How much do tattoo parlors make? (And the most popular tattoo days of the year)

In this six minute read:

  • How much do tattoo parlors make on a typical day?
  • Which days of the week are biggest for tattoo parlors
  • What time of year are tattoo parlors busiest?
  • What are the biggest days of the year for tattoo parlors?
  • How to get the most out of busy seasons if you own a tattoo parlor

If you feel like tattoos have become more popular than ever before, you’re not alone. According to recent market research from IBISWorld, the tattoo industry generated an estimated $1.6 billion dollars in revenue in 2017. And things aren’t slowing down, either. The industry is expected to continued to grow by over 7% in the next ten years.

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This week marked National Tattoo Day, which began on July 17th, 2016. A relatively new holiday, it hasn’t really started to move the needle (pun intended) for local tattoo parlors. But it still got us to thinking—as popularity continues to skyrocket, how is it impacting local tattoo parlors? And when are the biggest days of the year for tattoo shop owners?

We analyzed credit card transaction data at local tattoo parlors from across the country to answer these questions and more.

How much do tattoo parlors make on an average day throughout the year?

As you might expect, not all tattoo parlors are created equal. Some shops specialize in very detailed and custom work which customers pay a premium for. Others offer quicker, simpler, and more affordable solutions. With that being said, here’s the average day across all the tattoo parlors in our study.

With just 6 transactions per day, tattoo parlors see much less foot traffic than many other types of businesses we’ve analyzed in previous studies. But with an average daily ticket near $100, the average tattoo shop brings in over $600 in revenue on a given day.

Again, as we said above things can vary wildly from one tattoo shop to another. To put this into perspective, the priciest parlor in our analysis had an average ticket of $450 per transaction (averaging just 2 transactions each day). On the other end of the spectrum, the busiest tattoo parlor we analyzed averaged a whopping 28 transactions each day (with an average ticket of $44 per transaction).

Which days of the week do tattoo parlors make the most money?

With the figures above representing any given day of the week, we next took a look at the average week at local tattoo parlors.

As you might expect, customers tend to wait for the end of the work week to get a tattoo. 45% of revenue brought in across all the tattoo parlors in our study came in on Fridays and Saturdays alone. Many of the tattoo parlors in our study remain closed on Sundays (on average 58% were closed) and Mondays (on average 43% were closed), making them easily the slowest days of the week.

The chart on the right shows us the average number of transactions and average ticket at tattoo parlors who were open on each particular day of the week. As you can see the average ticket remains fairly consistent throughout the week, but foot traffic increases significantly on Fridays and Saturdays.

What time of year is biggest for tattoo parlors?

Next, we examined total revenue for each year of 2018 to see which times of the year represent the busy season for tattoo parlors.

As you can see in the chart above, revenue climbs quickly in February and remains high throughout the early spring. Things then remain fairly consistent throughout the summer before declining as cooler weather sets in during September and October. Things spike in mid-November and during the Holidays, but still falling well short of springtime and summertime highs.

Spring is a logical time of year for peak sales at tattoo parlors, with customers eager to get their new ink settled before things warm up and people start showing more skin. But upon closer examination, it comes as little surprise that many of the busiest weeks of the year fall during spring break season at colleges and universities across the United States. One might be safe suspecting millions of young people across the country add “get a tattoo” to their annual spring break agenda.

But, as you can see, revenue first spikes in February, which is well before most colleges let out for spring break. Interestingly, this spike coincides with the beginning of Lent (the later weeks of which also happens to coincide with spring break).

It just might be the case that tattoo shops enjoy top sales thanks to a combination of those looking to symbolize their religious devotion as well as young college students who want to symbolize their individuality.

What are the biggest days of the year for tattoo parlors?

While the chart above showed us which were the biggest weeks of the year, we wanted to last look at which were the single-biggest days of the year for tattoo parlors across the country.

The top day of the year was Friday, March 30th, which was both a big spring break weekend and Good Friday (the end of Lent and the Friday before Easter). Surprisingly, the second biggest day of the year was February 24th, which was the 2nd Saturday during Lent, but also might be a popular day for young people preparing for an upcoming spring break trip. St. Patrick’s Day (also during spring break) was the 4th biggest day of the year.

The fifth biggest day of the year was the day before Veteran’s Day, suggesting that veterans and their loved ones mark the occasion by getting a meaningful tattoo. It should also be noted that Veteran’s Day fell on a Sunday last year, which is why we suspect the day before was the big day for tattoo parlors.

And the sixth biggest day of the year was the day before Mother’s Day, which might mean that the old cliche about tough guys getting a big “Mom” tattoo might not be such a cliche after all.

How to get the most out of the busiest days of the year if you own a tattoo parlor

Do you own your own tattoo parlor? If so, do you see springtime or some of the days above drive big business to your shop?

It’s clear that for many tattoo parlors, certain times of year and some special days spur new customers into your doors.

If you’re a tattoo parlor, take advantage of the numerous free advertising options for local businesses out there to get the word out about your parlor being the place to go during spring break, on Veteran’s Day, or any other special time of year you think might have people thinking about getting a new tattoo.

Check out our post on 4 crucial steps to building an effective small business marketing plan for even more ideas and suggestions.

Finally, if you truly want to get the most out of big days that drive extra customers to your business, you’ll want to make sure you have a way to capture customer information to bring those clients back in your door when things start to slow down again.

Check out how Womply’s email marketing software can help you build customer loyalty without lifting a finger. Sign up for a free demo below to see how Womply has helped businesses like yours increase revenue by 20%, see 22% more repeat customers, and save 10 hours of time per week.

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