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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 their population 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 Zone.

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 actually do 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 competition."

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.

Table Legend:
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

Return to Surveys Main Page to view more results or to select a current survey.

Groom Dept. in
Other Business
Lease Dept.
Other Business
Overall Avg. Fee 34.25 41.00 38.75 35.75 35.25
Bichon (t) 36.75 45.25 37.75 36.25 35.75
Bichon (b/o) 30.00 39.50 29.75 28.75 29.25
Min. Poodle (t) 37.75 42.75 35.75 36.00 36.25
Min. Poodle (b/o) 24.00 31.00 24.50 23.25 23.75
Std. Poodle (t) 57.50 65.25 60.75 59.00 58.50
Std. Poodle (b/o) 32.00 55.75 35.00 34.25 33.75
Yorkshire (t) 32.00 41.25 35.25 35.00 34.75
Yorkshire (b/o) 22.00 29.50 21.75 23.00 23.25
Min. Schnauzer (t) 34.50 42.75 37.25 38.00 36.75
Min. Schnauzer (b/o) 24.75 35.25 27.50 24.75 24.50
Std. Schnauzer (t) 46.75 58.50 50.00 48.00 46.75
Std. Schnauzer (b/o) 34.00 44.00 38.25 37.75 37.00
Golden Retr. (t) 42.25 55.75 45.25 45.50 45.50
Golden Retr. (b/o) 33.50 45.25 36.00 37.25 36.75
Shih Tzu (t) 35.75 44.75 38.75 37.50 35.75
Shih Tzu (b/o) 29.75 36.25 32.00 31.75 28.75
Sheltie (b/o) 36.00 47.50 36.75 37.00 36.00
Beagle (b/o) 22.50 29.00 22.00 21.50 21.50
Labrador (b/o) 28.00 33.00 28.75 29.00 29.25
Old English (b/o) 55.25 70.00 60.50 58.25 57.25
German Shep. (b/o) 35.00 45.00 36.00 35.00 35.75
Great Pyr. (b/o) 50.25 70.25 60.00 50.00 49.50
Handstrip Md. Terrier 45.25 55.00 47.75 44.75 45.00
Handstrip Lg. Terrier 50.75 75.25 55.00 50.75 50.50
Show Trim Min. Poo. 75.00 85.00 77.25 78.25 76.75
Show Trim Std. Poo. 86.75 99.25 90.00 88.00 89.25
Avg. De-Matting Fee 10.50 14.25 14.25 13.75 12.50
Nails Only 6.75 n/a (very few) 8.25 8.00 7.75
Vet. Prescribed Treatment Add-on 7.00 8.00 7.75 8.00 7.75
Return to Surveys Main Page to view more results or to select a current survey.


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