Why Are Tattoos So Expensive?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: October 12, 2021

A tattoo is a unique piece of art placed on your body. It’s permanent and as such you want it to be the best quality and the best looking tattoo ever seen. Good tattoos can be expensive but you do get what you pay for.

All tattoo studios price their tattoos slightly differently. Some charge per hour and some charge based on the size of the tattoo and the detail involved.

There are lots of overheads in running a tattoo studio, especially for the top equipment and sterilizing tools. If there’s one thing that you don’t want to scrimp on it’s hygiene. The tattoo studio that you use should be hygienic and all equipment cleaned thoroughly.

You could certainly find a cheaper tattoo artist around but is this what you want? You get what you pay for so if you pay cheap, you may end up with a cheap-looking tattoo that you’re stuck with forever.

What’s Included in the Cost?

The tattoo artist that you choose should be professionally trained. This will make sure that they are suitable to give you the amazing tattoo that you are looking for. Training and certification along with good insurance costs money, but this is an important element of any tattoo.

The tattoo that you choose may not be the biggest but it could contain lots of intricate details and some color. This will take time to complete and as such will cost more money. However, getting it right is key as you will have the tattoo forever and don’t want to be disappointed from day one.

Why Are Tattoos so Expensive?

Tattoos are a unique work of art that will be with you for the rest of your life. With that in mind, you shouldn’t compromise on quality or the hygiene standards in the tattoo studio just to save a bit of money. You are paying for the artist’s expertise and this shouldn’t be compromised.

When deciding to get a tattoo you should consider the costs. If you can’t afford what you want at that point, you should either choose a simpler, smaller design or start saving your money to get the tattoo that you want. 

The correct licenses, training and insurance cost lots of money but you shouldn’t go to a tattoo artist without these to save a little. If you want the vibrant, stunning tattoo that you have dreamt of, you may need to pay a little more for it. By paying less you’re leaving yourself wide open for mistakes to be made and you’ll be the one stuck with the mistakes.

Do Tattoo Artists Keep All the Money?

The tattoo artist won’t keep all of the money that you pay to them, even if they own the studio. They need to pay rent and utility bills just to keep the studio open. On top of that, they should be investing in state-of-the-art equipment to provide the best options to you. 

It’s important to have a hygienic tattoo studio and all the sterilizing gear, equipment covers, gloves, bandages and cleaning products don’t come cheap.

The tattoo studio needs to have the correct licenses and all artists working there should be continually trained and insured. This takes a huge chunk of the money paid to the tattoo artist. 

Can I Ask the Tattoo Artists Rate?

There’s no problem with asking the tattoo artist their rate or discussing the cost of a tattoo before agreeing to have it done. It’s a great question that will be appreciated. They don’t want you turning up for your tattoo appointment unprepared, with not enough money to pay for it.

Asking the rate will give you an idea of what you can afford and will give you the chance to think realistically about what size or type of tattoo you can afford. 

You can discuss the cost with the tattoo artist if you can’t afford the tattoo that you wanted. They will be able to come up with some ideas as to what you can get for the money you have. Most tattoo artists will require a deposit before starting the work, this is normal practice and just covers everyone.


Tattoos can appear to be expensive when you hear the cost for the first time. However, there is a lot of work involved in getting the perfect tattoo for you and it’s something that you shouldn’t compromise on.

Your tattoo is a unique piece of art that will be with you forever and you need to bear this in mind when looking at the costs. You get what you pay for and you don’t want anything less than perfect.

We hope that we’ve answered your question and you now understand the work that goes into a tattoo and the associated costs.