Open Forum


  • 1.  Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 12:33
    I wondered if other owners give military discounts for Machines, WDF or home pick-up?

    Thomas Healy Person

  • 2.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 13:00
    Edited by Paulie B 02-09-2019 13:00

    I think that giving a Senior discount, and/or a military/first responder discount, is a great way to boost your slow day.
    They deserve a discount, and you deserve their business for giving it.

    Offer the discount on your slowest day of the week. That's what the supermarkets have been doing for many years now.

    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY

  • 3.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 14:21
    Edited by Larry Larsen 02-10-2019 14:45
    I think you have to weigh the benefits versus the additional issues when you provide any kind of discount for any segment of your customers. Are you going to be perceived as overpricing your service so you can afford a discount to certain segments? Everyone wants the lowest price or resentment can occur.

    Who on your staff makes the decision if someone really served or is in the military?  Are you excluding the disabled, police, firemen and paramedics?  What's the age for seniors? Fifty years or anywhere up to sixty-five?

    i suggest keeping things simple is the easiest way to run a Laundromat. I appreciate the kind spirit at play here, but maybe the better way to show appreciation for these groups would be to do some volunteer work at a street kitchen (lots of homeless vets) or a senior center.

    Larry Larsen
    Anaheim, CA
    Distributor - Insurance - Consulting
    Cell: (714) 390-9969

  • 4.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 18:44

    Offer the discount on your slowest day of the week.
    Paulie B,  02-09-2019 12:59
    The question remains, are you getting new customers for this slow-day discount, or are you giving your current customers a bargain, thereby lowering your profit without increasing your sales?

    I was told a long time ago that to be the low-price leader, you had to make a massive capital investment (think Costco or Amazon).  If you're small, you have to differentiate yourself on something other than price, such as convenience, or quality.

    I don't see any way that "free" dry and discounts can add to the bottom line.  You're just setting yourself up as a lower-margin store.

    I've received three local invitations to buy out equipment from bankrupt stores in the last month.  Kind of depressing.


  • 5.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 16:20
    This is kind of an age-old question around here with a lot of firm opinions on both sides.

    Here's mine:  I've noticed (and didn't expect) that my customer base is incredibly stable.  I recognize almost everybody.  My weekly receipts vary a bit, but not by all that much.  Seasonally I vary more, but I am convinced I have around the same amount of customers all of the time that do about the same amount of laundry, more in the winter, less in the summer.  A super-cold week will be slower, followed by a catch-up week.

    So if your customer base is stable, offering discounts simply is a gift from your wallet to your customer's.  Same with mid-week pricing, are you getting new customers, or just moving from the weekend to the Tuesday and losing money on the move?

    Our store is pretty well set up for weekends, we don't have customers waiting on machines (dryer capacity is our limiting capacity, that's for sure, but nobody seems to have to wait) so there is no use to us in moving customers.

    When I look at card systems, one of the big "selling points" actually makes me recoil: 10% off if they put $20 on, or free wash after so many, blah, blah.  All I see is my margin going down 10% and hell with that.

    It's a bit depressing lately, every time I do something to raise my margins (new machines, price increase)  the government figures out a way to grab a good part of it through property tax increases, minimum wage increases and utility increases.  I don't know where you folks get the room to offer discounts.  But maybe you're drawing price-conscious consumers, I dunno.   I'm not, my customers live in the neighborhood.  Some drive, but they're not coming from across town, there are simply too many good choices to wash your clothes.

    Long way to say, "No way do we offer discounts for anything, we're not a charity."   But I do start machines for my attendants when I see them doing their own laundry.  It's not very often that happens.


  • 6.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 18:24

    I don't like discounting either.   Discount stores tend to fail at much higher rates than non-discount stores.  Payless Shoes comes to mind as they file for bankruptcy for the second time.

    Laundromats that offer continuous deep discounts (free dry, 15% big bill bonus, 30% special event discounts, etc.) only devalue the service that many of us attempt to provide.  Ongoing deeply discounted pricing schemes result in severely reduced equipment life, increased maintenance costs, a high utility/sales ratio and less incentive to upgrade the facility.  Too many laundromats with too many washers and too many dryers can lead to deep discounting.

    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987

  • 7.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-09-2019 19:50
    Edited by Paulie B 02-09-2019 21:05

    I understand what you are saying, but so many businesses offer at least a Senior discount, if not a military discount. They all can't be wrong.
    I get them myself, and I definitely patronize the stores that offer them. I even got a Senior discount at my dentist's office recently (now I'd like to know how many here will be asking their dentist for a discount, lol).

    Yes, you may already have some seniors & military customers, but is giving these people a discount such a hard thing to do?
    After all, you will be shifting them from other busy days to make your mat more equitably balanced. Isn't that what we all want?
    To smooth out the peaks & valleys in the traffic?
    More importantly, you will make these special people feel appreciated. What's wrong with that?

    Besides, the word will get around and your sales WILL go up on your slow days. It's a win/win.

    And next time you go to the movies, ask them for a senior discount. Most theaters start it at 60. Or for a bigger discount, go during the matinee.
    Or if you have a nice fancy restaurant that is always packed on the weekends, almost all of them offer a deal to get you off their weekend rush and onto a weekday dinner.

    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY

  • 8.  RE: Discounts

    Posted 02-10-2019 11:14
    I give discounts for Military and First Responders on Dry Cleaning their uniforms. I am a Veteran and feel it's important to do something for their services they provide to us.

    Home Style Laundry & Dry Cleaners
    Council Bluffs IA