Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sampling salons are all the rage in Japan


Most consumers, including me, hate to buy make-up without testing it out first. We all know that lipstick never looks the same shade as it does in the tube and on the face, and testing it on one's hand is not really a true reflection on the color. While testers are available at department stores, I hate having to listen to their over-the-top sales pitch on how my skin-hair-body absolutely "needs" all of their 1001 products.

I was thrilled to learn about sampling salons that allow customers to try on make-up and skin-care products with no pressure to buy them at all. There are no sales people at all, just some make up experts who can guide you on the products. Club C (translated page here) in Japan has one such members only salon which is already quite popular there.
Salons get revenue from manufacturers who pay for their products to be displayed, market research organizations and sometimes from the customers themselves, who pay modest membership fees.

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