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Unequal trade opportunity


Deb Yarian
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I should be used to this by now... But I'm obviously not.

So a prospective customer came into the shop today ( she has been in before looking at portfolios, consultation etc.)

Now she wants to begin her sleeve and wants to know if we would be interested in trading because she is currently in training for( insert whichever : esthetician, hairdressing, massage therapy etc. )

Really? So you think that would be equitable if I after years of tattooing would trade with you who have not even completed your training?

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One of our own members of the message board sent me a personal message saying he would but my art and offered me $25. And this was from someone who's a tattooer. I didn't even humour him with a reply. I bet he wouldn't do a $25 tattoo on someone.

Sorry Deb, to hear that people can't recognize what your work is worth, but you problem don't want someone like that as a customer anyhow.

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Next time I'll say " sure, my son is just starting, and he could use the practice!"

I have friends in the business of cosmetology and they trade services as opposed to paying each other. These would be deemed equal. If this person had a service that you valued would you do the sleeve in trade?

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I have friends in the business of cosmetology and they trade services as opposed to paying each other. These would be deemed equal. If this person had a service that you valued would you do the sleeve in trade?

I would trade with any skilled craftsman or equally trained service person. I resent the expectation that I (a journeyman tattooer) would trade for services performed by an apprentice or someone still unskilled or untrained .

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I would like laser hair, but only if I was immune to its effects. Laser tattoo removal would be cool too, I have crap on me that I would love to turn into easier coverups. But yeah, the scenario in the op is pretty ridiculous. On a related note, what have you done trades for in the past, or what would you be willing to do trades for?

Edit- part of my question was answered while I was typing this haha. Oops.

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I would trade with any skilled craftsman or equally trained service person. I resent the expectation that I (a journeyman tattooer) would trade for services performed by an apprentice or someone still unskilled or untrained .

That makes total sense. I missed the part where you wrote she was training. True "trade" is Journeyman to Journeyman.

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i think most people do things out of ignorance of their actions, they've either not considered all the information in regards to their actions or they are completely unaware of anything that exists outside of their own narcissistic desires. the offer of her services in trade without making all considerations is more likely that she doesn't have access to the available funds to receive the quality work that ya'll are doing and this is the first time that she has had the availability to offer anything of any value for trade. given that scenario, she probably hadn't even considered the difference in value of the services she is offering. most trades that i've done, i usually get burned on them in one way or another...and usually in a fashion that if i were to apply the same thinking towards how i did their tattoo, they would be more than upset by it.

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@truejew the whole point was someone trying to trade a service they are not yet fully trained and experienced in for a service that someone has put years and years and years of their life into learning. Not an equal trade by far. Maybe Deb would trade tattoos for laser hair removal or tattoo removal but I bet if she did she's be trading to someone who has a legitimate business and not some random student that she doesn't know. I've traded my artwork for tattoos in the past, and those people seemed to be happy to accept or offer the trade. I would never offer to make someone's wedding dress in trade for tattoos because even though I can execute the task I haven't spent the last 10 years or more perfecting that skill.
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I've never solicited an artist for a trade, however, this past June I got a portable gas powered generator as a safety bonus award from my job. A nice, pricey generator. That I had absolutely no use for.

I was at my tattoo shop of choice getting some work done and mentioned the fact that I had the generator, new in the box, never taken out, and as soon as I could get it up on Craigslist and get at least 2/3 what it was worth I'd be able to get started fixing up an old (1988) tattoo of 2 dragons. Apparently he had either always wanted or saw a need for a generator, so he offered to trade fixing this fairly large tattoo for the generator.

He got the generator, and I ended up with a really nice half sleeve of dragons. He worked on it for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours every Wednesday night the month of July.

(I felt like I was getting the better end of the deal, so I made sure to tip nicely every week).

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I should be used to this by now... But I'm obviously not.

So a prospective customer came into the shop today ( she has been in before looking at portfolios, consultation etc.)

Now she wants to begin her sleeve and wants to know if we would be interested in trading because she is currently in training for( insert whichever : esthetician, hairdressing, massage therapy etc. )

Really? So you think that would be equitable if I after years of tattooing would trade with you who have not even completed your training?

Their are a half dozen people on facebook each week trying to get through the schools you listed willing to give away any of those services and not even finding people willing to do that, so the idea that her "services" would be worth anything is kind of laughable.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 11 months later...

yes.

- - - Updated - - -

That makes total sense. I missed the part where you wrote she was training. True "trade" is Journeyman to Journeyman.

A journeyman is a person who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master. To become a master, a journeyman has to submit a master work piece to a guild for evaluation and be admitted to the guild as a master. Sometimes he is required to accomplish a three-year working trip, also called the Journeyman years.

Does the tattoo community have a guild?

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I am currently trading tattoo time for getting my roof fixed. It's a cracking deal for me, I have to tattoo the simplest cloudwork for a few hours and he has the pleasure of scrambling around 40 feet up on my Victorian slate roof plugging holes and fixing brickwork. It was his idea too (which I cunningly planted in his mind as soon as I knew he was a roofer)!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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