We get calls daily from people who want to know how much a piercing will cost. And that’s great; people should look for the best price. But the best price is not necessarily the person who charges the least. And conversely, just because a shop charges more, it doesn’t mean that the practitioner is worth that price.

Cost is but one aspect of a piercing shop. When choosing a piercer, you need to consider their skill level. A specialist who has years of experience can make the procedure easy to tolerate; they can do their job gently and swiftly. They know how to properly place the piercings, and know what jewelry is best. In general, your pain level is inverse to your piercer’s ability: the lower the skill level of your technician, the greater your discomfort, and vice versa.

Also, look for a piercer who is professional, pleasant, patient and friendly. Remember, they are performing a service for you, NOT a favor! In advance of the piercing, have them demonstrate their knowledge and competency. Make sure they fully answer any questions you may have. Your instincts are a valuable tool, and you should listen to them. You should feel safe and comfortable with the piercer.

Examine the studio, is it set up and maintained properly? Is the piercing room aseptic? Check to see how the sterile equipment is handled in the studio. Look for postings of state or local licensing. Make sure that the studio has an autoclave to sterilize tools and jewelry; autoclaves are required equipment in every piercing studio.

Finding a good piercer is more than just looking online for local studios. Talk to people who have piercings and ask if they can suggest someone. Ask to see photos of piercings performed in the studio. Again, don’t settle for a less-than-competent practitioner just because they charge less. Price is just one of the many considerations you need to think about.