How to Choose the Best Tattoo Shop: Important Factors to ConsiderIf you're ready to commit to a tattoo it is important that you make sure you're getting the best inking experience possible. It may seem like an intimidating process to pick a tattoo shop, but if you keep the following factors in mind it doesn't have to be a struggle. We'll run through the details of how to choose the best tattoo shop so that you can get the body art you want, in the best possible way.
Location Is KeyLocation is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a tattoo shop. Being able to evaluate the cleanliness, professionalism, and clientele of a shop in person can help ensure that you get your desired results and have a positive experience. If a shop is close to home it becomes easier to research the shop’s reputation and return for touch ups or further visits if necessary. While it may be convenient to choose a closer shop, it is important that you take all factors into consideration such as quality and safety standards rather than just proximity. By taking the extra time to drive further distances, you can be sure that your artist adheres to the proper techniques, best practices and after-care of the tattoo in the industry. Furthermore, experienced shops usually do not cut corners because they understand how critical the workmanship is to their success in an increasingly competitive industry. On the flip side, good shops located in remote areas may not be easily accessible due to limited public transportation access or lack of parking options. Some shops charge higher rates for customers who are farther away from the city centre, cutting into potential savings. Additionally, some artists prefer to attract only local clients due to familiarity and loyalty developed through repeat visits and referrals, which may narrow down your choices even more if you live outside of the local area. A study conducted in 2018 found that almost 40% of those who had tattoos done chose their artist solely based on reputation.
- According to a survey conducted in 2019, the most important factor for people when selecting a tattoo artist was portfolio quality (92%), followed by sanitation (91%) and price (90%).
- A study published in 2017, found that people were willing to pay up to 30% more for their desired artist, than they would have paid for an artist with lesser credentials.
Research The Shop's ReputationResearching a tattoo shop’s reputation is essential when trying to decide on the best one. After all, it is your body, and you will be carrying the artwork around for life. It is entirely reasonable to make sure that you are going to a shop with experienced staff and top-notch safety standards in place. When looking into the reputation of a potential shop, consider first if there have been any health code violations reported against the premises. There is typically available public record about these types of things if you are willing to perform some digging into the local health department website. While it is not likely that a functioning establishment would have many (if any) health code violations, it is better to be safe than sorry. Also, double check that they maintain proper sterilizations techniques like single-use needles and clean stations between customers. Another key element of investigating a shop’s reputation is finding out whether their artists are experienced in the type of tattoo that you are looking for. Reviews from previous customers can be extremely helpful in this regard; read through them as much as possible to ensure that you are making a sound choice. It is not enough for a shop to just have a license these days; ensuring that they use established sanitary practices and well-trained staff should always be priority number one when it comes to selecting a tattoo parlor.
Reviews and TestimonialsIt’s always wise to review the ratings and testimonials of a tattoo shop before making a final decision. Clothing stores and restaurants alike have reviews online that allow customers to quickly get an idea of what their experience will be like. Tattoo shops are no different – many customers are willing to share their experiences with others. Typically, reviews consist of feedback from previous customers about:
- quality of work
- customer service
- aftercare/follow-up services.