I just read all this. It's a wind up, isn't it? How to price a tattoo and deal with customers is stuff you learn before you even learn how to make a stencil.
However if this is serious, decide what the work is worth to you and if the other person doesn't think it's worth the same, that's ok, don't take it personal, maybe they're naive, maybe they're ignorant, or maybe they just can't afford it. If thgere is a sign on the door saying open for business, people are entitled to come in and try to do business.
Having a sign prominentley displayed stating the shop minimum and some examples of what you can expect for that minimum is a big help, for the customer and for the person who is selling the tattoos.
I don't want to insult ya by going any farther on this because I know you have been around a while.
Also, I'm not on here to tell anyone how to run a tattoo shop so they can open one up.
Most of the talk on here is art criticism, or how to heal up tattoos, what's in, what's out, who's cool, etc...and some of it is very interesting stuff, seriously.
I will say that a lot of the more artistic people are in the ha'penny place compared to the scratchers when it comes to hustle and street smarts.
If one man's niche is doin $20 tattoos ina basement and anothers is doing $200 an hour bodysuits, thats fine by me. It means there's a tattoo out there for everybody, and everyone can have a tattoo if they want one.
And before anyone forgets........Mike Roper tattooed in his bedroom for years, Filip Leu tattooed on the beach, Paulo Sulu'ape tattooed in a hut, Freddie Corbin tattooed in his apartment. And many of the tattooers the people on here look up to started out in their kitchens. And many of them tattooed cheap, or for free. Yea, freee, swallow that one whole.
For many of them, their first introduction to tattooing was getting tattooed by friends in their basements.
So, before we go demonising the "scratchers", getting tattooed on the cheap in a basement, kitchen or garage is just as valid as getting tattooed in a longhouse in Borneo. It probably costs about the same, has similar sterilisation, and the lines are probably equally shakey. Not to mention the spiritual/cultural/rite of passage significance of a ghetto kid getting a ghetto tattoo in a ghetto tattoo shop. At a ghetto price.
None of this is intended as a defence for idiots doing shit tattoos cheap or for arteests doing average tattoos at extortionate prices. It's just me saying that much as I can hustle, tattooing isn't a business for me, it's a practice and if I can pay my bills living this way, then that's a privilege and an honour. And a blessing. I'm grateful that I have a bit of talent and a bit of hustle. I take pride in my profession and I don't sell it short, especially not for money. I hate to not tattoo someone, but sometimes the tattoo they want isn't the tattoo they can afford, and I don't mean only in monetary terms, sometimes the persons ego is a bit big and they think they deserve more than the are entitled to. The same goes for the tattooers.
Anyway, I'm sick of typing, it's not my thing.