Why Are Tattoos Expensive?

With tattoos becoming more popular and more people wanting them, first timers can be a bit sticker shocked when they learn the cost of a tattoo. The cost of the tattoo can depend on a multitude of different factors. 

The first things that determine the price is the size of what you are wanting to get. Bigger is generally going to be more expensive than a smaller tattoo. But what is surprising to some is that most shops have a minimum for smaller tattoos. Here at Lucky Bamboo we have an hour minimum that we book for even if the tattoo itself only takes a few minutes. The reason for this is that the set up for a small tattoo is the same as a large tattoo. The same supplies and materials are used.. There is also the artist fees for use of the space they are tattooing in along with overhead.  Then we have the time spent: preparing the artwork and stencil, setting up for the tattoo and breaking down. When all is said and done the artist spent two hours working on a one hour appointment.  All of those things factor into the base cost for a tattoo and that is something that should be remembered when you are looking around to get tattooed.

The location of the tattoo also factors into the price. Getting a tattoo on a muscle such as the thigh is generally easier to work with then having a tattoo done on the ribs where there is more stretchy skin that needs to be pulled tight. So depending on the location this could cause the tattoo to take longer.

One of the main factors in how much a tattoo can cost is the design itself. A more intricate, and detailed piece is going to cost more than a simple outline even if they are the same size. Using more colors can factor into the cost of supplies to an artist which will then be passed to you in the final amount. Having thick black bold lines can also add more time to a tattoo to ensure even coverage and saturation. More time means more money. Most tattoo shops price based on how long the tattoo will take the artist to do. The more you want to be incorporated the longer it will take. 

Another factor is that will affect the price is the artist themselves. Becoming a tattoo artist isn’t as simple as walking into a shop and setting up. There is years of training that goes into becoming an accomplished and successful tattoo artist. More experienced artists will charge a higher rate than someone who is new, or doesn’t have the experience.  You generally get what you pay for in life, this is true in tattooing as well. A talented and established tattoo artist will cost more than someone who hasn’t been tattooing very long.

The main thing to remember when shopping around for a new tattoo is that you pay for what you get. A tattoo is a permanent decision that will be with you for years. Treat it as an investment and spend the time and money into getting a high quality piece of art that will last for years to come. 

There are sometimes when an experienced artist may not be the best or a talented artist. Just because someone has been doing it a long time doesn’t mean they are any good. This is where research and portfolio inspection is very important.

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