Price is always a factor when getting a tattoo and many would love to get a tattoo price estimate before they step into the shop. Estimates are a little easier to give than an exact price and, in this case, you can get an idea of what it might cost you based on other tattoos people have gotten in your area with similar tattoos.
There are plenty of factors that are considered when looking for an estimate on your next tattoo. We will dig into these factors but some examples are the complexity of the tattoo, who the artist is, if the artist is famous, how long they have been tattooing, what city is the shop in and others with that. These are all things that will be the difference between a $50 tattoo and one that costs $2000.
In this post we are going to review the different factors that impact the price of your tattoo so you can get a better idea of what you will end up paying. Getting a tattoo price estimate is going to be all over the place if you don’t know what your getting but hopefully by reading some of this reasoning below, you can have a better idea of what your next tattoo will cost you.
Tattoo Price Estimates
Below are some estimates to give you some sort of idea of what your tattoo will cost. Don’t use this as gospel though because below these estimates we will talk about all the different factors and why they change the price of your tattoo.
Small Black and Grey Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a small black and grey tattoo could run you anywhere from $20 to $160.
Small Color Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a small color tattoo could run you anywhere from $30 to $200.
Medium Black and Grey Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a medium black and grey tattoo could run you anywhere from $40 to $300.
Medium Color Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a medium color tattoo could run you anywhere from $50 to $350.
Large Black and Grey Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a large black and grey tattoo could run you anywhere from $100 to $3,500.
Large Color Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a large color tattoo could run you anywhere from $140 to $4,000.
Half Sleeve Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a half sleeve tattoo could run you anywhere from $300 to $1,500.
Full Sleeve Tattoo Estimate
Depending on the shop you choose and the artist, a full sleeve tattoo could run you anywhere from $500 to $3,000.
Tattoo Estimate Factors
The Skill and Experience of the Tattoo Artist
So, this is probably the biggest factor you will be dealing with as the longer an artist has been tattoo, the more he or she is able to charge for their time. However, just because an artist has been tattooing for years doesn’t mean they are the best artist out there.
You might find an artist that will charge a high amount simply because they have been tattooing for long time. This could also be the sort of artist that hasn’t evolved in 20 years and hasn’t taken the time to try to learn and grow. On the other hand, you might find an artist that has only been tattooing for a couple years but just have that “It” factor. Chances are, you are going to pay less for the artist that has only been tattooing a few years compared to the artist that has been tattooing for years.
On a side note, don’t forget to tip your tattoo artist because they are working hard for you. No matter which artist you choose or how long they’ve been tattooing, they deserve a tip.
Popularity and Exposure of Artist
This is all connected but if you choose to go to a really popular artist, chances are you are going to be waiting to get in to see them and you are going to be paying a premium for this. The artist might have built a reputation over the years or gotten great exposure through media. Either way, the chances are high that you will be paying for their popularity so if you don’t mind paying a little extra for the chance to work with a well-known artist, by all means, do it. If you want to save a little money, do your research and find an artist that doesn’t have as much exposure. You might find a gem of an artist that just hasn’t gotten their name out there yet and with the availability of Instagram and Facebook to see portfolios, you don’t even have to go into the shop.
Shop Popularity and Location
Another factor you must take into consideration when trying to get a price for your new tattoo is how popular or famous the shop is. The artist might not even have an option in terms of charging more money because the shop might be charging them more to rent the space. In this case, an artist at the same skill level and time put in will cost more in a well-known shop than one in a small town.
This goes right into where the shop is located. We all know cost of living is a real thing so you can expect to pay higher prices in shops in Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago than you would in small town Alabama.
Then of course you have all the factors that would make the artist take longer on your tattoo. The complexity of the tattoo, the size of the tattoo, what colors you are using and the placement of the tattoo all factor into how long the tattoo will take and most artists charge by the hour.
So, take your time in looking for an artist and don’t be cheap about it. You get what you pay for.