Inside: Let’s talk about the money, what is the average Tattoo Cost right now & how to make your next body art affordable.
Did you know that full body tattoos can cost up to $100,000? That seems obscene! However, for most people, the average price of a tattoo can vary between hundreds or thousands of dollars at maximum.
If you’re looking to get your very own tattoo, then you’ll need a guide on the current average tattoo cost.
So, here’s a rundown of the average cost of a tattoo in 2022, and how to get the best deal.
The cost of tattoos can vary widely depending on the time taken, the size, the complexity of design, etc. However, there are certain cost averages which you should be aware of.
A low-end, small tattoo will cost around $50-$150. This cost exponentially rises depending on the size and design. Average sized tattoos can cost $250 and up. High-End tattoo parlors can charge upwards of $800 to thousands of dollars.
The average cost of a tattoo varies because there are so many factors which influence price.
What Are The Biggest Pricing Factors?
1. Body Part
The body part that you request the tattoo for can influence the price because of the difficulty reaching certain places.
Easily visible places on exposed areas not covered by clothing like your forearm or neck are easier to do. However, if you want tattoos on the lower back, rear or the inside of your leg, then it costs extra.
2. Size or Length
This is perhaps the most obvious reason the average tattoo price varies. The bigger or longer a tattoo is, the longer it’ll take to create, and the more materials will be used.
So, the longer or bigger it is, the more it’ll cost. And the smaller the tattoo (all other things equal), theoretically the more affordable it will be!
While most artists don’t charge per letter, this is not an unheard-of practice. A short word tattoo ranging from 2-4 inches can cost $50-$200. In this case, it’s better to discuss the font, length, and colors with your artist beforehand.
The complexity of the design of the tattoo will definitely affect the price. Your skin stretches and contracts unpredictably due to stimuli. Hence, a steady and experienced hand is needed to design complex artwork. The more complex it is, the more you’ll need to pay.
4. Hourly Rate
Tattoo artists charge higher hourly rates depending on their experience and expertise. Like any artist, e.g. sculptor, painter, musician, etc. the better and more famous you get, the more your charge.
Hiring a basic tattoo artist can cost anywhere from $120-$150 per hour. However, this can rise to thousands of dollars per hour if they are extremely experienced.
5. Materials Used
The more expensive the material, the more expensive the tattoo. At times, you can’t help but go with the artist; since the tattoo won’t look good without the right materials. However, discussing the materials beforehand will help reduce cost.
6. The City/Town or Tattoo Parlor
The city, town or tattoo parlor you go to will massively affect the average tattoo price. High end parlors or expensive cities will always generate a higher bill.
4 Tips to Get the Best/Cheapest Deal
So how can we make this passion a bit more affordable? While the average tattoo price varies across state & city lines, it can vary across the same area too.
Here are 4 tips to help you drive down the average cost of a tattoo.
1. Shop Around
It’s a no-brainer that you should shop around before you commit to a tattoo artist. You can probably get some of the greatest tattoo art done at a discount if you do a little window shopping. The least you can do is check out nearby tattoo parlors on Google maps. Checking out their ratings and reviews will give you an idea about their practices and their general quality.
Then you can go look for yourself and choose the best one for you.
2. Search for Discounts and Deals on Instagram/TikTok/Facebook
You’ll probably come up with some discount codes or promos if you search social media. Lots of tattoo artists broadcast their art and their business through Instagram and TikTok. You’ll also be surprised to find quite a few on Facebook.
To get new customers, they sometimes offer discounts. And don’t think you’ll get a bad deal on a discount. Even the most high end stores offer discounts and special sales.
3. Choose a Flat Rate
Sometimes tattoo artists take longer to complete an assignment than they anticipated. Material shortage, equipment problems, or even not having the right colors can hinder the final result. Hence, you should probably negotiate a flat rate rather than an hourly rate with your tattoo artist.
You may think an expensive bill is due at first, but it will probably be lower than the hourly rate total.
4. Negotiate in Good Faith
You can negotiate for a better rate with tattoo artists. It’s not something that is unheard of. Have a face-to-face conversation and maybe you two can reach a compromise. It’s not like they’ll pass up a chance to make money.
However, you need to be reasonable as well. You shouldn’t say that something is your final rate beforehand. Ask them what they can do and how much they’ll do it for. If you plan on getting more tattoos later on, you’ll need to establish a relationship with the artist. You may be in store for better rates if you become a regular customer.
Using these tips, you’ll be able to drive down the price of a tattoo.
More Great Tattoo Knowledge You Should Know
- What is a Tramp Stamp – In the late 90’s tattoos on the lower backs of women became a highly sought after means of expression with a naughty twist. They were highlighted by certain types of clothing and became quite the rave. By the late 90’s the term “Tramp Stamp” became the descriptor for these erotic tattoos. Read more about Tramp Stamps in our article.
- Tattoo Peeling Tips – Tattoo peeling is one of the least fun parts about getting a new tattoo. Don’t worry though, it is a natural part of the healing process and will not have a negative effect on your tattoo long term. While uncomfortable and at times a bit alarming, peeling is no big deal. Read our expert advice on what to do with tattoo peel.
- What is an Autoclave – An autoclave is a machine that uses steam under pressure to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores on items that are placed inside a pressure vessel. The items are heated to an appropriate sterilization temperature for a given amount of time.