When too many sellers in a niche under-price their products consumers grow accustomed to the low price, and feel cheated when asked to pay a fair rate.


Have you ever been looking for a product and found it, but then discovered several more and all at different price points? How do you decide which product is the right for you? We live in the day of online shopping, where the market is so diverse that the options can be overwhelming. When there are too many sellers in a niche market - especially in a field as technical as the nail industry- it can get confusing. I wanted to take a minute discuss what factors you should look for when buying nail kits, bits, and e-files online.


Some companies under-price their products. This will lure customers in because saving money is enticing! Unfortunately, the reasons for the price cut are not as appealing. Companies can save money by selling poorly made items. Or perhaps, they mass produce their goods, which can lead to imperfections. Other ways to cut prices are by outsourcing or using cheaper materials. Let me just tell you, what you save initially - you will have to put back in eventually. In the end you won’t actually be saving money. These inexpensive tools will break easily and need repaired often. If your e-file breaks, and you aren't able to work - what happens then? Does "Budget Bargain Store" even have a customer service center, a warranty, or even offer repairs? Remember, even with the highest caliber products from five-star companies, equipment will still require maintenance over the years.


My advice is to do a little research! I know, we are all so busy these days with family, friends and jam-packed schedules, but before you buy take a closer look at the company. If you look into your favorite ‘Budget Bargain Store’ but you can’t find a customer service number or a repairs department- those are red flags. Here are a few things you should look into when researching a brand or product:


1. Check Out Their Website

 Does the company have a website that is updated? You should be able to find all or most of what you are looking for on a company’s website. Does it look like a business that is involved in the nail industry? Do they have any other products or items that would be valuable to you? Many companies even have sales that can be generated only by visiting their website. If the website looks cheap, outdated or has faulty links - I would pay attention to those little details as they are red flags. 


2. Stalk Them on Social Media 

In this day and age, most businesses have a presence on social media. Scroll your way over and see what you can learn! Is the brand something you vibe with? Would you be proud to say that you bought from that company? Are they showing nails created with their products or are they using stock photos? I believe that if a company puts time into creating fresh content for their followers, they are probably interested in creating a positive, lasting bond. What that means for you, is a company that cares about their consumers. That is a very good sign. 


3. Look for Contact Information

All businesses should give you a direct line to their team. That way if you have questions before you buy, or more importantly, after you buy, you'll be able to reach someone who can help. Companies should display a contact form, email, mailing address, phone number or possibly even a live chat on their website. You might even be lucky enough to find continued education, pop up shops or workshops in your area.  Bonus points for the companies that give a timeline- (for example - 'Someone will respond to your email in 48 hours' or ’Our Customer Service Department is open Monday-Friday 7a-3p'.) That way you know when to expect feedback. 


4. Read Online Reviews

Here it is. This is usually the only precaution people take before buying new bits, e-files or any product from a new or unknown company. For me, it falls farther down on the list because there are other things that you should look for IN ADDITION TO reading the reviews (see numbers 1-3). What are other nail technicians saying about this company? Are they excited and loving it? Are there pictures of products in real life? See what people are saying and if it resonates with you. 


The market is more diverse than ever before. I encourage you to use this to your advantage and to find the companies that you are proud to buy from, companies that you respect, and companies that will support you as a customer. Don’t fall for cheapskate prices, if it’s going to mean faulty products and zero customer service. Invest a little more and it will pay off in the long run. 

June 11, 2019 — Erica Schlabach


Christy said:

Just yesterday I learned that I could do electric nail filing at home. All my life I have suffered from dry skin and so constant hangnails. Apparently an electric file can be gently used for the sides of the nail bed to eliminate dry skin that makes hangnails and also use on the sides of the fingers to kind of exfoliate dead skin very carefully. My question to you is which of your electric files would be for me? I am not a professional and will be using this only on myself. I am very willing to pay a higher price to get one that is easy to use, reliable, is not battery but electrically plugged in, has diamond heads and is one of the smaller ones to hold because I have arthritis in my hands, I am 73 years of age. Sorry for the super long message but I sure could use your help cuz I will only buy an Erica product. Thank you so much!!

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