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View Poll Results: Have low pressure beds really changed in the past 10 years
Minor changes, nothing significant 10 23.26%
Major technical advancements 6 13.95%
Mainly style and design change, technology is the same 24 55.81%
Doesnt matter, customers want new beds 8 18.60%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-09-2009, 01:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Question Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Guys,

I am new and ignorant in this business, but as an old veteran sales guy, I know truth is murky when it comes to the difference in reality and what sales guys tell you to sell new product.
I have a friend who has been in tanning over 20 years who advised me that i could not go wrong buying the assets of dying tanning salon (he had no vested interest in the purchase) with 11 older beds in excellent condition. I have a month to month lease and can leave at any time and will possibly close after by July. My advisor said the beds were worth the 35k I paid for the entire business. (2) Sundash 240's (4)level 1 beds, (3) level 2 beds (1) Sundazzler stand-up (1) Ergoline Turbo 600 (1) California spray system plus the computer systems to run the place.
I have confirmed in the past 60 days my original thoughts that I will have to move locations if I want to stay in the business.
My question. Has there much technical advancement in bed technology? I understand that HP's look cool and may be better and that bulb technology has changed, but have the other beds really changed. My friend assures me I should reopen with the beds I have and i will use my cost advantage (no debt) to undercut the competition with lower prices. He has had a lot of success with tanning and seems to really have the pulse of the local tanning business, being able to name and discuss every salon owner in the area and their business situation(there are a lot).
My question, is my buddy right? Do solid used machines, even if they are older have an ROI that beats the latest and greatest. Or, are the bed sales guys right that say you can't compete with old beds. If the sales guys are right is it customer perception or true advancement in machine technology?
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Not only can you compete with old machines you can DESTROY with them. Sundazzler will out tan everything btw.

Absolutely UNDERCUT the competition! They are already NOT making enough to cover the costs of running brand new equipment and your stuff runs the SAME EXACT LAMP TECHNOLOGY that they probably can't afford.

Remember this is a 1/4mile race. Flashy looks might help sell the bed at first but if the bed doesn't deliver you'll never get repeat sales.

If you have a used bed just make sure it delivers the goods and they'll be happy to play less money for just as much tan.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Thanks, I look forward to more opinions. being in a bad location has made me paint the tanning business as a tough slog. it's hard to imagine investing 100k plus. How much effect is the economy having as far as sales falling. 5,10, 20,... 30%? has any body put that up as a poll question? (would people be truthful?) If this is the economy or my location I can wait it out and move. If it's the current business model of the tanning business I want to bail. (BTW, has anybody has seen the business model in the looking fit site training manual for new owners? They show 21k in monthly income and 5k in expenses. I hope nobody is drinking that kool-aid.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Most people are cause they don't have clue 1 about running a business. They visit a tanning salon and think it would be fun to own one and cause they will be the owner it automatically means they will be rich and have people working for them

SUUUUUUUUUUURE that's exactly how it works...if you are interested in being in business for 6weeks.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

In most cases, a bad economy can help with tanning #s.
people tend to nest when the economy goes south, businesses like health clubs and tanning salons will have more traffic due to these conditions.

It all comes down to how much competition you have, and how your place looks etc.

If your year over year #s are going south, it could be any nuber of things causing it.

Before you take Engfants advice, understand that he is a younger guy in good health working his *** off. (i dont know of anyone in the tanning world that works as much as he does) He has mostly older beds, gives good customer service (as far as I know) takes very good care of his beds and keeps up to date on all things tanning.

As a last note, yes older beds can compete against other older beds. If however all other things are equal (service, cleanliness prices etc) then a salon with new beds and a nicer buildout will kill an older salon.

Ask yourself would you rather drive a 15 yr old honda or a brand new honda if they cost the same or close?
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

In most cases, a bad economy can help with tanning #s.
people tend to nest when the economy goes south, businesses like health clubs and tanning salons will have more traffic due to these conditions.

This might be true if there isn't 47 salons in your area but ALL businesses will feel the pinch of a bad economy and this is no exception.

It all comes down to how much competition you have, and how your place looks etc.

Correct

If your year over year #s are going south, it could be any nuber of things causing it.

Or following the trend of the economy

Before you take Engfants advice, understand that he is a younger guy in good health working his *** off. (i dont know of anyone in the tanning world that works as much as he does) He has mostly older beds, gives good customer service (as far as I know) takes very good care of his beds and keeps up to date on all things tanning.

You are correct. The thing with me having "mostly older beds" is that my Sunsource beds are the exact same model that they are selling today...9 years later. Even if I bought new there would be close to no difference.

As for my Heartland equipment of the same age, I would STILL take their all steel equipment over their newer, flashier PLASTIC equipment. I can sit on their older Ovation. I would be afraid to lean on it. Steal lasts forever. Plastic does not. Also they are fooling with untested electronic ballasts that IMO cannot touch a good time tested CHOKE ballast.

Even ERGOLINE has finally bought into this. (only took em 20years)

As a last note, yes older beds can compete against other older beds. If however all other things are equal (service, cleanliness prices etc) then a salon with new beds and a nicer buildout will kill an older salon.

There is NO WAY a brand new buildout can touch the prices of a established place just based on the cost to run their equipment. Also in terms of VOLUME good luck with a salon of "feature" beds. Break an acrylic and you are out $1200 in some cases. I'd be out about $300.

Also, who is going to be in business long enough to service these new beds? Heartland? Future? ****, I just bought a brand new bed from Future. Cost about $30K after install/electricity/etc and the thing only had a 2 year warrenty and already I'm finding out that parts are quickly becoming unavailable.

So if my big beautiful bed that's run by a computer board fries the board and there are none available even if you have the $1500 for the replacement, you have to THROW OUT THE BED.

My other beds, if there's a problem (in 9 years there's NEVER BEEN more than 2 contactors replaced total) I order the part and install it.

I'm not in any position to rewire a motherboard and I got a degree in Information Systems.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Ask yourself. Would you rather open a HONDA dealership or a Mercedes dealership in the town you are planning on starting your business? Everyone can afford Honda...not everyone can afford Mercedes and if you have to match the Honda prices cause people can't come up with the money who's REALLY the winner there?
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

30k? You coulda got the Icon for $22k installed...you gots to work the deal harder my man!

Yes you do have to be carefull who you buy a new bed from these days. Even though you hate Ergoline, those cats will be here in five years.

As to the cost of running new beds, you can run one of the new Ergolines or new KBL's with the electronic ballast for about 35 cents per session including lamp changes. A base bed is gonna cost 10-20 cents per session including lamp changes.

And before you start saying the new beds suck...tan in them! I have tanned in the Ergoline 1100 and the KBL 6800 Alpha and they both tan as well as a Sungate ever did.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Thanks,
I think I would agree with kookyguy when he said "If however all other things are equal (service, cleanliness prices etc) then a salon with new beds and a nicer buildout will kill an older salon"
What my industry veteran advisor is suggesting is to be the low cost provider in an upscale area, with great, but older beds w/ new bulbs. It would be niche marketing and the fundamentals of running a good clean shop, with a well trained staff would still apply, but we would spend only 25k on the build out when I move (the landlord may eat a lot of that). My cost would be 35k for the beds plus the build out and start up cost. With the population density of the area I am considering, we should be able to pick off value seeking customers and let the other 4 guys fight for the high end. They signed leases in good times and spent 250 to 400k to get started (it's a new area in the suburbs). Most industries have room at all value levels, i do not know yet if tanning is different.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Re: Have beds really changed in past 10 years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by olmantan View Post
Most industries have room at all value levels, i do not know yet if tanning is different.

This is true of tanning as well. What is common however is that one tanning salon will offer all the levels and price points, and newer beds "can" cost less to operate (this is not true of all new beds) so you really need to know what your competition has equipment wise.
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