Tattoo prices are relatively high, and many people who are thinking about getting their first tattoo are shocked when they find out how much tattoos cost. While the prices of tattoos do vary a lot, you'll often pay around $40-$50 or more for even a small, simple tattoo. Larger and more complex designs can run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
So, if you're on a budget, as most are, you may be tempted to get a cheap tattoo in an effort to cut costs. However, this isn't normally a good idea. As in many areas of life, you do tend to get what you pay for when it comes to tattoos, and while the most expensive tattoo artists are not necessarily the absolute best, those who are offering tattoos at bargain basement prices are often doing so because they don't have the skills or experience to charge more. This isn't always the case of course, but you should always check an artist's portfolio of work, and not make your decision based on price alone.
You should also avoid any temptation to get a cheap tattoo from an unlicensed artist. Reputable tattoo parlours charges the prices they do because they have to maintain professional standards in terms of the equipment they use, sterilisation procedures etc, all of which cost money. This is why most tattoo shops have a fixed minimum price, and even the smallest and most simple tattoos may seem to be expensive for what they are. It's simply not worth putting your health at risk in the hands of the tattoo artist who doesn't invest time and money into following the correct procedures.
Look at it this way - you're going to be living with your tattoo for the rest of your life, so you want to be sure that you get one that you're completely happy with. And if you're not happy with it, you may end up spending a lot more than you paid getting it lasered off, so cheap tattoos really as a false economy.
Quality tattoos don't come cheap, so it's better to be patient and wait until you've saved up enough money to visit a reputable, skilled tattoo artist, than automatically choose the one who's charging the lowest price.
Ways To Save Money When Getting A Tattoo
However, there are some ways to save money when getting a tattoo. One of these is to opt for a relatively simple design, as more complex designs are more expensive since they require more time and effort on the part of the artist. If there is an intricate design you like, the artist may be able to simplify it for you somewhat, so it costs less. Having said this, it's still important to get the design you really want, rather than accepting a compromise you're not completely happy with.
Monochrome tattoos also tend to be a bit cheaper, not because the coloured ink is more expensive, but because tattoos that use lots of colours take longer to create.
Custom tattoos are also more expensive, so if you find an existing tattoo flash design that you're happy with, you won't need to pay extra to have a tattoo designed from scratch.
The area of your body on which you get the tattoo also influences the cost, as some areas are harder to tattoo than others. Obviously you should still get the tattoo in a place where you really want it, but if this isn't something you feel too strongly about, getting a tattoo in one of the less expensive areas is something to consider.
Tattoo prices also vary a lot according to the area of the country or the world that you live in. If you live in a region where tattoo costs are expensive, it might even be worth travelling to where they're cheaper, assuming you can find a tattoo artist of equivalent quality. Of course, you'll still need to bear your travel costs in mind.
Bear these considerations in mind, and you may be able to still get a relatively cheap tattoo without sacrificing quality or putting your health at risk.