Not all "mini-facelifts" are created equally. In general, a mini-facelift is designed to lift the cheeks and correct jowl deformities at the jawline. A well done mini-facelift will also include a SMAS lift to tighten the cheek muscles. A mini-facelift will not include surgical alteration of the neck tissues beneath the chin, and will not require incisions in this area. In addition, the mini-facelift incisions behind the ear are much shorter, and less surgical work is involved than with a full facelift (which includes a neck-lift). Therefore, surgeon's fees for mini-facelifts are lower than for full facelifts.
Also, less time is spent in the operating room and therefore less anesthesia time is required, so those fees are reduced as well. Be VERY careful, however, to avoid the gimmicky facelift short-cut procedures which are marketed as "lifestyle lift", "thread lift", etc, etc. These rely on suspension of the tissues with artificial materials rather than true repositioning done in a facelift or mini-facelift. Not only are the results of these procedures short lived (think one, maybe two years), but the artificial materials placed in the facial tissues can lead to serious problems down the road.