Clementine

Question about pricing and choosing a shop

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I got my first tattoo a few months ago and I am thinking about my second now. The place where I got it done was by far the highest rated in the area and I had a wonderful experience. I feel like the others were not even really contenders. They had some good reviews too, but judging by their galleries and the look of their websites and locations, I easily knew where I wanted to go. I live in a fairly small city so I have driven by most of these places before.

I don't know if pricing changes a lot by region, but where I went, the minimum was $150, which I didn't mind paying since what I was getting done was of medium size anyway. But the next tattoo I want will be quite small and simple. A script tattoo, four words, the letters about 0.5 inch. I feel like $150 is a bit much to pay for that. The other places are a lot less, a $70 minimum. But I don't really feel confident about going there. 

Would it be inappropriate to call the place I went before and ask for recommendations? I feel bad about not wanting to pay their prices, especially since I know they are the best. 

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I think it is too much for a very small tattoo. I understand set up and overhead, but!

Can you combine tattoos 2 and 3 righr now? Two small ones for the shop minimum?

Edited by Tornado7

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8 hours ago, Clementine said:

 Would it be inappropriate to call the place I went before and ask for recommendations?

 

Yes, it would be totally inappropriate. "Hi, I love your work, but you are too expensive. Can you recommend someone just as good, but cheaper so I can spend my money with your competition?"

You'll be unhappy about the price once. You'll be unhappy about a crappy tattoo forever.

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I would never go ahead with it if I wasnt confident in the artist. I did a lot of research for my first one. I even looked into traveling to get it done but that was not practical for me. But I'm just not sure if I am missing something. How come these other places have just as good of ratings as the place I went, but their work is not up to par.

Are script tattoos easier to do than art? Their script tattoos actually look pretty good, but I still wouldnt want to go there judging by their other work. It makes me think there is still a good chance they could mess up. One place doesn't even have a gallery, I will have to go there in person and check it out. And another place I am not even sure if they still do tattoos because when I click the link for tattoos it takes me to their page for piercings. Or their site is broken, which is very likely since it looks like it was made with geocities.  

I know I will most likely go back to the same artist. I will probably just wait until next year to do it instead of getting a second one right away. *Sigh* I probably knew that before I even asked but I wanted to cover my bases.

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One of them has a FB page but none of them have Instagram. The shop I went to has an Instagram account as well as each artist. It shows pride in their work.

Some of the script tattoos on the FB page look really good and others look really questionable, and they are by the same artist. The more I talk this through the more sure I am I will go back to the same place. I guess I just needed time to process.

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How come these other places have just as good of ratings as the place I went, but their work is not up to par.

A very good question, and probably one that deserves its own thread. 

Looking at the Yelp reviews for various shops in my area, one might think that every single shop around produces nothing but gold-plated, award-winning work on a daily basis. Looking at the tattoos they all do might convince one otherwise. My line of thinking is that once people get a tattoo, they feel a huge amount of pressure to feel great about it and tell everyone how great of a job their chosen artist did. There are a bunch of 5-star Yelp-reviewed shops here that aren't in the tattooing mainstream, and produce OK to mediocre work, but have tons of customers who leave 5-star reviews, perpetuating the cycle.

Bottom line, nobody likes to admit a mistake, but doing your homework is always worth it in the end.

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30 minutes ago, Clementine said:

Oh I never thought of it that way before. Yeah, ok, yikes.

There are just some things you shouldn't try to save money one. And putting something on your body that will last your entire life is one of them. As Zig Zigler used to say, "Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good."

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4 minutes ago, Colored Guy said:

Why not get another small tattoo as well? It would spread that $150 out a lot better.

I want to get the script tattoo and one other that is actually a couple put together, and I was gonna wait to get that one. It would be a flower on my wrist because I named my daughter after a flower. And once I have another child I would try to name them after something that could be depicted. So say, 2 flowers on the wrist and the script tattoo are all I have plans for. But whichever way I split it, it would cost the same. I suppose I could get the first flower at the same time as the script and then that way I dont have to wait.

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12 minutes ago, Baphomet'sMarks said:

Tattoos hurt. Be AFRAID! But, really. To say the cost of your daughter's tattoo would be the cost of the average shop minimum, or the average SUV car stereo rewiring. Script writing needs a certain, well some would say feminine, some would say fluid, but all would say 'they need their proper space to breath in the lettering.' Sitting for that kind of tattoo is quite commendable. 

Are you saying script tattoos take longer? Oh man, that sucks. I was planning to put it in a fairly painful area. I figured since it was small I could handle it. I'm still gonna do it, but its just gonna suck more. My first tattoo is on my back so its not so bad. 

If script takes a certain fluidity, should I ask the shop who would be best to go with when I make my appointment, or is it best to always make that decision myself? I have looked at the other artists work and there are a few that have a fair amount of script on their Instagram. I could make a decision based on that.

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You can handle it! Script doesn't necessarily take longer than a shaded, colored image, but you don't want to walk in 10 minutes before closing either. Good tattoos take time, and good script is worth a lot more than bad script.

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