Skin Design Tattoo


To Tip or Not To Tip: That is the question

Quite frankly, no one always knows what to do when it comes to tipping. The whole tipping thing can be so confusing and awkward.

When it comes to tipping situations, the following questions are probably involved:

– Who and when should you tip?
– How much to tip?
– When do you leave it?

Along with the main question, “do you even need to tip at all”?

And when it comes to professionals and artists, like your tattoo artist tipping becomes all the more debatable.

So, does your tattoo artist expect a tip? Do they deserve it? And if tipping it is, how much or what should it be?

Unfortunately, answers and individual opinions to these can vary. This is the reason that we decided to write this article as some sort of “tipping 101” or “tipping etiquette” advice. This guide aims to help you eliminate possible tipping-related concerns in the future (hopefully).

But first, is it appropriate to tip a tattoo artist?

Since tattoo artists provide a service, does that mean that it is necessary for you to tip them? Apparently, there is still no consensus about this.

Nevertheless, these artists don’t expect you to tip, as most of them know that a lot of people have been saving for quite some time just to get a tattoo. So why would people argue about it and tip if a tip isn’t necessary? Try to consider the following perspective:

Tattoo artists aren’t just a service provider, they create works of art and marks your body for life. Tipping your tattoo artist shows that you thought that the artwork was well worth what you’ve been charged; and that you appreciate it enough to add a little extra.

If the tattoo looks great, and you are happy with it, then showing appreciation to your artist is just right. Giving a tip that commensurates with the satisfactory results, the time it took to create and finish it, and the complexity of the design is the proper thing to do.

Another thing to note is, tipping helps you establish a relationship. If you are considering to interact with the same tattoo artist in the future, then it’s best to consider tipping. This extra pay can help you establish a relationship with the artist that may ultimately lead to a better service going forward.

How much to tip?

One of the most common perturbations around tipping is about how much to tip. Tips are technically optional, and should only be done when you can really, comfortably, afford it. Some give between 10-15%, while others generously hand 20-30%. Nevertheless, any amount given with sincerity is always better than nothing. So, it’s best to use your judgment on how much you should tip.

Tattoo tipping rates

The safest, fair rate to consider should be around 10-20%, with 15% being the average, of the cost of your tattoo as a tip. And if you particularly like the tattoo you ended up with, then tip heavy, about 20-30% would be considered a generous tip.
Don’t try to stiff an artist, unless of course, you had a rotten experience. You have the right not to tip at all especially if you received poor service. Situations like a lack of kindness and consideration on the part of the artist, as well as a lack of attention to details, are considered valid reasons not to give a tip. Never feel bad about not tipping a rude artist or a lousy job.

Bear in mind that your tip should serve as a direct reflection of the service that you have received. It should represent your appreciation for your tattoo artist’s time and effort. And in cases where your artist has met all your expectations or have gone above and beyond, then by all means, you should tip.

When people think about whether a tattoo artist deserves tips just because they think that they earn a hefty amount of cash; they fail to consider some factors. Yes, it’s true that most of them can make a lot of money, but not everyone can always pocket the full amount.

If the artist isn’t the owner, then it is likely that the shop is going to take a cut out of the payment you made. Most tattoo artist rent shop space from an owner or they pay a percentage of their take which can be around 40-50%.

Tipping alternative: gifts instead of cash

While cash is king, a nice gesture of appreciation for excellent service can come in any form. In lieu of money, giving gifts that the artist would enjoy should be enough. You can also try giving them a positive review and referring them to your friends.

About the Author

Jacob Pullman

Jacob Pullman

Jacob Pullman is a former tattoo artist turned into a consultant-enthusiast-writer-educator. A change of career, before he started writing, he got a degree in PR and communications. He is passionate about traveling and exploring the world and cultures visiting all those funky museums as a modern art lover. His ultimate goal is to spread knowledge about relationships (but only theoretically, as he is still single), a healthy lifestyle, body art, and of course, everything related to tattoo art. That's how he went deep into digital marketing, working with Skin Design Tattoo to educate and share his knowledge and experience.