On Pricing

When our fearless leader got his first tattoo in 1995 he paid $100 per hour for the privilege. He got a sun on his shoulder that took about two hours and it cost $180. When he was first told how much it would cost it came as a shock, he was only seventeen, still in high school, and only able to work part time. Seemed pretty expensive to trade a week’s worth of sacking groceries for a couple hours of pain.

But when you think about it, it wasn’t very much at all.

Consider the fact that tattooers don’t get the luxury of messing up. Money back guarantees are no consolation when the results are permanent. The precision needed to be a good tattooer takes time to develop, that training costs money and time and a degree of effort that many people can’t comprehend. Then there’s the business side of things. Rent; electricity; water; air conditioning; the best supplies to do the best job; providing chemicals and cleaning materials to support the necessary sterile environment to insure everyone’s safety, all those things cost money. All this without even considering the living expenses of the individual artists that need to be met in order for them to continue making art for a living instead of doing something else (if you can’t feed your kids or yourself doing a job, you’re not going to keep that job for long, no matter how much you love it). Then, and only then, do you factor in any sort of profit or funds for growth.

When you consider all of those factors, a hundred bucks an hour doesn’t sound like much. It wasn’t too much in 1995 and it certainly isn’t too much now. That being said, the artists at Cardinal Tattoo are so dedicated to their community and craft that they tend to charge less than the industry standard- of twenty years ago.

$300 for a 5-hour session=$60 per hour.

$500 for a 10-hour session=$50 per hour (that’s half-price if you’re keeping track folks!)

Even our best artist, the award-winning, nationally recognized Will, only charges $600 for a 6-8 hour window, that’s between $75 and $100 per hour- $50 to $75 per hour less that the industry standards of today!

And people wonder why we’re in high demand.

The truth is that we’ve made a lot of our fellow artists angry because they feel we don’t charge enough. They want to make the most money possible and what we’re doing makes it harder for them to charge exorbitant fees. Many of them have adopted the same entitlement mentality that seems so pervasive these days. Not us. We are willing to work hard to produce the best tattoos we can for a fair price. That is more than a promise, it is our solemn oath as it had been handed down by our founder, Will. The people who don’t understand why we do this are the same people who don’t understand why we won’t just tattoo anything on anyone. They don’t get it and it’s likely they never will, so we’re not going to waste our breath trying to explain ourselves.

Here’s what you need to know: Cardinal Tattoo will always do the best we can to provide our clients with great tattoo art for a fair price. It’s a shop motto and the way we conduct our business. It’s the way we care for our clients and our community. It’s how we provide for our families, and we take it very seriously.

If you want the best bang for your buck; straight-forward customer service with no guesswork or hidden costs; and a finished product that will compare favorably with some of the best tattoo artists in the world, you want Cardinal Tattoo as your new tattoo shop.