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weve talked..i hate the yelp, i dont agree with the way they conduct business, or try to strong arm businesses into advertising with them. I hate that if people have an issue with me or anyone who works with me they cant take it up with me, but they can go bitch and moan about it on yelp and i have no recourse. Ive had a bad review from a lady who thought she paid too much for her tattoo weeks after getting it. Said the tattoo was fine but after thinking about it she thought she paid too much..whatever..its a societal issue, the last generation of people are a bunch a whiners and complainers who take no responsibilty for their actions and they are constantly trying to shift the blame onto someone else for them being pussys..

but unfortunately we have to play ball

ive said too much i might get another bad review

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Nick, that makes me want to sign up for yelp to counter that review! haha

i know of one artist who encourages their clients to go on yelp to write reviews for them, but i've never participated. i think Yelp is good for many things, as a consumer, but when it comes to tattoos, in my humble opinion, you should go to the shop and check it out for yourself or talk to the artist if you can't visit. i feel like getting tattooed is a really personal experience, and someone else's experience is not going to be the same as mine. plus, you should really be going to a shop because you like the art/work being done. then again, we're in an age where people just want a tattoo because it's "cool" and quality work does not necessarily matter to some i suppose.

sorry, i'm in a really jaded mood today haha.

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Yelp is lame. Just like amazon reviews. There is always one dickhead who is not happy and will complain, usually for a reason unrelated to quality and brings down the whole review. Speaking as a tattoo collector, not an artist, consumers who complain about prices should not get tattooed. If you don't care enough about our your body to spend money for a quality piece of work, do yourself a favor and dont get tattooed. I look at it as a piece of art that is there for a lifetime, paying reasonable money for something that will be there for 40 years (hopefully) is worth it.

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Yelp is lame. Just like amazon reviews. There is always one dickhead who is not happy and will complain, usually for a reason unrelated to quality and brings down the whole review. Speaking as a tattoo collector, not an artist, consumers who complain about prices should not get tattooed. If you don't care enough about our your body to spend money for a quality piece of work, do yourself a favor and dont get tattooed. I look at it as a piece of art that is there for a lifetime, paying reasonable money for something that will be there for 40 years (hopefully) is worth it.

or just come in saying "i have xxx.xx amount to spend"

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Perfect example of why Yelp is irrelevant to the tattoo industry...

I just looked up Blackheart's yelp page because it's the shop I've been tattooed in most and am most familiar with as a client (which should matter for a yelp review...)

There is a one star review where someone is complaining about the pain of their tattoo. Really?!??

The same person felt they were overcharged but rather than say something at the time of the appointment, they called to discuss it with the shop helper later. That's like going to Best Buy, buying a TV, and then calling them two weeks later saying you saw a smaller, lower clarity TV at the pawn shop and want a partial refund on your big shiny new TV. Makes no sense at all!

Yelp is nothing but an outlet for complainers who want to feel empowered. Don't get me wrong, I've used it sometimes, but only for new food places and ALWAYS taking the ratings people give with a grain of salt. It's not difficult to read a little bit and see who knows what they're talking about and who's talking out of their ass.

Side note, my employer was hired by Yelp recently and all the attendees of the event (who were all the top Yelp reviewers if I remember correctly) were some of the most savage guests we've dealt with. Go figure.

In short, the passive aggressive keyboard heroes reign supreme on Yelp and it's sickening what a little power does to a whiny person.

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Cody Miller (Blackheart Tattoo) has some great reviews we've joked about, haha. I have never used it but know lots of people who use it especially for food. Barbara? I think it can be a useful tool but not for tattoos....that's one of the reasons for this forum! Locate good tattooers and tattoo shops who do quality work consistantly while treating their customers with respect in a collaborative manner as well as customers treating tattooers with the respect many deserve.

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If you don't care enough about our your body to spend money for a quality piece of work, do yourself a favor and dont get tattooed. I look at it as a piece of art that is there for a lifetime, paying reasonable money for something that will be there for 40 years (hopefully) is worth it.

I couldn't agree more with this sentiment. Complaining about what a good artist costs or consciously going to an artist you're not stoked on means you either don't value your body or you don't value your time/money considering you're probably going to go get a cover-up or laser later. Either way it's a shame.

On a more positive note for this thread, I did find an awesome Mediterranean restaurant by my house I would have never found out about if not for Yelp. I bike past it on a regular basis but it's hidden down an alley behind a bar and is amazing!

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source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/17/BU2O1CH68C.DTL

Yelp Inc.'s legal challenges continue to pile up, with a San Francisco business filing the third class-action complaint in recent weeks and nine additional firms joining an earlier lawsuit.

The cases all allege that the popular San Francisco review site extorts companies by manipulating ratings or visibility on the site based on whether or not the businesses pay to advertise. Yelp vehemently denies these charges.

On March 12, the owner of Renaissance Furniture Restoration, a 17-year-old business on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco, filed a complaint against Yelp in San Francisco Superior Court. Boris Levitt says the company removed his business' positive ratings after he refused to buy advertising.

In July, when he was contacted by a Yelp sales representative, he had 261 Yelp page views and an overall rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5 possible), according to the filing. Two days after declining the offer to pay "at least $300 a month" for advertising, six of seven 5-star reviews disappeared from the site and his overall rating dropped to 3.5 stars, the suit alleges.

By August, the page views had dropped to 158 and his revenue soon fell by around 25 percent, Levitt said in an interview.

"People wouldn't click on a business, which only had a 3-star average rating, and I started to lose business," he said.

As of Wednesday, Renaissance Furniture had 4.5 stars again, but only three reviews.

The case seeks restitution, punitive damages and a prohibition against Yelp engaging in such practices in the future.

In a corporate blog post on March 4, after similar lawsuits were filed, Yelp Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman called the cases "frivolous" and pledged to fight them aggressively. He said the reviews in question are deleted by an automated filter designed to weed out "shill" ratings, those encouraged or actually written by the businesses in question, to ensure that only independent and relevant comments remain.

"If a business could garner a top rating on Yelp simply by soliciting 5-star reviews from friends, family and favored customers, how useful would such a site be?" Stoppelman said.

Businesses' comments

Indeed, several of the businesses now suing had comments deleted that were written by the owners themselves, Yelp spokesman Vince Sollitto said. Levitt himself acknowledges asking customers to post reviews.

Two similar class-action complaints were filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in late February and early March. On Tuesday, nine additional businesses joined the first suit, including Mermaid Cruise of San Francisco and Sofa Outlet of San Mateo. In all, at least a dozen firms are suing Yelp over this issue.

Levitt said the sales representative never promised to alter ratings, but did say that paying for advertising would provide more page views and consequently more customers. Several plaintiffs in the other lawsuits say Yelp representatives presented explicit quid pro quos, offering to bury negative reviews or highlight positive ones in exchange for paying to advertise on the site.

Mary Seaton, president of Sofa Outlet, said a Yelp employee called her several weeks after a negative review popped up on the site. In exchange for $350 a month in advertising, the sales rep offered to move positive comments to the top of the business' review page and negative ones to the bottom, she said in an interview.

Review labeled as ad

Sollitto said this isn't technically possible, as Yelp sales personnel don't have control over review placement and additional safeguards are in place to prevent false promises by "rogue" salespeople. He said he believes some confusion may arise from the fact that paid advertisers can select one review to place at the top of the page as an ad, but it's clearly labeled as such.

Yelp, founded in 2004, features more than 9 million reviews for restaurants, bars, barbers and other businesses across more than 30 markets in North America and Europe. It boasts about 30 million monthly visitors.

"The reason 30 million consumers used Yelp last month is because of the trust they have in the reviews on the site," Sollitto said. "The whole value of Yelp to both consumers and businesses hinges on that trust, so obviously we wouldn't do anything to jeopardize that."

This article appeared on page DC - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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I suppose I haven't ever had much of a use for Yelp for tattoo artists, but I have definitely checked out shops on there just for fun. You get people who are angry about artists making suggestions, cost, pain, getting kicked out for being drunk, all kinds of fun stuff. I use it all the time to find places to eat, found a pretty great noodle house in the neighborhood. But for something as important as a tattoo, Yelp is really not the place.

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I didn't really understand much about yelp until I opened my shop & a month or so ago a girl who'd gotten tattooed (also a business owner on my block) made a yelp profile for my shop, which I was happy about. She wrote a nice review, then I found the page, and began to customize it as the owner of the business (which involved several steps, one of which was getting called by a robot & entering a special code to verify I was actually at the shop).

I encouraged customers to write a review, most of them had never heard of yelp; just trying to stay apace with all the other shops, most of which in the area have about 20-60 reviews. Soon I had maybe 7 or 8 reviews, and I was pleased. Then I noticed they started to vanish. Upon looking further I found that they had been "filtered" by yelp, supposedly in the name of fairness. Yelp tends to filter people who it deems "not totally trustworthy" users, mostly new users, or people who join yelp to write about a single experience or business. Might sound strange, but yelp is also a social networking site, like facebook or myspace, where people make profiles, upload photos of themselves, make friends etc. So while it seems normal to most of us to review a business or two and be done with it, there are people with thousands of yelp friends and hundreds of reviews. these are the "trusted" yelpers

now out of 12 reviews that people who've been to our shop took the effort to write (and time spent participating in yelp's own money making endeavor), 9 are filtered, including the review from Felicia who created my yelp page. Someone who reviewed later is now labeled as the "first to review", and I'm not really interested in participating anymore.

BUT, and this is why I think it IS relevant to tattoo shops as well, at this point if you DON'T have dozens of non filtered reviews, and a score of 5 stars, you're below average in your city. Almost every shop in LA has 5 stars, as do most businesses. If you've got 3 or 4 stars, people who don't know better might assume there must be something wrong with your shop (when maybe someone just didn't like you, or the price). I found a low star review on the page of the shop I used to work at because someone came by for a walk in and we didn't have time, so they gave us I think a 2 star review? They're not even a customer!

Also, I'm not sure most people know that businesses CAN NOT opt out of yelp. So, a hardwood floor refinisher in LA might be the best at his craft in town, but perhaps he's a little grumpy; suddenly there's 20 people on yelp, who may have tried to reach him on the phone and couldn't, or didn't like the fact that he was quiet or reserved while giving a bid, giving this guy a bad review, when they may have never even done business with him.

I had a window replaced in the front of my shop for an amazing price, they did a great, quick job, everything was great about my experience with Superior Glass Co. On yelp, all kinds of people who merely called are talking about what assholes they are there. Today I was having coffee at a diner that's been open for 30+ years. After joking around with my waitress about some kids that wanted their check broken up into $5 pieces on different credit cards, she came back to me and said "look what that guy wrote". This shitty kid had written "$2.75 is too expensive for coffee, I'm telling yelp!" on his check. what a fucking dork!

A tattooer friend of mine yesterday made a very good point when we were talking about all the online things tattooers do today just to keep up, something I've never even thought of, though I think is very true. He said these days, no one goes to shops to look at photo albums to decide who to get tattoos from, they do it all online. Why would young people get in the car, waste time and gas, look for parking, deal with walking into an intimidating environment, where they might be ignored, when they can do it all on facebook, myspace, blogs, tumblr, websites etc? Then once they find an artist they like, they can go to yelp and read about what an asshole they are.

It's a necessary evil, but unlike facebook or twitter, if you own a business, you're forced to participate!

I remember being at Spotlight when I got "the call" so many articles about yelp talk about. They told me that for $300, they'd make it so that when people searched "los angeles, tattoo" or something similar, our shop would "come up first". How they do this for multiple people paying, I have no idea. If you search for businesses on yelp though, you'll noticed they are placed in a numbered order (#1, #2...)

I do know that businesses that pay get placement at the top of other people's pages (when I view my page, sometimes it'll say "check out this tattoo shop" with a link to another local shop). I've check those pages, and paying doesn't un-filter their reviews, get rid of low reviews, or seem to let them arrange the reviews themselves. A local shop I know pays still has over 50% of their reviews filtered.

My opinion is that this is a bullshit racket that should be banned. I'm sure their lawyers cry 1st Amendment when pressured, but where're the rights of people who's reviews are filtered out? (After a prior lawsuit, you can now read filtered reviews, but you have to enter a code, and they're hard to find, as is any contact info for yelp itself). Some robot, or asshole behind a desk shouldn't get to randomly decide who gets a say and who doesn't. The website touts itself as some kind of grass roots "for the people" consumer advocate, when in reality it's a money making machine created by a former corporate officer at Paypal.

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The website touts itself as some kind of grass roots "for the people" consumer advocate, when in reality it's a money making machine created by a former corporate officer at Paypal.

Bingo. They take down your positive ratings unless you pay for advertising. They also get mad when a lot of people post positive comments at once.

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just read this review:

"came in here looking to see if one of these "experienced" tattoo artist could help me answer a simple question about tattooing. I am getting started in tattoos have some experience but had a small problem with my power connection and just wanted to know what I was doing wrong. It was a Thursday night and I didn't come in to bother anyone who was busy. I came in politely, cash in hand, ready to tip anyone who could help answer my simple question.

What I got was quite an earful. The girl who came out to talk to me started up on how it was basically a disgrace to want to learn tattooing on my own and started up on how I need an apprenticeship. She said there was no way she could answer my question because I didn't have an apprenticeship (mind you I didn't come in asking for any "how to tattoo" tips). It was obvious that I was really inconveniencing her. I left very uneasy and upset that I had been talked to so rudely.

There seems to be a level of arrogance with the artists at this shop. An elitist point of view (her words, not mine).

In retrospect, she probably was just afraid that she might not have an answer to my question."

now i get what Nick and Josh mean about the silver platter mentality. i mean, seriously? what does this guy expect?

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yelp can suck my dick. we have a good rating on yelp but it seems the reviews dont follow a time line or any order what so ever if it was just by most recent or best to worst , ok, but they keep bad reviews on the top of the page so you will want to pay them a monthly charge to be able to manage your own reviews? what the fuck is the point? its aplace for passive aggresive douche bags to shine. as for brian dont worry about your eviews your one of the best tattooers in la that will speak for itself, that and your shoe collection......oh and cody got a bad review on a tattoo he didnt even do how awsome is that? jeremy swed did it.. so fucked.

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Whether you like it or not, everything is reviewed on Yelp now. I can definitely see where it is helpful, for example, restaurants, hair and nail salons, aestheticians, etc. I previously worked at Cartelligent which is a new car buying service. Quite a few clients wrote great reviews about me, enough where people were calling me directly because "Yelp referred them" to me. People apparently think that Yelp talks to them but that is not the point here. Yelp will filter reviews if it comes from someone that doesn't write many reviews. You can still view these but you have to choose to unfilter reviews. Although it does filter good reviews, it also filters the bad which are often written by competitors using a fake profile. As someone who worked in the service industry, I definitely saw the benefits of Yelp and was able to profit from it. I also saw how many people live and die by it. Bottom line is even if you don't like it, it's not going away anytime soon and you might as well try to get business from it.

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Barb,

First of all, you can arrange the hell out of a car sale. I meant to write you a good review, glad you were still able to get business without my yelp review.

Regarding Yelp-

The problem is that positive reviews frequently disappear and negative reviews increase/appear higher if the business in question doesn't pay for "sponsorship"/advertising, which is extortion. Here's one article I found, but I remember another one from a year or two ago where the sales rep was trying to extort an open bar party out of the restaurant in addition to more advertising services. Wait, now that I think of it, I remember that they said the sales person was named "Barb V.", this is all coming suspiciously together.....

(Okay, maybe that part isn't 100% true.)

Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0 | Feature | Oakland, Berkeley & Bay Area News & Arts Coverage

Is Yelp a Scam? - The Problem

By the way, I work at Loka Yoga in Oakland and teach under the name Dari Love Sylvia, feel free to give me a glowing review. :)

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Barb,

First of all, you can arrange the hell out of a car sale. I meant to write you a good review, glad you were still able to get business without my yelp review.

Regarding Yelp-

The problem is that positive reviews frequently disappear and negative reviews increase/appear higher if the business in question doesn't pay for "sponsorship"/advertising, which is extortion. Here's one article I found, but I remember another one from a year or two ago where the sales rep was trying to extort an open bar party out of the restaurant in addition to more advertising services. Wait, now that I think of it, I remember that they said the sales person was named "Barb V.", this is all coming suspiciously together.....

(Okay, maybe that part isn't 100% true.)

Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0 | Feature | Oakland, Berkeley & Bay Area News & Arts Coverage

Is Yelp a Scam? - The Problem

By the way, I work at Loka Yoga in Oakland and teach under the name Dari Love Sylvia, feel free to give me a glowing review. :)

Dari is it so wrong to try to get an open bar party whether thru extortion or blackmail?

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the word 'yelp' makes me want to punch someone in the face.

how come all new internet companies have such idiotic names?

we get shitty reviews sometimes, maybe because all of our happy customers have better things to do with their time than blab about every business they frequent everyday.....

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