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Tattoo Vending Machine Presents Customers ‘Get What You Get’ Tattoos

Would you pay in advance for a tattoo that you don't know anything about? It'll be in the American classic style, anything from an eagle to a skull or a snake, maybe a woman's head. But you have to pay in advance, and agree that it will be selected randomly.

You can always refuse to get the tattoo after it is selected, but you won't get your money back. So, how desperate do you have to be to pay $100+ for a random tattoo? Well, if you use this gumball machine, you can begin to find out. Here's how it works.

The tattoos would usually go for between $160 and $250. But you can get one for $100 at a Texas tattoo shop called Elm Street Tattoos. If you don't like what you get, you can pay $20 to re-roll. But these are real tattoos. Not paste-ons, or stickers, or anything like that.

A tattoo artist sits on stand-by, ready to ink you up if you like the randomly selected design. How does the selection process work? You pay $100, then put a penny into a gumball machine. The machine will then spit out a random orb containing a piece of paper - on that paper is the design that will be etched into your skin forever.

So, are you up for it? Maybe it's a certain type of late capitalist decadence I'm unprepared for, a way for people without much money to get something random sewn into their skin for a discount. Still, is it really worth not knowing if you'll get a snake or a woman's face? Like, I get if these designs are similar, but the actual image should hypothetically make a pretty big difference.

Oliver Peck, one of the hosts of the popular tattoo reality show Ink Master, is the owner of Elm Street Tattoos. So the design will be good, and you can pick where it goes - it's just a question of the risk.

I guess it's pretty cool after all - if you pay $20 twice to cycle through designs, it's still cheaper than getting that same tattoo regularly. And it's a great stunt to pull in attention, because a machine that outputs random tattoos is pretty eye-grabbing.

Peck is a master of the American classic style, and is known for his honesty and the toothpick perpetually hanging from his lip on the Ink Master show.

Getting a tattoo from a master's shop for $100 is a bargain. It seems perfect for people who want a first tattoo, or something small, and simply aren't sure what to get. They want a standard or archetypal tattoo and just want to get it over with. If that's the case, check out Elm Street Tattoo, and see if you like what you see.

It's in Dallas, Texas.


It's only expected to stay for a few months, so make an appointment if you want to try it out. But beware of the risk. If you change designs 2-3 times and still aren't liking what you see, you're down a lot of money and no closer to getting a tattoo.

Take caution and enjoy!