How much should your tattoo cost you?

A tattoo can be expensive; especially if you choose a large or complicated design. As mentioned in the previous chapter the more reputable parlors also charge a bit more, but this is an expense well worth accepting if it stops you from developing any complications and the work is of a higher standard. Hopefully, you will find a quality shop that is within your budget, but even then you will have a few more decisions to reach.

When you decide to have a tattoo then you should be aware that there is a tendency for the cheaper work to look cheap; you get what you pay for in other words. Different parlors choose different ways of calculating the cost of the work; for example if you wish to use your own design then the tattoo artist will likely charge you by the hour. If you are expecting the artist to design as well as do the tattoo then you could be talking a quite a bit of money. The larger and more complex the tattoo the higher the cost; for example a full back tattoo that takes hours and hours of intense work could cost as well over ten thousand dollars, and could rise to nearer twenty thousand dollars.

In order to get the best price it is important that you have an idea about what type of design you want; if possible have an example of the actual design. You should then take the design to a parlor that meets your specifications and get them to give you a quote as to the final cost for this work. Remember that any parlor you select should also meet your other criteria such as minimum hygiene practices; again, don’t let cost be the only factor in your decision. Have a friendly chat with the tattoo artist who you would like to do the work and see how they deal with your requests and concerns. Don’t put cost before quality either; this tattoo is going to be on your body for a long time so it needs to be something that you are proud about. Look at examples of previous work, and make sure that the artist feels confident with your design. The really cheap parlors will tend to have far lower quality end products – bear this in mind all the time.

You may find a parlor that offers to do the work for you at a very reasonable price, but don’t be too eager to just jump at this offer – think about it long and hard. You don’t want this value for money to be at the sacrifice of your health or for it to mean that you will be receiving a shoddy tattoo. Remember that you tend to get what you pay for. A more expensive tattoo will often mean a more talented artist working in a far safer environment.

If you are satisfied with the work done on your tattoo then it is customary to give a tip. This will really show appreciation for any extra work that the artist has put into the design. It is the extra care and attention to detail that will make your tattoo some much more special so it is only fair that good work should receive a reward; your tattoo artist is likely to really appreciate whatever you can afford to pay extra. It will encourage them to put in similar high standard effort in the future.