How to Get a Tattoo Estimate

Updated April 17, 2017

Many different factors go into determining the cost of a tattoo. A tattoo artist will consider the size of the tattoo, its placement on the body, the amount of detail and the choice of colour when determining what to charge. Tattoo artists normally charge an hourly rate, which can vary greatly from artist to artist. There is generally a minimum price for any tattoo, as the cost of the materials used will always be a factor.

Decide what sort of a tattoo you want to get and how detailed you want it to be. Determine where on your body you want it, how large you want it to be and whether you want it in colour or black and grey.

Research tattoo artists in your area to find one or more whose work you like. Many tattoo artists have websites that include a portfolio of the tattoos they have done. If you have any friends or relatives with tattoos that you like, ask them who their tattoo artists are.

Make appointments to sit down and talk to the tattoo artists you are interested in working with. At the appointment, explain what sort of tattoo you want and where you want it. This will allow them to make an estimate of how long it will take, and how much it should cost.


If an estimate is more than you can afford, let the tattoo artist know your budget and he may be able to suggest ways to make it less expensive. It is customary to tip a tattoo artist for a job well done, so keep that in mind when you receive an estimate.


Because most tattoo artists charge by the hour, the final cost can exceed the estimate if the tattoo takes more time than expected.

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About the Author

Alane Michaelson began writing professionally in 2002. Her work has appeared in Michigan publications such as the "Detroit Free Press" and the "Flint Journal." Michaelson graduated from Oakland University in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.