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I will not name names just yet but I got screwed out of my deposit by a traveling artist. At a very reputable shop I signed up for a tattoo by a know artist and things got screwed up. We were set on the date and I gave him a $100 deposit. A two weeks before my appointment he called and said he had to move my date up since he is traveling, I agreed to it and move my day off of work (not easy). The next week I was at the shop with while my other friend got tattooed and I was talking to one of the guys there and mentioned I was going to be back next week to get tattooed. He said that the guy does not work there anymore.... After calling the guy again he said oh yea guess I cant do it there but we could always go to (another reputable shop). That fell through as well and was offered to do it at a "private studio in Brooklyn"....no dice for me since I always scope out the shops before hand, as well as feeling jerked around quite a bit. He said he would refund my deposit since everything got messed up....two months later he still never refunded me and now "doesn't know who I am"....

How the hell do I fix this? I personally think this is not my fault otherwise I would not ask for a refund (he was the one who mentioned it to begin with). Any thoughts?

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While it's probably a total bummer for clients, it's often necessary to be flexible when getting tattooed by traveling tattooers or at conventions. Things can get pretty crazy for us.

"Private studio in Brooklyn" doesn't sound sketchy to me. I've been tattooed like that, in Brooklyn too. It was awesome and I got one of my favourite tattoos that way.

It seems fairly common for New York tattooers to have a private space.

It may seem obvious, but make sure any email correspondence is from the same address. It's confusing as hell to get emails from different addresses or particularly addresses of family members.

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While it's probably a total bummer for clients, it's often necessary to be flexible when getting tattooed by traveling tattooers or at conventions. Things can get pretty crazy for us.

"Private studio in Brooklyn" doesn't sound sketchy to me. I've been tattooed like that, in Brooklyn too. It was awesome and I got one of my favourite tattoos that way.

It seems fairly common for New York tattooers to have a private space.

It may seem obvious, but make sure any email correspondence is from the same address. It's confusing as hell to get emails from different addresses or particularly addresses of family members.

Yea I guess I can see it be ok to go that route and I understand the traveling part (in my business the same thing happens A LOT). I am guessing I just got scared off from past experiences. As for the communication, I make sure to use phone with a conformation Email (it's my full name) to avoid confusion (also happens a lot to me in my job). I will probably not pursue the money, regardless I am already booked out for the year at the shop in question anyway, and have no desire to ruin my reputation there.

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If the guy is a reputable artists as you mentioned then the location shouldn't matter, it won't change his ability to do a good tattoo (unless that location is a rocky boat or a roller coaster haha). It sucks that it seems like he's being a bit of a dick about it though. Most artists I know who've changed shops have contacted their customers who have already booked appointments. I do feel like the shop that took your $100 does owe you that at least in tattoo credits, especially if you are getting tattooed there all the time.

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If the guy is a reputable artists as you mentioned then the location shouldn't matter, it won't change his ability to do a good tattoo (unless that location is a rocky boat or a roller coaster haha). It sucks that it seems like he's being a bit of a dick about it though. Most artists I know who've changed shops have contacted their customers who have already booked appointments. I do feel like the shop that took your $100 does owe you that at least in tattoo credits, especially if you are getting tattooed there all the time.

I will say that even if you are the best tattooer switching finding out from the customer that your not going to the original shop then jumping from shop to shop to "private studio", does hurt your reputation on a personal level for me. And I agree location does not effect ability (unless on the high seas!). It's not really about the money since 100 barely dents the cost of tattoo but more about it was offered then never received.

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Also, respond/attach any past emails.....I find that until you have a relationship with your tattooer that this helps keep some continuity with the interaction and reminds them of the conversation etc. Good luck.

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@slayer9019 yeah i totally agree it can make someone seem sketchy and make you wonder hmmm why can't he seem to keep a job at one location for a decent amount of time? I do know that some tattooers are very difficult to please so maybe his expectations of the workplace are too high, or maybe he's really hard to get along with so no one wants him around after a few months. Or maybe he's just an asshole who can't keep a job. It's hard to say. Either way it sounds like you've been happy with the shop you originally made the appt. at so if I was you I'd just keep getting tattooed there. I figure they should give you the $100 as a credit towards one of your upcoming appointments only because it seems like you are a loyal customer and I know if I owned a shop of any kind I wouldn't want a regular being treated that way. It sucks to loose a good client over something so silly, luckily for them it sounds like you can see past some other guy's misstep and not hold it against them, I'm sure there's a lot of people who wouldn't though.

I'd be bummed out too if I thought I was getting a rad tattoo that I'd been looking forward too for months only to have that happen.

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Something similar happened to me a while back. I had booked a tattooer for 2 sessions and had paid a £200 deposit. Anyway the tattoo was completed in one session but I thought I would still use the second appointment as I really liked his work and he has quite a waiting list. So I paid in full for the work done with the deposit being carried forward for the next sitting. After the second tattoo was done I went to settle up with the shop manager and he said that’s £400 for the work today minus £100 deposit. Now I was pretty sure I had paid in full for the last one carrying the £200 deposit forward. Anyway he was ok about it and said he would check his books. When I got home I checked my money and it appeared I might have had more than I could account for. Anyway I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Was it worth ruining my chances of ever getting tattooed there again for the cost of a night out? I popped by the shop a week later with the disputed £100 and a lesson learned. Always get a receipt.

A while later I booked at the same shop with another tattooer. About a month before the tattoo my wife took a phone call from the same shop manager. He says he has been checking his records and was asking if I paid a deposit and if I had when. My wife was a bit curt with him and replied yes and that I had a receipt in my wallet.

Now this guy either doesn’t now his arse from his elbow or there’s another explanation. I got a really great tattoo but it makes me feel a little bit wary going back there again.

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Something similar happened to me a while back. I had booked a tattooer for 2 sessions and had paid a £200 deposit. Anyway the tattoo was completed in one session but I thought I would still use the second appointment as I really liked his work and he has quite a waiting list. So I paid in full for the work done with the deposit being carried forward for the next sitting. After the second tattoo was done I went to settle up with the shop manager and he said that’s £400 for the work today minus £100 deposit. Now I was pretty sure I had paid in full for the last one carrying the £200 deposit forward. Anyway he was ok about it and said he would check his books. When I got home I checked my money and it appeared I might have had more than I could account for. Anyway I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Was it worth ruining my chances of ever getting tattooed there again for the cost of a night out? I popped by the shop a week later with the disputed £100 and a lesson learned. Always get a receipt.

A while later I booked at the same shop with another tattooer. About a month before the tattoo my wife took a phone call from the same shop manager. He says he has been checking his records and was asking if I paid a deposit and if I had when. My wife was a bit curt with him and replied yes and that I had a receipt in my wallet.

Now this guy either doesn’t now his arse from his elbow or there’s another explanation. I got a really great tattoo but it makes me feel a little bit wary going back there again.

Every shop in NYC that I have been to gives a receipt at least with session dates, artist and amount of deposit so I make sure of that. I understand the whole ruining shop reputation as well.

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Slayer9019, if it was me and there is a paper trail of some sort confirming that you paid a deposit for this particular artist, then I would (personally) probably politely pursue it. He's already offered a new location for the tattoo, and if he's genuinely forgotten who you are at this point due to intervening time, then presumably having a slip of paper with the deposit details (whether an e-mail, a card etc) would sort that out. Sounds reasonable enough to me, but I guess there is no point in following it up if you are not going to follow through and get tattooed at whatever location he suggests.

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I can only speculate, but I imagine yours wasn't the only appointment that got screwed up because of him switching shops. He was probably scrambling to get his stuff together in the hopes of making money on the trip so in that respect that sucks for him. On the other hand I think you everything you could expect out of a customer, and beyond that in my opinion. I imagine if the shoe was on the other foot, and you were the one flaking on him and changing times last minute and or not communicating with him, he would have no issue keeping your deposit. I think it's cool that you are sticking with the shop and it hasn't soured you on this kind of tattoo experience. I think the least the guy could do is give you at least half your deposit as a measure of good faith or the shop for that matter if they took your money and booked the appointment. But honestly if it was this hard to get the first sitting done, I can only imagine what the next appointment could entail so for $100 bucks you don't have to deal with it again.

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I can only speculate, but I imagine yours wasn't the only appointment that got screwed up because of him switching shops. He was probably scrambling to get his stuff together in the hopes of making money on the trip so in that respect that sucks for him. On the other hand I think you everything you could expect out of a customer, and beyond that in my opinion. I imagine if the shoe was on the other foot, and you were the one flaking on him and changing times last minute and or not communicating with him, he would have no issue keeping your deposit. I think it's cool that you are sticking with the shop and it hasn't soured you on this kind of tattoo experience. I think the least the guy could do is give you at least half your deposit as a measure of good faith or the shop for that matter if they took your money and booked the appointment. But honestly if it was this hard to get the first sitting done, I can only imagine what the next appointment could entail so for $100 bucks you don't have to deal with it again.

I very very much agree with the next session deal. It would have been my entire upper leg and would be quite a few long sessions. As far as the shop, I feel that the artists on site are excellent at what they do and I have no reason to not keep going there.

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i try to do as little business over the internet as possible mostly due to misunderstandings etc. but when i travel its so important to keep in touch with customers, even then i will make notes (laptop and notepad) of deposits paid and appt times. it's not 100% fool proof but it helps. shame about this time, maybe next time slayer, ask friends who have been tattooed by them how they were, organisation wise. some tattooers are naturally forgetful or disorganised when it comes to their travels!

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