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mhm2020

am i being overcharged?

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hey guys new to this forum, hopefully someone can help me.. I am getting my upper arm re-worked currently and I was told during consult that it would take 6-8 hours total. I decided to break that up into two sessions (confirmed via email between me and my artist) and had my first 4-hour session already. When my artist took me up to the front to pay after my session, they told me that it would take an additional 8 hours. I felt totally blindsided by this... I can understand it taking maybe 1-2 hours more than expected (that is normal for any larger/complicated tattoo) which I fully accepted due to the quoted time window.. but adding another 4 hours is a big jump. Especially when you start translating that into $$... it's an extra 900 on top of the 500 I already paid for my first session (I was quoted 600-800 total, depending on time). I feel like the artist wasn't up front with me and I'm stuck now with unfinished work. Plus my experience wasn't that awesome- there were some other things that happened during the appt that made me feel super rushed and like I was being hustled out the door. The artist sprung this on me right at the door as I was about to walk out. 

Is it appropriate for me to ask my artist to float the cost of the additional hours it will take to finish it? I feel like they bit off more than they could chew, realized that it was going to take longer and is now asking me to pay for their oversight. I get that there can sometimes be 1-2 hour differences, but honestly adding four extra hours is pretty suss to me- especially as I'm being hustled out the door at closing time. If the artist had at least sat me down and said "hey, this is a much bigger project than I expected and we are probably going to need another four hours to complete this. I am so sorry but can we meet in the middle on this?" and approached it that way, I would have been much more willing to pay whatever it took to finish it. But the way this went down just left a bad taste in my mouth. They also seemed annoyed that I wanted to use my deposit for my session and said I'd have to put down another deposit for my next appt... It was all really weird and I felt really upset about it after I left. What do you think I should do? Am I being unreasonable to ask for my artist to eat the cost of the extra time ? 

Edited by mhm2020

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Sounds like you picked the wrong tattooist. Hard to say how to proceed as you'll either end up with incomplete or rushed work. Pictures?

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Here's the big question - are you happy with their work? If so, go ahead and finish it up. You said you would have been OK with an extra hour or two; well the extra four hours is only two more than the two you already would have been OK with.

I'd either keep quiet and get it finished or go elsewhere. Nothing good is going to come from trying to bargain down the price.

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It’s four hours more than agreed to, it was supposed to be 6-8hrs Max and now they are saying it will take another four hours on top of that which is significantly more. I definitely wouldn’t complain about two hours more, in fact I had planned for the Max 8 hours. so I at least want to know why this happened and why they didn’t tell me up front it would be a 12 hour process to get my shoulder re worked. 
 

the bitch of it is that I really do like the work, I think it will turn out great and I definitely don’t want to have to find another artist to finish this Frankenstein of a piece I have at this point! I just am struggling with her adding 4 hours to this project right as I am walking out the door. Especially when we had been emailing back and forth and agreed on 6/8 hours total. 

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40 minutes ago, mhm2020 said:

It’s four hours more than agreed to, it was supposed to be 6-8hrs Max and now they are saying it will take another four hours on top of that which is significantly more. I definitely wouldn’t complain about two hours more, in fact I had planned for the Max 8 hours. so I at least want to know why this happened and why they didn’t tell me up front it would be a 12 hour process to get my shoulder re worked. 
 

the bitch of it is that I really do like the work, I think it will turn out great and I definitely don’t want to have to find another artist to finish this Frankenstein of a piece I have at this point! I just am struggling with her adding 4 hours to this project right as I am walking out the door. Especially when we had been emailing back and forth and agreed on 6/8 hours total. 

I'll make is simple. No matter how you describe this situation, no one that has any extensive work is going to say it's OK to confront your artist. An estimate is and estimate, it's not a guaranteed contract. She misjudged the amount of work. What would you like her to say???? What could she say that would make this alright?

Better to be mad about the cost than mad because you got a shit tattoo. I wouldn't want someone rushing through my tattoo because I was complaining about the cost.

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Well I would have liked her to be up front and say “hey this is going to take me longer than usual, I am so sorry but it’s just more work than I was expecting and it will take me more time.” If she had sat me down and explained it to me I would have happily paid whatever it took to finish it. It’s not me cheaping out, it’s me being blindsided by something I wasn’t expecting at all as I am being rushed out the door. 

Typically artists know how long their work takes and if they truly don’t know, then they should say so. like “hey, this is a complicated rework and I don’t know how long it could take and we won’t know until we start. Are you okay with that?” I mean is that there unreasonable to ask for? She had many opportunities to tell me if she truly didn’t know how long it would take- but she chose to give me that time range. Was I wrong to expect her to meet her own estimate? 
 

 I mean it’s just good business practice to provide accurate time frames. Why does anyone get a quotation before getting services done if it could literally be any amount? I think people deserve to know what they are walking into... 

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43 minutes ago, mhm2020 said:

Well I would have liked her to be up front and say “hey this is going to take me longer than usual, I am so sorry but it’s just more work than I was expecting and it will take me more time.” If she had sat me down and explained it to me I would have happily paid whatever it took to finish it. It’s not me cheaping out, it’s me being blindsided by something I wasn’t expecting at all as I am being rushed out the door. 

Typically artists know how long their work takes and if they truly don’t know, then they should say so. like “hey, this is a complicated rework and I don’t know how long it could take and we won’t know until we start. Are you okay with that?” I mean is that there unreasonable to ask for? She had many opportunities to tell me if she truly didn’t know how long it would take- but she chose to give me that time range. Was I wrong to expect her to meet her own estimate? 
 

 I mean it’s just good business practice to provide accurate time frames. Why does anyone get a quotation before getting services done if it could literally be any amount? I think people deserve to know what they are walking into... 

OK, well there you have it. In that case my advice is the same.  🙂

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All’s well that ends well.. I talked w my artist and said that I was surprised at the extra time needed and asked what happened- if it ended up taking longer or what. It turns out there was a miscommunication when we consulted- 6 hours for the outline not for the whole project.  She apologized for not correcting me in our emails before we started. She is willing to meet me half way and complete it within my budget which is amazing. 

I do think conversations are necessary if you have a feeling something is off... bc usually there is! Seeking clarity is never a bad thing- as long as you are not being aggressive about it. sometimes these things happen and i was totally wrong about what happened. 
 

 

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And you came here for????

I love it when people ask for advice and then do what they were going to do anyway. 
 

Hope it works out. I’d be concerned that the artist will need to cut corners to get it done cheaper, but who knows.

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It'd be neat to see before/during/after pics.

It's surprising she's able to meet you halfway if just the outline is 6 hours, but maybe there's less shading than I'm imagining accompanying the 6 hours of linework.

I have a theory that these kinds of situations come up because we as a society rarely have experience purchasing one-of-a-kind items:  Almost everything we exchange money for is mass produced, same as the last, can buy it anywhere.

So knowing what to expect, negotiate, outcome, etc can all be surprising when it's truly a custom-made outcome.

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