profits-The Madson Management System, commented on the price increase
survey results saying,
"Raising prices is inevitable. What you want to avoid is raising prices like
clockwork once a year. If you raise prices every September, your clients will
learn to predict it and maybe even avoid it. The best way to raise prices is
every 2 years, and with an honest explanation to your clients. Write a letter to every customer and regular client
explaining how rising prices have increased your overhead, and that you are
doing your best to maintain the affordability and quality that they have come to
depend upon. If it's been 2 or more years since your last price increase, remind
them of how long you withheld a price increase. Whatever price increase you
decide upon it should hold off another price increase for at least 2 years."
So how did surveyed groomers compare their prices with their
competition? According to the largest group of responses (40%), the most popular
pricing strategy is to be "A little more expensive than my local competition."
The next most popular strategy (27%) is to be "The same as my local
So what were groomers charging for their services in 2002?
You can review the standard
display of the average service fees on the
Results of the PetGroomer.com Grooming Prices Survey 2002 page, but here's a twist.
There are grooming businesses in homes, salons or shops, kennels, daycares,
veterinarian clinics, pet stores and on the road in those beautiful grooming
vans that seem to get better looking and built every year. Do prices for the
same grooming services vary by the type of grooming business? You bet!
Most people are aware that mobile groomers usually charge more
than stationary groomers for the same grooming assignment. Not all, but most
mobile groomers assess "convenience surcharges" within their regular grooming
prices to account for their travel time and transportation costs. For the
purpose of analyzing the results of the PetGroomer.com Pricing Survey 2002 here, we separated the survey results
by type of grooming operation. This format revealed that some types of grooming
business do charge more for their grooming services than others.
t = complete trim grooming consisting of prep brush and comb (no extra
de-matting), nails, ears, bathe & dry, styling)
b/o = bath only grooming consisting of prep brush and comb (no extra
de-matting), nails, ears, bath & dry
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