I am always impressed by the savvy aesthetic shopper; maybe because I consider myself a well-educated shopper who is always on the lookout for a true deal. In that vein, don’t get me started about couponing or we will be talking all day!
Many people who come into my office for a free laser consultation, whether for tattoo removal, hair removal, skin revitalization or body sculpting, etc., have done their homework, usually research on the internet, but oftentimes they are well informed because they’ve gotten a consultation/pricing done at another shop. As savvy consumers, they are comparison shopping to see where they can get the most bang for their buck.
Over the past 12 years doing free laser consultations, I’ve discovered from talking to patients that my office is one of the few that will allow you to do individual treatment pricing, to “pay as you go” so to speak; most other shops try to rope you into a package for a set number of treatments, otherwise they are done talking to you. Many laser centers take on the attitude of buy now and buy big or you are wasting their time. Admittedly, at first glance, the package pricing can save you serious cash, but only if the laser center upholds their end of the agreement and gives you the agreed upon treatments. I will also sell packages at a discount at my office to generate goodwill for agreeing to be a loyal customer.
However, the problem I see with packages from these larger laser center franchises is that some of them have gone out of business with clients’ packages still in progress. These spas sold laser packages to the unsuspecting consumers and then left the clients uncompensated when the spas shut their doors and declared bankruptcy. In many cases, the clients are referred to another center, but the already purchased package is not honored at the other shop. The result is a lot of angry laser customers.
Let’s face it, when you put your hard earned money forward to do these aesthetic procedures you want not only results, but you want the number of treatments that you purchased. When I do my free laser consultation with you, I will generally offer you an individual treatment price, but if I know that the result you want will require more than one treatment, I will put together a package for discounted pricing. I try to avoid you having to prepay for any more than a year’s worth of treatments at a time, not because I think that I’ll go out of business by then, but because I don’t see myself as your bank.
I had one of my patients ask to give me money each month until she had collected enough to purchase a laser package from me. She said that she couldn’t trust herself to put aside the money and not touch it. I politely refused her offer to be her “banker”. My role in my office is to be the provider of your care, whether it be medical or laser. I will not serve as your banker, and I don’t really think you should let any laser center serve that role either.
When you ask about pricing from me or any other laser center, be sure that you will get all the treatments you paid for before you swipe your credit card. That’s just being a savvy shopper.