Deposits? Why do you need to hold my money?

A fair amount of the time when we ask someone to leave deposits on a tattoo appointment they say something crafty like; “I’ll stop back Friday”, or “I don’t have any cash on me” and they walk out never to be seen again. Sometimes people want to debate the reasoning behind the deposit, but do finally break down and leave one to book an appointment. Most people happily leave a deposit… because they get it!

I mean whats not to get?

You want us to do work for you, block out part of our day for you, and just hope by the grace of god you decide to show up so we can work and be able to collect a paycheck that week. Maybe 20, 30 or 40 years ago this worked, when peoples words meant something. I don’t consider myself a genius, but I understand a deposit. The guy who renovates my home… he wants a deposit. The car dealership… they want a deposit. The place I’m having my kids birthday party at… they want a deposit. What do we all have in common? We want the CUSTOMER to SHOW up!

Pure Ink Tattoo - DepositsSo we take this deposit to hold a spot in our schedule… but that is not good enough. We need to develop policies about this small fortune we have collected (sarcasm). We need to ensure people understand your “small fortune” that we are holding is non-refundable. Why you ask. Because we do work in the background, sometimes hours worth of work preparing your tattoo and we hold a spot in our schedule under the presumption you will show up, and actually get the design you had us draw for you that took two hours of our time.

Lets understand this in the terms of dollars and cents from an artists perspective.

Little Suzy comes in for a free consult with tattoo artist Johnny. they talk for 20 minutes and Suzy decides to book a spot for a large tattoo, a $600 tattoo. Score for Johnny he will be able to pay for his kid, “Little Johnny) camp after he does this tattoo. Suzy is required to leave a $200 deposit. She does just that and is booked for 4.5 hours in Johnny’s schedule. Johnny starts drawing the design, spends 1.5 hours and boom hes done.. perfection.

Suzy sees the drawing via email and requests a few small changes, Johnny spends 30 more minutes drawing and then sends it off to Suzy. She loves it! Suzy’s appointment is 3 days away and everyone is excited. Johnny arrives at work on time, gets his station all setup, and he waits… and waits… Low and behold Suzy never shows up. No call. No Show.

So as per policy Johnny gets a 50% cut of the deposit that is taken from Suzy. So Johnny makes $100, he has done 2 hours worth of work, laid out $10 in materials, and lost a 4.5 hour tattoo worth $600. I guess no camp for little Johnny this week!

But wait it gets better…. Suzy calls her credit card company and claims she didn’t get something she paid for and they reverse the charges. Now the studio is out $200, we call our bank, they say they need proof Suzy agreed that deposits are non-refundable, and side with Suzy. $200 is gone, but the studio still allows Johnny to keep his $100, after all its not his fault Suzy sucks.

What happens when Suzy changes her mind after the initial drawing and decides she wants a $60 tattoo instead of $600? Johnny will gladly change the focus of the tattoo and do the $60 tattoo. He will make $30 minus $10 in supplies, even though he spent 2 hours drawing the other tattoo and 30 minutes drawing the $60 one. Now Johnny made $8 an hour on Suzy’s project. But Suzy is happy… we think. What happens to that $200 deposit? Well Suzy gets to keep $140 in her account at the studio. Make sense? It didn’t make sense to Suzy! She threw a fit. Threatened us. Suzy still sucks!

So as a business we have to develop ways of protecting ourselves, our artists and our clients. So we make policies and stick to them. We keep your deposit, but we are fair. give us 48 hours notice and you don’t lose your deposit. Don’t show up and your deposit is going to Johnny!

Hope this helps everyone who doesn’t understand deposits, understand deposits.

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