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A CLOSER LOOK

Results for the Grooming Prices Survey 2003 with a 2002/2003 Grooming Prices Comparison Table!

Highest Average Increases in Grooming Prices by Mobile Groomers in 2003

Steep Increases in Specialty Grooming Services in 2003

Discounting Grooming Services Takes a Nose Dive in 2003

In 2003, a record number of groomers completed PetGroomer.com Grooming Surveys in 5 categories. Always the most anticipated more than 6,000 Grooming Prices Surveys were completed. The U.S. (91%) and Canada (7%) 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 41% of groomers surveyed residing there followed by 24% for the Pacific Time Zone.

The 2003 survey upheld last year's trend in how grooming business owners manage their pricing strategies and policies. Once again the most controversial topic was the "customer price sheet." An even greater majority (66%) indicated they do not offer a price sheet to their customers. One groomer commented, "I don't even want to talk about a price sheet." In light of this it makes sense that an even more commanding 94% said they do not advertise their grooming prices. Similar to last year another groomer commented, "Creating a price sheet suitable to handout to customers is too complicated. I only give a quote when the pet owner brings their dog to my shop." A groomer that does provide price sheets did comment, "We do provide one but we never give a hard quote over the phone and until we see the pet."

Many career seekers visiting PetGroomer.com have an interest in "self-service" 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 91% of them did not offer self-service grooming, an increase of 6% over 2002. Where it was offered a remarkable 61% said that 50% or less of their business income came from self-service grooming. This means that retail and/or full-service grooming income complementing their offer of self-service grooming is still bringing in the majority of their business income.

The 2002 grooming prices survey indicated that 55% of groomers actually do discount their labor, but not often. However, in 2003 the number of groomers offering discounts, but not often, plunged to 36%. In 2003, more than one-half (61%) said they don't discount services, a significant increase. One groomer commented, "People that want a discount tend to come once and as soon as they find another discount somewhere else they leave. I like loyal patrons who know and trust me. They will always pay a fair price for my services." Groomers discounting their services often plunged from 16% in 2002 to 3% in 2003.

In 2002 over 87% of all groomers surveyed stated they planned to increase prices, and they did. The average overall price increase in a salon or shop was an even $2.00. However the price increase leader was mobile grooming with an average overall price increase of $4.75. The "best deal" judging only by the service fee amount was slightly in favor of commercial salons and shops followed closely by home based businesses, grooming departments within multi-service businesses including leased grooming departments. The overall fee for the same grooming done by a mobile groomer was about $9.00 more than other groomers. When you consider mobile groomers eliminate transportation costs for pet owners by coming to their homes mobile grooming prices are a similar good deal.

The largest price increases were not by mobile groomers alone. Across the board of all types of grooming businesses surveyed, "specialty grooming" prices increased the most. We use that term for show grooming and hand stripping within the survey. Hand stripping was the price leader with prices increasing as much as $12 from 2002 to 2003. One groomer commented, "It's difficult for pet owners to find someone who hand strips, and we do, and we easily get the fees we feel justified for delivering the service." We concur. The most frequent question of pet owners contacting Find A Groomer Directory at www.findagroomer.com is "Can you help me find a groomer who hand strips?" By interviewing them we discovered that in general most of them acquired purebred Terrier breeds and breeders advised them to have their pet hand stripped. From our experience most of them who do not intend to show the dog and resolve to using traditional clipping or grooming simply because they cannot find a groomer who offers hand stripping and they lose interest in maintaining a proper show coat. The story is similar for show grooming services. Poodles are by far the most popular breed where show grooming is sought for, second only to various Terrier breeds.

Pet owners with tight budgets do have some hope facing rising grooming costs. A strong 67% (7% more than 2002) of groomers surveyed indicated they try to allow at least 1 year before price increases. But the majority of groomers surveyed are planning price increases in 2003 and 2004.

So how did surveyed groomers compare their prices with their competition in 2003? According to the largest group of responses growing by 16% in 2003 (56%), the most popular pricing strategy is to be "A little more expensive than my local competition." The next most popular strategy (33%) is to be "The same as my local competition." Being the "low price leader" plunged from 12% in 2002 to 3% in 2003.

Charging by the hour declined from 9% to just 1%. Interestingly 4% of grooming businesses surveyed have a 1 price system for all pets groomed, although that was still a decline last year's 9%. Makes you wonder. The cost of labor (36%) was this year's biggest concern when raising prices falling well behind last year's result of the cost of grooming of supplies (27% in 2002 and now 11% in 2003). Middle-income clientele continues to rank first as the most popular category of pet owners with a commanding 86% majority.

So what were groomers charging for their services in 2003?

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 2003 here, we once again 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. Note that you are provided both 2003 and 2002 prices as well as the net difference in red print.

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
Fees rounded to near quarter or whole dollar, all figures U.S. dollars.

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

2003 / 2002
Grooming
Service
2003 / 2002
Commercial
Location
2003 / 2002
Mobile
Groomer
2003 / 2002
Home
Based
2003/ 2002
Groom Dept. in
Other Business
2003 / 2002
Lease Dept.
Other Business
Overall Avg. Fee 36.25 / 34.25
 +2.00
45.75 / 41.00
 +4.75
39.75 / 38.75
 +1.00
37.00 / 35.75
 +1.25
36.50 / 35.25
 +1.25
Bichon Frise (t) 38.00 / 36.75
 +1.25
47.25 / 45.25
 +2.00
37.75 / 37.75
 +0.00
37.00 / 36.25
 +0.75
35.75 / 35.75
 +0.00
Bichon Frise (b/o) 30.50 / 30.00
 +.50
40.75 / 39.50
 +1.25
30.75 / 29.75
 +1.00
29.75 / 28.75
 +1.00
29.75 / 29.25
 +0.50
Min. Poodle (t) no pattern 34.75
new for 2003
45.25
new for 2003
35.25
new for 2003
34.50
new for 2003
34.25
new for 2003
Min. Poodle (t) with pattern 38.00 / 37.75
 +0.25
47.75 / 42.75
 +5.00
36.75 / 35.75
 +1.00
36.50 / 36.00
 +0.50
36.50 / 36.25
 +0.25
Min. Poodle (b/o) 25.00 / 24.00
 +1.00
35.25 / 31.00
 +4.25
26.50 / 24.50
 +2.00
24.25 / 23.25
 +1.00
24.75 / 23.75
 +1.00
Std. Poodle (t) no pattern 52.25
new for 2003
68.50
new for 2003
55.50
new for 2003
53.50
new for 2003
51.75
new for 2003
Std. Poodle (t) with pattern 59.50 / 57.50
 +2.00
70.75 / 65.25
 +5.50
61.75 / 60.75
 +1.00
62.00 / 59.00
 +3.00
59.00 / 58.50
 +0.50
Std. Poodle (b/o) 35.50 / 32.00
 +3.50
59.75 / 55.75
 +4.00
38.00 / 35.00
 +3.00
35.25 / 34.25
 +1.00
35.75 / 33.75
 +2.00
Yorkshire (t) 34.25 / 32.00
 +2.25
43.50 / 41.25
 +2.25
35.00 / 35.25
 -0.25
36.50 / 35.00
 +1.50
35.75 / 34.75
 +1.00
Yorkshire (b/o) 23.50 / 22.00
 +1.50
34.50 / 29.50
 +5.00
24.75 / 21.75
 +3.00
24.75 / 23.00
 +1.75
24.25 / 23.25
 +1.00
Min. Schnauzer (t) 36.50 / 34.50
 +2.00
45.25 / 42.75
 +2.50
38.00 / 37.25
 +0.75
38.00 / 38.00
 +0.00
37.25 / 36.75
 +0.50
Min. Schnauzer (b/o) 26.00 / 24.75
 +1.25
38.50 / 35.25
 +3.50
28.50 / 27.50
 +1.00
25.75 / 24.75
 +1.00
25.75 / 24.50
 +1.25
Std. Schnauzer (t) 48.75 / 46.75
 +2.00
63.50 / 58.50
 +5.00
52.00 / 50.00
 +2.00
48.75 / 48.00
 +0.75
46.75 / 46.75
 +0.00
Std. Schnauzer (b/o) 34.00 / 34.00
 +0.00
47.25 / 44.00
 +3.25
38.75 / 38.25
 +0.50
38.75 / 37.75
 +1.00
38.00 / 37.00
 +1.00
Golden Retr. (t) 44.00 / 42.25
  +1.75
56.00 / 55.75
 +0.25
46.25 / 45.25
 +1.00
45.25 / 45.50
 -0.25
46.50 / 45.50
 +1.00
Golden Retr. (b/o) 34.00 / 33.50
  +0.50
46.00 / 45.25
 +0.75
37.00 / 36.00
 +1.00
37.25 / 37.25
 +0.00
37.00 / 36.75
 +0.25
Shih Tzu (t) 36.75 / 35.75
 +1.00
46.25 / 44.75
 +1.50
39.75 / 38.75
 +1.00
38.00 / 37.50
 +0.50
36.75 / 35.75
 +1.00
Shih Tzu (b/o) 29.50 / 29.75
color="#FF0000" -0.25
36.50 / 36.25
 +0.25
34.00 / 32.00
 +2.00
32.75 / 31.75
 +1.00
29.00 / 28.75
 +0.25
Sheltie (b/o) 36.50 / 36.00
 +0.50
48.50 / 47.50
 +1.00
37.25 / 36.75
 +0.50
38.00 / 37.00
 +1.00
37.50 / 36.00
 +1.50
Beagle (b/o) 24.50 / 22.50
 +2.00
32.00 / 29.00
 +3.00
24.00 / 22.00
 +2.00
22.25 / 21.50
 +0.75
22.50 / 21.50
 +1.00
Labrador (b/o) 32.00 / 28.00
 +4.00
38.25 / 33.00
 +5.25
32.75 / 28.75
 +4.00
31.00 / 29.00
 +2.00
31.25 / 29.25
 +2.00
Old English (b/o) 57.75 / 55.25
+2.50
73.25 / 70.00
 +3.25
61.50 / 60.50
 +1.00
59.25 / 58.25
 +1.00
57.25 / 57.25
 +0.00
German Shep. (b/o) 37.00 / 35.00
 +2.00
48.00 / 45.00
 +3.00
37.00 / 36.00
 +1.00
34.75 / 35.00
 -0.25
35.00 / 35.75
 -0.75
Great Pyr. (b/o) 55.25 / 50.25
 +5.00
78.25 / 70.25
 +8.00
62.00 / 60.00
 +2.00
57.00 / 50.00
 +7.00
54.50 / 49.50
 +5.00
Handstrip Md. Terrier 55.00 / 45.25
 +9.75
67.00 / 55.00
 +12.00
52.25 / 47.75
 +4.50
51.75 / 44.75
 +7.00
50.75 / 45.00
 +5.75
Handstrip Lg. Terrier 61.25 / 50.75
color="#FF0000" +10.25
85.00 / 75.25
 +9.75
58.00 / 55.00
 +3.00
55.50 / 50.75
 +4.75
56.50 / 50.50
 +6.00
Show Trim Min. Poo. 79.00 / 75.00
+4.00
89.75 / 85.00
 +4.75
77.25 / 77.25
 +0.00
78.50 / 78.25
 +0.25
77.75 / 76.75
 +1.00
Show Trim Std. Poo. 89.25 / 86.75
 +2.50
105.25 / 99.25
 +6.00
92.00 / 90.00
 +2.00
92.00 / 88.00
 +4.00
91.50 / 89.25
 +2.25
Avg. De-Matting Fee 11.50 / 10.50
 +1.00
13.25 / 14.25
 -1.00
12.25 / 14.25
 -2.00
12.75 / 13.75
 -1.00
12.50 / 12.50
 +0.00
Nails Only 6.75 / 6.75
 +0.00
n/a (too few)
 +0.00
8.25 / 8.25
 +0.00
8.25 / 8.00
 +0.00
7.50 / 7.75
 -0.25
Vet. Prescribed Treatment Add-on 7.25 / 7.00
 +0.25
8.50 / 8.00
 +0.50
7.50 / 7.75
 -0.25
7.75 / 8.00
 -0.25
7.75 / 7.75
 +0.00
Return to Surveys Main Page to view more results or to select a current survey.

 

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