A tattoo consultation is always free; that's when you can chat with an artist about your ideas, get a more accurate quote, and ask all of the questions you have about the process and design.
But after your free consultation if you want to make an appointment, you may be asked for a deposit. This deposit not only holds your spot on the artist's calendar, but it also is there to protect the artist and their time.
A deposit, by definition, is always nonrefundable. There are no exceptions.
The deposit does go toward your overall tattoo price. So if you pay a $100 deposit and the tattoo ends up costing $300, you will simply pay the difference when you are done ($200).
Here are some reasons behind our tattoo deposit policy:
Sometimes an artist will spend hours or even days drawing up your design, and all of this time does not count toward the hourly rate you pay when you get the tattoo. A deposit helps compensate for their drawing time, if you decide you don't want to get the tattoo after all. At least the artist isn't at a total loss for their hard work.
Even if you provide an already-drawn image, the artist has to spend time sizing it, turning it into a stencil, and making it tattoo-able. Not every image translates into a good tattoo, so some small adjustments may need to be made. We believe in respecting our artists and honoring their expertise and time; this is their livelihood.
When you hold a space on someone's calendar, that is time blocked off for you -- time no one else can have. If you back out, that is lost time the artist could have spent serving another client.
Note: We don't ask for deposits for walk-ins or appointments where you will be getting the tattoo that same day. Not all tattoos need a deposit.