Saturday, July 16, 2016

Scissors Sharpening Class - Push Back on Price

(If you are reading this in your email inbox, click on the Title above to see the complete post.)

I was out doing a little mobile scissor sharpening today and heard something I don't hear very often, "Your price is a little steep." Now I understand that $25.00 may seem like a lot to some people, but that's the price I charge in Spartanburg, SC and I stick to it.

How to deal with price resistance

1. Do not cut your price
One of the worst things you can do in your business is not charge what you're worth. One of the reasons I'm running into some price resistance is there is a fellow in the area sharpening high end styling shears for $10 each. While it may seem wise to some to undercut the going price for sharpening in a particular area, in the long run it hurts everyone; especially the person that is doing the price cutting. While this sharpener that is charging this price is doing reasonably good work, eventually time and volume will catch up with him. In the long run it is impossible to sharpen enough shears in a day at $10 apiece to really make a good living in this business. You can get by doing that for a period of time, but eventually you will hit a wall. We can only be so many places at once, and we can only sharpen so many shears per hour well.

2. Do not be rude or haughty 
It may be tempting to throw an attitude in the face of your prospect that reflects the one in this meme below:

Don't do it though. Remember, price resistance and the word no are not personal attacks, they are simply future opportunities. Once the person charging $10 apiece to sharpen shears sees their income hit a wall one of two things will happen. Either they will try to do more work in less time, most likely sacrificing any quality they may be doing, or they will be force to raise their prices. So when you hear resistance to price be polite, thank the prospect for their time, and move along to the next prospect.

3. Remember it is a numbers game
This business really is a numbers game. Do not get discouraged when you hear the words, "No, your price is too high." There is always someone else down the road that will be perfectly fine with your pricing and happy to see you. My uncle (and namesake) was in real estate sales all of his life. When I was a young boy he used to tell me, "There is a fanny for every seat. It's your job to get in front of enough of those fannies until one decides to sit down."

Starting a sharpening route is hard. It is hard-core sales, time-consuming, and can be discouraging from time to time. If you put your head down though, and stick to it, eventually the rewards will be great. Don't worry about what others are doing. Only concern yourself with doing the very best work and service that you can at a price that is reasonable and the rest will take care of itself.

If you have any questions, or if I can help you in anyway, please email me or give me a call. Both my email and my phone number are in the sidebar to the right.


  1. Christopher MaholickJuly 18, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    When I've had push back on my pricing, I've always asked the hair stylist what they're charging for a womans haircut. If they're in a nice womens salon, they should be charging between $25-$50. One haircut for one shear sharpened are equivalent in my mind.

    1. Yup, and that will work most of the time. Of course, there are always those who just won't get it. You can lead a horse to water...

  2. Jim - I totally agree with you. Undercutting is a valid method of gaining market share but only if you can keep it up without loss of quality or their are enough customers to make this worthwhile. However most customers quickly realise that cheapest is not the best for a reason and all it takes is one mistake by the cheaper outfit and their reputation is ruined. In a customers eyes their is such a thing as perceived value, the cheaper it is the less value it has and the more expensive the better it is simple as that. How I have handled the under cutter in the past is tell the customer they should try the other guy out as it's your a friendly business ran by nice folk and you have experience and do a good job. You can almost be sure the other guy has been not so friendly when describing your business. You could also add because you have to put a lot of poor work right for other stylists an extra charge may be due(never charge extra though it reinforces your nice credentials)That's it really and I leave you with this thought/quote.
    "What would you rather have a cut price face lift or a second hand parachute"

  3. Hi Jim
    Most sharpeners in our country charge $45.00-$65.00 to sharpen shears,
    I charge 35.00 and $14.00 for clipper blades.
    Geoffs Mobile Sharpening

    1. That's fine Geoff. Just make sure that you are charging enough to make your target hourly.