Ever wondered why tattoos are expensive? It's not because tattoo artists are trying to screw you over, or because they have big egos, but there are actually a few legit reasons for it. One reason is that tattoo artists work as independent contractors at a shop and therefore have to pay a fee to the shop owner to occupy a station, normally it is 50/50 but it can also be 60/40.
TattooTok account @thinkbeforeyouink breaks down exactly why tattoo shops have a minimum.
Makes sense, no?
The main reason for tattoos to be expensive is the equipment that is needed to tattoo.
This starts with a good printer and stencil machine, a program to create designs - such as ProCreate, printer- and stencil paper, printer ink, tattoo ink, gloves, needles in different sizes, ointment, green soap, alcohol, a decent tattoo machine, power supply, a foot pedal, a clip cord, surgical tape, SecondSkin, Stencil Stuff (that solution you apply onto the skin prior to the stencil) among other things, which all of this is quite pricey. And the shop minimum only covers a tiny portion of that cost.
However, a shop minimum does not cover the time put into designing the tattoo, as well as the time tattooing. That's why many tattoo artists usually have a set minimum of $150 - $200 per hour.
Also, in case you were wondering why many tattoo artists require a non-refundable deposit - which goes towards the total of the tattoo - before booking an appointment. It's because that way they secure to get paid for the work and time they put into designing the tattoo, yes - even when the client cancels.
So next time you want to get a tattoo, don't try to haggle the price.