Do You Tip Piercers? Best Practices Explained

A thoughtful gesture that shows appreciation and gratitude for your piercing artist.

Written by , MA (Mass Communication & Journalism) Joyce Joyson MA (Mass Communication & Journalism)
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Shreya Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years

If you have a newfound interest in body piercings and are wondering about ideal piercing parlor etiquette, you must have a lot of questions. Do you bring your own jewelry? Do you negotiate prices? Do you tip piercers? Well, today we are going to address tipping etiquette as most people are not aware if such a practice is appropriate in the industry. According to growing consensus, tipping piercers is acceptable and may even help establish a good, healthy bond with your piercing expert. It helps you express your gratitude and makes your piercer’s day! Tipping is not exactly customary. But it may be seen as a normative practice, especially if you wish to continue interacting with the artist whose work you have grown to admire. That said, figuring out how much to tip them can get challenging. That is where this article comes to the rescue. Keep reading to learn everything about tipping etiquette at piercing establishments.

Do You Tip Piercers?

A professional piercer wearing a mask and gloves to ensure client safety
Image: Shutterstock

Piercing is an art, and just like any other service industry, clients should consider tipping their piercing artists. There are several reasons behind this suggestion, such as:

  • A lot of time, work, and effort goes into piercing, especially if you are going for one involving a complex process such as a helix piercing or a daith piercing.
  • Body piercing requires skill, expertise, and a thorough knowledge of human anatomy.
  • Piercers also spend a lot of hours choosing the right jewelry, looking for reference photos, and understanding and customizing the piercing for clients.
  • Most artists go through extensive professional training to learn the craft and ensure a successful piercing for their clients.
  • They also have to cater to a lot of finances involved behind the scenes, which involve renting or buying their piercing shop, purchasing supplies, paying for their staff, etc.

Therefore, when asked, “Should you tip your piercer?”, we say yes, as customer tips are a way to show appreciation for the service rendered during the consultation and the actual piercing process. Tips are also seen as a courteous way to express gratitude and are always encouraged by piercing artists.

Though tipping is not something that piercers always expect, it is a way of letting them know that you love their art and are genuinely pleased with the results. This will help in establishing a connection with your piercer as well, which will help later should you consider going to them for another piercing. It is also a general observation that some piercers put in long hours at work where they are not even offered insurance and compensation for the same. That is where giving a generous tip could be helpful for a piercer, both for their physical maintenance and mental well-being.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Cash tips are considered better than other means of payment as some piercers may take up larger tips on credit cards or other digital methods.

There are certain things to keep in mind before considering tipping a piercer and deciding on the appropriate amount. Let us move on to the next session to get some insights into those aspects.

Factors To Consider Before Tipping Piercers

A professional piercer piercing their client’s ear
Image: Shutterstock

When it comes to tipping etiquette, there are several factors to keep in mind regardless of the type of piercing you get. Here is what you can consider:

  • Quality

Consider the quality of service provided by your professional piercer. Ask yourself, was the piercing procedure comfortable? Did the piercer take time to brief you through the piercing process and aftercare instructions? Did you feel heard during the process? Think about your overall personal experience as a way to gauge how much you should tip.

  • Complexity Of The Piercing

If the body modification you are getting done is complex and involves a lot of customization, you should definitely consider tipping. Challenging piercings such as genital or nipple piercing require a higher level of expertise and precision and a lot more creativity and effort than other piercings.

  • Time

Consider the time spent on the process. If they took extra time to make changes, give you feedback, or just put you at ease for a comfortable tattooing experience, then consider all these things when deciding the final tip.

  • Expertise

If your piercer is experienced, runs a reputable piercing studio with widely acknowledged work, and has a lot of certifications and awards to their credit, consider paying them a higher tip.

  • Personal Connection

If you enjoyed the piercing experience, are satisfied with the outcome, and have built a good rapport with your piercer, it is better to communicate that by tipping.

  • Assistance

If the piercer has helped you decide on the placement and type of jewelry, was exceedingly patient with you, offered you follow-up support, and went above and beyond to cater to your needs, you should tip them.

  • Price Of The Service

Consider the overall piercing fee. If you feel it is reasonably charged and are satisfied with the work, you can determine giving a tip.

  • Geographical Location

Piercing etiquette tips and practices can vary from place to place depending upon the cost of living, and so can the price and expectation for the same. Do a bit of research about the regional norms and cultural practices in place.

  • Studio Policies

When it comes to tipping, some piercing studios may have specific policies or rules in place, which one needs to be mindful of. They might have a no-tipping policy, have well-established guidelines on tipping percentage, or just might include gratuity in their overall pricing. It is important to familiarize yourself and keep yourself informed about established standards and policies of the studios to avoid getting any surprises on the day of the piercing appointment.

  • Budget

Piercing is an investment and hence one should factor in the budget. It is suggested to consider giving a tip solely based on what works best for you and your budget.

As stated earlier, while tipping for piercing is not essential, it is a way of showing your artist appreciation for their piercing services. Having said that, if you are still contemplating why you should tip piercing professionals, read the following section for more insights.

Why Should You Tip Your Piercer?

A piercer adjusting the eyebrow piercing of the client.
Image: Shutterstock

Though giving a tip after getting a piercing job done is not necessary, it is often seen as a gesture of gratitude and may convey to the piercer that they have done an incredible job. Also, piercing is a type of body modification that if done incorrectly or by a novice piercer can have negative consequences. Professional piercing requires a certain skill, know-how, and practice. It takes time to master the technique and it follows stringent safety practices, which cannot be achieved through back-alley piercing.

Hence, it is a great idea to tip piercing artists who ensure excellent piercing service and make efforts to avoid potential risks. Also, these piercers generally use high-quality expensive products and undergo vigorous training to deliver satisfactory and safe services. They know what they are doing and take their job seriously.

Having said that, it might be a bit of a dilemma to settle on an appropriate tip amount. Let us find out about the same in the coming section.

How Much To Tip Piercers?

A piercer working on her client’s nose piercing
Image: Shutterstock

If you have decided to tip, then the next step is to decide exactly how much you want to add to the overall cost of piercings. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the consensus in the piercing community is somewhere around 15%-20% of the total cost which includes piercing and jewelry. However, this number is a baseline and there is no such thing as the one-size-fits-all approach in guidelines for tipping piercers. If you feel that they have done an extraordinary job and warrant a higher tip, you can give them 25%-30% of the total expenditure.

On a similar note, Selene, a blogger, shared her experience of including a tip in the amount paid to her piercer for a cartilage piercing. “Yelp, so I was not surprised when I had to pay $90 for everything. Tip is included. I felt the price was justified since they were so good at delivering exactly what I wanted and made sure that the entire experience was worth my business. I am extremely content with my piercing and if I am ever back in the area, I might just get another one (i)!” She said.

protip_icon Pro Tip
If you are a regular at the piercing studio, you can tip the artist by offering them restaurant gift cards and theater tickets instead of a monetary tip.

Tipping is seen as a basic piercing etiquette. However, if you are not satisfied with the result, products used, or services in general, you can communicate the same to your piercing artist. Not tipping after piercing is also an option, but it might leave a sour taste in their mouth. So, whether to tip or not is totally your call. Let us discuss it in the following section.

To Tip Or Not To Tip?

A professional piercer disinfecting the piercing site of their client.
Image: Shutterstock

Whether you are going for a basic piercing or a complex one, tipping is something that should be on your mind. Many piercers often work on minimum wages, and percentage cuts without insurance or commission, so they rely on tipping for their income. Also, it is seen as a source of encouragement for piercers to continue their efforts. However, if you do not want to give tips on a monetary basis, consider using kind words, gestures, personalized gifts, or giving good online reviews on the piercing studio’s website page. Further, if you have a good reach on your social media platform, you may consider making a video review and giving them a shoutout.

Tipping, be it in a physical or monetary form, simply means appreciating all the hard work and effort put in by your piercer. It is polite and thoughtful to tip piercing professionals if they help you get an amazing piercing experience. It is just a sincere way to show your gratitude for the same. Consider factors such as their reputation, your budget, your overall satisfaction with their services, and the behavior of the staff, to determine how much would you like to tip them. It is a fair practice if you find your piercer is reliable and talented. The extra bit of cash can help their business in the long run and feel appreciated for their work. Do note, that if you genuinely did not like anything about the process, you may choose not to leave the tip. Ultimately your tip must be your choice based on your personal experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’m not satisfied with the piercing? Should I still tip?

Tipping generally reflects that one is satisfied by the work or service rendered to them. However, if you are dissatisfied with services, you can communicate with the piercer about the same or decide not to tip. While it might come across as a bit rude, it is certainly an individual choice and not a compulsion.

Should I tip for each individual piercing in a session?

One can tip for each piercing session or decide upon the amount after calculating the overall cost of the procedure. The decision is highly subjective and also depends on the expectations of the piercer about the same.

Do I tip differently for body piercings versus facial piercings?

One can tip differently for body and facial piercings. Generally, facial piercings are considered more complex, challenging, and time-consuming than body piercing unless it is an intricate body part. Hence, the former may warrant a higher tip.

Key Takeaways

  • Tipping after getting a piercing is not mandatory, but is often appreciated if the client likes the work.
  • Consider the quality of service, time and effort invested, the expertise of the piercer, personal connection, complexity of the piercing, etc., before deciding the amount of the tip.
  • Tipping not only reciprocates the appreciation of art and skill but also helps to contribute to the livelihood of piercers.
  • Tipping is a personal choice and an individual is free to decide whether to go for it or not.

If you had an amazing piercing session, of course, your piercer deserves a tip. Tipping is a way of showing your appreciation at the end of the piercing process. Watch the video to get some insights on the same.

Personal Experience: Source

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Joyce Joyson

Joyce JoysonBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Joyce Joyson is a beauty and lifestyle writer with over a year of experience crafting short-form content for the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle niches. She has a triple majors bachelor’s degree in History, Political Science, and Geography from IIS University and a master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Kristu Jayanti College. Her academic foundation has equipped her full bio

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