WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
A big thank you to the great people at massage Warehouse. I can’t imagine being more satisfied and pleased with their 5 star customer service, knowledge, product selection, prices and shipping. If you haven’t already, go check out their website. Great products for massage therapists, bodyworkers, estheticians and non-professionals too!
- Mountain Mobile Massage and Spa.
We started using these sheets over a year ago and they were the best investment we have ever made. We do over 200 massage/week. These sheets are not only soft and attractive; they are durable and virtually wrinkle free. Thanks you Angie Patrick and massage Warehouse for your amazing service and pricing!
- The Boston Bodyworkers LLC.
Massage Business Building Blocks By Angie Patrick
At some point in our lives, we have all had an expectation that was proven to be unrealistic in the normal course of life. This might be expectations we have from family, from friends, from our car, maybe our relationships, even down to the products we buy. I think it is only human; we all want what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. It is the society we live in and it is an incredibly common happening. While I am no expert in on human behavior or interpersonal skills, I am an expert on products. And I have had the good fortune to be in this business for over a decade and have pretty vast experience with various manufacturers, products and suppliers. I have seen things happen to therapists and spas in the course of business that could be easily avoided with a little information. Below is some insider information intended to help make buying massage products and equipment a bit easier, whether it be from a supplier or direct from a manufacturer.
Tips on Buying Massage and Spa Goods
Buying goods should be a task in which you have full confidence. I believe buying Professional Grade Products can help you make certain your products can withstand the rigors of professional repeated usage. Manufacturers and suppliers want nothing more than to please a client. (It is our prime directive!) But sometimes meeting those expectations are not so easy.
Customer: “I am very disappointed with my massage sheets (XYZ product), I am seeing them begin to pill and fade, and I want my money back.” Me: “Oh I am so sorry to hear you are dissatisfied, let me pull your order up in my system so we can get your issue handled.” After a few moments of searching for the XYZ product in the order history, the manufacturer notices they purchased the item in January 2009. Me: “I am looking in the account, and I see this was purchased in January 2009.” Customer: “That’s right! I cannot believe how these things are showing wear, I am very disappointed with the quality. What can you do for me here?” Me: “Well, how many times a week are these used?” Customer: “4-5 times a week, we launder them often.” Me: “And just to confirm your usage of these items since 2009 is that correct?” Customer: “Correct” After some quick calculations, I came to the following conclusions: 107 weeks in usage 535 washings 535 clients Original cost: $14.99 Cost Per Client Use: .03 cents per client I shared this with the customer, and suddenly they saw things in a whole new light. Even cars depreciate after two and a half years. And they are not laundered every day! Suddenly, someone who was very disappointed with the product in the beginning was impressed with the same item, once they considered how much use it had provided. They purchased more massage sheets happily. They began to see the product replacement after due course of usage as a cost of doing business rather than a failure of manufacturing or supply. Expecting items to last forever with daily and repeated usage is unrealistic. Just as people age, so do products. One way to see if you have actually received substantial benefit from your investment is to amortize the cost of your product across the number of clients seen since you purchased it. Another thing to consider is timing. Consider this, you have bought an inflatable Christmas decoration from the Big Box Store down the street and have used it for the past two seasons. Now, in season three, it no longer inflates. But the likelihood of getting a replacement is really remote since it is three years since your purchase, and it might not occur to many to even try. It is accepted that things wear out, or can deteriorate with poor storage and lack of usage.
A customer is opening up a new location, and has ordered various massage equipment from various manufacturers. The items arrived, but are not inspected before they are signed – stating they are in good condition. They are put into a room to store until the location opens, which may well be two or three months later. These items may need to be moved within a facility a couple of times before the facility is ready to open. Nearer the opening date, the items are finally opened and it is found the item may be damaged due to shipping, the wrong color, or even non-functional. Obviously, this is a problem. However, because it was not inspected upon receipt, months have now gone by, and the opportunities to file any claims with the shipping company have long passed. Additionally, if the product is just simply the wrong color, or not what you expected, you will likely now have to pay the shipping back to the manufacturer and possibly pay a restocking fee. This is the best argument I can provide for taking the time to inspect your equipment upon arrival and ensure it is in working order. Once you have stored it for months, moved it from room to room, it is very hard to prove an item was improperly working from the start. Many manufacturers are now cracking down on this type of return. A business owner/manager/director should be responsible to make sure the items arrive in-tact. If something looks amiss, the packaging is damaged, do not sign the paperwork that says everything is fine without notating on the delivery slip that there are problems with the packaging. Notating it can help the manufacturer file a claim and get your issue resolved far faster with this information, but you have to let the manufacturer know upon delivery. If too much time passes, it will be harder to get your issue resolved. Also, if you are buying equipment that must be assembled, a smart rule of thumb is to do it in the first 30 days following purchase. The reason for this is to be proactive and report any issues with your equipment in a timely fashion to the manufacturer or supplier you have utilized, and gain resolution proactively rather than a delayed report months down the line. Making sure your business runs efficiently is in large part dependent on the products you utilize. Taking a moment to consider the information in this article can help you make sure your next expansion goes well with your equipment and product needs. They may also help you determine if there is a basis for complaining about performance or whether it may just be time to replace your goods. As with most suppliers and manufacturers, the whole reason we exist is to serve our customers. I hope the scenarios I shared can provide you a behind-the-scenes glance of what may be entailed in a return and how you can help yourself (and the manufacturer) by notating and documenting issues, while considering the age and longevity of usage.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I consider when buying portable massage equipment?
Search for a working load of no less than 300 pounds. A ‘working load’ is the total amount of weight that can be applied to the equipment including the client’s body weight and the downward pressure applied by the therapist. Static weight capacity is typically higher and only applies to the amount of weight the equipment can hold when evenly distributed.
Search for equipment that easily folds, is lightweight, takes up minimal space when stored, and has a convenient carrying method.
Search for equipment with quality cushioning and conveniently repositionable face cradles. Tables and chairs with two to three inches of padding are sufficient for even the deepest tissue massages; and adjustable headrests are key to finding the proper alignment and positioning for your individual client’s needs.
What are the must-haves for massage therapy?
Whether your practice is centered on medical massage or spa-like treatments, a focused attention to detail and a dedication to client comfort will set you apart. Massage equipment basics such as tables, chairs, linens and lubricants are obvious. Implementing massage accessories and diversifying your services with add-on treatments will go a long way towards client retention. Use bolsters and wedges to gently position your clients; consider diffusing essential oils during treatments to relax and/or energize as necessary; and keep your clients comfortable with a table warmer. Other options include soft music and lighting, a diverse treatment menu, and of course, your skilled technique.
What are the differences between massage and spa equipment?
Although the reasons for seeking out massage treatment can differ, the basic equipment is the same. Quality massage tables, chairs, and accessories are a valued investment whether in a clinical or spa setting. As a spa massage therapist, consider investing in equipment that translates to client comfort and relaxation: hot stones and warmers, table warmers, aromatherapy supplies, lubricants and exfoliators, etc. Clinical massage therapists may focus on deep massage therapy tools like balls and rollers, electrotherapy devices, topical analgesics, etc.
What equipment do I need to start my own massage business?
As many as 40% of all massage therapists are self-employed. Setting up an independent shop can be overwhelming but also very rewarding. The capital investment in equipment and supplies can be sizable but choosing high quality products will serve you better and potentially save you money in maintenance and replacement expenses. Whether you are building a medical massage therapy or spa-like practice, the basics are the same. Items to consider include:
• Massage Table Linens including sheet sets, blankets, table warmers, and towels
• Massage Accessories such as a holster, plastic pump bottles, lotion and oil warmers, and mixing bowls
• Treatment Supplies including hot stones and warmers, towel warmer/steamer, etc.
• Client Comfort Spa Products like robes, headbands, eye masks and slippers
• Waiting room seating
PRO-TIP SERIES: Building Your Business
Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out, our extensive Pro-Tip Series offers basic business suggestions and advice, treatment protocols and menu ideas, equipment and supply information, educational resources, product recommendations and more.
Dynamic solutions to your business dilemmas!