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How Much Does a Tattoo Cost?

Updated on January 28, 2016
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Whitney is an expert on piercings and tattoos with experience in the body modification world.

Thinking About Getting a Tattoo

One of the more common tattoo questions I hear—besides "Is it going to hurt?" and "What should I get?"—is, "How much is it going to cost?" The short answer is: It depends!

The price of a tattoo depends on a number of elements, so it's impossible to just throw out a dollar amount.

Just remember that the cost will vary depending on your tattoo and where you're getting it done. It is best to ask your tattoo artist for a proper estimate, but here you can check out the different factors that will play a part in the cost of the tattoo.

Factors That Determine the Price

The following factors will determine how much your tattoo will cost.

  • Placement: Where you decide to place the tattoo on your body.
  • Design: The more elaborate the design, the more it will cost you.
  • Colors: The more colors the design entails, the more the tattoo will cost.
  • Size: Bigger tattoos are more expensive.
  • Flash or original: If you choose a tattoo right off of the flash, the artist just needs to copy and tweak, rather than come up with an original design. Some artists factor in the time spent drawing the tattoo into the final cost.
  • Time: Some tattoo shops charge an hourly fee, so depending on how long it takes, the final price may increase.
  • Location: The price will vary by your location and the individual shop and artist.

More expensive tattoo, because of its size, color, and detail.
More expensive tattoo, because of its size, color, and detail.
Less expensive tattoo, due to being a smaller design in black ink.
Less expensive tattoo, due to being a smaller design in black ink.

Ask Around

Tattoo shops commonly charge by the hour, with quality artists generally charging between $150 and $250 per hour. Most have a minimum charge of around $100, meaning a simple tattoo that takes less than an hour will cost that much.

If this is your first tattoo, you will want to make sure to find a good artist, not just the cheapest guy who will do the job.

  • Ask friends and family for personal experience.
  • Go to tattoo shops and ask to see portfolios of their more recent work.

You want to make sure that you get your money's worth because tattoos are permanent, unless you spend the extra money to get it removed. Make sure that you're happy and comfortable with the artist before making your final decision.

Because the price will vary between artists, seeing one's portfolio and style of work may help you decide.

Consider:

  • Guy A charges $100 for poor quality.
  • Guy B charges $200 for average quality.
  • Guy C charges $150 for decent (better than average) quality.
  • Guy D charges $250 for great quality.

The final decision about what price you're willing to pay for a certain level of quality is up to you.

Choosing a Tattoo, Aftercare, and Removal

Three stages to the average tattoo include:

Make the right decisions when choosing and caring for your tattoo. Cheaper isn't always better, but neither is the most expensive.

Comments

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      Cheyenne 2 weeks ago

      Hi I really want a tattoo and really want this particular one can you help me decided I am 18 years old and just really want to know which one should I choose okay this is how one looks like this its a heart and they have needles on it are my boyfriends name i've been dating him for 4 years a very long realshionship and his name is john I just want to know all of yall 's advice but I know what your going to say about the name a name can never get of only if u let go and that's what a lot of my friends tell me a.......…………

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      Taylor 7 weeks ago

      I want three butterflies on my thigh it'll have the birthstone color of my dad and mom and close friend that just died it'll only be 4 inches long ways and horizontal and each butterfly will go smaller and be 3 inches by 3 inches and then 2 inches by 2 inches

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      chintu 3 months ago

      I hand tattoo on my wrist mom and dad in letters with colour

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      Karina 3 months ago

      Way do you charge so much money for a tattoo

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      Courtney 5 months ago

      i want a small 3 bird tatt on my wrist, i don't know how much it will cost.

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      Kimberly 5 months ago

      I live in hammond la how much names on arm

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      shannon whitehead 8 months ago

      This is my first tattoo and want a name tattoo on the back of my neck How much? how long would it take? the name is 5 letters long

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      Brittney 9 months ago

      how much would a tattoo saying Live in Braille on my wrist cost

    • Slytherin Designs profile image

      Slytherin Designs 14 months ago

      I want a 1x1 Deathly Hallows symbol on my chest, and a 2x4 "Always." -S.S. on my butt. How much would that cost?

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      Sarah 16 months ago

      I want my sons name on my back Kayden-Riley does anyone know how much it will cost

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      Michelle D 2 years ago

      How much will it cost me to have a rose tatoo on ma leg?

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      Zach 3 years ago

      I hand drew a Sleeve that will be in all black and a back tattoo that only has three colors over the design and will be about 2 feet across my back or at least 1'6". What's your best estimate on something like that? Just the worst case scenario.

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      it don't matter 3 years ago

      haha im 14 just got a tattoo. what great parents i have

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      Tenaro 3 years ago

      You will get nowhere closer than a wide estimate asking for pricing online.

      The only way to know is together your ass into a tattoo shop with a picture of oft he exact tattoo you want and ask the artist how much it will cost.

      Also, makayla...OMG where did you learn your grammar??

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      Alex Lungleng 3 years ago

      Any Tatoo you like,the cost of its per square inch Rs,500 if you're interested I'm a good well trained artist and I've got a good customers.

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      Srushti Bhujbal 4 years ago

      i wan get tattoo on my wrist with 3 words and small colourful butterfly,how much this cost

    • profile image

      selvan 5 years ago

      i wantto get tattoo on my chest of plain name only what is cost inch please send me reply r call 9769480724 number thank u

    • Whitney05 profile image
      Author

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      It shouldn't cause any issues. I have never heard of issues with tattoo ink displacement due to hair growth

    • profile image

      Jakamar 5 years ago

      Well, I figured I would or they would do the deforestation. The issues is when it grows back. Does this create any issues other than it may appear a bit blurred. ;-)

    • Whitney05 profile image
      Author

      Whitney 5 years ago from Georgia

      they will shave the area before tattooing.

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      Jakamar 5 years ago

      All the examples I've seen, the areas are virtually hair free. I'm now hirsute, but have a light covering on the back of my calf. Is this going to be an issue?

    • profile image

      Stupid 5 years ago

      How much does a tattoo cost?

      Just kidding!!

    • profile image

      spelbee 5 years ago

      i'd like to have my kids names down my thighs - would this cost more in italian ?

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      Paige 5 years ago

      How much would a medium cross with wording going around the top and sides on my left shoulder cost???

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      5 years ago

      for everyone on here asking how much... we are not tattoo artist so we can not tell you. But a bit of advice, go to a tatto shop, tell them what you're thinking about getting and ask them what there hourly rate is... not how much is it gonna cost. any artist who just gives you a price or tries to give you a " special deal", will not give you the high quality tattoo you want. let them draw up a rough sketch and let them get a rough idea on the hours needed. an average better than decent shop will charge about $100 dollars an hour. might seem high, but you get what you pay for, if you dont have enough money just wait and save up, it'll be worth it in the end.

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      I love how everyone is asking how much their tattoos are going to cost, when the article says basically that it depends.

      My advice? Go talk to a tattoo artist, or ten of them... No one else is really going to be able to answer these questions for you with any accuracy.

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      Eric 5 years ago

      How much dose a 7 word tattoo cost ?

    • profile image

      bigb 5 years ago

      i want a rose going up my side onto my back with a lot of colors

      price?

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      NewInk740 5 years ago

      I just got a cross that reaches in length of the middle from elbow to wrist and width, arms reach from mid top arm to mid bottom arm. The cross has roses growing up it and a quote i favor from the Bible. Its all black ink with shading. Tons of detail but i go mine from a xtra hygenic in home shop. I don not advise anyone to go to an in home shop due to hygein reasons but luckily for my, I have knon my artist for nearly 15 years and she clean, professional and an amazing artist. I paid 175 for mine but in a shop it wouldve costed me roughly 250 buks. The more detail, the higher the price.

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      bob 5 years ago

      It will cost between $50 and $1,000,000.

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      afb.smurf 5 years ago

      where is the best spot to have a tat?

      I want one on each forearm...

      Im thinking about japenese symbol for love, in black bout maybe 2in big...

      cost???

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      Ashlie A D 5 years ago

      I have two tattoos and they didn't turn out the greatest. for my third I want to go to LA ink and get a drawing of mine. it has a lot of detail and it's kind of big, and I want it on my ankle. anyone have a guess at how much it would cost?

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      Murrsive 5 years ago

      If you cant come up with your own design that is very cheezy I say, even if you come up with the idea and have someone draw it is much better than getting something that's already out there

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      Danna 5 years ago

      I want "Jeremiah 29:11" behind my ear and maybe in cursive. Hoe much would that be?

    • profile image

      desmond 5 years ago

      Hi how much does italina cross

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      90123 5 years ago

      I want about a 6 word tattoo with a fairly big kinda small design on my upper right back. how much do you think it might cost?

    • profile image

      neha 5 years ago

      i want 12 letter tatto on my back how much does it cost?????????

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      shvia raj 5 years ago

      i want 5 letter tatto on my hand, how much it cost

    • profile image

      .... 6 years ago

      I want to get 10 stars on my back big and small how much roughly do you think it would cost

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      Payasa 6 years ago

      I wana get my mans name on my lower bak in cursive an 5 inches long.. Wats the averge cost?????

    • profile image

      rachael 6 years ago

      if oi was to get a tattoo that says "no regrets" how much do you think that would cost?

    • profile image

      brahndon 6 years ago

      i want to get a 20 word tattoo.

      how much would it cost

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      Abraham Navarro 6 years ago

      How much is the price for 2 tatoos with my first and last name on both of my arms

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      heather 6 years ago

      i want a tiny (not that small but proubly about 5 inch) pentagram tattoo on my lower back and posibly some wording ("hail satan) im very poor and my mom would proubly pay. soooo i hope its cheap?

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      Kati 6 years ago

      How much would it cost to get a Browning logo, and country girl tattooed on your foot?

    • profile image

      Tamara 6 years ago

      I'm thinking of getting a tribal phoenix tattooed on the small of my back. I'm gonna be a court reporter, so I want to be able to hide it while working. How much could you estimate something like that costing?

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      Jermaiyne 6 years ago

      How much for some pubic hair tattooed on Ma ballz? I have none due to medical condition..

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      Dorian Hoppie 6 years ago

      I've been working on a design themed around a Trilobite. I'm an entomologist, so I want to have it on the back of my neck, maybe 3" by 2". Really simple at first, pretty much just an outline, black. Later on down the road, I might consider surrounding it with Ginkgo leaves. I want a biology theme in there somewhere, lost and found species. Something like that.

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      Erina 6 years ago

      I'd like to get a 1 inch Deathly Hallows symbol behind my ear, and a 2 inch YACHT Anchor on either my forearm or hip, and a .5 inch treble clef on my hand, between my thumb and index finger bones. Not all at once, but eventually.

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      amy 6 years ago

      how much will it cost to get MICHAEL in cursive on my collar bone. not small like 2in in height and 6inches in width [approximately] ??? i live in ariozna

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      hinata8982 6 years ago

      i want to get is Russian symbols,Wife of Jeffrey Pittman, on my left wrist and on my right ankle the Japanese character for ninja

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      RANDOM 6 years ago

      @Blup: You really want a tatoo just to show your grandma? I'm sure there's other things you can do to impress her, right? That's a waste of money for something that you may end up regret getting when you're looking to get married and have proper kids. It is permanent, you know?

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      BLUP 6 years ago

      I want IT the clown on my right cheek with a sun shining on my forehead and the rays going down around my eyes and up into my nostril. how much do you think it would cost because I really want to get one to show my grandma

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      Kay 6 years ago

      I wanna get a tattoo for my birthday coming up. I want crossed arrows behind my ear. It's not too big. How much would something like that cost?

      Thanks.

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      DaddysGirl 6 years ago

      I drew my tattoo myself when i was 14 and i got it when i turned 19. its a very heart felt saying 'Olive You' that my childhood sweetheart used to say. im now 21 and im engaged to the boy who has said that to me for 7 years now. This tattoo makes me smile every time i look at it.

      tattoos are meant to be heartfelt and special and they should be somewhere special where only the spesh people get to see them. mine is very low down on my hip.

      though when i was 18 i did go all out and get 'once upon a time' and 'happily ever after' printed on my wrists and i do love them aswell :D xx

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      colbi 6 years ago

      I want a picture of Marilyn mansons face down my right side? What would be a ball park estimate for that?

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      jeff 6 years ago

      how much would it cost for me to buy my girlfriend the tattoo she wants? she wants a heart with vines coming out of it on her wrist

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      paul 6 years ago

      how much will it cost to have my girlfriends name on my back

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      MarieNoel 6 years ago

      i want to get a treble clef on my right wrist just like Julian Casablancas! i love him!!! but im only a 14 year old girl so my parents arnt so into the idea. i hope to convince them :)

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      slppyclwn 6 years ago

      hahahahaha @ Dt; I work in a tattoo shop, and your comment describes well over half the customers. Thank you for making me laugh!

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      Josh 6 years ago

      I want to get a tattoo on my wrist of a snake coming out of a tribal tattoo that goes around all of my wrist. How much would that cost and if i were to say also get one on my entire back from my shoulders to my waist line how much would all this be?

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      Ryan 6 years ago

      I want to get a piece that says "Take flight to eastern skys,

      And when the winds change,

      We'll be blown back here." On my calf. Estimates? No color, cursive

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      Anaddy 6 years ago

      how much does it cost to tattoo some stars near my eye?

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      Tatertot23 6 years ago

      I'm wantin to get a heart tattoo that says DAD in a ribon on my leg how much would it cost

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      seanIdddI 6 years ago

      I love dirty needles can i request a used one i love shoot my coke and herion with dirty used needles so its only right to get tatted with a nice dirty one

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      Spyder 6 years ago

      On average a tattoo artist "kicks back between 35-45% to the shop. So I can tell you the in the tri-state area most artists have a 50$ min. face,neck,hands,feet and most sensitive areas are dbl to triple the cost of say an upper arm tattoo. I've been swingin my hammers for about 23yrs now, I work for me with 15%kicked back for matterials. custom work runs aprox. 250$ hr. generic pieces,pics off flash,are aprox. 150-175$ hr. I charge more for collar bone and up,hands and feet and genital areas.www.facebook.com/spyderswebb33

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      diva 6 years ago

      i Want my son footprints on my back with a ribbon and in the ribbon will be his name and R.I.P and bday. Any estimated prices?

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      Dt 6 years ago

      I want to get something awesome, like barb wire around my arm, something philosophical in a language nobody understands, or possibly give free advertising to a large corporation, preferably one I own no stock in like Budweiser, Harley Davidson, Dupont. Get one of their logos you see

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      Alexx 6 years ago

      i Wanna get a dragon ball on my back, not too bigi guess about 2 inches radio, how much????

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      emdee818 6 years ago

      i got my last name inked on my left wrist...its only 4 letters...it cost me 80 but i gave my artist a NICE tip.

      One thing i always ask is. "Hw much is your minimum"...Most where I live are between 60 - 80 dollars. I am getting a tattoo tomorrow...3 cherry blossoms with my moms name and some shading around it...I asked my artist and he said roughly around 200. However, they raised their minimum from 60 to 80. But then again I went there 2 yrs ago...and with this economy i dont blame them raising the price...Make sure you get somethng important ....or atleast cute lol.

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      Gangsta 6 years ago

      I really want to get a tat of a horse taking a dumb on a cats chest while there is a boxing match going on in the background with rocky and a large sausage faded out. I want this all to be within a shinning sun that says the words i eat your moms face for breakfast in it, I think it's pretty cool thought a lot about it actually and I want it on my chest, price?

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      Sarah 6 years ago

      The absolute best thing for you to do is to go to a FEW DIFFERENT tattoo shops and see the artist's style. Tattoo artists are much like well, artists themselves. Every single tattoo artist will have his/her own style. And a good rule of thumb is picking a tattoo design and keeping that in mind for a year or two. I had my tattoo idea in my mind for YEARS before I got it and I love it like the day I got it :) and getting another one very soon ;).

      Another thing. Like previously said, DO NOT - I REPEAT - DO NOT go with what is cheaper.. go with quality. I know money is tight right now, but this is going to be on you FOREVER...unless it's lazered off..but even then, some pigmentation is left there and you will waste more money putting it on and taking it off than you would with a high priced artist and design you spent time thinking about. Try to attach a positive meaning to your tattoo that means the world to you. That way there, you'll always smile and love it. AND when it peels, let it do it's thing, don't go picking at it. My ex's tattoo got all deviated and messed when he did that. Dispite what he was told -__-'. Anyway. I hope this helps and remember, as Anna and Mathew already stated --- Price varies. Go into the individual InkShops and ask THEM, the people who you will be dealing with...

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      Random 6 years ago

      Want a.needle with the medical snake rapped around it. On the needle it I want it to say type one diabetic. I want it on my wrist. What do u guys think?

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      chris 6 years ago

      how much would it cost for my last name across the top of my back in bold letters?

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      redken 6 years ago

      i wont to get a tactoo on my side says itain and on my back a angle wigs too big one on my neck a rip grandpa

      thank you and ps how much is a tactoo

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      tia232 6 years ago

      I just turned 18 and I'm getting a hummingbird dipping into a flower and under it says July 1969 - January 2011 in cursive/ pretty writting on my lower right leg. Not sure about the cost going to a tattoo artist about it soon though. What ever the cost is it's going to be worth it.

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      Ethereal King 6 years ago

      How much will it cost for people to stop asking "How much it will cost?". Just ask the artist at the tattoo shop. XD

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      lara 6 years ago

      I'm only 16 and I'm thinking of getting my first tattoo without my parents knowing. I just want to get the number " 12" on my wrist (no colours)

      How much could it cost?

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      alyssaxoxox 6 years ago

      how much would it be to get 'thick as thieves' under my collarbone? in cursive black writing.

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      matthew woolfolk 6 years ago

      would you people just go to a tattoo shop and ask a real tatoo artist instead of internet people

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      Dan 6 years ago

      how much would the word faith cost in japanese

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      jessica 6 years ago

      how much would it cost to get as long as am living my grandpa youll be ? thanks

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      Matt 6 years ago

      How much would a maple leaf on my back cost?

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      Daniel 6 years ago

      How much would it be to get a replica of my mom's breasts tattoed on my chest with the words, "Fuck me tender, Mother"? I REALLY need to know because Me and mom figured it would be easier to tell dad about mine and her "relationship" this way....

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      natalie 6 years ago

      hw much wil my tattoo cost its for my back and its a love heart with my sons name and date of birth with angel wings comeing out of it ?

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      cindy 6 years ago

      how much would it be to get a skateboarding hula dancer inside of a wave getting barreled while juggling two babies and a cat smoking a cigarate(the cat is smoking) and on the beach is a crowd of 213 people(symbolic) doing a flash mob with the lyrics to the song kissed by a rose by seal written in the clouds? i really want this on my left foot

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      Anna 6 years ago

      You guys are so dumb. Did any of the people commenting READ this post? The price VARIES place to place, how large it is, and depends on WHERE on your body you get the tattoo! You can't just ask online in a random comment, you need to GO to a shop and get a quote!

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      derrick 6 years ago

      how much for a name on my hand? (not so big)

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      ina 6 years ago

      How much would an 8 word quote be under the collar bone small letters one line be?

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      maryj 6 years ago

      i want to get a tattoo cause i think its sexy if i had one cause i like guys with tattoos

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      nami 6 years ago

      how much does it cost to get barcode tattoo on my hand?

      (no color,)

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      dave 6 years ago

      how much would some sort of tribal design going over my shoulder cost me?

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      steph99 6 years ago

      im thinking about getting a small winged heart on the inside of my left forearm. it would have the #'s 2010-12 underneath of it. im just turning 17 and would like to no if any one has a ballpark idea of how much it would cost. in purple and pink color.

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      arkangel 6 years ago

      I'm getting Devine knolege brings chaos in elvish

      from mt wrist to my elbow as a first tattoo is that a good idea

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      FBDEL 6 years ago

      Umm Headxshot? That's actually the cover of an album by a band called The Used. Just so you know before you get it tattooed on your body. My brother has it on his hip.

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      Mandi 6 years ago

      So, I really want to get a tattoo of my favorite quote ever. It says "Great Minds discuss Ideas, Average Minds discuss Events, Small Minds discuss People" with some swirls on the side of the words. It will be 3 lines long and on my inner forearm. Like if your forearm is like this: I I it will be like this: I-I with the tattoo as the -. How much would that cost?

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      Alyssa1996 6 years ago

      I'm getting a tattoo with my bf it's about 4 inches on each side if I was to cut it out on a square paper it's just a simple heart with a key hole and wings detail rly I was just wondering how much it would cost, and also when u get a tattoo do u need to bring in ID or anything proving ur age and parent advisement , ?

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      H34DxSH0Tx 6 years ago

      i can see someone getting a tattoo if it reminds them of something important in thier life for instance im getting a tattoo called the used look it up its a dark tree with a heart hanging from a knouse it resembles how my heart was broken when i found out my girlfriend cheated on me

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      Jessica 6 years ago

      Want to get the name Shane on my foot on the inside in black scrpit. any idea how much that would cost me?

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      tina 6 years ago

      i want a cherry tree from my arm pit to my hip...about how much would that cost?

      oh & no color just black.