I don't want to haggle with artists. I am happy to pay a good price for good work. As someone with no artistic talent whatsoever, I value the talent and skill of the artists who tattoo me.
But the opacity of tattoo pricing is frustrating. I've asked a couple of tattoo artists for estimates on pieces and they awkwardly stonewalled. Maybe they think I'm trying to drive down the price or something, but I ask because I want to know how much to budget and how much to bring along for a tip. I'm broke and I want more tattoos, so I need to save up.
I'm never sure even what the ballpark figure is going to be until the tattoo is done, which is kind of shitty. I'm trying to think of another business in which pricing is withheld until after services are rendered and I can't.