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I know this is an old post, but just wondering how you (or others from Australia/other "non-tipping" locations) deal with this?

The last two times I've been tattooed I've tried to tip, and it's just been awkward.

First shop called me up half an hour after I left and said I paid $50 more than I needed to, and did I want to come and collect it? My response was a kind of "Errm... that was, uh, deliberate. You know, a tip?" "Oh... umm... are you sure?"

The second shop, the guy at the counter insisted on getting me change. I said not to worry about it, and he was all "nah, I'll just pop down to the bank!". Again, had to explain that it was a tip, and he and the artist just sort of exchanged looks and there was some nice awkward silence.

Should I not bother anymore? It seems like tipping is standard elsewhere in the world, but here it's not.

I offered to tip my artist when he finished my latest tattoo on Friday and he did not accept my tip. I think it definitely is a bit different in Australia, tipping often becomes awkward except when paying for a meal.

I think I tipped about $100 for my first tattoo, not really knowing what was an appropriate amount.

My theory is offer a tip or a gift and if they don't accept it no problem at all, and if they do, that's fine as well.

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I think tipping feels less awkward in the likes of the U.S, where there's a more pervasive tipping culture. In Ireland I know some people who tip their tattoo artist, but we're not really a tipping culture. I'd curious to know whether tipping artists is expected/the norm in the U.K.

Last week I gave Ching a bottle of 12 year old Irish whiskey instead of a tip - he seemed pleased... I know possibly some artists would just prefer the money, but thought I would chance it.

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@ThaliaCamille - Tipping is definitely not standard here in Australia thats for sure, but it could never hurt to offer ;)

As you've experienced, unless your in a restaurant/bar etc and there is a clear tip jar, most aussies will just say "nah, she's right you might need it" lol, and its true, you might need it.

My understanding of the reason for tipping was to help supplement a low income/low hourly wage? If anyone wants to help shed some further light on this feel free to jump in, I'm from a non tipping tribe

I think that's it, I've heard of people being paid ridiculously low rates in places like the US (like less than $10/hr! 15 year olds make more than that here!). Whereas here, we know most people are paid at least "enough", and if you have some spare change you throw it in the jar. I'd never dream of offerring money to, for example, someone working in a hotel, whereas apparently that's commonplace elsewhere in the world.

As mentioned, what does go down a treat here with tattooers (and anywhere else in the world I'm sure) is a beer or 3, nicely rolled joint (should they be that way inclined) or even some snacks or a cold refreshing beverage for the session.

Haha, I'd feel embarrassed if I offerred one of the above, and they were allergic or something ^.^

Starting a pretty big piece this week, maybe by the second or third session I'll have a better idea of what would be a nice gesture.

Where in Australia are you at the moment?

Briiiiiiiiiiiizvegas :D

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Briiiiiiiiiiiizvegas :D

Ah yes, Brisvegas - The f*cking greatest! ;) hahaha Sorry to anyone else from Aus but I love my home town (Melbourne is a real close second)

What are you starting this week and by whom if you don't mind me asking? (Just please tell me your going to a good studio as there are some amazing ones here!)

And probably a good call on finding out what they like first. Anything I've had done here in Bris has been from good friends so I've already had the inside scoop on what to bring haha

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Ah yes, Brisvegas - The f*cking greatest! ;) hahaha Sorry to anyone else from Aus but I love my home town (Melbourne is a real close second)

What are you starting this week and by whom if you don't mind me asking? (Just please tell me your going to a good studio as there are some amazing ones here!)

And probably a good call on finding out what they like first. Anything I've had done here in Bris has been from good friends so I've already had the inside scoop on what to bring haha

Ha, I was about to start talking about how great the weather is right now, who I've got work by so far (all local)... then I realised that is totally off topic :P

Starting my right arm. Rachi Brains :D

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I think tipping feels less awkward in the likes of the U.S, where there's a more pervasive tipping culture. In Ireland I know some people who tip their tattoo artist, but we're not really a tipping culture. I'd curious to know whether tipping artists is expected/the norm in the U.K.

My tip was refused very vehemently at one of the London tattoo studios recently. I felt awful for some reason, so when I went back for the next session I brought a gift instead.

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I could never imagine accepting a cash 'tip' for the job that I do, though I have accepted modest gifts. I respect the setting of a payment amount based on the ability and skill of the person. If they deserve more than that, they should charge more. I'm solidly with Steve Buscemi on the subject of tipping.

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tips are good as a show of gratitude. i think refusing them is a bit strange. each to their own though. i tip my tattooer(s) with cash.

I was very surprised in my situation. He said, 'you are paying a lot of money for this tattoo already' but to me, it felt like walking out without saying 'thank you.' He thanked me and seemed to appreciate the offer, but was very firm about it. I have since heard from other people he does not accept tips.

Another tattooist in Brighton definitely did not charge me what his work was worth, so I added a large tip on top. He protested, but with the help of the receptionist, we convinced him to take it.

From now on I will bring both cupcakes and cash, just to be safe.

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in germany we do not expect tips, though it is becoming a little more common lately. but usually quite small tips of 5 to 20 euros, which is great and i do appreciate it because i don't expect it and i don't have to split it with the studio. but tipping isn't about supplementing a low wage. it shows appreciation. i tip the lady who cuts my hair, and she knows me by first name and i get good service from her.

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When I got a tattoo last week I noticed each artist had a small tipping sign in their station.

one was "all your tips are belong to us"

another "tips are magical"

It goes back to what brian said about being appreciative and also standing out and getting better service. The girl who cuts my hair gave me her personal number and came in to cut my hair while she was on maternity leave. I am sure I get the treatment not cause of my rugged good looks but because I tip her a nice amount everytime, and to me it pays dividends. If i get a break I can call and she will get me in. sometimes I show and there is a big wait but she calls me next.

With tattooing I wouldnt expect anything in forms of service but more of an appreciation. If it happens to get me an appt sooner because of it thats just an added bonus

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I could never understand not tipping. Maybe it was just my father and I but I tip everywhere and usually a nice sum 20-25%. I feel like I'm stealing if I don't tip. In NYC I have seen a waitress confront someone for not tipping,so I guess its all about the local culture

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I resent that our culture in the U.S. has gotten to the point where a tip is expected for every service, and that the "customary amount" keeps going up. My rule in restaurants was always 15% for average service, 10% for passable service, and 20% for good service. Now 20% is expected for crappy service, which seems skewed in the wrong direction.

As for my tattoos, I've tipped the artist on each occasion, and did so willingly, because they did what I consider exemplary work, and made the experience absolutely fun. Still, in the first shop I resented the number of tipping signs they had scattered about the environment, as it did lead to a sense of obligation, rather than a sense of tipping from gratitude.

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Tried to tip Kaye the first time she tattood me and it was refused... last time I paid for the tattoo and added the tip in with the money , gave her it and left before she had time to argue lol I also brought Peanut Butter cups in for everyone in the studio ...

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............... the majority vote from the tattooers is they would rather not discuss their finances/tips in a public arena. So my tip from one tattoo customer to another is tip how and what you feel appropriate. I may even go as far as suggesting asking the tattooer face to face this question as I have a feeling they would humbly answer your question if you goto one of the honest respectful tattooers we have in the bay area.

hope this helps shine light on a tattoo subject/question the tattooers wish to keep out of the light.....

I just wanted to repost this in hopes that the talk of tips and such dies down. there is plenty in this thread already!

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I know how awkward it is for some artists to ask a client to undress, so I avoid that awkwardness by undressing completely before all tattoos, regardless of placement. Common courtesy, really.

Ahhh, I should really learn from Hogg, otherwise I wouldn't have my own question about stripping down for a backpiece. I just started adding the background to my backpiece. The 1st session, we outlined my upper back and sides. But my next 2 sessions will be to outline my waist to the back of knees, so I'm going to have to get nekkid. Taking a bath, obviously avoiding food that will give me the backside burps, and tipping double aside (cuz really, who wants to stare at bloody swollen ass for hours?), what do Artists prefer their clients do? Do you just expect your clients to strip down, cup 'em and cough? Or should I go about looking for a fundoshi (sp?)? I only had to strip down completely once for outlining when I got the main subject done, but now that I'll have to strip down more often what's other people's experience? Also it's been said in earlier posts to avoid shaving yourself, but in this situation, really? As I said, my artist is already going to be hovering over my butt, the least I can do is shave the back of my legs, no? Any other advice? Any and all are welcome. Thanks in advance.

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As I have yet started my backpeice but coming close to it, I would suggest asking your artist what you should wear before you start the session. That way there is no second guessing on how they would like to work on that area. Second, maybe take a hair clipper to the area that way a quicker and easier for all. Unless you have had practice.

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