Health & Wellness

BC Salon reopened with price gouging

[OP]
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Sep 8, 2008
244 posts
68 upvotes
Vancouver, Canada

BC Salon reopened with price gouging

As you know BC allowed to reopened salons I recently visited a non franchisee man’s salon in Tricities. I saw that they have jacked up their price for basic haircuts by 30% and cash only. No longer accepting debit or credit cards. Any BC or Ontario guys and girls seeing this in your areas?
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32 replies
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Apr 25, 2020
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perfectcritic wrote: As you know BC allowed to reopened salons I recently visited a non franchisee man’s salon in Tricities. I saw that they have jacked up their price for basic haircuts by 30% and cash only. No longer accepting debit or credit cards. Any BC or Ontario guys and girls seeing this in your areas?
imho, I would have posted this thread in the Fashion & Beauty forum

Salons are not yet open in Ontario.

Why don't you report to the media of this issue.

As B.C. businesses reopen, some charge COVID-19 fees to cover costs
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
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I would completely understand why some small businesses would increase their fees - they've had no income for the past 10 weeks but yet still have to pay for rent, utilities, insurance and any other associated fees in addition to their living expenses (rent/mortgage, food, utilities, etc.). CERB hardly cuts it for them - students and part-time folks are making more money than them without the same expenses.

If you're lucky to be able to make your full salary during this time, cut small businesses some slack and give them your business otherwise don't but I don't think it's right to complain or be upset by it. Call this price gouging is just plain wrong and inaccurate. For a $20 haircut 30% is only $6...I'm sure people have no problem paying that much for a Starbucks :rolleyes:
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Jul 16, 2019
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Ontario hair salons are not open. I fully expect them to charge more when they do - more cleaning, less customers per sq ft because of social distancing, some staff may not work, paying the same rent/expenses.
I booked my dog for a grooming this week now that they are open and they told me that they are charging 10% more than before COVID closure.
[OP]
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Sep 8, 2008
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vernonco wrote: Ontario hair salons are not open. I fully expect them to charge more when they do - more cleaning, less customers per sq ft because of social distancing, some staff may not work, paying the same rent/expenses.
I booked my dog for a grooming this week now that they are open and they told me that they are charging 10% more than before COVID closure.
So does it mean that as Canadians we are supporting inflation even with barely survival money I got lets say I get only $2000 for CERB and got credit card debts and other stressful situation like health issues, job competition from locals / immigrants when the stock market, real estate are in stagflation?
When I get new job will my employer consider giving me 30% hike in my pay (its only $3.95 more hourly) considering I was jobeless because of Covid-19 mess?
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Dec 18, 2017
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There are some increased costs for opening a salon. PPE, for one. Also increased cleaning supplies, plus a very big decrease in rotation of customers. My barber told me she can only book one client per 45 minutes now which is about half of what she did before. This is enforced so that she can clean her chair and all other touch surfaces. Barbers already had to clean their clippers, scissors, combs etc, before but now there is even more that needs to be done. She also had to purchase more aprons which her suppliers jacked up the cost over 100%. She can only use one apron per customer now and has to toss them in the wash everyday while wearing her own PPE which she has to change every time a new customer comes in. Proper and certified PPE is very difficult or expensive to get right now for personal service providers - they can't be expected to absorb this cost when already operating at a low margin (especially in high-cost rent areas like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal).
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Mar 23, 2011
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perfectcritic wrote: So does it mean that as Canadians we are supporting inflation even with barely survival money I got lets say I get only $2000 for CERB and got credit card debts and other stressful situation like health issues, job competition from locals / immigrants when the stock market, real estate are in stagflation?
When I get new job will my employer consider giving me 30% hike in my pay (its only $3.95 more hourly) considering I was jobeless because of Covid-19 mess?
Not sure why you are shocked by this? Grocery stores have remained open, are making profits (Walmart) and the prices have risen. Supply chains have raised costs, places that were closed lost money by being closed and now after reopening will try to recoup their losses. Restaurant prices will be jacked when they open up because of new measures they have to take, cost of food having risen etc.
Some places will survive, many will fail and those who do survive may be able to charge even more for the increased demand that they face.
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Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
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OP, you did not mention in your original post how much the barber charged for a haircut pre pandemic, only the % increase, which basically could mean anything from $10 to $100 for a basic haircut.

So how much was a haircut pre the virus? If the pre-pandemic cost was $10 to $20 then the barber is hardly price gouging.

Also, from everything I have read there are many restrictions for customers - one of them being that only payment by way of credit card is an allowed form of payment. I shudder to think what I am going to have to pay for a colour/cut in Ontario.
[OP]
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Sep 8, 2008
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Blanche123 wrote: OP, you did not mention in your original post how much the barber charged for a haircut pre pandemic, only the % increase, which basically could mean anything from $10 to $100 for a basic haircut.

So how much was a haircut pre the virus? If the pre-pandemic cost was $10 to $20 then the barber is hardly price gouging.

Also, from everything I have read there are many restrictions for customers - one of them being that only payment by way of credit card is an allowed form of payment. I shudder to think what I am going to have to pay for a colour/cut in Ontario.
As far as this 7 seat barber salon is concerned, previously it was $17 (pre-covid) , the new printout said $21, and charged $23 (in BC you are only supposed to charge GST for salon services) and only cash without debit or credit cards and then you would also add tips to it. I am also a business owner but this just gives an impression that the small biz is trying to ditch government taxes and charging it straight to the customers. And I guess we all know that its common by these small businesses to ditch or partially remit government taxes when it comes to GST/HST remittances (CRA is aware that small biz do these practices but i guess going behind 30-50K worth of HST is not really worth CRAs time) but I am not encouraging it.
But then using the excuse of Covid to raise prices, overcharging customers and not issuing receipts with GST numbers on it and engaging in partial or no GST remittance practices is also not really welcome IMHO.
I was there in this salon for 20 minutes in waiting. None of the barber changed their aparon or gloves or masks they wore for them. And I don't know what the provincial Workplace regulation stipulate for these businesses. They have kept 6 ft distance between 2 seats now or closed one of the adjacent seat if its firmed on ground. The only new courtesy to customer is free mask if they don't have one.
I am not against having mercy on these businesses to increase their price by 10% or so but 35% isn't really acceptable when you engage with other practices you do. You will soon see these small businesses playing the same game until caught or their customers are lost.
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Deal Addict
Jun 4, 2013
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10% maybe but some salons said they are charging up to 70% because they can't take in as many customer as before and they need to provide additional PPE. Sorry but PPE doesn't cost 70% more. They need to make changes to their business. You don't see a restaurant increasing their price even though their sales are down.
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Sep 19, 2002
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No increase here. Haircut is still $10 cash.

PPE - Customers bring their own masks.

Cleaning - Bleach, wet towel, and gloves.

Distancing - Customers occupy every other chair.

I would consider +30% price gouging. Operating costs have gone up, but certainly not to the degree some are suggesting.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
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West
I agree - 30% and cash ONLY is a little steep. That said, perhaps they're just trying to make up for the last few weeks; can't take as many customers at once; aren't having the traffic to sustain operating costs; or perhaps they are under pressure with rent, etc. There could be so many other factors playing in that arrives at that number.

I guess you can always find another salon if you ain't happy with it.
Last edited by Phonophoresis on May 22nd, 2020 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dec 28, 2019
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Spinner wrote: No increase here. Haircut is still $10 cash.

PPE - Customers bring their own masks.

Cleaning - Bleach, wet towel, and gloves.

Distancing - Customers occupy every other chair.

I would consider +30% price gouging. Operating costs have gone up, but certainly not to the degree some are suggesting.
Where? Even Chinatown is $12.5 cash
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Sgtalpowell wrote: Where? Even Chinatown is $12.5 cash
Look around the Chinese Cultural Center. Shops around the Victoria/Kingsway area have some that are $8 or $9.
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Sep 4, 2006
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When I go back, my tip will be the usual, no matter what the new price is. And an extra amount to cover the three haircuts I haven't gotten since March.
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2015
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Burnaby, BC
From their perspective, it isn't about the income they lost in previous months. It's about knowing there'll be a high demand for haircuts in the next 2 months.
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Sep 21, 2011
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Spinner wrote: No increase here. Haircut is still $10 cash.

PPE - Customers bring their own masks.

Cleaning - Bleach, wet towel, and gloves.

Distancing - Customers occupy every other chair.

I would consider +30% price gouging. Operating costs have gone up, but certainly not to the degree some are suggesting.
Waiting for my Scarborough hair cutting place to open , hopefully it’s still 8.00 plus 2.00 tip. I can’t speak to them just show them what i want by motion lol but it works and price is good.
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Dec 3, 2017
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perfectcritic wrote: As far as this 7 seat barber salon is concerned, previously it was $17 (pre-covid) , the new printout said $21, and charged $23 (in BC you are only supposed to charge GST for salon services) and only cash without debit or credit cards and then you would also add tips to it. I am also a business owner but this just gives an impression that the small biz is trying to ditch government taxes and charging it straight to the customers. And I guess we all know that its common by these small businesses to ditch or partially remit government taxes when it comes to GST/HST remittances (CRA is aware that small biz do these practices but i guess going behind 30-50K worth of HST is not really worth CRAs time) but I am not encouraging it.
But then using the excuse of Covid to raise prices, overcharging customers and not issuing receipts with GST numbers on it and engaging in partial or no GST remittance practices is also not really welcome IMHO.
I was there in this salon for 20 minutes in waiting. None of the barber changed their aparon or gloves or masks they wore for them. And I don't know what the provincial Workplace regulation stipulate for these businesses. They have kept 6 ft distance between 2 seats now or closed one of the adjacent seat if its firmed on ground. The only new courtesy to customer is free mask if they don't have one.
I am not against having mercy on these businesses to increase their price by 10% or so but 35% isn't really acceptable when you engage with other practices you do. You will soon see these small businesses playing the same game until caught or their customers are lost.
I agree with you 100% these businesses that evade taxes should really suffer more serious consequences. Whenever I see a business that offers a discount for cash or doesn't accept debit I'm immediately skeptical of their practices. Usually cash only companies aren't paying taxes. What's even more disgusting is if businesses that weren't evading taxes before COVID start to after just so that they can make more money off consumers and then qualify for the wage and rent subsidy programs from the government. I guarantee there will be a lot of businesses abusing this.
[OP]
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Sep 8, 2008
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jacnel wrote: I agree with you 100% these businesses that evade taxes should really suffer more serious consequences. Whenever I see a business that offers a discount for cash or doesn't accept debit I'm immediately skeptical of their practices. Usually cash only companies aren't paying taxes. What's even more disgusting is if businesses that weren't evading taxes before COVID start to after just so that they can make more money off consumers and then qualify for the wage and rent subsidy programs from the government. I guarantee there will be a lot of businesses abusing this.
And Mr. Trudeau will allow them to play this game.
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Nov 13, 2010
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TheGreatGazoo wrote: There are some increased costs for opening a salon. PPE, for one. Also increased cleaning supplies, plus a very big decrease in rotation of customers. My barber told me she can only book one client per 45 minutes now which is about half of what she did before. This is enforced so that she can clean her chair and all other touch surfaces. Barbers already had to clean their clippers, scissors, combs etc, before but now there is even more that needs to be done. She also had to purchase more aprons which her suppliers jacked up the cost over 100%. She can only use one apron per customer now and has to toss them in the wash everyday while wearing her own PPE which she has to change every time a new customer comes in. Proper and certified PPE is very difficult or expensive to get right now for personal service providers - they can't be expected to absorb this cost when already operating at a low margin (especially in high-cost rent areas like Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal).
Changing just 1 or 2 things while dealing with ppl all day isn’t really much, just a show to give impression of safety. Nah expect it to be normal in few days lolz

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