You can deduct 100% of purchase price for Spray Tan Equipment

Changes in the IRS tax code make it easier and more affordable for salon owners to purchase new spray tan equipment.

Section 179 of the updated IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the current tax year. That means that if a business buys (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, it can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from their gross income.

Simple example: If a business has Gross Income of $50,000 and purchases a new automated spray tan booth for $26,000, the adjust (taxable) Gross Income is reduced by $26,000 to $24,000, which lessens overall tax payment, while allowing the business to invest in itself.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Every business owner should consult with their personal tax advisor to determine how this tax provision will affect their individual business, and whether or not the laws and regulations have changed.

As a reminder, sales/income from spray tanning is 100% exempt from the 10% Tan Tax.

I Don’t Eat Meat

Customer to restaurant server: How’s the NY Strip tonight?

Server to customer: I don’t eat meat, I’m a vegetarian.

As bad as that response is, can you even imagine a server saying: “I don’t eat at this restaurant.”

Yet, a similar scenario is not uncommon in tan salons.

Customer to staffer: “Can you tell me a little about spray tanning?”

Staffer to customer: “I don’t spray tan.” 

Spray tanning may not be for every staffer, but every staffer needs to know how to sell a spray tan.

So, what might a staffer who doesn’t spray tan say to a customer?

  • It might be most helpful to let you know what our spray tanners love about it …
  • UV tanning is my fave but our customer that spray tan look amazing …
  • We must have 50 people spray tan each week, and they love …

Customers are looking to be honestly informed, so have staffers tell them what spray tan lovers love about spray tanning.

If you’d like help with staffer training – connect with your VersaSpa representative at 888-974-9977.

Check 2 popular posts:

A one, and a 2

When your review data in your POS system, do you have any salon rooms generating LESS THAN $65,000+ in annual sales, at 80% gross margin? If yes, here’s something to consider.

Across all salons in the USA, a VersaSpa PRO spray booth performs 8.9 spray sessions per day – on average. Btw, the average for the predecessor VersaSpa booth is 5.2 per day, or 41% less sessions.

8.9 sessions per day

x 365 days

= 3,248 spray sessions per year

x $21.00 per spray session

=$68,218 in annual sales for salon

Little secret: Many salons with VersaSpa PRO booth, have more than 1 and have implemented a reasonable price for a single spray session.

New & better equipment + Reasonable price + Faster service for customers = Win for customers & salon owners.  

If you’d like support to evaluate POS data and to discuss ideas to build a bigger and more profitable spray tan business – connect with your VersaSpa  representative at 888-974-9977.

No one is rational, or everyone is rational

Common remarks of salon owners: “EFT is obviously the best deal for a spray tanner”, and “The best way to sell EFT is to have very high price on a single session”

Another common remark: “I’m not getting enough spray tanners to sign up for EFT.”

Hmmmm? People love deals, yet EFT sign-up is disappointing. What’s going on here?

People are not rational – not me, not you, not anyone.

  • Why do only 60% of people, eligible for employer-matching 401K programs sign up? It’s free money.
  • Why do less than 50% of adults have a will? Seems rational and logical that everyone knows they’re going to die – maybe tomorrow.
  • Why doesn’t everyone shop at Walmart for undifferentiated products like Oreos, Jif peanut butter, Advil? Walmart offers the lowest price.

Maybe it’s because everyone is indeed perfectly rational — in their own mind.

Salons need EFT because it provides a predictable revenue stream and induces loyalty to a salon.

People who frequently spray tan love EFT because, well, it’s a great deal (about $15 per tan, if tan 4x per month).

What about the people who don’t like EFT – Don’t like to be locked-into a payment, Not sure they will use the service enough to make it pay-off, Afraid if will be hard to cancel, Only want to spray tan 1x per month, or every 3 months?

So, if a tanner is unwilling to sign up for EFT on their 1st visit, what’s the best ways to get them join EFT (later) …

  • Give them a reasonable price for a single session (how likely is somehow to be satisfied and give rave reviews about a salon, when charged $50+ for a single session tan that lasts 5-7 days)
  • Give the guidance to make sure they get a great tan
  • Have a reasonably priced 2 or 3 tan package, with an extended expiration period – 60 days

EFT selling often fails not because of the value of the deal, but the quirky and (ir)rational aspects of human nature.

Make it easy and satisfying to try spray tanning, and to come back again. The more trips to the salon a person makes, the more chances you have to sell EFT.

Check 2 popular posts

If the phone don’t ring, it’s me

Only ~3% of women in USA spray tan 1 or more times per year.

Yikes — or — Opportunity, Opportunity, Opportunity

There are many ways to capture those ladies attention and get them into your salon to get a beautiful spray tan.

Here’s a few messages that have proven to drive interest that can be used in your advertising, accompanied by a picture of person with great tan (social media, web site, emails, sidewalk signs, newspaper, radio).

Immediate Gratification appeals to everyone — big gain with minimal, or no pain
– 4 Minutes to Beautiful

‘Cheating’ is another type of message that captures interest
– Exercise 4 months or Get tan in 4 minutes

(Implied) Endorsement
– ‘The Celebrity Tanning Secret’ – accompanied by a picture of women who has the ‘celebrity’ look

More ideas to capture this 97% are listed in previous blog posts:

There’s more options and to discuss those ideas to build a bigger and more profitable spray tan business – connect with your a Sunless, Inc. representative at 888-974-9977.

Maybe it’s time to have your hand held

A Handheld spray tan system is often misunderstood

  • It’s hard to learn the technique
  • I’ll have to hire a technician (another employee)
  • There’s not much demand for handheld spray sessions (compared to VersaSpa)
  • A new system can be expensive

Not … so … fast

  • Norvell, also owned by Sunless, Inc., performs as many spray tan sessions per year as VersaSpa – it’s popular because people get a great tan from Norvell trained artists
  • Norvell University offers FREE comprehensive training at the premier handheld training program – when a new handheld system is purchased
  • Additionally, Norvell offers beginner and experienced technicians 1-on-1, hands-on, on-demand skill training at 20+ salons around the country from certified Norvell Educators. Train whenever you want and often as you want.
  • A salon owner or existing staffer can learn to be an outstanding spray tan artist very quickly
  • Norvell has 4 models of handheld system ranging in price from $279 to $999
  • Norvell is the #1 Rated sunless tanning brand by Professional spray tan artists/technicians – the brand you can trust

Do you have a salon room with broken or under-productive equipment?

Would you like to make that space productive again?
Do you want to build a bigger spray tan business, but it’s not the right time to invest in another booth?

The Norvell customer care team is eager to answer your questions about handheld spray tan systems, training and business building practices – connect at 888.829.2831

Used or New Spray Tan Equipment … decisions, decisions

Should I buy new or used auto spray tan equipment?

Like most decision involving your business, you should begin by thinking about your customers and what they expect.

If the area in which you do business is surrounded by other salons (hair, spa, nail, etc.) and businesses that present a high end image, then you may have no choice. If the customers in your market are upper-income, then again, you may have no choice. If you want your salon to stand apart from other tan salons, well …

But, what if you have a choice, or you’re not sure if you have the budget for new?

Here’s a few things to evaluate when considering Used:

  1. Who owned it
  2. What is the salon like … neat as pin? well trained staff? conscientious owner?
  3. How hard was the equipment used and how cared for – any visible signs of troublesome or unsightly wear and tear
  4. Does equipment have all the latest and expected upgrades – heat, auto wash-down, voice? Even if it were feasible, it could cost thousands to have those upgrades added
  5. Who will pack the equipment for the move to your salon – can’t risk damage. It can cost $1,000 to $2,000 to have it properly disassembled and re-assembled
  6. Who will install and calibrate equipment – that cost can run $1,500

While there are more than few import watch-outs, you can find good buys on used equipment, if you are diligent about the details. Also, used may be the way to go if your salon is new to auto spray tanning.

Buying New has benefits as well.

  1. Latest, greatest features
  2. Easier for staffers to run and maintain, and easier for the tanner
  3. Neat as a pin (the shopper guru Paco Underhill says that ‘above all else, women want clean’)
  4. Warranty
  5. Direct support from Sunless, Inc. to get the booth shipped, installed, calibrated, serviced and get staff trained
  6. 100% payback in less than 1 year

Like many things, you need to consider not only the purchase price, but also the total cost of ownership, over time.

Your final criteria should start at the beginning – what will your customer expect, and what will drive the most sales and profits, both now and the years ahead?

If you’d like help to evaluate this decisions – connect with your a Sunless, Inc. representative at 888-974-9977.


Check out 2 most popular posts:


Your salon is a ‘leaky bucket’

Truth is – every business is a ‘leaky bucket’.

Current customers stop coming and buying – they defect to competition, they move, they die, they stop using the product/service because it is no longer affordable.

What’s a business to do?

Since every business is constantly ‘leaking’ customers, the business needs to keep adding new customers.

And, you have to add customers at the same rate and value as the ones being lost. For instance, if your salon lost 100 customers last year, it’s not enough to add 100 new customers – the newbies must generate as much or more sales and profit as the ones that were lost. Yes, yes – very basic stuff.


Several of the ‘Hows’ are outlined in other blog posts

There’s more options and to discuss those ideas to build a bigger and more profitable spray tan business – connect with your a Sunless, Inc. representative at 888-974-9977.

Did you get married on your 1st date?

Neither did I. Neither did anyone I know. Come to think of it, have you ever heard anyone say “We dated for 2 years and then got married – I wish we had gotten married after our 1st date.”

What’s the point?

Too many salons ask spray tanners to marry them on the first date (sign up for EFT), and it is causing the salons to lose customers and sales.

Most businesses that are really good at acquiring new customers make it very easy and inexpensive for the customer to try the product and get hooked. Once the product/business delivers on the big promise, it’s easier to get customers to join for the long haul.

What businesses?

  • Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, etc.
  • DropBox
  • Mobile phone carriers
  • Cable TV
  • Satellite/Dish TV
  • Storage Units
  • Gyms/Yoga/Pilates

Have you noticed that ‘no contract’ is becoming much more common for mobile phone carriers?

Sure, an EFT – unlimited monthly spray sessions for $59.99 – may be a great deal.

But, most people just want to try spray tanning once, or a few times to see if they’ll like it and will use it.

Why is the choice $59 for one, or $59 for unlimited?

Nail Salons and Wax Salons continue to grow and have become a part of the standard beauty regimen without EFT, or without charging a very high price for a single treatment. Same with other services many people use on a routine – car wash, dry cleaner, coffee shop.

Even the mighty Amazon has had very limited success with their ‘auto-replenishment’ program, even with products that are bought very frequently – diapers, formula, wipes. Why? Most people are not comfortable being locked-in — they are afraid they will not use the service, or it will be too difficult to cancel.

If you are not getting the amount of EFT sign ups you desire, the problem is probably not the EFT deal but rather human nature — most people don’t want to get locked in.

Make it easy for the customer to sample spray tanning – if they like it, the EFT will sell itself.


Check out 2 most popular posts:

Simplified (not lower) prices grow sales & sessions

1,022 salons grew spray sessions 28+%

Tan Salons & McDonald’s

Have you noticed that McDonald’s and Wendy’s now have 2 or more drive-thru lanes? Have you noticed Chick-Fil-A has people standing in the driveway taking orders on iPads (even in Winter)?

Must cost a fortune. Or, maybe it pays for itself – those big companies are not in the habit of wasting money on added expenses.

What’s the benefit – to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A —– their customers?

McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A

  1. They take orders faster than many competitors
  2. They get customers their food faster than many competitors
  3. They show respect for their customer’s time

Their Customers

  1. They are given the gift of time and convenience
  2. They feel respected

Sunless, Inc. has performed studies which demonstrate that adding 1 spray room to the salon increases sessions by 40%, provided the salon is also charging a reasonable price for walk-in single sessions.

Why would adding a booth increase sessions?

  1. Tanners are not kept waiting
  2. Salons give tanners the gift of time
  3. Tanners select your salon over your tan competition, and other beauty treatments like nails and wax.

If you’d like to discuss ideas to build a bigger and more profitable spray tan business – connect with your a Sunless, Inc. representative at 888-974-9977.

Check out 2 most popular posts:

Simplified (not lower) prices grow sales & sessions

1,022 salons grew spray sessions 28+%