Tipping your tattoo Artist: (This is how much)

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/24/21 •  6 min read

Tipping is a common practice in many service-based industries, including restaurants and hair salons. But what about tattoo artists?

Do you have to tip them too? And if so, how much money should you leave for an average tattoo?

How much should I tip my tattoo artist?

The answer depends on the circumstances of your appointment. For example, tipping more or less will depend on whether or not the artist was able to finish your entire design in one sitting. If they did finish it all at once, then 20% is typical.

But if they had to come back another day for touch-ups, then 10% is fine. Other factors that may influence tip size are location (urban vs rural) and customer satisfaction with the work done–especially when it comes to tattoos with lots of fine detail.

Since there is no industry standard for tipping, you may want to ask your tattoo artist how they want to be tipped.

Some artists would rather receive a cash tip, while others are happy with a gift certificate or framed photo of the finished product.

Asking also helps you avoid an awkward situation if the person didn’t intend to tip at all!

If you don’t leave a tip, it’s not considered something rude or insulting; it’s just not customary in this particular industry.

But keep in mind that many tattoo parlors have started charging more for their services—in some states, as much as 20% more—because clients were failing to compensate their artists adequately for quality work.

How much should you tip for a $100 tattoo?

$20. This is not an opinion, just the way it is.

How much should you tip for a $200 tattoo? $40. Again…not an opinion, just the way it is.

How much should I tip my artist after he/she spend 10 hours on me? 20%.

As long as they do not charge extra for multiple sessions in one day, this seems to be industry-standard after spending so many hours on one person in one day, no matter the price.

Keep in mind that if they do charge per hour session AND you get 90% of your work done in one session AND received a discount, then tipping is still customary but at your discretion since part of the discount goes to them already (so technically speaking).

Is $30 a good tip for a tattoo?

Yes if the tattoo is over $100 and if you enjoyed the experience. No, if the session was only an hour and you were not satisfied.

Typically, a good tip is 20% of the total cost at a minimum.

If I am paying for a $100 tattoo, how much do I leave as a tip?

At least $20, but you could give more depending on your level of satisfaction with their work.

Remember that they are painting/drawing directly onto your body so there is a lot of time and effort put into making sure it’s perfect.

If you needed them to re-do something or have them fix something in the future, tipping after your first session would be appropriate since they will need to touch up some things later on down the road for free (this won’t happen too often).

How much should I tip for a $250 tattoo?

Here’s a quick tip guide:

20% for a $250 tattoo. This is the standard tip amount, but you could go above or below this if you enjoyed your experience and/or were satisfied with their work. Even 15% would be acceptable in place of 20%.

15-20% if they did the work over 3 sessions over 3 days OR 1-2 sessions lasting 6 hours each at a discounted price (most people do not pay full price for large tattoos so it would depend on how much you paid) OR 2 sessions lasting 5-6 hours each + touch-ups afterward since most artists will not charge extra for touch-ups even though they should because otherwise, they get no tips from there on out! If you didn’t pay full price for the tattoo, you would give less than 20% but not much less.

10-15% for a $250-$350 tattoo depending on your satisfaction with their work and how many hours it took to complete the tattoo (if there were multiple sessions). Remember that these are just guidelines; if you enjoy the experience, then tipping after every session is common courtesy even if they do not charge per hour sessions.

If you give 20%+ of the final cost of the item, then they may assume that any future touch-ups (for free) will also be tipped since they already received money off of future work done by proving themselves as hard workers/artists.

Is it bad if I don’t tip my tattoo artist?

It is not rude or insulting if you decide to not tip.

It’s just not customary in the industry and many tattoo artists have started charging more for their services because of customers failing to compensate them adequately.

Remember that this is how they make a living and unfortunately, some people get into this profession for the wrong reasons (money).

Many people will still tip even though it’s not customary if they enjoyed their experience and/or were satisfied with their work.

If you don’t believe tipping is necessary but want to reward good service, consider giving them free artwork or purchasing one of their original pieces so they can continue doing what they love without money being an issue.

Should I tip for a free tattoo touch-up?

Yes, you should tip for a free touch-up. You didn’t pay anything so tipping is optional but still appreciated even if you were not satisfied with the work they did the first time around.

This shows that you are willing to come back and want them to continue providing quality service. If this is your second or third time coming in, then 20%+ of what it cost to get the tattoo originally would be appropriate (if it’s over $100).

Wrapping up

Tipping is always appreciated, but not mandatory.

The amount you tip will depend on the quality of work and how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with your experience at that moment in time.

Keep these guidelines in mind to ensure that your tattoo artist feels like their hard work has been appropriately compensated.

If you’re still unsure about tipping etiquette for tattoos, please send us a message!

John Goldsmith