Top 6 Most Important Factors To Understanding Tattoo Costs & Pricing

At, we understand that getting a tattoo is not just a financial investment but also a personal one. We aim to provide you with comprehensive insights into the factors influencing tattoo costs so that you can make informed decisions. Here are some important factor that helps you to understand the process of tattoo costs and prices.

Tattoo Design Complexity

A design’s complexity is one of the primary factor in the price – the more complexity, the more time and expertise required from the artist.

Fine lines, complex shading, and multiple colors all contribute to a more complex design.

tattoo cost - cheap tattoo vs expensive tattoo

Artist Skill and Reputation

This one’s not hard to understand – the greater your artist’s tattooing skill, the more they can charge for their work.

Artists with extensive portfolios chock-full of solid work and great reviews usually have a higher price, as their work tends to be of a higher quality and they won’t have a lack of customers.

tattoo cost - cheap tattoo vs expensive tattoo

Tattoo Studio Location

Where a tattoo shop is located can tell you a lot. That’s because an area’s cost of living can impact, how much businesses there charge for their products and services, tattoos included.

Urban centers and other popular, high-traffic locales can drive prices up due to their higher overhead and often higher demand, while off-the-beaten-path shops in more rural areas can often offer lower prices.

The location of the shop itself can also tell you something about what you’ll pay for your tattoo.

Shops in trendy, urban neighborhoods are likely to have higher overhead and to charge more than ones in less-populated areas, or those that are in areas with lower living expenses.

Tattoo Size and Placement

The size and complexity of your tattoo go hand-in-hand with the final bill. Larger pieces require more time, skill, and resources.

Which naturally raises the cost of the tattoo. Complex designs often demand custom work, which also prompts a higher charge because of the artist’s efforts and attention to detail.

The size and placement of the tattoo on your body can also impact the cost of your next inking.

As a general rule of thumb, larger tattoos require more ink and more time to execute — hence, a higher price tag.

However, other factors can come into play to affect cost as well.

The placement of your tattoo can also affect pricing. Tattoos on certain areas of the body, like the ribs or inner biceps, are more challenging to execute and therefore could also influence the overall cost. Check out this table given below for approx price ideas for you.

Location + Type Size Average Cost
Ankle Small $50 – $250
Foot Small-Medium $150 – $450
Finger Small $50 – $150
Hand Small-Medium $100 – $250
Wrist Small-Medium $50 – $200
Forearm Small-Large $200 – $1,250
Bicep Small-Large $150 – $450
Tricep Small-Large $300 – $600
Shoulder Small-Large $350 – $900
Half-Sleeve Large $800 – $3,500+
Full-Sleeve Large $1,500 – $5,000+
Calf Small-Large $300 – $700
Thigh Small-Large $250 – $3,250+
Full-Leg Large $1,500 – $5,000+
Buttocks Small-Large $500 – $900
Privates (genitals) Small-Large $500 minimum*
Chest Small-Large $250 – $2,000+
Sternum Small-Medium $450 – $950
Back Small-Large $1,000 – $2,000
Full-Back Large $2,000 – $6,000+
Hip / Leg Small-Large $500 – $1,750+
Rib / Side Small-Large $500 – $700
Face Small-Medium $150 – $450
Eyebrow Small $400 – $600
Eyeliner + Cosmetic Small $80 – $1,000+
Lip/Inner Lip Small $150 – $650
Areola Small-Medium $250 – $900
Neck Small-Medium $50 – $250
Head Small-Large $450 – $750
Ear Small $50 – $250


Customization and Consultation

Artistic designs that require customization and professional consultations with the artist may come at an additional cost.

These services ensure that your ink reflects your unique style and specifications. Working closely with your artist through the design process can often lead to a more satisfying result.

Consultation and Deposit

You might be charged for a consultation or asked to put down a deposit before any work begins.

This is a vital part of the process, where your ideas can be discussed, possible designs can be reviewed, and a time to do the work is secured in the artist’s calendar.

tattoo cost - cheap tattoo vs expensive tattoo

Tattoo Aftercare Products

If you want your tattoo to look fresh and vibrant for as long as possible, proper aftercare is essential.

This includes using specialized ointments or moisturizers, many of which tattoo shops actually include in their pricing.

While you can always go for traditional products like Aquaphor, investing in high-quality aftercare products is an easy way to ensure proper healing and vibrancy for your tattoo.

Cost of tattooing includes more than just the studio.

On top of ointments, there are also wraps and lotions to consider for your healing.

These costs, which are typically nominal at best, should still be factored into your budgeting.


Buy Now:  Hustle Butter Tattoo Aftercare 5oz (2-Pack) Tattoo Balm, Heals + Protects New Tattoos.

Take a look at the important factors for tattoo cost and tattoo prices below with the help of table. 

Factors Influencing Tattoo Costs:

Factors Description
Tattoo Design Complexity The intricacy of the design, including details, shading, and color gradients.
Tattoo Size and Placement The size of the tattoo and its placement on the body, influencing ink and time requirements.
Artist Skill and Reputation The experience and reputation of the tattoo artist, reflecting their expertise and quality of work.
Tattoo Studio Location The geographical location of the tattoo studio, affecting overhead costs and pricing.
Customization and Consultation Customized designs and personalized consultations with the artist, adding value to the service.
Tattoo Aftercare Products The inclusion of aftercare products in the pricing, promoting healing and maintaining tattoo vibrancy.


To sum up, the cost of a tattoo varies by design complexity, size, and the skill of the artist. Moreover, studio location, custom pieces, and aftercare contribute to the cost of a new piece of body art.

Take the time to consider these factors and select a well-reputed tattoo artist and studio for a rewarding and satisfying tattoo experience.

After all, tattoos are deeply personal works of art that let us express our identities and emotions.

Knowing what they truly cost is all part of ensuring a satisfying, meaningful tattoo experience. Make yourself a part of your art through your attention to a simple but beautiful palette of intricate pricing — with this, you are not just getting ready financially, but truly braced to honor your story in a mark that will stand the test of time. is happy to provide you with extraordinary service on your quest to “be your own canvas.”

Read also: Tattoo Shops Near Me: A Guide for Tattoo Enthusiasts and First-Time Seekers

Sandra Pele
Sandra Pele
As a professional tattoo artist, Sandra Pele brings her creative expertise and passion for art to every design she creates. With years of experience in the industry, Sandra is known for her unique style, attention to detail, and ability to bring her clients’ visions to life. Check Out sandra's blog.

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