GOING to a piercing or tattoo studio is a very different process than getting your hair cut or your manicure done before an event.
Tipping for a tattoo or piercing is actually quite similar – but there are certain rules the staff would like you to follow.
Piercing professional Lynn Loheidewho uses the pronouns they/them, demystifies piercing and tattoos on her YouTube channel.
In a recent video, they revealed the surprising etiquette behind tipping at a piercing studio, where tips sometimes make up half of a performer’s earnings.
“I would say if you’re planning on getting a tattoo or a piercing, plan a tip in there,” Loheide said, explaining that tips count more heavily toward a piercer or tattoo artist’s salary than others. industries.
During their apprenticeship, Loheide did not in fact receive an hourly wage. Tips were their only income while they were still learning their trade.
In many cases, the studio you visit will make it easy and provide percentages on the receipt upon checkout so you can tip with a card or cash.
If you had a great experience, Loheide said, you might consider tipping 20 to 30 percent.
A tip of 10-15% of the cost of the service is more appropriate if your piercer was late, the tattoo artist was unfriendly, or there was some other problem with the service.
According to Loheide, it’s also completely acceptable to adjust the tip according to what you can afford.
“I’ve had clients come and spend thousands of dollars with me, and hours and hours with me, and still leave a 20 or 30 percent tip,” they said.
“If you can afford to spend like that, it’s often polite to tip your artist in a way that reflects that,” they noted. “Now, on the other hand, I understand that some customers just can’t afford to tip the entire transaction.”
For example, they might not receive a proportional tip from students, low-income people, or minors getting their first piercing with an adult’s permission. And that’s fine, says Loheide.
“I don’t expect people to tip me the money they would spend on food that week for a tip,” they clearly stated.
A good way to gauge what is appropriate is to think about the length of your piercing. Some piercings, like helix piercings, are quick and simple.
In these cases, Loheide says, “$10 to $20 is fine,” even if the total cost of your jewelry and services is higher.
There are also ways to show appreciation besides a monetary tip.
Loheide said receiving longer, more in-depth reviews from customers is hugely beneficial.
If you can’t afford the tip you’d like to tip for exceptional service, take 20 minutes to write a detailed review of your piercing experience, from the technical side to your artist’s bedside manner.
“That would be more valuable to me than a lot of money advice,” said Loheide, who records customer testimonials to post on her website.
Generous reviews are a great way to help your tattoo artist or piercer establish a web presence and boost their online portfolio.
“Another great way is to grow your money thoughtfully,” Loheide continued. What if after carefully budgeting for a piercing or tattoo, you can only afford to spend $5 on tips?
Loheide said you can spend that money on a personal kindness to your artist. Contact him before your appointment and ask if you can bring his coffee order or his favorite snack.
Because Loheide has multiple cats, they said some customers brought store-bought or custom-made cat toys instead of tips.
Even though these customers often spend a relatively small amount of money on the item, the personal touch is worth it.
“If I do a $400 service and get a $5 tip, it can sometimes be a little disappointing,” Loheide explained.
But if, instead, the customer thinks, “I’m going to make that $4 go a lot further and give them a little toy for their cat,” the entertainer said he’s “thrilled” that the client has done something thoughtful.
If you have a hobby, you can also bring baked goods or a piece of your craft or custom artwork for the artist.
Loheide also said that returning to the studio once your piercing or tattoo has healed, and allowing your artist to take detailed portfolio photos, is a phenomenal way to show appreciation.
These are all things Loheide did early in his own career, when they often couldn’t afford to tip at the level they thought was appropriate.
“I tipped them with my time,” they recall. “These are all things that I think bring to mind tipping service.”