How Much Does a Bad Tattoo Cost?
Updated: Sep 19
I was recently talking with an owner of another tattoo shop in Las Vegas. He told me that the official count of tattoo shops in Las Vegas is around 300 licensed shops now. That's not counting the unlicensed shops or the "private studios". Las Vegas is undoubtedly one of the most saturated cities when it comes to tattoo shops, and possibly the most saturated per capita.
This brings up an interesting question. With so many tattoo shops in Las Vegas they must all be good right? NO! While there are some talented tattoo artists in Las Vegas and some respectable shops here, unfortunately the bad definitely outweighs the good. Every time I drive somewhere new in this city, I see a new tattoo shop popping up, only to close a couple of months or a year later.
This brings me to my next point. With so many tattoo shops of course some of them are filled with starving artists, and they must be really starving. I've seen $10 tattoo deals, buy one get one free deals, $200 all day tap out sessions and the list goes on and on. I've even seen people offering free tattoos, all you have to do is tip!?!?!
A REAL ARTIST KNOWS WHAT THEIR WORK IS WORTH AND THEY CHARGE ACCORDINGLY!!! Read that again and let it sink in. In the last week I've gotten 3 separate emails from people who had gotten tattooed the day before asking me to fix their tattoos. The tattoos in question ranged from a few hours old to a day old - not even close to being healed yet!
So what does that bad tattoo really cost you? Well, it could be $10, it could be free, or you might end up overpaying a ridiculous amount of money for it. But that's just the beginning. Imagine waking up every day and looking in the mirror at a bad tattoo. How would that make you feel? What would that do to your self esteem if you had to look at an embarrassingly bad tattoo EVERY DAY? I've met people who refused to go swimming, or enjoy a day at the lake, or even wear short sleeve shirts because of their bad/cheap tattoos. The impact it can have in your life can cost you more than just money.
So lets explore some options. There's laser removal. I've personally had laser removal done. Let me tell you, it hurts 10 times worse then getting tattoos. The cost of laser removal can range between $100-$300 per session, and take around 8-12 sessions in some cases. Unfortunately, not all laser removal places are created equal. There are scam artists in that business too. People who turn the laser all the way down to keep you coming back for as many sessions as possible. (Contact me for my recommendation on a reputable laser place in Las Vegas!) So now that $10 tattoo cost you upwards of $2,000 or more to remove.
There is also the cover up option. Sometimes a bad tattoo can't just be fixed, it needs to be covered up with an entirely new tattoo. Keep in mind most cover ups end up being at least 2-3 times bigger than the original tattoo. You are also limited on design, placement, and color selection for the cover up. Unfortunately not all tattoos are coverable.
This is where option 3 comes in. A few laser treatments to lighten the existing tattoo enough to do a nice cover up that you can be proud of. I've worked with a lot of tattoos that have been hit with a laser a few times and it definitely opens up the options of a cover up. There are more viable designs and color choices available.
So now this cheap tattoo that you've gotten costs you your pride, your self esteem, and way more money in cover ups and/or laser removal. Getting the tattoo done right the first time would have been way cheaper in the long run and left you a lot happier. Price shopping for a tattoo is not the way to go. First and foremost you should be concerned with quality. And while you may pay a little extra for quality in the beginning, it will save you a ton of money and pain in the long run.
At Inner Visions Tattoo, we've seen it all, from misspelled names, to eagles that look like rotisserie chickens. We are more than happy to help you with any cover up needs if you have them. We all make mistakes sometimes and luckily for you, your bad tattoo doesn't have to be a permanent one.
However, if you are one of those people who are not in the market for a cover up, that's great! I think all tattoo artists would agree that we do our best tattoos when we are dealing with a clean canvas to work on. If you have managed to read this far, I'd like to congratulate you! You obviously care enough about your body to make an informed decision about your tattoos. Most of our clients are just like you. They do their homework first and end up with some of the best tattoos Las Vegas has to offer. Keep up the good work, and when your ready for your next tattoo contact us with any questions you might have or to set up your next tattoo appointment. Thanks!!!