How Are Tattoos Priced?


Quick Answer

Tattoos are usually priced at a flat rate or on an hourly basis. Price takes into account tattoo size, complexity, the number of colors in the design and whether the tattoo artist has to come up with an original design. Many tattoo shops offer both types of pricing.

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How Are Tattoos Priced?
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Full Answer

Flat fee pricing is usually used for tattoos that are stock items, often found posted on a shop's walls or in catalogs. Known as flash sheet designs, these can be large complex patterns that can cover a chest or tiny accent tattoos, such as hearts, butterflies or roses. The pricing may be affected by changing the size, colors, altering the design and by tattoo placement, but the agreement is reached before the work begins.

A good thing about flat fee pricing is that the cost is known up front. If the design takes longer than expected to complete, there is no extra charge. It's also good for planning ahead and saving up money to get the exact tattoo wanted.

Hourly fees are typically used for custom designed tattoos. These pieces are often large and may take more than one sitting to complete. The design may be drawn on paper and then transferred to the skin or drawn directly on the client. The tattoo artist estimates how long he plans to work on the piece, and then gives an estimate based on the shop's hourly rate.

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