Not trying to be rude, but why should I tip a piercer when piercings cost so much? I feel like the jewelry and equipment don’t cost much and so they should profit from it a lot? Is it necessary because not a lot of people go to get piercings?
That’s a fair question.
First, you do not have to tip your piercer. We do not expect it, but it is appreciated when it does happen.
But you know I’ve got to break down the other part of your question. So, here goes.
Good piercings don’t cost a lot.
For the level of service a reputable piercer provides, and the steps needed to achieve a safe piercing experience I really think most of us are selling our services short. If you’re comparing prices of an APP member studio to one charging $25 including jewelry, that’s not really comparing piercers. Lots of factors go into training an experienced piercer and maintaining a safe working environment.
Cost of jewelry
We pay wholesale. Yes, less than full retail cost. That’s how goods work for any business selling things. BUT, that nice navel curve you see and like? We didn’t buy one. We had to buy a dozen (at least) so we have them in stock for customers. And then there’s the sales tax we have to pay quarterly because in most states we’re charged taxes on the jewelry we sell, which means we owe the government. I don’t mind sharing a little personal info so I can tell you what my last quarterly bill was. $3,000+. Quarterly. That’s going to happen four times each year. The busier I am and the more jewelry I sell, the more that bill goes up.
Okay, I got your jewelry in, so I should get it ready for you. First I will bulk sterilize that in my big autoclave. It’s a Midmark M9, I like it. I bought it new for right at around $4,000 if memory serves. Now I’m going to store your jewelry until you’re ready to buy it. When you come in for that, I’m going to sterilize it in my Statim sterilizer before I pierce you or sell you the jewelry. That Statim one cost me about $4,000 as well.
Next, I need to know that my sterilizers are working properly, so I have them spore tested every week. Those kits cost me a little over $200 (each) to get me through a year.
I won’t bore you with the details of rent on my studio, liability insurance, monthly expenses (electricity, water, etc.). And now with all that in mind , I still need to take some of that money to buy my groceries, get gas for my car and I still need to pay the rent on my little place (not the studio, my home). Then there’s my annual flight and hotel for The APP conference so I can take classes (which aren’t free) to keep improving on my knowledge in hopes of providing you with the best piercing I can.
And the last part of your question, “Is it necessary because not a lot of people go to get piercings?”
I think the 20,000+ followers on APP social media (Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram) shows there are many, many piercing enthusiasts out there. We’re in no shortage of awesome clients to take care of.
So I know my response may sound blunt, and I do apologize. But hopefully my little rant has shed a little light on what things are going on behind the scene to provide you with a nice clean studio to go to that cares enough to stock quality body jewelry and a large selection of it for you to choose from.
I don’t expect a tip. I certainly don’t think any less of a client that doesn’t tip. But I simply had to give a long response to the other statements.
A quote I recently heard from another piercer has really stuck in my head,
“It’s only expensive if it isn’t worth it.”
Cody Vaughn, APP outreach committee, Tumblr