CoCo and the competition – price isn’t everything

By August 23, 2018Uncategorized

If you’re in the Bloor West area, you may be able to find nail spas that under cut us pricewise but you may want to bear a few things in mind, i.e. is the spa above board in terms of how they pay their workers and in how they report their earnings to Revenue Canada? Here are a few points to consider in how CoCo may differ from the competition:

* CoCo is above board – we have just the one set of books, we pay taxes and we charge clients the HST (13%) on all services and products.

* We pay our estheticians above the minimum wage (even above the scheduled $15.00 due to come into force on January 1 2019)

* Our estheticians are defined as employees, not as independent contractors (see this article on misclassification of nail salon workers in the U.S.).This means we deduct income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums from the employees gross salary. It also means that we pay the employer contribution parts for CPP and EI.

* Our employees are hourly paid, they are not on commission.

* Our employees get 100% of their tips.

And talking about prices, yes CoCo’s prices may be a little more than some of our competitors but we aren’t as expensive as some people think we are. Most of the price undercutting is achieved by the cheaper end ones offering a “pay cash/no tax” deal.

As explained in #1 above, we have no problem in paying taxes and we often wonder what kind of relationship these establishments and their accountants have with the Canada Revenue Agency. Of course, we all know that price isn’t everything. At Coco we pride ourselves in offering a relaxed friendly atmosphere, where nobody is rushed and where everybody speaks English.


Coco seems to be more expensive in some cases because we don’t offer to waive the HST if clients pay by cash. Word of warning – the service comparison is only a rough guide, it is not strictly apples vs apples. For example, a regular mani at Coco lasts 45 minutes. At the Old Mill, it lasts an hour and “includes a nourishing Lavender soak” The “?” in the colums above indicate that it’s not clear whether these services are offered or not. The * in the “list price” column indicate that we haven’t been able to find out yet whether or not these establishments have a pay-cash-no-tax policy

(The above table is accurate, to the best of our belief, as of 24 August 2018)

However, if you take advantage of CoCo’s prepaid membership (6 services), the unit price ends up like this

  CoCo price including tax Competition

(the cheapest)

Regular mani $16 15 (Serenity)
Shellac Mani $29.19 30 (Perfect Nails, Serenity, Nails Plus)
Combo (reg mani + pedi) $42.37 35 (Perfect Nails, Serenity)
Combo (shellac mani +pedi) $51.79 55 (Perfect Nails, Serenity, Nails Plus)
Regular Pedi $28.25 25 (Perfect Nails, Serenity, Nails Plus)

We’re cheaper on some more expensive on others. Now, on top of the membership program, let’s factor in Coco’s loyalty program which came into effect on May 1, 2018.

If it’s your 4th year with CoCo, you’ve already accumulated 20 points (5 points per year), so long as you have spent a minimum of $50 in each of those years. If your birthday falls within the membership program, you get another 5 points. Make sure you have given the front desk your birthday (year of birth not necessary). One point = $1. So if you want to use it all for pedicures, you could reduce the membership based price even further – pedi price per service comes in at $24

If you’re new to CoCo this year and you don’t have a birthday during 6 month duration of service, you can’t benefit with a further reduction. However, you can still purchase other individual services, (e.g lashess, facials, waxing, threading) and accumulate points – you just can’t combine points earned this way with a further reduction in the membership price.