Hot! Tattoo Talk #35—Tattoo Shop Slashes Competition!


I received this announcement in the morning’s mail:


XXXXX tattoo shop, XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX, announces a new promotion in which one of their skilled artists will deliver 165 minutes of pure tattooing pleasure for the low price of $99. This equates to receiving XXXXXXX XXX’s top-of‐the‐line tattoo services for only sixty cents per minute. “This is a price that nobody will find elsewhere,” said XXXXXXX XXX’s Founder, XXXX XXXXXXX. “The tattoo artists that work at XXXXXXX XXX are amongst the top in the nation. They will work on our customers for 2 hours and 45 minutes, giving their all to create beautiful artwork for them.

Best of all, during this promotion they will do it all for less than a hundred bucks. That price is unheard of, especially at a high caliber shop that maintains the reputation and cleanliness that we do.”

When a customer walks into receive the special, they will know instantly that they have entered into a shop with a high degree of sophistication and professionalism. Once they request the service, or show up for their scheduled appointment, they are prepped for the treatment and the countdown begins. 165 minutes later the time has passed and the body is adorned with a whole new work of art.

This special is offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. Customers will experience no scheduling problems, as XXXXXXX XXX is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In business since 2006… XXXXXXX XXX’s shop is one of the largest tattoo facilities in the nation, and is one of only about thirty in the country to be Better Business Bureau accredited. The artists at XXXXXX XXX are amongst the best in the industry, some of them having over 20 years of experience. They use state‐of‐the‐art tattoo techniques that very few artists even know exist. This is why XXXXXXX XXX has been dubbed “The Tattoo Authority of the XXXXXXXX.”

I thought the days of signs in the windows of tattoo shops announcing “Free Oil Change with Every Tattoo” (Las Vegas, 1990’s) were over, but I guess not. Featured here is an email I received this morning, from a supposedly legitimate tattoo shop (read the glowing descriptions they write about themselves), touting their newest offer to drum up business. Hey, I’m not against creating promotions for attracting customers, but this seems absolutely insulting, to me.

To my way of thinking, winning customers should be the result of quality work, not slashing prices to the bone. It’s like my visit to that much-maligned tattoo convention at the Fairgrounds in Pomona, where attendees would find a tattoo booth they liked, find a design in a tattoo artist’s portfolio and snap a photo of it with their cell phone, then commence going booth-to-booth, up one aisle and down the other, asking for the lowest bid. Those people should be tossed out on the ears, and a lot of artists agreed.

Slashing prices by 80 percent is demeaning to the industry and insulting the hard-working tattoo artists who are building a business based on their talent and customer service, not on discount coupons and rock-bottom prices. Yes, some shops charge less than others, because the customer base differs from city to city or they are having a special Halloween promotion, etc., but that is the exception to the rule. I’m lousy at math, but doesn’t $99 for 165 minutes work out to $36 an hour! I’m sure those artists with “over 20 years of experience” are thrilled to death when they’re given a Tuesday or Wednesday shift. And they are approved by the Better Business Bureau? I’m sure that undercutting every other tattoo business in town with these idiotic prices would not be approved by a properly educated Better Business Bureau.

I’m sure the other shops in the area have something to say about this kind of crap. I’m sure there are readers out there who will say this shop has the right to sell tattoos for whatever price they want. Yes they do, but not by kicking dirt in the faces of the competition, demeaning the standards that legitimate tattoo artists have fought for years to establish. By the way, when I went to this shop’s website, there were some stock photos of tattooed models, but no list of artists or their work. I guess you don’t get to know who the artist is or see samples of his or her work for $99.

—Bob Baxter

P.S. Please comment. We want to hear your opinion.

1 Comment

  1. Real tattoo collectors know when a deal is too good to be true. All they will be doing is building a cheap clientele base that won’t tip and will always ask for more or be dissatisfied with anything they get, no matter the quality. It sounds like a death rattle in this industry and everyone can hear it.

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