Chair Massage in a shopping mall

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Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby zaphod on Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:41 pm

A fellow classmate and I are thinking about setting up a couple of chairs at the local mall when we get out of school.  Has anyone tried this?  If so, how did you go about it (as far as how to contact at the mall, how much did they charge you to set up, did you do well financially, what besides the chairs and hand santilizer do you need to have available?)  Could really use some tips on this.  Thanks
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Bodymovers on Sat Sep 18, 2004 4:11 pm

10 G? YIKES!! what about going to certain stores, arranging a deal with the managers to work on their customers? get a high traffic location, like bath & body or something. or one of those in mall hair salons! I thought about it, but im already stretched too thin. i have an open house gig at a local curves next sat. you can also think about things like that to set up your chairs.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby stressrelief1958 on Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:53 am

Hey Bodymovers could you give a little more detail on the Curves gig?  I have a Curves next door to my business and have given a free massage to one of the employees, so she could talk me up.  I'd like to get in there and get my hands on many of the people working out.  Fill us in on the details of how you got your foot in the door ect.   thanks
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Jen on Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:33 am

If you're looking for info from a massage therapist who has been inside many Curves for Women fitness centers to provide chair massage, then I am at your service  :)<br><br>I have gone to several Curves in my area (Central Texas) and have spoken with the owners. Most of them have been VERY receptive to having a massage therapist come in at least once a month (if not more) and provide chair massage to interested clients. They treat is a a reward-type thing. I emailed each of the Curves' owners a sign-up sheet a couple of weeks prior to my scheduled appearance. <br><br>Once I'm at the fitness center, I set up in an out-of-the way corner or room (depending on if they have a spare room as some are short on space) and the rest if pretty much understood. <br><br>I have gotten regular clients from these and would strongly encourage you to try the Curves in your area. Although I gave a discount during my first visit to each of the Curves, that's not necessary as I'm sure they will pay the standard $1 per minute. <br><br>If you're really trying to obtain athletic clientele to market your sports massage, I would also suggest checking out your local sports clubs/groups to let them know about your services. When I did that, I was offered free advertising space on one of the running instructor's web sites as he wanted to treat his club members to a massage.  To help encourage the participants to keep on their running/walking/biking programs, I've offered 30-minute gift certificates to those that completed their athletic goals on time. Great incentive and I feel good that I'm helping those who really do concentrate on maintaining their health.<br><br>I could go on and on but I think you get the idea that providing massage at fitness centers (whether Curves, Golds gym, 24-hour fitness, etc.) is definitely a logical market for therapist.<br><br>Be well,<br><br>Jen
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Lorkie on Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:41 pm

Jen,<br><br>Are you charging the club members $1/min or does Curves pay you?<br><br>Laurie
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Janey on Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:59 am

Hello!  One thing about Curves...I worked there for a quite a long time her ein Seattle, and I know that having massage therapists on site, and having them be paid, een if it is by individual members, violates the owners' franchise agreements.  They are basically in violation, and this couldhave serious consequences for them.<br><br>Now, many of them don't care, and have MTs or yoga instructors, or whomever come in all the time, and this is their choice.  I'm not sure if we have an ethical obligation to help them keep their franchise agreements, as its their butt on the line, not ours, but I just thought I'd put it out there.<br><br>I have massaged at Curves for free, and told each member I massaged that if they booked a table session with me that day, I would give them 10% off.  I got several regulars out of that.<br><br>Anway, just something to think about.<br><br>Janey
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Bodymovers on Thu Sep 23, 2004 11:03 am

im not planning on working at Curves, just doing an open house for them. the woman who called me to set it up said they had a meeting w/ the big-wigs, who said they have done this for other open house events & it worked out well. they just need me for a few hours ;}
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Lorkie on Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:19 pm

Bodymovers,<br><br>Is the club paying you an hourly rate or is this gratis?<br>
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Jen on Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:06 am

Each time, I was charging the Curves member, not the Curves fitness club owner. They just provided the place for me to set up. <br><br>Be well,<br>Jen
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Staggnant on Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:35 pm

As far as the shopping mall venture goes, I wanted to contact the local shopping mall (right across the street from my office) and ask about the same thing. I just looked them up in the phone book, got the Customer Service number, whom then transferred me to the appropriate person. I was at a lack of funds, so I offered to do the service free of charge, and simply hand out business cards, and offered the Customer Service employees (along with the managers and others I was speaking with) gift certificates. They were to call me back the next day, which they never did, and I never got a response from dialing the number I was transferred to directly. After about a week or so of calling and leaving messages (left about 3), I simply gave up on that idea. They never once quoted a price.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:22 am

Whatever you do, please don't demean the profession by charging a $1/minute.<br>One of the reason mall chair massage attempts fail is under charging the for service.<br><br>You are going to them, often have unproductive time, and have to pay rent.<br><br>So why on earth would anyone charge less per hour than they do to have a client come to their home office?<br><br>Beats me, but I see MTs doing it all the time, then wonder why the average MT only makes $25K per year.<br><br>MTs are charging major corporations $1/minute to do convention chair massage, yet the company spent $5 million dollars on their booth!
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Lorkie on Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:53 pm

RelaxandRejuvinate,<br><br>How much would you charge if you were doing mall work?  I've never done chair massage in a mall, but I have done it at street fairs where I charge the standard $1/minute.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby gutehands on Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:54 pm

I, too, am interested what R&R would charge per minute.<br><br>Demean? I'm not sure $1 per minute "demeans the profession". I'm certain we'd all love to get $5 a minute, but let's see....for 15 minutes they'd be paying the average for an hour table massage.<br><br>Shopping malls are a great promotional venue for our work, but it isn't the optimal for client relaxation. <br><br>Why would we charge less than private office or home call? Just for those reasons...privacy, and convenience of not having to leave your home. <br><br>There's good reasons to charge more...but in the mall setting, people are there to SHOP. I doubt the would empty their pockets for a quick chair rub when Nordstrom's has a sale on ;-)<br><br>gi <br><br>
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby HandzOn_VA on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:26 am

I have recently posted info on other boards concerning a business called "Health Wise" Magic Chinese Back Rubs in a regional Outlet Mall (Potomac Mills) near DC.  Practitioners insist that they are not doing massage, but use massage equipment, tables, etc., to "Rub" their clients.  All of the definitions I know of for massage say it's the manipulation of the body's soft tissue - which they are doing.<br><br>I have contacted the State Board of Nursing for VA (regulatory) and they say they can't do anything since they don't call it massage.  BTW, not hearsay, two of their therapists admitted to me that they have no certification, or formal massage education.  There are about a dozen tables in plain view in the store, and most are full with people in the waiting area - at $50/hour.<br><br>Just to let you know that this same thing can happen in your area.  Note: Besides no certification, they have no listed phone, and the Mall management doesn't seem to know anything about them.  There is also a legitimate business in the area with the same name.  <br><br>This is money out of MY pocket directly.  If it was through a legitimate, certified MT or clinic, I would tip my hat and say "Great Job!" But this violation hurts all of us.  This is "demeaning" to our profession that we have paid big bucks in education, membership, marketing, equipment, insurance... You understand.<br><br>Here are some of the regs they violate in VA:<br><br>§ 54.1-111. Unlawful acts; prosecution; proceedings in equity; civil penalty. <br>A. It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, corporation or other entity to engage in any of the following acts: <br>1. Practicing a profession or occupation without holding a valid license as required by statute or regulation. <br>2. Making use of any designation provided by statute or regulation to denote a standard of professional or occupational competence without being duly certified or licensed. <br>3. Making use of any titles, words, letters or abbreviations which may reasonably be confused with a designation provided by statute or regulation to denote a standard of professional or occupational competence without being duly certified or licensed. <br>4. Performing any act or function which is restricted by statute or regulation to persons holding a professional or occupational license or certification, without being duly certified or licensed. <br>5. Failing to register as a practitioner of a profession or occupation as required by statute or regulation. <br>6. Materially misrepresenting facts in an application for licensure, certification or registration. <br>
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby jay on Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:53 am

On pricing, I thought that $1 a minute was the standard price all over the world (1 Euro a minute in Europe).  I am from the UK, and when I visit the states I always try to take a chair massage or two from someone in a hotel lobby, airport, or wherever else I find them.  I usually go for $10 for 10 mins, which is a nice r&r from travelling or shopping.  I was surprised last week to be at a Sting concert in Silicon Valley (admittedly, probably not the cheapest area code ;-) when the chair people were charging $1.50 a minute.  But OK, they have to pay for the space to be there, so I paid the usual $10 anyway, and took a slightly shorter massage.  It was still very nice :-)  I am always impressed by the great massage that a well-trained chair person can give, and I think that paying by the minute is fine, as it lets the client decide exactly what they can afford, in terms of time and money.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby sagetherapist on Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:17 am

HandsOnVA <br>& all who are seeing this kind of "back rub" thing going on. <br><br>Are you affiliated with a big association such the AMTA? They have sometimes put successful pressure on issues that insult the massage community. Another action to consider would be to call or e:mail your news stations. If they do a consumer reports section, they might think the sound bite about unlicensed back rubs interesting. You might even be instrumental in providing them the correct information they would share with concerned viewers about regulated, professional therapeutic massage.<br><br>I had a slightly different thing happen where I became aware of a strange massage establishment near my neighborhood, but as it turns out, they ARE licensed. A whole new can of worms!!!<br><br>Jill/Sagetherapist
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Jen on Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:12 am

HandsonVA,<br><br>I grew up just minutes from the Potomac Mills Outlet Mall in Woodbridge, VA and didn't move from the area until March of 2000. <br>Although I didn't become a therapist until I moved away to another state, it bothers me that those individuals can say they are "professionals". It is my understanding that if you are in a profession, it's because you had years of experience and/or schooling to be considered a professional in any business. <br>Also, it seems from the laws you mentioned at the bottom of your email that they are breaking quite a few of them, and it would seem to me that the Virginia Department of Health & Human Services could fine them and force them to shut down their business. <br>If at all possible, please let me know what eventually happens (if anything) as I go back there a couple times a year to visit friends/family and might one day move back there.<br><br><br>Be well,<br><br>Jen<br>
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:39 am

I have contacted the State Board of Nursing for VA (regulatory) and they say they can't do anything since they don't call it massage. <br><br>That is the crux of the issue! They are not violating any of the statutes you cite.<br><br>VA is a messed up place for having certification - not exclusive licensure - and leaving the rest to the mismash of county regulations. But then, places that have licensure don't enforce their laws either.<br><br>In VA, as long as you don't call is massage, you are not governed by the State (counties are a different matter, they are very strict in their definitions, regulations - like no in-room at hotels in FX, no at homes in Alexandria unless you notify the police witha t least 2 hrs notice, etc.)<br><br>Even worse, when they do call it massage and violate the very rules you cited, the Board of Nursing does NOTHING. I should know, I have registered several complaints with them, including one MT who claimed to be a "Certified Massage Therapist" (he held the ABMP "Certification" when VA law clearly states only those certified by the BON can use that term), showed photos of himself doing massage in at least two states in which he was not licensed, had quotes from clients going back three years.<br><br>The BON found no grounds and even gave him a license when he finally got around to applying for it.<br><br>The same is true for the other frauds I have encountered - not NCTMB, not trained 500 hrs - just printed up business cards, put them up at Whole Foods and took them to hotel front desks, bingo they are in business.<br><br>DC is no better - a therapist has a business location in the heart of downtown, advertises in the phone book, has no establishment license, no massage license and none of the therapists listed on his website have a DC license. The Board of massage therapy - headed by the AMTA chapter president - simply forwarded my complaint to him, so he took everyone's photo and name off the website and applied for his DC license (after practicing in the city for over 7 years without one, in violation of DC law). End of story.<br><br>When the government is inept, and peer pressure favors the "poor confused massage therapist" and is against the professionals standing up for the standards of the industry, things will only get worse.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:53 am

Chair Massage rates:<br><br>A six pack of Coke costs considerably more than a 2 liter bottle. Why? Because you are buying smaller units.<br>7-11 charges more for either than Safeway? Why, because of convenience.<br>The public understands this - convenience is expensive, quantities are less so.<br>Having someone come to you for an hour appointment is like buying 2 liters at Safeway.<br>Having someone come to you for chair massage is like buying a six pack at Safeway.<br><br>Yes, a mall is not as nice as their own home, but you are meeting them halfway, so you rate should be somewhere between them coming to you and you going to them, but closer to the latter since they are buying 5 - 15 minutes and you don't know what downtime you will have.<br><br>What do we charge? Depends $70 - $100 per hour.<br><br>We just did 75 hours at a trade show for a corporate client at $75/hour (why people charge $1/minute at these tradeshows is another mystery - they spent over $5M on their exhibit, staff, travel, etc. Our extra $15 an hour was not even a blip on their budget and they did not bat an eyelash).<br><br>Our lowest rate is $70 per hour - but that is for a minimum three solid hours, every other week on an annual contract where the company is paying half, and they paid $2500 up front.<br><br>When employees pay for it themselves on an ala carte basis, it is $5 to sit down and $1 a minute.<br><br>Promotional dollars are better spent on good advertising (Web placement and pay-per-click is the best return on investment out there) than in subsidizing low rates at the mall. So very few chair massage customers become table massage customers, especially those at a Mall.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby gutehands on Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:06 pm

I think by your analogy you meant a 6-pack at 7 Eleven?<br><br>Umm...it isn't just a quantity of time. Chair massage is wonderful...I've had great success with it as a business...but can you give a full, deep, therapeutic massage on a chair? In the middle of any bustling activity? If that were so, chair would have immediately usurped table from its inception.<br><br>Hey, what ever works for you! I had a bi-weekly gig at Eaton Corporation World Hdqtrs. I kept my fees reasonable and actually had more work than I had hours. I came home with a nice fattened pocketbook. The CEO heard of my work, and came to my chair. No one had ever seen him on that floor before! The only critique he had of my work was that I didn't charge enough...<br><br>But I never lacked for clients and bucks with my own strategy.   ;) <br><br>And I got additional gigs in Eaton subsidiaries.<br><br>I disagree with you about the promotional value. I comped my down time at an upscale athletic club doing chair. Before I got there, massage was a low response offering. I worked up enough business to ask my boss to hire other therapists to keep up with my table bookings. <br><br>I left my chair up for their convenience, on the days I wasn't on a gig. Some of them thought chair work way beneath them. They never got booked...I wonder why that happened? <br><br>I had affirmed loyal regulars in my chair work. And while most did not flock to the table on mass, (a lot of people have issues with getting undressed)... I did acquire loyal table regulars. Just a few of those can mean a lot. <br><br>Gi<br><br>
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby HelpingHands on Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:52 am

This is my first time at this site and I could not resist posting on this subject.  A little over a year ago I was working for The Body Shop and we struck up a deal with a local massage therapist to come in and give FREE 15 minute chair massages, using some of the massage products that we sold.  That's right, I said free! She set up  place to leave a tip and also a drawing for a free hour of massage, along with brochures and business cards.  The first event  was right before Valentines Day and she was able to make herself known to many new clients and she also sold quite a few gift certificates. (Trust me, once you give a person a massage, its easy for them to see what a wonderful gift it can be! Sometimes for more than one person on their list! ) This worked well before most holidays, especially Christmas and Mother's Day.  We set the schedule for when ever her books were slow or when we expected large crowds.  She got addresses and phone numbers for future marketing and it didnt cost her anything but time.   There are companies out there who are willing to "work together" on demos like this.   Im proud to say her business is thriving and I now work for HER!  
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby MassoNazi on Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:19 am

Whatever you do, please don't demean the profession by charging a $1/minute.

One of the reason mall chair massage attempts fail is under charging the for service.

You are going to them, often have unproductive time, and have to pay rent.

So why on earth would anyone charge less per hour than they do to have a client come to their home office?

Beats me, but I see MTs doing it all the time, then wonder why the average MT only makes $25K per year.

MTs are charging major corporations $1/minute to do convention chair massage, yet the company spent $5 million dollars on their booth!


Instead, capitalise massage and take the client for every penny they have. Sheesh R&R, I think you and I need to trade nicks.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby RelaxandRejuvenate on Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:22 am

I am hardly advocating fleecing the clients.<br><br>I am advocating a pricing structure that makes sense and making sure you can make a living. <br><br>Half the posts in this or any other industry forum are therapists trying to figure out how to make a living at this profession. Step 1 is to make sure you are not your own worst enemy.<br><br>Charging $1/minute makes no sense to me. What other profession charges by the minute?<br><br>Don't charge less to go somewhere, and have downtime than you charge to have someone come to you. That makes no sense.<br><br>You can do fewer appts at a higher rate or more at a lower rate. Your income is the same, but I would rather have more time and energy for more appts than already be worn out.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby superspagirl on Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:28 am

So are you basically saying have rate like 10 minute massage 15.00 1/2 hour 40.00 for example instead of saying chair massage $1.00 per minute?<br>Because if so I can see your point there. It does sound much more professional to me and I have always been put off by the minute prices. I guess how much you charge would depend on your area as massage prices across the US vary greatly.
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Re: Chair Massage in a shopping mall

Postby Jen on Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:09 am

well, I have to post once more on this whole pricing issue...although I must say we've gotten completely off the topic. <br>I think a big part of it has to do with the metro area you're in. For example, I am in central Texas where there are a LOT of M.T.'s and a LOT of Massage schools spewing out more and more M.T.'s every semester. This, understandably, leads to more and more competition. <br>Two ways to continue to not only stay in business but to improve business is a)provide unique and/or more modalities to choose from and b) provide a competitive rate to clientele who have quite a few massage therapists to choose from these days.<br>Not only that, but if someone or some company were to want you regularly, you would understandably want to reduce the price for them a little in appreciation of their continued business. Thus, another reason to reduce your price some. <br>Lastly, and this one is stretching it a little but nevertheless, when you are providing chair massage and you have back-to-back clients, it's quicker and more efficient to simply charge $1 instead of $1.25 or $1.50 because if they get a 10-minute massage at $1.25 a minute, then afterwards, they're having to get out of the chair, reach into their wallet AND their change purse and count out 12 dollars and two quarters or maybe they're trying to find 5 dimes because they can't find any quarters, etc. and they can't or simply won't tip you so they insist on giving the exact amount. This takes up time from the next client. So rounding it to $1 is just easier for everyone involved. <br>Overall, I could see where the standard became $1/minute. I'm happy to charge this amount and there are no raised eyebrows when I quote this as my rate to clients.<br><br>Be well,<br>Jen
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