A couple weeks ago I was getting a tattoo and the shop manager came back to talk to some of the artists about shop happenings. She was a bit annoyed, to say the least, that several times that day people had called referencing great Yelp reviews but they weren't sure what artist they should see and wanted a recommendation. The client, however, had not gone to the shop website to look at different artists' work or looked up what style of tattoo they wanted to get.
As a consumer at the shop, I know that they in fact have rave reviews on Yelp. But as a tattoo collector I know that's not how you do research. Personally, I always have an idea of what I want to get done and then look for the best person to do the job. Budget often is also a factor. You may know the saying that "cheap tattoos aren't good and good tattoos aren't cheap." So if you're not willing to wait until you have the money to get a solid tattoo done, don't expect the Sistine Chapel to be the outcome (this rule applies to SO MANY things).
Far too often, I meet fellow consumers that just don't do their research and then get mad at everyone else except themselves. It's not just consumers of tattoos that are having these problems. Restaurants, clothing, travel, technology. You name it, plenty of people haven't done their research.
In attempts to not be lumped into the naïve consumer stereotype, I've listed some standard questions and examples that can help guide your decision making process before you waste other people's time:
What style are you looking for?
Business owners, especially small business owners, work extremely hard. Many have perfected a craft over many years and produce quality work for others to enjoy. Please respect their time and expertise and do your research.