Post # 1
Tattooed bees, help me out! I have posted this on a tattoo forum too but wanted to see what you all thought.
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 the 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… They said it would be an extra 900 on top of the 500 I already paid for my first session (I was quoted 600-800 total, depending on how long it took). So instead of 600-800 we are now looking at 1400 total. I feel like the artist wasn’t up front with me and now I’m stuck 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 time 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 4 extra hours is kind of bait and switch territory… 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 ?
Post # 2
Be very careful how you approach it. Ask someone to work for free and you might get a very rushed effort that’ll be worth what you pay for it.
That said, this all sounds super sketchy. Have you worked with this artist before? Any chance you can email them to have a paper trail or is it all in person/on phone? Do they work for someone else or is this their shop?
Instead of asking them to eat the cost of several hours worth of labour I’d ask the artist to explain in detail why the scope of work has gone so over the estimate.
Post # 3
It depends on lots of different things. You can always get a second quote from another artist and compare. Definitely don’t tell them to float on the cost of anything that will take them a whole days worth of pay.
Post # 4
yes, I worked with them once before and had a good experience which was why I was so surprised when this happened… they actually forgot they tattooed me before, which also struck me as very weird because that appointment is when we consulted for this project. I do have a paper trail via email where they confirmed it would take about 3 hrs per session.
yes I want to be very tactful and non-accusatory but I definitely want to bring up the fact that there was clearly a misunderstanding and seek to understand why this happened…
it’s so difficult to get another quote on an unfinished project, especially a rework. If at all possible I would like to have this artist finish it. But I definitely wouldn’t be asking for a whole days worth of pay- it would just be the extra time to make up for what I was misquoted. At the very least I hope they they would offer to meet me in the middle on this since it clearly wasn’t what we agreed to
Post # 5
yeah, I’m not sure! It’s hard to do consultations without actually seeing it. They should have said it would be more once they saw it in person, though. They can tell you to kick it if you try and bargain with them. That’s entirely your decision whether you want to try that or not. Just be aware they might boot you. You could try and reason with them and maybe they will see your POV. Hopefully thats what happens.
Post # 6
Some more context on the appt… I was waiting for 20 minutes until the artist actually brought me back to the station. We made some adjustments to the drawing and it took another 20 minutes to put the stencil on so we didn’t start tattooing until almost an hour into my appointment. Towards the end I reached for my phone to call my husband to pick me up and she told me “hurry up, I have to finish in ten minutes because were closing” It was very rushed and awkward. I had actually rescheduled for this time to help them out with another appt they had, so it was a bit rude that they were so abrasive with me about it being that their time crunch was not my fault…
Then after that, I have this extra 4 hrs sprung on me; they hustled me out of the shop and I was left on the street, at night in the city, waiting for 20 mins for my husband to pick me up bc I didn’t have a chance to call him when I needed to. I had to find a coffee shop to sit at until he arrived. it wasnt a great experience and left me feeling taken advantage of.
that’s why the manner that they brought this all up to me was really poor on her part- especially considering that we had already had an agreement and I had made accommodations to their schedule for an appt I had on the books for months… I do think that they should make this right- but obviously I have to be okay with the fact that I may need to find another artist to finish it, if this conversation goes sideways.
Post # 7
ya I know it’s hard to do quotes for things like this but they should at least know what the time frame should be… this was a significant change and should have been addressed up front. Honestly though it’s all about the approach and hopefully they are understanding of where I am coming from.
Post # 8
Oohhhh…..this place seems shady.
The fact that they made you wait elsewhere when waiting for your husband is a red flag – at least to me. Feeling like your artist rushed is also not a good sign.
This is already a re-work and paying those prices – it should feel like she is taking her time and making sure everything is right.
I’ve only had 1 coverup done and that artist took his time, kept checking over and over to make sure it looked right. The next time I was in for another tattoo, he remembered and offered to go over it again as some of the previous piece was showing after healing (the tattoo it covered was my 1st one and went too deep in the skin).
Are you doing a lot of color or detail work on the arm? An extra 4 hours seems like a lot.
You could definitely get a 2nd opinion at a new place even though it may be a hassle. Explain the situation to the other shop and how you feel super uncomfortable there. I would hate to pay so much for a re-work and it not be the best work.
Post # 9
Tattoos are always paid by the hour. It seems like the original estimate was off, but that is not their fault if the tattoo is a bit more complicated than expected. Sometimes you don’t know how long it will take until you get in there and start working on it. Especially with a cover up – they are working with other colors and lines and it can be a lot more difficult than just a new tattoo, which is probably what they quoted you on. I agree they could have gone about sharing this information with you in a more professional manner, but that is a mute point now.
Honestly with tattoos, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect to cheap out on one, or you will get poor quality. Asking them to meet in the middle or compromise on their hourly rate in any way, shape or form will get you a cheaper quality tattoo that will be rushed and/or half assed. Would you rather pay the extra money for another 4 hour session, or have had them rush to fit it all within your quoted time frame and have it be horrible quality or unfinished? There is no going back – do it the right way with the right quality the first time. My favorite and most trusted tattoo artists are true ARTISTS and want to make sure their work is perfect and representative, even if that means taking more time and attention to detail. I wouldn’t want someone who would rush to fit in a time schedule and leave me with something less than I expected.
Post # 10
Yeah, the only issue i would have is the part where they told you to hurry up and kicked you out. To me that’s poor bedside manners. Everything else, it all just depends on what the artist is willing to compromise anything with. Good luck though! I hope you get something positive out of the experience, whether that’s sticking with them or finding someone else. Xx
Post # 11
@missmollybee: “I definitely wouldn’t be asking for a whole days worth of pay- it would just be the extra time to make up for what I was misquoted.”
But if it amounts to an extra 8 hours then that quite literally is a whole day’s worth of pay you may be asking for, for free.
It seems to me that the artist’s estimate was off and they didn’t realize that this would be a more involved tattoo than they thought it would be.
I don’t have that much experience getting tattooed because I only have one, but when working with my artist my understanding was that the quote was an estimate based on how long they initially thought it would take for the tattoo.
Especially for a rework, I could see how an estimate could change significantly. I don’t think you would be in the wrong to politely (and without bargaining) ask about what changed and why you would need significantly more time to finish the tattoo now. I agree that it would have been helpful if your artist had made that clearer. Are they an experienced tatoo artist?
Idk why you felt rushed out the door, but could that be due to their pandemic-related protocols? There is less time to schmooze these days.
Post # 12
I definitely would not have appreciated the rush and forcing you to wait outside for your ride. I think that’s really rude and unprofessional of her. And I also don’t like the fact that right before they closed she sprung this new total on you seemingly out of nowhere. I agree that this is something that should be discussed during a consult. And most professional artists would try to work with you if this was not something that was agreed upon ahead of time. It’s a big switch up and not expected and I don’t think it’s right to spring that on you last minute. Yes something things happen and they might realize they need to work on the tattoo more than they thought but I still think they should try to work with you on the price. And I would talk to her again if I were you before I agreed to go back. I might even do what another PP suggested and get a second opinion. There are so many amazing artists out there that might be more fair to you and maybe even do better work than her, and wouldn’t throw you out of the shop to wait outside alone…. major eye roll to that.
ETA: oh and how convenient that she claims she didn’t remember you when that was when you had your original consult. Sounds shady to me. That doesn’t sound right.
Post # 13
but her original quote was wildly inaccurate. She either sounds like she’s trying to pull one over on OP, she truly was WAY off on her original quote and therefore should try to work with OP to make it fair, after all her quote was really really off and it is unfair for a professional to misquote her and then to not try to work with her client to make that right or she really isn’t that experienced that way she is trying to come across.
Post # 14
I think you are right to feel like something is off. It is. It is a lot of extra money to add on 4 hours of work. I have an entire sleeve thats totally full of color and it took over a year. But she told me how long it would take and didn’t ever quote me a final price. She also charged by the hour.
Had she given me a grand total for the whole piece initially I would have expected to pay what was quoted.
Can you bring it to management? It could be that the artist is working under confusing conditions, or poor management. Who knows. It doesn’t seem like a place I would trust in the future. The artists seems stressed out.. is it their business?
I think if anything- you are right to bring up the entire quota cost. I wouldn’t pay more than was quoted given your situation.
Does the shop have a minimum? Mine was like $80 or something… it’s possible that they would be willing to just charge the minimum required for the “extra hours” per hour eye roll. If they must charge but I truly think the faults on the artist.
If anything. I wouldn’t be happy about it though. And I wouldn’t go back again in the future.
I would find an artist that charges by the hour for larger pieces.
Are you too far along to switch artists? If you are in the early stages- more artists would be willing to move along with you and understand some artists have huge egos.
Its the same concept in my business. I do hair for a living. If a client came in and I quoted them $600 for 8 hours of work and I misjudged the process than its on me! Not my client. I should have know. And next time- I will quote higher that way when they pay less, they are actually happy.
It’s an old rule in the book- under promise and over deliver. Your artist went the other way. It shows their lack of professionalism and understanding of their own work.
Post # 15
I have a lot of tattoos and I would be interested in hearing more information about this situation as this has never happened to me and seems odd.
What is the tattoo you have + what did you want done? How well did you sit? I feel it is quite possible that the artist quoted you and then you did not sit well or took a lot of breaks or something else happened…maybe your skin was swelling or bleeding? These things can happen and it does not mean she was ripping you off. It would be important to get more context on this. It also sounds like she worked right up until closing time and then yeah, of course you have to leave the studio at closing time? Unsure why this is a concern?
Also, for future, look into a quote for the whole job, not an hourly rate – this ensures you know upfront how much it will be no matter what issues come up.
I would NOT ask the artist to eat the cost for the extra hours, no doubt she would say no and it would sour the relationship. Would you work for free? Also, $500 for 4 hours is already cheap in my opinion so…