What’s the Deal with Tattoo Shop Minimum Prices?

What’s the Deal with Tattoo Shop Minimum Prices?

What’s the Deal with Tattoo Shop Minimum Prices? 

If you're a tattoo enthusiast, there's no doubt that you’ve encountered the mysterious “minimum price” at various tattoo shops. It can be extremely confusing, and often times a bit off-putting. But what is it exactly? Why do some shops have minimum prices, and why can't they just tell you how much your tattoo will cost upfront? Let's take a closer look at this bizarre world of tattoo shop minimum prices. 

What Is A Minimum Price? 

A minimum price is exactly what it sounds like—a set amount that must be paid for any service rendered by a tattoo shop. The minimum price helps cover overhead costs such as rent, supplies, and wages for artists—and while it may seem like an arbitrary figure, it actually serves an important purpose. By setting a minimum price, shops can ensure that their services are accessible to everyone, regardless of their budget or experience level. 

With that being said, if you went into a shop wanting a small word on your wrist, you would at least be paying the shop minimum no matter how small the tattoo is. It is important to know that a shop minimum is different from an hourly rate. Where the hourly rate is how much the artist charges per hour. So if your artist charges $100 an hour and your tattoo will take roughly 4 hours, you can expect to pay at least $400 for you tattoo.

How Much Is The Minimum Price? 

The minimum price varies from shop to shop—some may charge as low as $50 while others may charge upwards of $150 or more. There are a few factors that could affect the “Shop Minimum”:  the shop's location (tattoo shops in big cities tend to have higher minimums), the type of work being done (big custom designs and even flash pieces require more time and effort than simple small designs), and even the artist themselves (they determine whether shop minimum would apply to your design or if it would be a different price). 

Generally speaking, most shops will list their minimum prices on their websites or social media accounts so you know what to expect before walking in the door.  

Why Do Some Shops Have Higher Minimums Than Others? 

It's all about supply and demand! Tattoo parlors in popular tourist destinations tend to have higher minimums because they know they can get away with it—after all, if people are willing to pay extra for a souvenir piece then why not capitalize on that demand? On the flip side, shops in less desirable locations may have lower prices because they need to attract customers after all!  The bottom line is this: if you don't want to pay too much for your next tat then research different locations before committing!  

Tattoo shop minimum prices can be confusing—but now that you know what they are and why they exist, hopefully you feel a little more informed about the process. So keep these tips in mind when shopping around for your next piece of ink—it'll help you find the best deal possible! With that said, don't forget that tattoos aren't just about saving money; they're also about expressing yourself through art so make sure whatever design you choose reflects who you are inside! Good luck out there!


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