Why are Tattoo so Expensive?


Why are Tattoo so Expensive?

Why do tattoos cost so much and are they worth the money? Good tats aren’t cheap, and cheap tattoos aren’t good. Industry expert article made for you.

Why is a tattoo expensive?

Getting a tattoo is basically like creating your own piece of art and because the results are permanent, it makes sense that you should want the best possible quality work you can get. Quality work takes skill and time.

And a lot of the tattoo price essentially comes down to the total time spent on the service, from designing the tattoo to changes made, to how long it takes to apply it to your skin. The artist you choose to go with, may also be highly experienced or is a big name and this can mean higher base prices for tattooing also.


But remember, this is also a business too, so not all of that money will go to the artist. Only a portion goes to the person doing the work. At least half  goes to the shop to cover things like rent, utilities, licensing, insurance, sterilization, spore tests, office and medical supplies management and staff when necessary. It does take a lot to run a nice clean shop.

On top of that  the tattooer pays for inks which can differ in costs, needles or needle cartridges, cords, power supplies and foot switches. All of these are either disposable or will eventually need replacement. Even power supplies wear out!


For example the cost of a high-quality tattoo machine will start at around €500 and quickly go up from there. Tattoo artists also have a constant outflow of professional costs as well as their personal costs.

So now you know all this, it’s reasonable to say that tattoos are not that expensive given the amount of work and equipment needed to give you something you will love forever.

This popular topic got some relevant coverage and testimonies on forums like Quora and Reddit if you give it a go that might help you build more knowledge about why tattoos are expensive.

How much should tattoos cost?

In order for a tattoo artist to make a living the price should be between €100-€200 per hour. These costs can depend on how tricky the location is,  the amount of work or skills required and the level of experience of the artists. So if you want a good quality tattoo you should keep these costs in mind.

You can get lower and specifically look for a beginner or a junior artist. But here we would still advise not to drop the price of the tattoo too low. It is a piece of art after all and most tattoo apprentices will be closely supervised by a more experienced mentor.


If you do see prices under €100 per hour then really this should ring alarm bells. We’d certainly advise you to look elsewhere. Because good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos simply aren’t good. And we simply can’t stress that enough.

As well as the bigger studios able to offer prices at scale, there are fantastic tattoo artists working from private studios or from their homes. You’ll find that some of these artists are not cheap and these are the ones you should find out more about.

However, most of the time beware of a cheaper artist working privately or from home. Generally, there’s a reason they aren’t in a tattoo studio. And it’s not because they don’t want to work for someone else or be their own boss, as tattoo artists are independent workers carrying their own business anyway.


Cheap private tattoo artists raise red flags such as their work is not good enough to be accepted into a reputable tattoo shop. Or they may have personal problems like substance abuse. They may also just have a difficult personality that clashes with others.

That’s not to say they are all like that. We just want to be careful. Some private tattooists are amazing artists with great personalities. But prices per hour are a good tool to help you to avoid getting a poor quality tattoo that will cost you more later in laser removal or a cover up.

Are tattoos worth the money?

While you may consider tattoos to be expensive, if you really want one it’s worth the money. On the other hand, a cheap tattoo is definitely not worth it in the long run. Why? Cheap tats will require the additional expense of maintenance and fixes. Not to mention, a possible cover-up or removal in the future.

But really only you can answer the question of whether it’s worth it for yourself. If you are into tattoos, you already know tattoos are worth the money. So it’s down to whether you want one.


While tattoos are expensive, you’ll get to enjoy them for the rest of your life. Think about how much you are spending on clothing, restaurants or even alcohol and cigarettes for a year. It’s often much more than a piece of art that will last forever.

So what else can you buy for a few hundred euros that will last the rest of your life? Some people even argue the fact that unlike money or physical goods, tattoos are a piece of art you can wear and take your tattoos with you “when you go.”


Additionally, tattoos are an amazing way to express yourself and make a statement about who you are. Tattoos help to raise your sense of self and your self-esteem. Having people notice the amazing piece of art you have on your body is a powerful statement. Most of our customers love to show off their tattoos and say they are happier with it. So that sounds like something that’s definitely worth the money.

Is it rude to ask how much a tattoo will cost?

No, not at all. It’s natural and common to ask how much you will pay. It is an investment after all, and not cheap. So all professional tattoo artists will give you an approximate quotation for your tattoo.


It’s never rude to ask and most tattoo artists are happy to usually at a consultation. Check our team page and find the right artist for your next ink.

Get in touch and ask.

Got more questions?

We hope this gives you all the information you need around the cost of tattoos. But if there’s something in particular we haven’t covered, we’ll be more than happy to discuss that with you. Reach out to us if needed, we’re happy to help!

Additionally, we are covering other topics to prepare you for your next tattoo session you might be interested in:

How long do I have to wait for my Tattoo drawing?

What kind of tattoo should cover my scar or stretch marks?

Should I shave (the area to be tattooed) before the Tattoo appointment?