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Good times or bad, people respond to products and services that give them a personal and psychological boost.
Pick me ups can be as simple as a unique piece of jewelry at an affordable price, or as comprehensive as a cosmetic makeover.
The latest cosmetic trend to promise a physical and psychological boost is a winning smile, accomplished by teeth whitening.
This is among the country's fastest growing product/service categories; an important extension of interest in Botox, anti aging products and even cosmetic surgery. Teeth whitening
encompasses a wide range of products that include specialty toothpastes and inexpensive strips that can be bought over the counter in a drug store, to costly procedures only available in dentists' offices.
To the benefit of kiosk vendors and the malls that rent them space, not to mention mall shoppers, there is a midway option. It is easy, effective, affordable and accomplished on the spot.
The product is the Cosmetic Bright teeth whitening system, available from Ultra Bright USA, based in Fort Pierce, FL. Ian Prince, CEO, says it is now supplied to more than 100 U.S. retailers. "Shopping mall locations are really the big hit," he says.
Typically, these vendors charge $100 for a single 20 minute treatment. In spas and nail salons, the price is generally $129 a treatment. While 75 percent of the whitening occurs on the first treatment, Prince says, some vendors offer back to back treatments for $199. "Vendors typically average between $3,000 and $4,000 a week in profit," he reports.
At the heart of the system is a packet containing a mouth tray and specially formulated gel, with complete instructions on the packet itself. "The FDA has neither approved nor disapproved this product or any other teeth whitening system used in the U.S. today," Prince notes. Cosmetic Bright is completely self administered.
The customer tears open the pouch, places the gel in the tray and places the tray in the mouth. Vendors do not administer the system and cannot be accused of providing a dental procedure. There are dentists, Prince acknowledges, that have objected to the system. All such charges have been struck down, however, because Cosmetic Bright, properly administered, "has nothing to do with dentistry."
"The vendor must never touch the customer's mouth," he emphasizes, and also suggests vendors stress that they are not dental professionals. He also notes that all of the teeth whitening aids, from low end to professional, actually support each other by enlarging the overall customer base. Prince suggests his kiosk vendors invite area dental professionals to provide the kiosk with cards, which can be passed on for referrals.
The Cosmetic Bright system is used in conjunction with a special LED bleaching light that emits from 450 to 490 nanometers, which stands next to a comfortable chair. Vendors that buy from Ultra Bright USA may buy the light and the chair elsewhere, Prince says. However, his company offers chairs that retail for $600 to its retailer clients for $400, and charges $1,500 for a light.
The light comes on a stand, weighs 33 lbs., is on wheels and rotates automatically. In addition, it comes with a one year or 10,000 working hour guarantee. "It's likely to last longer," Prince says, "but we guarantee it for that long."
Cosmetic Bright is sold only in cartons of 50 customer treatments. A carton wholesales for $800, which translates to $16 each, and shipping to anywhere in the U.S. is free. The supplier takes all major credit cards.
In addition, a retailer customer gets a teeth shade guide that shows 30 different teeth in shaded numbers, so the consumer can match up the color of his or her own teeth before treatment.
Ultra Bright USA also provides a CD with instructions for running the business, and a series of questions and answers about the system and program. A promotional DVD is also provided, along with signage to attract attention.
Prince says the typical investment to ensure success is in the range of $10,000. That covers 200 customer treatments, four lights, and the teeth shade guide and marketing materials. Chairs are not included at that price, allowing the vendor to buy them elsewhere.
The 200 customer treatments alone represent $20,000 in sales. Prince says the program works with three to four sets of chairs and lights, but not with just one. "With four chairs in operation, a frenzy takes place. It really gets passersby to stop and explore the potential. Malls love it," he adds, "because it's a powerful traffic builder."
Ultra Bright USA also supplies a variety of ancillary products, including bibs, gloves and a basin. It also offers a maintenance pen that is an excellent add on.
The pen contains 10 percent hydrogen peroxide and a brush. The consumer simply brushes up a treatment with a tiny stroke of the pen. Pens wholesale for $10 and retail for $29.96. The vendor can also have his or her own ID, including location and phone number, printed on the pen and then sell refills at equally profitable margins.
Cosmetic Bright customers that walk away with a new smile might be feeling just ripe for a new piece of jewelry, just like other mall shoppers who have not yet been exposed to a brighter, whiter smile. Precious International, a company based in Missouri City, TX, can fill that bill.
It offers unique shell jewelry, made primarily of the paua shell, and also carries some mother of pearl jewelry designs. The company has been in business since 1985 and importing these unique pieces since 1987.
The paua line currently consists of 100 different bracelet designs, which include hearts, butterflies and other popular themes. There are also about 40 different anklet styles and as many necklaces and drop earring designs. "New styles and design motifs are being added all the time," says Mohammed Rafiq, the company's owner and founder.
"The paua and mother of pearl jewelry does especially well in spring and summer," according to Rafiq, which makes the line an ideal counterpart to kiosk and cart vendors' holiday assortments. Precious International will work with vendors that carry only its line, or who match it up with complementary product. "It does well with silver jewelry," he notes.
Vendors can buy a preset package or choose their own assortment. And there is a $200 minimum, which provides 200 pieces. At $1 per unit, the line leaves a very wide mark up option.
With the order, Precious International provides a free displayer. It is approximately 10 inches by 20 inches and holds 144 pieces.
The following people at these companies were interviewed for this article:
Mohammed Rafiq, founder and owner
13211 Stafford Road, Ste. 300
Missouri City, TX 77489
Toll Free: 800-322-4246
Toll Free Fax: 888-322-4246
Ian Prince, CEO
Ultra Bright USA
5512 Pinetree Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34982
Toll Free: 877-549-4483
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