I often get asked by people looking to get a tattoo how much do you think this will cost? Of course each person has their own unique design in mind and everyone wants to know exactly how much their design is going to cost them. However, pricing tattoos is very difficult. You can not give a simple answer to a question like that. The price of a tattoo can vary on a lot of factors. However, here is a general guide so you know some of the factors and some price ranges that would be considered decent.
First Factor: The Shop
Every shop has it’s own pricing guidelines and even every tattoo artist in the shop might have their own ways of pricing a tattoo. The more famous the shop or artist is the more expensive the tattoo will be. Also the price can change depending on how busy the shop is at the time you go in. If they are packed up with clients then they are going to quote you a much higher price then if they are looking for work.
Second Factor: The Design
Another factor that goes into the final price of the tattoo is the design itself. If you have a really large tattoo design in mind and you want the art work to be drawn by the tattoo artist it is going to cost a significant amount more then if you have some flash design that you found at their shop on the wall. So the size of the design and the difference between custom drawn and flash will significantly change the price.
Third Factor: Time
Another factor that always goes into pricing the tattoo design is the amount of time it will take to do the work. A large back piece is going to take a significant number of hours over a small wrist tattoo. If you are looking for something really big like a full back tattoo or a body suit you are going to be spending lots of hours over multiple visits to the tattoo shop and it is going to cost a huge amount of money. You should easily spend thousands of dollars for a full back tattoo. However, small designs that can be done quickly in one sitting of 30 minutes to an hour are obviously going to cost much less.
First and foremost don’t ever go bargain shopping for a tattoo design. Do you really want the guy that is the cheapest to do you tattoo design? This is a permanent tattoo design that you are going to live with for the rest of your life and you do not want it coming out all messed up just to save a few bucks. Second you do not ever want to try and negotiate or bargain down a tattoo artist. This will infuriate the artist and can often offend them. Most tattoo artists do their work for a living. Yes they might love creating designs and making tattoos but in the end they do this to put food on their plate and pay the bills. They have worked hard to get to the level they are at and be able to charge the prices they are charging. Negotiating with them is like doubting their skills. With that in mind you do not want to negotiate and you do not want to go with the lowest price it can be wise to search a few different shops and get quotes from different artists. Thus way you can find an artist that you connect well with and someone who you like their designs. The price often will seem reasonable to you if you shop around and find an artist that you really like.
So this gets us down to the question we started with so how much will my tattoo design be? Obviously due to what is stated above this is hard to answer. However here is a general guideline that can help you but it into some ranges and perspective.
Small tattoo design (wrist, foot, ankle) – Between $50 and $150
Medium tattoo design (forearm, leg, upper back, lower back) – Between $150 to $500
Large tattoo design (Full back, sleeve, full leg) – Between $500 to $2,000