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Permanent Discounts: Getting a Tattoo to Save Some Money

By , dealnews Media Editor

We recently asked our readers literally, how far they would travel to get a deal; now we're asking in a more figurative way. If you're the excitable type whose first reaction to either meaning of the question was: "I'd go all the way for a deal! I will even permanently modify my body in an indelible way for savings!" and then you make some kind of primal noise indicating seriousness.... Well, firstly, let us say that such a reaction is a bit surprising. Then, second, let us tip you off to six deals that are right up your alley, as each requires you to get a tattoo to redeem them!

(And keep in mind that you don't have to try that hard to get a great deal — our freebie hub has lots of free stuff that doesn't involve permanent bodily alteration.)

Ecko Unlimited

Ecko's ongoing "Branded For Life" promotion gives anyone who inks one of the compay's two logos on themselves a discount of 20% off for life. But before you head to your local shop with dreams of saving coin on some threads, note that this discount applies in-store only. So far, over 40 people have taken Ecko up on this promotion.


This small grilled cheese chain in Ohio bestows a 25% off discount for life to any customer who inscribes a permanent image of one of the store's three approved logo designs on her body. After a rough count of the images in their gallery, over 300 people have gotten in on this deal.

Rapid Realty NYC

If you work for this realtor in the New York City area and are willing to put its logo on your skin, you will be given a 15% pay raise. Normally one has to go through a whole year of pain at a job to get a raise! [*Rimshot*] Not surprisingly, more than 40 employees have chosen to get a Rapid Realty tat to get a fatter paycheck.

Rocket from the Crypt

In a 1992 interview in a Zine (which was like a blog, but before there was the Internet), rock frontman John "Speedo" Reis said that any fan who got a tattoo of his band's logo would get free entry to their live shows for life. While many people get questionable band tattoos simply because they like the artist, this offer includes at least a fringe benefit. Fourteen years later, Reis noted that over 3,000 people have gotten a Rocket from the Crypt tattoo ... which often results in poor ticket sales at their shows.

Casa Sanchez

Thinking no one would actually do it, San Francisco Mexican restaurant Casa Sanchez put up a joke sign in 1998 saying that any customer who came in with a tattoo of the eatery's logo would eat for free for life. Well, the restaurant miscalculated folks' humor and underestimated the lengths they would go for a free burrito: the company suffered losses of $5.8 million after just 50 people got the store's tat. Yet surprisingly in 2010, Casa Sanchez brought the promotion back!

Hot Doug's

This Chicago hot dog shop will serve up free dogs for life in exchange for putting its logo somewhere on your body. Unlike the other restaurants, it seems like Hot Doug's will let you even pick up items for friends: you don't have to get the Hot Doug tattoo, just be friends with someone who loves getting such random tattoos in general.

Are there any brands or restaurants out there that you would get a tattoo for if they gave you a discount or free stuff? Let us know in the comments section below!

Jeff Somogyi is the dealnews Media Editor. He likes free stuff but is afraid of needles. See more of his semi-permanent thoughts on Google+, Twitter or on his comic book blog.

Follow @dealnews on Twitter for the latest roundups, price trend info, and stories. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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So much for a hot dog for life, Hot Dougs is closing on October 3rd
"...$5.8 million after just 50 people..."
This is just like the Congregational Budget Office who takes their estimates out an arbitrarily large number of years (usually even numbers for some reason) to get a BIG number. In this case, they estimated the cost of 50 people eating burritos and drinking a beer every day for 50 years. Yes, 50 years!
I'm willing to bet a tattoo (on my butt) that if you eat a Casa Sanchez burrito every day for 50 years that you aren't going to survive that long.
@bilboBagit So what retailer or food chain would be worth your while?
I'd do it. But I don't live in Ohio, Chicago, San Francisco, don't wear Ecko, not a realtor, never heard of that band. It needs to be something I'd get enough use of to justify
The realtor tattoo makes the most sense to me. Even if you spend a few thousand later to take it off, you'd make that right away in sales
That was good of Casa Sanchez to bring the promotion back. I'm sure some people were kicking themselves for passing over the first offer
Casa Sanchez - "...losses of $5.8 million after just 50 people got the store's tat"

50 people getting free food for life cost the company $5.8 million?

Thats $116,000 worth of food per person so over 14 years (since the offer originated) that's $8,285 per year or $22 a day, every day, for all 50, for 14 years!
I've been trying to convince myself to get a Melt tattoo...
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