Imagine making more than your hourly rate without raising your prices. You can do that by selling massage retail products. When you offer clients products in addition to massage, they get more out of the treatment you provide – AND you make more money.
Few independent massage therapists take advantage of the revenue potential of selling massage retail products. The evidence that selling products works for service-based businesses can be seen in any big spa or wellness chain. These larger companies know that selling retail can boost sales exponentially. You’ll be hard-pressed to find one without products for sale in their reception area.
You don’t have to be a big company to be successful at retail.
Is selling products a good fit for your massage practice?
Before you start buying massage retail products, determine if this is a good strategy for a practice like yours.
Your clients want your recommendations on self-care. There’s a good chance that self-care could include products you sell. However, if the products you recommend are widely available, selling those products may be a flop.
If you have a unique or uncommon line of products, there’s a good chance your clients will buy them. If you sell something a lot of your clients need and use regularly, you’ve got a hit. Alternatively, if your product is something clients only need to buy once, your sales may dry up after the initial push.
Here are some criteria to consider when determining if massage retail products are right for your practice.
Why you should sell products (if many of these apply to you, retail may be a good fit)
- Your clients ask if you sell something you use during treatment.
- Your clients ask for self-care tips, and you know of products that could be useful.
- The products you’d recommend are not available in stores in your area.
- You have a lot of clients coming through the doors of your practice.
- You have a receptionist to handle sales.
- You have a way to sell products online (if you don’t have a receptionist or see only a few clients a day).
- You make a unique product, craft or art you could sell in your clinic.
- You have multiple therapists in your clinic.
Why you shouldn’t sell products (if most of these apply to you, retail may not be a good fit)
- You’re a solo-practitioner seeing mainly the same people week-to-week or month-to-month.
- The products you recommend could be purchased at a local store or another practice down the street.
- You can’t afford the initial investment of buying inventory.
Choose the right massage retail products for your clientele
This is where having a niche comes in handy. If your practice specializes in a particular type of treatment, like sports massage or massage for headaches, finding the right product is easier. However, if you serve a wide variety of people and offer many different modalities, choosing a product is less straightforward.
Start with what you use all the time. Is there a product you use in treatment that could be used at home? Things like topical analgesics, hot and cold packs, and bolsters could be viable options. If your clients love the scent of your massage cream, they may buy a moisturizer from the same line. If they get relief from something you use during massage, there’s a good chance they’d like to use it at home too.
Consider what clients comment on or ask about. Client education is an integral part of any massage treatment plan. When clients comment on their dry skin, they welcome your suggestion on the perfect moisturizer. If you recommend stretching, exercises or foam rolling, it’s useful to have the tools available to facilitate that. Do clients ask if you know anything about CBD? That might be a sign they are on the market for CBD products.
Offer something unique. Sell something that’s not a regular amazon purchase. Massage related items are great, but that’s not the only thing you can sell in your practice. If you, or someone you know, is an artist, put that art on display. Art can double as decor in your waiting area. Those who are drawn to it, may be persuaded to take it home.
Here’s a shortlist of retail products your massage clients may be interested in:
- Topical analgesics
- Essential oils
- Rice packs
- CBD products
- Skincare products
- Resistance bands
- Foam rollers
- Hot and cold pack
- Handmade items
- Holiday gift baskets
- Massage tools
Getting started: How to sell massage retail products
Now that you’ve determined selling products is a good fit for your practice, you need to create a system for buying, selling and tracking your products.
Once you choose a product(s) to sell, you need to do the following:
1. Find a supplier. Look for suppliers who offer wholesale prices or a discount for buying in bulk. You may have to call the company to get details on wholesale opportunities. Many companies have a minimum purchase rate to receive a wholesale price. When you’re just getting started, purchase the bare minimum until you know what will sell. This initial purchase is considered part of your massage business start-up cost and a tax deduction for your massage business.
2. Set a profitable price. You should buy wholesale to sell your products for the suggested MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price). The difference between what you purchased the product for (including shipping) and what you sell it for, is your profit. Mark the price up to an amount that makes it worth your while and still a good value to your clients.
3. Get the required licensing. If you don’t already have a state vendor's license, you may need one to sell products. The products you sell may be taxable. If they are, you’ll need to collect, remit and report that tax.
4. Set up your store. Put your products and pricing on display in your practice and on your website. Many products, like biotone and other massage wholesale products, come with cardboard displays that can be set on a table or shelf. Add the items to your accounting system, point of sale terminal and receipt templates.
5. Market your products. Just like your services, you have to market your products. Script a few sentences to recommend a product to clients who need it. Use creative massage advertising ideas that work to sell your services and apply them to your massage retail products.
Get over your fear of selling
If upselling and suggesting people buy products after their massage makes you feel cringy; you’re not alone. Many massage therapists don’t like the sales part of business. No one likes to be sold to, especially after an hour of zen and self-care.
The good news is, you’ve chosen products that your clients actually want and need. You don’t have to sell them on anything. You only have to make them aware it’s available to them.
Don’t think of selling as being pushy. Offering massage retail products to clients is merely a way to facilitate their self-care. Make recommendations that you truly believe will help, and your clients will welcome your expertise.
When you sell only products you trust and use yourself, it’s easy to sell them. Your clients trust your opinion and experience. Selling products you believe in will enhance their overall wellness.
Here are a few ways to sell products with confidence.
- Sell products you LOVE.
- Display your products and pricing in a prominent position to catch the eye of people passing by.
- Jot down a few things to say about each item you sell that sum up its usefulness. Then make a habit of describing them to clients.
- Use the products you sell during treatment.
- Only recommend products you believe will help the person you’re talking to.
- Market your products by sharing your personal experiences with them.