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the Price of Tattoos

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$ 85
Apr 2006
Portland, Oregon
Personalized art instead of flashy design  more... close row
$ 155
Feb 2008
Bellingham, WA
3" x 6"
Upper arm tattoo placement of my own custom artwork  more... close row
$ 75
Feb 2007
Big Rapids, Michigan
2 inches by 3 inches
lower back
Clean and professional tattoo parlor for small tattoo  more... close row
$ 60
Apr 2008
Austin, Texas
2" x 4"
First tattoo will need to be touched up eventually  more... close row
$ 150
Jan 2007
Bensalem, PA
(4) 2 1/2 inch letters
right side of rib cage
Roman numeral 13 tattooed on ribcage  more... close row
$ 75
Mar 2006
Louisville, Ky
3 inches high, 2 inches wide
Right front forearm
Reasonable quality tattoo  more... close row
$ 120
Feb 2006
Salem , CT
Large calf, aprox 7" x 5"
Right Calf
Tattoo discounted because agreement to be in portfolio  more... close row
$ 200
Mar 2007
Chandler, AZ
4 inches
right arm
Self designed inkless tattoo  more... close row

Description of service

The price was for a 4 inch self-designed tattoo done with a dry needle. Tattoos of various sizes and in a variety of colors are available at costs that vary according to the complexity and size of the design. Design services are also available at extra cost.

Review of Service

I went in with my design and spend some time explaining that I wanted the tattoo done with a needle but without ink. Dry style, as it were. The artist had never done one like that before, and nobody in the shop had seen one done like that so the people who weren't busy gathered around to watch.

The artist took a break every 15 minutes or so for 5 minutes to rest and step back from his work to make sure it was all going well and to make sure I was doing alright. The novelty of watching a tattoo appear in blood faded for most of the audience by the second break. All together it took about three hours to finish the tattoo.

It healed well and is currently a set of raised and slightly pale ridges on my arm and, if past experience shows, should gradually fade over the next two years.


If you're in a university town, an art student will likely be a cheaper source for a custom-designed tattoo than the guys at a tattoo parlor, though they'll probably have less experience in designing tattoos.

When looking for a tattoo parlor, consider a place that's clean, uses tools that are autoclaved for sterility and needles and ink that comes fresh in a sealed sterile pack for each customer. Hepatitis and other blood-transmitted illnesses can be acquired if it isn't done that way.

The style of tattoo I got is also called a "tattoo in blood." It's not as permanent as a standard ink tattoo as it only leaves a scar that lasts a couple years rather than a permanent mark in your skin. Like me, some consider that an up side to the procedure. The other thing is that because ink lubricates the needle as it slides in and out of the skin, it's considerably more painful than regular tattooing. Which may be a plus or a minus depending on your perspective.

$ 100
Aug 2007
Farmington, Maine
5 Inches
Top RIght Sholder
Walk in tatooing service  more... close row
$ 50
Apr 2008
The right tattoo exists for everyone  more... close row
$ 60
Aug 2007
Hickory, NC
About two inches wide and across
On my shoulder
Get an estimate in advance  more... close row
$ 60
May 2006
La Crosse, WI
Small black butterfly tattoo on special  more... close row
$ 300
Sep 2007
Orlando, FL
Expensive but worth it  more... close row