Piercing studios

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Sunday October 28th, 2007 @ 9:05 PM

Filed under: Piercing

In your honest opinion, what do you think of those “mall boutigues” who advertise for cheap piercings. I have always driven over half an hour away to get my piercings because I trust the piercer at this particular studio, but would I be making a huge mistake going to a studio closer to home advertising for $20 piercings?

Asking most piercers about “mall boutiques” who offer super cheap piercings is like asking the Jewish people how they feel about the Nazi Germany era.

Things you need to ask about these “mall boutiques” is the following:

1) Piercing Training - How was this person offering piercings trained? No Training? A weeks training? A month? Longer?

2) Methods Of Piercing - Needle or Gun?

3) Aftercare - Do they provide you with sound verbal and written documentation of how to take care of it? Not just shove you a nice bottle of Ear Piercing Care (ie: BZK aka Benzalkonium Chloride which is a strong disinfectant and shouldn’t be used to heal a piercing)

4) Jewelry - Are they using proper high quality Internally Threaded (Anatometal, Industrial Strength,etc) or Threadless (NeoMetal) jewelry that is classified as implant grade? (ie: ASTM F-138 316LVM Stainless Steel or ASTM F136 6Al-4V ELI Titanium) or are they using the cheapest jewelry they can find?

5) Other Training - Do they have certification in Bloodborne Pathogens/Infection Control as well as First-Aid & CPR?

6) Proof of Work - Do they have a portfolio that displays a lot of their work? Is it healed work or fresh and bloody?

These are but a few small but very important things to ask when people consider these mall boutiques…Quite often the people offering the piercings at these places fail on a number of these questions.

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12 Responses to “Piercing studios”

  1. All excellent points, Wozza. ;)

    Lori St.Leone on October 29th, 2007 at 12:33 am
  2. While all of the above points are very valid, in my mind, the biggest question that springs to mind with these cheap piercing places is..

    What corners are they cutting to offer cheap piercings?

    Cheap jewelry? Well I think thats pretty much a given.

    But what about something more important (imo) than cheap jewelry..

    What about infection control?
    What about their autoclave?
    How often do they spore test it?
    Cross contamination procedures?

    I’d worry about cleaning procedures. At those sort of places, to make any money, they’d pretty much need to have a revolving door of people going in and out. The question that springs to mind then is, what procedures do they have in place to adequately clean the piercing room between customers?
    Or is it just a quick wipe over with one of those alcohol wipes and then onto the next customer?

    You know, I think an interesting study would be cheap mall piercing places (ie: cosmetics + and whorehouse wharehouse) vs traditional piercing studios, looking at things like:

    Rate of infection/problematic piercings
    Customer satisfaction.

    Anyways, thats just my 2c worth :)


    Zoe on November 3rd, 2007 at 8:22 am
  3. I’d only like to comment on “$20 piercings”. Piercings must be expensive there if that’s a very cheap piercing. Here, in Hungary, one of the best studios does every piercing (except for nipple and genital) for the equivalent of 20 dollars + the jewelry (they only use Wildcat).

    Mangaartist on November 4th, 2007 at 10:34 am
  4. Well, other than the fact that Wildcat is at best a mid-range supplier of jewellery (and most better piercers consider their poorly-polished jewellery utter garbage), costs are going to vary wildly from country to country and city to city, a lot of factors go into the cost of the piercing. Medical equipment and supplies are vastly more expensive in Australia than they are in the States, wages are much higher over here for adult staff than ‘juniors’ (e.g. teenage employees, whom the cheap mall shops almost invariably employ and give a few hours of training to before they cut them loose on unwitting customers), and we’re one of the highest-taxed countries in the world, as well. Overheads are very high, and if some places are charging that much less for piercings than all the oft-recommended shops, you’ve got to know the cheap shops are making their profit margin SOMEwhere.

    Lori St.Leone on November 4th, 2007 at 12:00 pm
  5. Mangaartist: Again you need to consider what is being utilized.

    What type of gloves are they using: Vinyl, Nitril, Latex, Sterile or Non-Sterile, Medical Exam Gloves or Non-Medical Exam Gloves,etc.

    Also factor in are they just using the same pen to mark every single client…Or are they using disposable markers or tubes and GV,etc?

    Sterile gauze? Non-Sterile Gauze? So much more is to be considered.

    Also you need to factor in the overhead of the shop, where the shop is located,etc,etc,etc. Also is it just a piercing studio or is it a piercing AND tattoo studio?

    Even with WildCat jewelry $20 is VERY cheap and I’d be VERY cautious about getting ANY piercing that is that cheap.

    Warren Hiller on November 5th, 2007 at 3:27 am
  6. also you said $20 PLUS the cost of jewelry that would usually make the cost of jewelry around the $20 give or take so essentially you’re paying a total of $40 or more, depending on the piercing.

    Back in Canada and here in Australia the average costs tend to go around $40 and go up as high as you want it to (ie: real gems,etc)

    Warren Hiller on November 5th, 2007 at 3:29 am
  7. I am not justifying the general distrust of mall piercers.. But i happen to be one. We are not all bimbo’s running around with needles. I had a year training with a mentor then went on to have my own studio within the company. I have completed all the tafe courses and ovcourse first aid. I have a online portfolio also and spore test my autoclave monthly.

    The reason i decided to work in a mall studio was to obtain a full time job that had a salery as opposed to most piercing jobs offering comission based wage.

    Although i want to get out of it. The people who own the shop have no idea and we are sometimes made to put people at risk by doing piercings that arent suitable to make them a buck.

    Other than that piercings are cheap because we do so many and because wages rent and salery comes out of the products sold in the shop so those extra’s do not have to be added to the price of piercings.

    I get all my jewellery from the same distributers that tattoo and piercing studio’s do.

    Its not the studio, its the piercer.

    Kashina on December 18th, 2007 at 5:26 pm
  8. thing is if there is ONE person properly trained (like you say you are) to pierce at one specific mall, that’s the minority. You cannot always base things on the minority, you have to view it overall as the majority basis. And based on the majority of issues currently being brought forth, its hair salons, hair dressers, mall stores,etc providing the bad piercing conditions. Not saying YOU’RE bad, but saying THE MAJORITY are bad.

    Also hearing your response, I am going to say you’re based in Australia. So you have the option of being comission based or wage based, depending on the work agreement you sign. And honestly based on the amount of work Mall shops get, it’d probably have been better to obtain a comission base price instead of hourly wage. But that’s besides the point.

    Also you say you get your jewellery from the same distributors as piercing and tattoo studios do…If you don’t mind me asking, where do you get your jewellery from?

    WildCat? International Connection? Industrial Strength? Anatometal?

    Most Aussie shops if you ask me, are purchasing from low to mid quality jewelry that is mostly based from the Asian market…A lot carry WildCat and then a fair bit carry Industrial Strength and only a small few carry Anatometal.

    Perhaps you might be interested in reading this: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/LeadInJewelry.cfm

    Warren Hiller on December 19th, 2007 at 8:33 pm
  9. Those places, personally, give me the willies. I’ve been on a job-hunt lately for places that wouldn’t mind piercings, and, here’s a shocker, apparently Claire’s at the mall doesn’t mind. I asked the woman working at the counter if you had to run the “piercing booth” to be an employee there. The told me yes, that everyone working there must learn how to use the piercing gun. I hightailed it out of that shithole like nobody’s business!

    Ace on June 29th, 2008 at 5:43 am
  10. You picked correctly. We do stock mostly wildcat and propierce. which would be mid to low quality. I have recently migrated from a mall into a real studio. I met a few really great piercers along the way but a lot of unbelieveably under qualified piercers as well. i have a lot of stories that would show such incompetance you would be in shock. I fixed a tongue piercing a part timer in my shop did, yep pierced with a 16g10mm barbell. 1610!!! I was in shock when i saw it. My honest opinion after working the field is that cosmetics plus procedures are of the best quality, training is extensive and we are enforced to follow the highest standerds of infection controll and sterilisation. Whoarehouse gets its name for a reason. 1610!! But if you want quality work, you need to trust the studio and the piercer you go to. Nothing beats reputation.

    K on July 31st, 2008 at 5:34 am
  11. K: Cos Plus doesn’t have the sparkling shiny rep you’re referring to either.

    Also know the current Australian requirements for Infection Control and Sterilization are atrocious and sickening.

    Warren Hiller on August 1st, 2008 at 12:45 am
  12. I work at a mall as a body piercer. I have been trained by a former member of the APP and had an apprenticeship for 2 years with the best body piercer in the city i live in. My reputation is strong and we beat the competition in the area.

    I think that the reason so many mall piercing clinics have bad reputations is because most are employed by people who are not body piercers themselves.

    I have had to watch the owners of the company i work for employ less than reputable body piercers, just so they are not losing money and in the process they even put me at risk. So i can understand how that looks to people but…

    It is all about doing your research. Not all “mall boutiques” are bad.

    Y. Yee on April 30th, 2010 at 4:07 am

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