Prices and Selling tattoos

What will you charge for a tattoo and what will it work out per hour? Walk into any legitimate tattoo shop and you will notice that the price of a good tattoo is not generally cheap. That is, not inexpensive. When considering the price of equipment, today’s inflation, the skill involved, and the cost of overhead and floor space, tattoos are not exactly a bad deal either. The fact is that they are a permanent artwork investment that will go everywhere the customer goes. Other than the free tattoos on friends in the beginning in trade for advertisement, the prices of your work should be consistent. Don’t start off underselling yourself and then later raise your prices. People will come back years later and expect the same low prices. Try to set a standard as soon as possible. One way to do this is to visit the good tattooists in your area, and take a look at what they are charging. Compare different tattoo sizes and try to get a pricing guide down pat in your head. This can be used as a reference for your own prices. Don’t try to undersell the local established tattooists in your area, because besides being unfair to them, you don’t want to cause an uproar as the new kid on the block. It can cost you many friends.
Also, it’s not too good to quote prices over the phone. Most people that call are just curious, anyway. Some are shopping for the cheapest price. Just tell them to come down and visit you and that it will be worth the trip.
Another way of pricing, which is very popular, is called the A-B-C method. The basics to this are quite simple. Make up a card or posters to hang over the design sheets with the following information on it. Let’s say you have figured out that your basic commercial designs come in three size ranges. Small work is $25.00. These you list as “A” designs. Medium size work is $35.00 and is listed as “B” designs. Larger pieces are $50.00 and they will be put down as “C” designs. Make this large and plain on the poster, the price and letter designations. Now all that is left to do is to place the appropriate letter sticker on your corresponding flash sheet designs. On one sheet, for example, you will have some that have an “A” next to them, some with a “B” or a “C” depending upon their size. This way, prices don’t clutter up your flash sheets, and it gives the customer a chance to decide what they can afford to work around their pocketbook. An alternative method is to have designs illustrated in books. This is useful if you lack sufficient wall space.

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