Do Tattoo Artists Offer Refunds?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on March 22, 2023
    Last Updated: April 7, 2023

Tattoos are a form of art that are becoming increasingly popular in modern society. Tattoo artists are skilled professionals who take pride in their work and aim to create pieces that are both unique and meaningful for their clients. However, what happens if you’re not happy with the end result? Can you get a refund? Let’s explore this topic further.

Can You Get a Refund for a Tattoo?

When it comes to refunds for tattoos, it’s important to note that the decision is ultimately up to the individual tattoo artist. Some may offer refunds as part of their policy, while others may not. This is why it’s crucial to research the artist you’re interested in and their policies before booking an appointment.

Many tattoo artists require a deposit to secure a booking, which may or may not be refundable. In some cases, the deposit may be non-refundable if the client cancels or reschedules within a certain timeframe before the appointment. This is because the artist may have turned down other clients to accommodate your booking, and losing your business can result in a loss of income.

Once the tattoo is completed, the refund policy may be subject to specific conditions, such as a limit to the amount of the refund or a specific timeframe within which you can request a refund. For example, some artists may only offer a refund if the client requests it within 24-48 hours of the tattoo being completed.

It’s also important to keep in mind that tattoos are a form of body modification and carry some level of risk. Therefore, some tattoo artists may require clients to sign a waiver or release form that acknowledges the risks associated with getting a tattoo. This may also impact their refund policy, as they may not be willing to refund clients for issues that arise due to the inherent risks involved in getting a tattoo.

When Might a Tattoo Artist Decide to Offer a Refund?

While it’s ultimately up to the individual tattoo artist to decide whether or not to offer refunds, there are certain situations where a refund may be more likely. Here are some examples:

  1. The artist made a mistake: If the tattoo artist made a significant mistake, such as misspelling a word or drawing the wrong design, they may be more inclined to offer a refund or free touch-up session to correct the error.
  2. The client experiences an adverse reaction: Although it’s rare, some people may experience an adverse reaction to the tattoo ink or the process of getting a tattoo. In these cases, the artist may offer a refund or free touch-up session as a gesture of goodwill.
  3. The client is dissatisfied with the final result: While it’s not always a guarantee, some tattoo artists may offer a refund or free touch-up session if the client is genuinely unhappy with the final result. It’s worth noting that this may be subject to certain conditions, such as a specific timeframe or the artist’s discretion.
  4. The artist is unable to complete the tattoo: In some cases, the tattoo artist may not be able to complete the tattoo due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a medical emergency or equipment failure. In these cases, a refund may be offered as a courtesy to the client.

It’s important to note that these are just a few examples, and every situation is unique. Ultimately, the decision to offer a refund or free touch-up session is up to the tattoo artist’s discretion and their individual policies. It’s always best to have a consultation beforehand and discuss any concerns or questions you may have with the artist.

How to Approach a Tattoo Artist for a Refund

If you’re unhappy with your tattoo and would like to request a refund, it’s essential to approach the tattoo artist in a respectful and professional manner. Here are some tips on how to do so:

Schedule a Meeting with The Artist

It’s best to approach the artist in person or schedule a phone call or meeting to discuss your concerns. This allows you to have a direct conversation with the artist and explain your issues in detail.

Be specific about the issue

It’s important to clearly communicate the issue with the tattoo and provide specific examples of what you’re unhappy with. This can help the artist understand your perspective and determine if a refund or free touch-up session is warranted.

Refer to The Artist’s Policies

If the artist has a specific refund policy, it’s helpful to refer to this during your conversation. This can help both you and the artist understand the parameters of the refund policy and whether or not a refund is possible.

Remain calm and Respectful

It’s important to remain calm and respectful during your conversation with the artist, even if you’re feeling frustrated or upset. Remember, the artist is a professional and deserves to be treated with respect.

Be Open to A Compromise

In some cases, the artist may be willing to offer a compromise, such as a free touch-up session or partial refund. It’s important to be open to these options and work with the artist to find a resolution that works for both parties.

Alternative Solutions to Refunds

When a client is unhappy with their tattoo, a refund may not always be the best solution for both parties. Fortunately, there are alternative solutions that can address the issue without the artist having to provide a full or partial refund. Here are some examples:

Free Touch-Up Session

A free touch-up session is a common alternative solution to a refund. If the issue with the tattoo is minor, the artist may offer to correct the problem free of charge. This can be a good compromise, as it allows the artist to make things right without having to refund the entire cost of the tattoo. The touch-up session can be scheduled at a later date, after the initial tattoo has fully healed.

Discounted Future Work

Another alternative solution to refunds is for the artist to offer a discount on future work for the client. This allows the artist to maintain the business relationship and potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one. This can be a good option for clients who are satisfied with the artist’s work overall but had issues with one specific tattoo. The discount can be applied to a future tattoo or other services the artist provides.

Cover-Up or Redesign

If the issue with the tattoo is significant, the artist may offer to cover up the tattoo or redesign it at a reduced cost. This can be a win-win solution, as it allows the artist to fix the issue and potentially generate additional business in the future. The cost of the cover-up or redesign would be less than the cost of the original tattoo, and the client would have a new tattoo that they are satisfied with.

Referral to Another Artist

In some cases, the artist may not be able to provide a suitable solution to the client’s issue. If this is the case, the artist may refer the client to another artist who is better suited to address the issue. This can be a good option for clients who are seeking a specific style or have a complex issue that the initial artist is not able to fix. The referral can be a win-win for both the client and the artist, as the artist maintains their reputation by ensuring the client receives quality work.


Whether or not tattoo artists offer refunds depends on their individual policy. It’s crucial to do your research before booking an appointment and to have a consultation with your artist beforehand. If you’re unhappy with your tattoo after the procedure, speak to your artist directly and refer to their refund policy if necessary.

Remember, tattoos are permanent, so take the time to ensure that you’re making an informed decision.

Related Tattoo Articles