maboo

Hey guys! Question about paying by the hour, lunch break, cig breaks and excessive prep time?

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Hey guys (and gals)!

I have several back tattoos and started a tattoo sleeve, and have some questions around the "By the hour".

I met the artist about 3 weeks ago to go over a sleeve design, and we set an appointment time. I paid $125 (one hour time) for him to design the tattoo which would be credited at the end balance.

My appt was at 1PM, and I showed up 15 minutes early. The artist was already there so he was on time too.

The artist took about an hour to "prepare his station" and make the purple template for the shoulder piece. The tattoo process started about 2PM, and within 20 minutes he starts asking other artist about lunch. Lunch was ordered, and by 3PM he stopped for 30 minutes to eat lunch, and we got back to the session at ~3:30. Which after he took ~15 minute break every 45 minutes to go smoke. we wrapped up with the shoulder around 645PM.

My question, is it typical for an artist to take an hour to prep his station? and the client pays for this time? Also breaks every 45 minutes for 15 minutes and a 30 minute lunch is client billable too?

His hourly rate is $125, and I was charged $705 for the session, I did leave an additional 15% tip.

Total time was 1PM-6:45pm (5.75 hours)

If you take out the excessive? prep time, the 30 minute lunch, and at least a hour for smoke breaks, I only see a max of 4 hours of actual work time. 4 hours @ $125 is $500.

I feel I was overcharged by $200 at least.

I do like his work, and want to continue with him, but don't feel I should be paying for all his smoke breaks and what I feel is excessive prep time.

How should I handle this?

TIA for any help!

 

 

Edited by maboo

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so you paid for his lunch break? on what planet?

generally it sounds like he milked the time, but quicker breaks (5-8 minutes every hour) is totally fine (and needed for the canvas!).

not sure what I'd say, but you're paying for him to eat lunch. that's not how capitalism works.

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You feel you were overcharged by $200, but you left a $100 tip??

That'll teach him ... NOT

1 hour prep, 30 minutes lunch, 15 minute break each hour, I'd look for another artist. I don't want to sit for 6 hours to get four hours worth of tattooing. Also, every time he takes a break, you have to get into the zone again. My guy usually goes about 2 hours between breaks.

 

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IMO, a 15 minute smoke break every hour is excessive... If you like his work and want to continue working with him, I'd find a way to say something. It's not like you don't want to pay for his time. Like @Hogrider, said it also means that you have to get back to your happy place. Express your concerns in a nice way. Every two hours should be sufficient. :)

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This shoulder tat was extremely painful. I have 50% of my back tattooed (a different artist) and it didn't come close to how bad parts of this tattoo hurt. When he was finally done, rung up the tally, I thought it was a bit high, but hit the "customary" 15% and left. 

It wasn't until I was home and started to really think, that it bothered me. Also, I think it was so painful because how slow he was making progress and touching back areas he hit over an hour ago. 

I am not sure I want to keep him. I may go to the owner, and ask him if he wants to design and finish the sleeve. 

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2 hours ago, maboo said:

This shoulder tat was extremely painful. I have 50% of my back tattooed (a different artist) and it didn't come close to how bad parts of this tattoo hurt. When he was finally done, rung up the tally, I thought it was a bit high, but hit the "customary" 15% and left. 

It wasn't until I was home and started to really think, that it bothered me. Also, I think it was so painful because how slow he was making progress and touching back areas he hit over an hour ago. 

I am not sure I want to keep him. I may go to the owner, and ask him if he wants to design and finish the sleeve. 

I've had both of my shoulders done and I just about slept through it. Sounds like it may be time to move on.

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My artist always deducts all prep time, his lunch break and throws in some time for free. I have an established relationship and tip well. I need to stretch once an hour or so and dont mind when he needs a break. I understand his need for margin. He delivers an outstanding customer experience. 

Quality of work is very important. The customer experience is also important. It works both ways. Simple communication helps both expectations.

 

If your artist is not delivering the same type service...I would look else where. 

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post up a picture of the overpriced tattoo for reference.

Time to prep the stencil and area, setup machines, pour ink, etc, i don't count setup as tattoo time. Take all afternoon to get the stencil placement perfect if that's what it takes. I start my clock when the first line is pulled and stop the clock when you call the sesh and the machine gets put down. 

I don't think I've ever been hosed on price. In fact most tattooists did me a solid and round down. I have however witnessed peopled getting the ol' round up, and usually it doesn't surprise me in the context of those situations. All that said, you were likely overcharged and then you left a tip. Suck it up as a couple hundo lesson-learned and move on. 

Edited by bongsau

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On 11/25/2017 at 10:18 AM, maboo said:

I do like his work, and want to continue with him, but don't feel I should be paying for all his smoke breaks and what I feel is excessive prep time.

It could have been an honest math mistake at the end of a long day. If you like his work, then by all means continue. All the matters is if you're happy. Tattoos do cost whatever you're willing to pay for them.

But it sounds like he's slow, painful and wasn't really respectful of your time/money - this of course is just from reading your responses on the internetz and we don't know the whole context...but the tattoo won't lie. Did it turn out awesome? Healing well? 

Red flag if you're second guessing whether or not you got the hustle. If you left with a sour taste why go back? maybe i'm just confused. or tattoo-naive because my experiences have been all good. 

Tattoos fade, the experience is permanent. Good luck 

Edited by bongsau

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Glad to hear this one had a happy ending.  As a business owner myself, I'm always happy to hear about things like this being solved in person, rather than online (not a dig against you/this thread, just thinking about the beast that is Yelp...).  Do you plan to continue with the same artist?  It sounds like he's a reasonable person, and would be open to your requests re: fewer smoke breaks. 

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el twe,

I am. He did mention "Ill knock a few dollars off cause of all the breaks". So he did seem aware of the issue before I said something. Maybe he had something personal going on, and was having a real hard time with it. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the situation, since his apology seemed very legit. He even said in the email that he did bring it up to the shop owner so everyone knows the situation.

I wouldn't go public (Yelp, Facebook Reviews, etc) until I at least gave them the opportunity to correct it. That would probably guarantee that I wouldn't get a credit/money back! I do understand that it was a bad experience with that one artist, and not all artist at that shop are that way, and would have just considered changing artist had the manager be willing to work with me.

 

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Update: I am scheduled for an all day appt tomorrow, and the guy doesn't even have a design done yet. So I am contacting the owner today, and going to ask him for a cash refund on the $300 something dollars, or if he wants to take over the project. I am done with the original artist.

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57 minutes ago, Gingerninja said:

I'm trying to think if I have ever seen the design/stencil in advance. I don't think that I have. 

I've never seen it either. About half the time my artist draws the design right on me. All of my pieces have evolved during the process, I think my artist has a general idea in mind before he starts, but fills in the details as we go.

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On 12/21/2017 at 8:44 AM, maboo said:

Update: I am scheduled for an all day appt tomorrow, and the guy doesn't even have a design done yet. So I am contacting the owner today, and going to ask him for a cash refund on the $300 something dollars, or if he wants to take over the project. I am done with the original artist.

Never had a stencil ready a day or two in advance. I see it when I arrive. That's totally normal.

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