This is such a debatable subject and there is no right or wrong, every technician is different and what works for one might not work for another so you need to figure out what works for you and your business. But in this tutorial we will discuss the differences between charging infills by weeks or time and the pro’s and con’s to both of these. Now when you are first starting it is going to take you longer so these different ways of charging are for when your speed has improved.
Infills can be a dread for some technicians if they are completing what is basically a full set at an infill price. It can be so difficult to implement policies for example at “least 40% left to class for an infill otherwise you will be charged for a full set” and this is something I really struggled with in the beginning. However I then implemented a strict policy of what is an infill and I only gave an infill if that is what they were willing to pay for. Funny enough they tend to be a bit more careful with after care then!
There tends to be two main ways of charging for infills by set number of weeks or by a slotted amount of time, by all means if you have another way that works for you then do it!
So for example you can have a set fee for 2 or 3 week infills. Anything over 3 weeks should be charged as a new full set as we would expect them to return with less than 40% of extensions left and those left on are likely to have grown out and need removing. You may get the odd client who has a slow cycle and can go up to 4 weeks.
The benefits of this is that clients can book knowing exactly what their appointment cost will be. Technically if a client is following aftercare their retention should match the number of weeks before their infill appointment. So on average we would expect clients to lose per eye 21 lashes in 1 week, 42 in 2 weeks and 63 in 3 weeks. You as the therapist know how long to book out for the client for example it might be 2 week fill is 1 hr, 3 week fill is 1hr 30mins. This means that your diary can work to clock work which is the advantage to this system.
If you do it this way you must be strict and stick to the time limit of that infill, as you may get clients coming in for a 2 week infill who look more like a 3 week infill and spend more time on them at no extra cost meaning you’re not earning for the extra time, or you are very stressed trying to get on as many as you can. This is the disadvantage to charging by weeks. If clients are booking in for every 3 weeks but retention is really poor then you may need to discuss with them booking every 2 weeks instead, if they don’t want to do this then you just get on what you can in that time as this is what they are paying for. It might just be that they have a naturally fast cycle, or their lifestyle means extensions do not last as well on them, or medication is affecting retention etc.
So this is where you would charge according to how much time you spend on the client i.e 1 hr – £25, 1 hr 15 mins – £30 etc. So the client will book you for the time they want you to spend on their infill and what they want to pay for this. The disadvantage to this is that you don’t necessarily know how long a client needs until they arrive and if you are running a back to back diary this can be difficult. However a way to get around this is that your client just books an allotted time slot and you get on what you can in that time. If they feel they aren’t full enough you explain that they may need to be booking a longer time slot to get all the natural lashes possible. You can only do what you can in the amount of time they are booked for. Some clients will try it on to start with this way but if you are sticking to the time they have selected then it won’t take them long to realise that if they want a fuller set then they need to be willing to pay for the time it takes to complete the set. You will need to get to know your clients retention/cycle patterns and advise them accordingly to what you feel will suit them. The positive is that clients pay for what they have time wise. So no more clients who come back at 2 weeks with a lot less lashes for this stage and pay only a 2 week fill price. Again you must be strict at charging the time spent and if they have requested only an hour then you stop on the hour. If you have space in your diary and you think they could be fuller, you could always say near the end of their time, “i have some time after your appointment if you would like them a little fuller then it will be an extra £5” (for example) 9/10 will say oh go on then! Great! You’ve just made an extra £5.
Whether you are charging by time or weeks, clients must be looking after their lashes, if you are having to spend a lot of time cleaning them this either eats into their appointment time and they don’t get as many lashes placed due to lack of time or it is an added cost. Again they soon learn that if you spend 20 minutes cleaning their lashes, this is 20 minutes less of actual lashing meaning they will not be as full.
Equally if they come back with 5 lashes on each eye this is not an infill, so either they pay an infill price and you do what you can in that time (so it might be half or 2 thirds of a set) or it is a full new set at a new charge and you rebook them for that set. Remember you are running a business. Here at Eyelash Excellence we all charge differently so I charge by weeks and Sarah charges by time, so it really does depend on what works for you and your business.