I’ve receive a countless number of phone calls from clients asking for quotes over the phone. “No but roughly, how much do you think?” Again and again I get the same question. It’s a difficult question to answer even in person sometimes, and over the phone it can really be impossible!

Here’s a few reasons why:

I can’t see what you are seeing.
I can picture what you are describing, it just may or may not be the same thing that you are picturing.

Size matters.
The size of your tattoo is probably the biggest factor effecting the price. When you are guessing the size in centimetres and I am guessing what that size is, there is a lot of room for misinterpretation. Furthermore, we need to know the size of you too. Is your arm the size of Arnold Swartzenagger or Nicki Minaj? We need to discuss what size is going to look best too which may or may not be what you initially thought.

Who does your tattoo also matters.
I work with a network of 15 Gold Coast based artists, all varying in styles, experience and skill levels and therefor all charge a little differently and work a little differently too. To quote you accurately I need to know who is doing your tattoo; and that might depend on when you want the tattoo and what artist might be available as well as what your budget is, who is going to be the best for the style you are after etc.

We need a lot of information.
Sometimes we need to ask A LOT of questions to be able to quote you accurately;
How big exactly? Where on the body? What style? Colour or black and grey? When do you want to get tattooed? What is your experience getting tattooed; what is your pain tolerance like? Are you open to artist interpretation? What are your expectations? What is your budget? Have you seen similar tattoos that you like? Do you have the exact design ready? Have you chosen a font (for script tattoos)? Do you have any references? Are you coming with any friends that also want to get tattooed… and on and on and on. All these questions can result in a really long phone conversation and we still may not be able to quote you accurately at the end.

Consultations are often required
Sometimes we need to discuss aspects of your idea. Not all ideas work well as tattoos, so we need to talk about what is and what isn’t possible. We may have suggestions to make your idea really shine and this is often difficult to explain over the phone. I’m a visual person and I much prefer showing my clients pictures and images to explain a concept, idea or a problem. Trying to explain over the phone usually results in misunderstandings.

If you get a quote for a tattoo over the phone, the person is probably giving you a ballpark figure at best; and you didn’t even get the opportunity to evaluate the studio or artist. The only thing that happens with a quote over the phone is that you end up basing your decision of who will do your tattoo on a price instead of quality… and that’s the biggest mistake clients make.

Posted by Marco

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