cfgsteak

I'm curious as to why shops dont seem to accept credit cards

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Maybe I am missing something obvious (I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box) but I notice in Denver no shops take credit cards. This doesnt really effect me as I have always paid cash...but I just wondered if there was a reason...

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Most shops I've been in, in the UK, are cash only.

If you've got 4 or five artists working in a shop on a self employed basis I would imagine it could get very complicated taking card payments.

It all adds to the business running costs, paying for a terminal and card processing fees.

Cash is king no card fees and no card fraud to worry about.

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It is probably like most cash only businesses. Some just havent had a reason or been forced to make the change. Independent contractors and cash sales means Uncle Sam doesnt necessarily know about ALL of the tattoos. That and the fees but I think legislation was passed that limited the amount the banks can charge retailers. Which of course is resulting in banks raising fees to the consumer to make up for it.

Anyway, I suspect it may also have to do with the idea that if you dont pay your bill, they cant reposess it.

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Blackheart takes credit cards. The company that provides the service and the machine take a big cut of the profits each month, and they pay sporadically, but always make sure to debit their extra monthly service fees in a timely fashion. They just switched to a new company where they swipe the card through a little reader connected to an iPad. So far, it's simpler and less expensive. But cash is always king.

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Paying for a tattoo with a credit card?! That's just weird to me. I don't know why, but it just feels odd. Paying with cash has just part of the process for me. You suck it up, cut down on spending elsewhere to save some cash, and after finally saving enough I get an awesome tattoo. Afterwards as I hand over the cash thinking, "hmm I could have vacationed in Hawaii with that. Eh, whatevs.".

Seriously though, I'm so used to paying cash, I was actually surprised when I realized some shops actually do accept credit cards.

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I have paid twice with a card, but both times it was because I bought t shirts and sketch books and only brought enough cash for tattoo. But the shop I am at only takes cash, unless you have gold or silver, cause that would be preferred method of payment, well depending on the market that day.

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we used to take credit and debit and around 4 or 5 years ago the printer crapped out and they said they could send us another one for $400...you would think that they would want to not try and bend us over on replacing a printer since they were taking nice chunks of money on every transaction. ever since, cash only. honestly i like it better because its just one more way to avoid supporting large banks and credit lenders that are making money on our hard earned dollars.

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While I no longer work in a tattoo shop I can tell you about the debit/credit machine at our store. The machine itself cost us $1000 to purchase, and then didn't even work and we had to get a replacement (luckily at no cost). So after paying the thousand for a machine, we also have to pay a percent of the sale to the company who provided the machine. If your machine breaks you either have to pay a service guy to come look at it, or buy a new one. There is also the cost of the thermal paper you need to put in the machine. It's not expensive but it adds up over a year.

The other part of it for tattoo shops is many places pay their artists in cash on a daily or weekly basis, with the credit machine the money just gets deposited in your bank account so I imagine that makes it annoying for someone who might need to get paid for that tattoo today.

I have also heard a story of a regular customer comes into the shop, gets tattooed, pays with credit. Knowing this customer and never having had a problem before the credit card was run without looking at the name on the card. Turns out she stole the card from her father who came in to the shop a week later demanding to be re-embursed for a tattoo that he did not approve payment for. The shop had to return the money and had no way of getting it back in cash from the girl. The girl obviously knew she got caught yet still tried to come back to the shop. She was told never to show her ass there again. Who's to say she won't go try it at another shop though.

I kind of agree with the people who say paying for a tattoo with anything other than cash is weird. If you can't afford to get tattooed maybe you shouldn't be? It is after all a luxury item.

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Like I stated, I have always paid cash...I guess I said credit card when i really meant debit card (I'm not financing a tattoo on credit). I appreciate all the answers, it totally makes sense to me why shops wouldn't want the added expense and hassle.

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I get at least 5-10 calls a week of people trying to sell me merchant credit processing and usually I just hang up on them and tell them to put me on a no call list. I used to talk to them and try to explain the situation and why I wasn't interested but they just never took no for an answer and just keep calling. Sometimes they will even pretend they are customers in an attempt to talk to the owner, but when I ask them for a number to call them back they just say they will call back. They would probably do better if they could pronounce my boss's name. Honestly I wouldn't do credit in our shop, with the volume we do it is more in our interest to keep our costs down, but also I will be damned if I am giving any money to those merchant processing company and their shady sales people.

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I always use cash at the bike shop I used to go to all the time too. I knew the owners so they always showed their appreciation when I didnt use a card by giving me a bit better price. Of course I usually included at least a 6 pack too.

The way I see it, small business people have enough fees for this and that and dont feel right about adding to it. I can see using a debit card if you werent carrying cash but it would seem weird to pay with credit.

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Yeah @Johnny...I would generally prefer to NOT be carrying $500 or more around in cash (debit card is more convinient). The only time I ever do that anymore is when I get tattooed. Now that I understand the economics of the credit card machine, it certainly makes sense why shops dont always take a card.

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@cfgsteak, I never carry cash but I used to enjoy making a trip to the bank on the way to the bike shop. It was part of the ritual. I guess it will be my tattoo ritual too.

Another good reason to use cash is wife doesnt have to know EXACTLY how much you spent at the tattoo shop.

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Almost used the debit card once this past labor day weekend. Thank God he said it didn't work anymore. Didn't spoil the magic, ya know? Agree to a price, you lay your money down, walk out with a new amulet,talisman, etc.

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Yea I am assuming it has something to do with fees. One shop I went to I ended up having to use a card because we ran much later than I thought. 20% fee for using the card..OUCH! Next time I went I brought damn near a grand so I would never go over again!

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yea I know, luckily it was only 200 (so 40 bucks), but yea should have brought enough $ for my pain tolerance!

Or the place you got your work done, should have realized that taking cards falls under customer service, and while they are free to charge an additional fee (lawfully now in U.S.), to charge 20% when their own fees really shouldn't be over 2.75%....bad faith.

If a company doesn't want to take cards, I think that's a mistake, but that's their business, they can do what they want.

But if that company does take cards, and just gouges people for the privilege, isn't kosher to me.

If you are happy with your tattoo, that ultimately is what matters and definitely not my place to really to speak ill of people, but man....I personally feel that was not the right thing for them to have done.

In my own business (not tattoo related, but street food), I run cards through my iphone, don't charge extra for it (honestly average charge was $10 this past weekend), the card reader was free, there is no contract, people sign with their finger on the touch screen of the phone, etc.

I don't know the margins that exist in tattooing, but if 2.75% is going to put you in the red.....might need to tinker with the business model some, or just charge a convenience fee to cover costs, not levy a double digit 'tax' on your customers.

Additional charge to cover fees, I completely understand, but slapping more on top of that.....not right in my opinion.

edit: Also understand that people like to have just take cash for variety of reasons, cards can get complicated in terms of customer disputes, might have to wait for the money (for which American Express is the #$%#$ worse), etc.

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