I have been examining consumer ratings on tanning beds for many years now in my efforts to continually and intelligently upgrade the equipment in my small tanning salon business. I have come across information that is not just about which tanning beds are most popular and which ones sell slowly, but also about overall consumer sentiment about tanning beds and the tanning industry in general. I would like to share some of the information I gathered from Consumerreports.Org – information that I hope would help tanning salon business owners like myself understand the market better, and make our industry more responsible.
What consumer ratings on tanning beds say about growth
A survey conducted by the same organization found that almost 30 million Americans are likely to visit a tanning salon every year. The demographics are changing, too – a lot of younger people, specifically teenage girls, are likely to go. Minors need adult companions in order to tan in indoor tanning salons, but the survey showed that some 20 percent of tanning salons allowed minors in, even when they did not have adults with them.
What consumer ratings on tanning beds say about tanning salon safety
The same study, however, did not portray tanning salons as ‘safe' environments. In fact, it found that many salons fail to inform its clients about the possible risks or tanning. Warnings about how over tanning can cause aging and even skin cancer seems to be lacking. Worse, many salons were found to be lacking in more conspicuous safety signs (such as those reminding clients to wear goggles).
But there is even more disturbing news. The same study on consumer ratings on tanning beds says that a whopping 75 percent of the tanning salon employees surveyed were themselves uneducated on safety. They kept telling the beginner clients that they could come as often they liked, completely disregarding the precautions given by the FDA on spacing tanning sessions. The study also scrutinized the tanning packages offered by salons and found that they all encourage frequent tanning – sometime more than the allowable three visits a week.
What consumer ratings on tanning beds urge tanning salon owners like us to do
The studies prod tanning salon owners like us to be more responsible in informing our clients about tanning safety. This we can easily do by putting up more warning signs and educating our staff about what to say when clients ask safety-related questions. We should also strictly implement the rule on minors – teenagers below the legal age should always have parental consent, or we do not allow them to tan.
More elaborate measures are probably going to be implemented from the government's end. States may be required to institute licensing regulations and even oblige tanning bed operators to pass training courses.
I personally think that when customers perceive is to be genuinely caring of their safety and health, they will patronize us more. Open your tanning salons to county and state health officials and let them do thorough inspection of your facilities regularly. The more you comply with the regulations, the safer your clients will feel.