The easiest way to determine if a local body piercing shop or local piercer is reputable in the United States is to go to the Association of Professional Piercers website to use its search tool to check if a body shop or piercer is registered with the APP. The APP has high standards that a shop must meet in order to qualify for registration, including compliance with local governing laws and safe piercing practices.
The Association of Professional Piercers requires that shops undergo a rigorous testing process to guarantee that they meet all of its standards before the shop is allowed to register with the APP. To find a shop on the APP website, go to its search tool and enter in your ZIP or postal code. The site then generates a list of local shops that comply with the APP's standards.
If there are no APP-approved local body piercing shops or piercers, visit potential local shops in person to meet with potential piercers, view pricing, examine their portfolios and inspect their facilities to determine for yourself which local shops are good places to receive piercings. When meeting the piercer, things to look for are a friendly and professional attitude, whether or not she dresses appropriately, and whether or not she is knowledgeable about the subject. A professional piercer should be comfortable answering your questions about aftercare and the piercer's preferred method of piercing. Also, check if the piercer is licensed by checking for displayed certificates.
If the price to get a piercing is especially cheap, it should serve as a warning that the shop is not reputable. The piercer should also have a portfolio showcasing various piercings performed on different body parts. The shop should be clean, hygienic and display any relevant local licenses.