Comment: Do you dread pushy sales staff in beauty salons? This is how you can fight

SINGAPORE: I almost fell off my chair when I read the story of a man whose 67-year-old mother racked up S$80,000 in credit card bills at a nail salon over two years including a fee of S$11,000 for a single visit.

According to the report, salon staff would repeatedly call her mother and harass her to return to the store and prevent her from leaving unless she purchased more services and packages. Considering the average cost of a manicure and pedicure of around S$70, spending S$80,000 is staggering.

Even if you led a life of extreme leisure and were hyper conscientious about self-care, opting for weekly sessions would put your salon bill at around S$3,640 per year. Maybe double that if you like sophisticated and complicated nail art.

Clearly, the woman was trapped in a “hard sell” hell that many of us who frequent beauty salons are familiar with.

The techniques, listed on the financial site Investopedia, are designed “to flatter them, play on their fear of missing out and try to convince them that buying a product will be a smart decision that will improve their lives”.

These practices exist because they can lead to increased sales. The salesperson basically uses his allotted time when the customer is there for the appointed time and has neither the time nor the means to compare other offers. Very often, the sales commissions associated with these transactions are also significant, Investopedia explains.

Unsurprisingly, this approach can be counterproductive. It can alienate, annoy, or scare away potential buyers, make repeat purchases less likely or cause aggressive customer response, reduce overall sales, and negatively affect the reputation of the seller and the business.