Why are tattoos so expensive?

A lot of people wonder why tattoos are so expensive?! Even that little small cross on my wrist has to cost €60?!

In this video, we tried to explain why tattoo studios have a minimum charge and why does it cost so much!!!

Please note that everything we are going to write here will differ slightly from one studio to another. Rates also will be different depending on the artist and country.
This is only to give you a general idea why your artist is not necessarily trying to rip you off by charging you what they charge.

How much does a tattoo cost?

Some artists charge by the hour, some will charge by the piece.
Although these days hourly charge is more popular.

Tattoo artists set their prices according to their skills, quality of work, and experience.

This is why you should not shop around for the best price, but the best quality. It is definitely better to wait until you can afford to pay for a quality service from experienced artist work you love instead of haggling over prices.

It’s the same with plastic surgeons, the best once charge the most because when it comes to your body and health you don’t want to go cheap, you are investing in yourself

But please don’t assume every artist that charges a lot is good!

price skills quality tattoo

So why is it so expensive?

Let’s start with the fact, that in most of the cases when you come in into a tattoo studio there is usually someone at the desk that will have a chat with you, explain some stuff listen to your ideas and also try to match your idea with the best artist in the studio.

They also do the booking for you, take deposits, write you an appointment card, answers your emails and phone calls and also confirms your appointment. And that person needs to get paid for their job.

Then there is a consultation time you spend with the artist and time they spend later on designing your tattoo.

Sometimes designing can take good couple of hours!

Usually, the deal in tattoo studios is that tattoo artists get only 40-60% of what the actually hourly rate is as the rest of it goes into the studio to pay for the overheads

-Manager
-Receptionist
-Rent
-Cleaning
-Tax
-Insurance
-Bills

why tattoos are so expensive?!

List of the equipment needed to perform a tattoo

So why there is a MINIMUM CHARGE?

Because of all the above and many more, I am going to show you in a sec.

Let’s see what happens with a 60e minimum charge for a tattoo:

– Artist need to prepare the design (even if it’s small and simple it still needs to be fixed, changed a bit, or redrawn
– Then it needs to be printed, stencil needs to be prepared.
– It usually takes about 30min before artist can start tattooing

Here is a list of products that are needed to prepare and perform a small minimum charge tattoo:

– Paper and art supply €0,50
– Printer ink €0,05-0,25
– Stencil paper €0,5
– 2 disposable ink cups + ink €4
– 2 disposable needles €1,5
– 2 disposable tubes €2,5
– Bag to cover squirt bottle €0,10
– Bag to cover tattoo machine €0,10
– Tattoo station cover €0,20
– Stencil solution €0,10
– Alcohol €0,10
– Tattoo bed cover €0,20
– Vaseline/tattoo lube €0,15
– Green soap €0,10
– Distilled water + plastic cup €0,30
– Cleaning products €0,50
– 4 pairs of gloves €0,50
– Razors €0,20
– Rubber bands €0,10
– Paper towels €1,20
– More often now, also a protective wrap / second skin €1

tattoo price difference

Tattoo artists do interfere with human bodies and their insurance is the same as the doctors insurance, that does cost quite a lot of money.

Of course, the bigger / more detailed tattoo the more preparation and tattooing time, as well as products and equipment are needed.

So from the minimum price of 60e that you pay.
About €30 goes to the artist.
About €15 are the variable expenses, add fixed expenses like rent, bills etc and you really don’t have much left.

As you can see it is not as much as you thought that they make for the work that requires so much responsibility, experience, knowledge and precision.

About The Author

Founder of MasterPieceTattoos

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4 Responses

  1. yaron

    it’s was well written and insightful, but i have something to add about the quality issue, some people understand it even subconsciously, and some don’t. getting a tattoo is a best efforts contract, when you go and pay an artist he obliged to do the best he can.
    imagine your going to a lawyer, you wouldn’t pay a high profile firm, the same amount you pay to a beginning lawyer. not only because of the name but because of the experience, the mileage that he accumulated which will benefit you as a current customer of a more professional artist.
    now, the important thing to remember is that your not buying the artist’s name, your buying all those hours of practice and experience that made him at a professional level that he is now.
    i think that most people that complain about prices need to get one unsatisfying tattoo and having to go to another artist to fix it to understand that what is cheap is actually expensive,

    Reply
    • sylwia

      Totally agree. We can do another one on that issue. The most important I think is the fact that lawyers, for example, do have to go through years of schools and exams that prove their ability to do a good job. In the case of the tattoo artists… not so much and that is indeed something people do not understand just yet. But we will try to fix it 😉

      Reply

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