With so many scheduling apps out there, it can be a challenge to find the right software for your salon — especially when the cost isn’t always clear. 

Before picking a salon scheduling app, it’s important to understand any additional charges that could be involved. 

We take a closer look at salon software costs, what you need to look out for before signing up, and which salon booking apps have hidden fees.

In this blog:

Hidden Fees and Costs in Popular Salon Booking Software

Salon Software Costs: The Basics

Whether you’re a salon owner or solo hair stylist, it’s simple: 

You want to know how much salon software actually costs.

To help you research, here are the main costs to consider…

Monthly or Annual Subscription

Your monthly or annual subscription depends on the individual scheduling app

At Schedulicity, for example, it’s $34.99 per month. 

Other factors, like the amount of users on the account, can increase the cost. 

(The more employees you have in your salon, the more user spots you’ll need in the booking app.) 

For example, to add a user on your Schedulicity account, it’s an extra $10 per month. 

On the more expensive side, Booksy charges an extra $20 per month. 

It all depends on the individual salon booking app. 

On average, salon software subscriptions range between $24–$50 per month for a single user.

Payment Processing Fees

You can choose a third-party processor –– like Square or PayPal –– to run your business finances. 

But we highly recommend looking for salon software that has built-in payment processing, like Schedulicity. 

Either way, the average payment processing fee per card transaction is between 2.5% to 2.9% — plus potential additional fees up to 30¢ per transaction.

It all depends on which processing company you choose. 

There are also different processing fee amounts depending on your clients pay, such as swipe, dip, tap, keyed-in, or online. 

So, double-check the fine print when shopping around.

Credit Card Readers

If you have clients that prefer to pay in person, you need a card reader to handle their transactions.

You could get a desktop card reader for your front desk, or a mobile card reader that connects to your phone.

Fortunately, most credit card readers are a one-time expense. The average cost for a card reader is between $49 to $1,000. 

You can keep costs low if you find a company that offers free shipping on card readers, like Schedulicity does. 

(PS. Watch out for payment processing companies that charge you to rent readers monthly. You’re better off buying your own.) 

guide preview

Ultimate Guide to Salon Booking Software

In this guide, we’ll share a comprehensive breakdown of the best booking apps for salons — to help make your research a little easier.

View the Guide

Hidden Salon Software Fees to Look Out For

While most salon software companies offer a detailed breakdown of pricing, some charges may not be as obvious. 

Take the time to check for any fineprint and look out for the following red flags:

Set-Up Costs

Some salon scheduling apps include a “setup” or “onboarding” fee to help new users, like you, get set up on the platform. 

These costs may only be one-time fees, but they can easily add up, especially if the software charges to onboard each employee.

Migration or Data Transfer Fees 

If you’re switching from one online booking app to another, some companies like Square, may charge you to move over all your data. 

It can add up since you’re moving over a lot of info: client lists, existing appointments, cards on file, services, provider contact information. 

Cancellation Fees

If you miss the terms and conditions when signing up, you may be surprised by the fees associated with canceling your salon software subscription. 

Cancellation fees can range from a one-time charge to a percentage of your annual earnings.

Client Booking Fees

Trust us, we’re as shocked as you are by this one.

But it’s true. 

Some salon apps, like Styleseat, charge clients up to $10 per booking. (The total fee depends on the final cost of the appointment.) 

Here’s a breakdown of why Schedulicity is a better choice for salon booking than Styleseat.

“As a business owner, I cannot afford to give away a percentage of my services for a booking system. I need a fixed price without surprises.” —Jose Z., former Fresha and Vagaro user (sourced from Capterra)

Additional Feature Fees

Most salon software providers offer a la carte features that come with your subscription. 


Depending on the software, more advanced features or integrations with other valuable apps you might use, may require additional monthly costs.

Customer Support Fees

Some salon software providers may charge a fee in order to contact their support team, promising to solve your problems faster. 

These fees could be monthly in addition to your software subscription, or –– worse! –– you may pay for support assistance on a per-incident basis.

Pro Tip: Schedulicity’s award-winning support team is always available to help get your business up and running on our platform — for free. No fees. No surprise costs. Just real, human-to-human support. Always. 💜

Which Salon Software Has Hidden Fees?

Most salon software providers aim to provide transparent pricing across the board. 

(Check out Schedulicity’s pricing plan for a good example.) 

However, some salon apps have been known to keep things a little… unclear

Here are a few big salon scheduling apps that have been known to surprise business owners with hidden fees or surprise costs.


With Styleseat, clients pay a fee to book online with businesses, which definitely comes as a shock to new Styleseat businesses.

According to Styleseat, they charge a client booking fee “in order to provide a safe and secure platform for both our clients and professionals.”

The fee can be anywhere from $1–$10 per booking, with the amount depending on the final cost of the appointment.

Fresha (formerly Shedul)

Fresha charges business owners a “new client booking fee” for new clients who book through Fresha’s Marketplace.

The fee is a one-time 20% commission charge based on the final price of the appointment. 


It’s a minimum of $6 per new client booking. 

Here’s what Fresha has to say about the fee: 

“When we bring you a brand-new client through the Fresha Marketplace, we’ll only charge you a one-time Marketplace New Client Fee for introducing them to you. 

The fee does not apply to returning clients.”

“Hidden fees, like charging 20% for ‘new clients’ even if they are existing clients that book with a new account. Sometimes, existing clients forget their password and just create a new account to book an appointment out of ease.”” —Valerie F., former Fresha user (sourced from Capterra)


If you’re using GlossGenius’ payment processor, you’ll see the option for Instant Payouts

It’s an enticing offer: “Your funds are sent directly to your linked bank account or debit card within just 30 minutes.” 

(Typically, standard payouts take about two business days.) 

However, this payment feature comes at an additional price.

“Instant Payouts have an additional fee of 1.8% deducted from your payments balance.” 

That’s on top of regular payment processing fees, too. Ouch. 

Here’s a comparison of salon booking apps, Schedulicity and GlossGenius.


Earning points for being a little more transparent, Booksy charges businesses for Boost. 

Boost is Booksy’s marketing feature that helps businesses “attract new customers…in [an] attempt to keep that calendar full.” 

If businesses get a new client using Boost, Booksy takes a “one-time commission fee per each new client.” 

This isn’t uncommon in salon software. It’s a super helpful feature, especially for new or growing businesses. 

(Schedulicity has a similar marketing feature called Fill My Book.) 

What’s shocking is how much Booksy takes: 

The minimum commission fee is around $10 (or about 30% of the service price), but Booksy can take up to $100 from you for using Boost.

In addition, Booksy, like GlossGenius, offers Fast Payouts

Businesses can access their funds within 30 minutes for an additional fee of 1% “of the total payout amount.”

Check out how Schedulicity and Boosky stack up as online booking software.

Square Appointments

Again, Square is more transparent about their additional fees, but here are some you should be aware of before signing up: 

  • Invoicing. “Special processing fees may apply” to send professional invoices. These range from 2.6% + 10¢ to 3.5% + 15¢.
  • Transferring funds. “Same-day and instant transfers” are “available for a free” – similar to Booksy and GlossGenius 
  • Email marketing. A Square Marketing subscription is required in addition to a Square Appointments subscription in order to send your clients automated marketing campaigns. 
  • Gift cards. “With Square Gift Cards, you will pay a 2.5% load fee of the total amount loaded on to the gift card whenever you load or reload a physical gift card or digital eGift card online or in store.”

Final Thoughts

Here at Schedulicity, we believe in transparency. You’ll never be caught off guard by unexpected fees or surprise costs. Plus, there are no contracts — ever.

If you’re a salon owner or hair stylist on the hunt for a new scheduling app for your business, we have you covered. With your calendar, marketing, and payment processing all in one place, you have everything you need to grow and manage your business.

Sign up for a free trial today or head over to our pricing comparison chart to see how we stack up against other apps in the salon industry.