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Last updated: October 26, 2017

Salon Retail Commissions…Are You Getting Your Due?

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Retail can be an incredibly important part of salon business, but what’s the best way to divide the sales? New stylist and BTC Member Sylvia recently posed this question: “Is it standard to get a percentage of retail sales in the salon? If so, what is fair?” We turned to the true experts—the BTC Community!—for help solving this commission conundrum, and the reviews are in. From sliding scales to fixed compensation, here’s what you guys offered up on the topic.  

10 Percent Plan
The majority of BTC Facebook users seem to agree that most salons offer a 10 percent commission. “As a veteran of our industry and a two year owner, 10 percent is what I have seen as a standard,” says Kris Jenkins. Soren Rasmussen agrees. “You should get commission on retail sales,” he says. “We pay 20 percent, which is high. Most salons pay 10 to 15 percent.”

Let it Slide
Not all salons have a fixed compensation, however. Recently, more salon owners have adopted a sliding scale for retail commission. “I own my salon, and I do a sliding scale,” says Kim Mahoney. “Up to $100 is 10 percent; $101 to $150 is 15 percent and $151 and up is 20 percent. The more you sell, the more you make. It is a great way to motivate!” Cheryl Salyers says her salon uses a slightly different scale. “We start at 10 percent, and it goes up 2.5 percent for each $100 in sales,” she says. “It’s a great incentive for stylists to increase their sales.” 

Spice it Up
Thinking even more outside the box, some owners are using retail commission for things like furthering salon training. “A lot of salons are doing away with retail commissions and putting it toward education funds,” says Teresa Goad-Shankle. Chad Stokes explains: “What’s cool is that my salon offers stylists retail checks every quarter for our sales. That money can either be given to me, or they have an ‘education fund’ that it can go into…that way, if any expenses arise for traveling to hair shows or taking advanced education, etc., you already have the money ready!”  

The Consensus
While there may always be a debate about the amount and allocation of retail sales, stylists and owners alike do seem to agree upon one thing—retail is not only important for the business of the salon, but it is crucial for clients. “Our clients are very important to us, and there is a huge percentage relationship between retailing and client retention, says Janelle Prault. “In other words, they are more likely to come back to you when you show that you care about the quality of their hair as much as they do!” “Educating [your clients] on the products and giving them what they need will promote customer return and more sales in the future,” adds Missy Rice.

The takeaway? Details shouldn’t matter! Being enthusiastic about retail will benefit stylists, owners and clients in the long run. “Your clients should never be buying their hair care products from anywhere but YOU, their hair care professional,” says Tessa Garrett VanVuuren. “You generate client loyalty and give yourself more confidence each day you stand behind that chair.”