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Last updated: March 04, 2018

Commission on Walk-Ins: Is it Time to Walk Out?

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Who do you go to when you need answers? When a situation in your salon gets a little too tough and you need to talk? Your hair family, of course! When a stylist in California found herself in a predicament, she came straight to our BTC Facebook page in need of some advice:


“I started in a new salon as a booth renter, and I don’t have a full book yet so I’m still building. My salon owner mentioned to me that he was going to start taking a commission on walk-ins. My question is…is this legal? It’s not in my contract and I’m paying a weekly booth rent. I supply all my own products with the exclusion of back bar and towels. I don’t know how to handle this situation and I really need to know what my rights are as a renter? Has anyone ever heard of this? Or had to deal with it?”


See what you had to say!


“The issue is that these walk-ins are coming into her salon and not specifically asking for you—that client is not your client. If she doesn’t want you to do them, then she needs to give them to a commission based employee or cut her losses and let you take them. It’s also not your right as a renter to expect these walk-ins to come to your chair. You are your own entity and should be booking your own clients unless otherwise specified.” –Carleigh Niedzwiedz


“Those are “the salon’s” walk-ins. If you want to partake in “the salon’s” walk-ins, then you need to pay for “the salon’s” walk-ins. You don’t understand that she pays for advertising, has already built an establishment people are familiar with and she’s bringing you the client that you wouldn’t have had before.” –Breanne Nichole Lightfoot


“The salon owner can make up that rule, however, it isn’t anything that will make you liked by the people working within the salon. The salon owner sounds kind of desperate for clients or money or both. I would either: 1.) Grab potential long standing clients and build your clientele or 2.) Have a conversation with the salon owner. There are other salons to seek out… always!  Also, if you are using YOUR product(s) on a walk-in client, give the salon owner the bill for what you have used.” –Lori Cyr Higgins


“My salon owner does that also. We have both rent and commission stylists. I rent a station, but if they give me a walk-in when commission is not available, he charges a one-time commission split on the first visit, then they are my client after. He said it’s to help with the advertisement, and I’m OK with that.” –Julie David-Papacosta


“I am a salon owner with multiple booth rental locations. My stylists pay rent to work in my salon. The salons are well established and all with good foot traffic. I no longer market—there is no need to do so. Without stylists that are willing to build and take walk-ins, we would turn business away! An owner wanting to charge you rent and commission is greedy. Move on and don’t look back. I’ve found over the years that when you treat people good and fair, they stay and appreciate it!” –Jeanine Crites Eller


“When I rented a booth and a walk-in came into the salon, whoever was available took the walk-in and our owner didn’t take 1 cent for those walk-ins. Her reason for this was she did not want the clients to go to the “competition” and as long as we were making money, people didn’t have problems paying their rent. I think this owner is being greedy.” –Sumer Aspiazu


“I booth rent and I would personally never work with an owner who was not on my side. It sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder about the fact that clients who walk into his salon are going to you. The owner of the salon I work in is a great person and wants all of us to do well. She’s even given me a couple of clients that she could not fit in. Who in the heck does he want the client to go to? The clients you have walk through the door are still advertisement for his salon and customers who are going to buy his products (given he sells product). He IS making a lot of money off of you—it’s called rent.” –Angie Ammons

“It should have been stated in the contract, but these clients are coming in to the salon and not you specifically. He owns the business and has a lot of overhead to pay. I have worked in places that do this, as far as the legalities go, I would assume its legal or very much a gray area.” – David Torres

“As an owner, technically the walk-in’s belong to the salon. They are being generous in giving you a walk-in that they do not have to. Think of it this way. It’s a potential new client. Pay the percentage. I would go over the contract/ lease agreement again though. Make sure both sides are clear on an agreement for walk-ins.” –Emelia Renee