How to Price Laser Tattoo Removal Treatments

    

lasertattooremovalpricingPricing your laser treatments is a hurdle that all tattoo removal providers have to jump before starting to treat patients.

If you have never provided laser treatments before, figuring out a pricing structure from scratch can be daunting.

Since Astanza has worked with tattoo removal providers of all kinds, we've seen what's most effective for pricing this specific procedure – here we'll be sharing what we've seen work best for a variety of clinics.


 

1) Analyze Your Local Market

The first step toward figuring out the right pricing is to research your area. Your specific market has a huge impact on the prices you can charge for your services – it's important to have a benchmark as you decide what's right for you.

Check Out Your Competition

See who's performing laser tattoo removal in your marketThe more competition there is, the more competitive your prices will need to be.

Look at the types of practitioners in your area. Are plastic surgeons and dermatologists the only ones offering treatments? Do you have competition from medical spas and tattoo removal specialists? Are tattoo shops also in the competitive mix?

Since most practices don't list their pricing conspicuously on their website, make a list of your direct competitors and call them up to inquire about what their treatments cost. Some practices may be more open with their pricing than others, but you should be able to get a general idea with just a few phone calls.

Legal Barriers to Entry

Part of the competitive landscape depends on your state regulations on who can legally perform laser tattoo removal.

Some states require a medical director for a practice to perform laser tattoo removal, some states only allow mid-level practitioners and physicians to fire the laser, some states have very little regulation.

Make sure to consult with your state's medical board and a lawyer to confirm the laws in your state (it's good due diligence anyways). If you are in a more restrictive state and qualify to perform treatments, you may have protection against more competition entering the market in the future, allowing you to keep your prices higher.

 

2) Think About How You Compare

Now that you're familiar with your competition, look at why a patient might pick (or not pick) your practice over the other options they have. If your practice features better technology, practitioner expertise, office environment, location, and branding... you should be pricing your treatments higher than others do.

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Office Experience

A fancy office with a beautiful build out in a trendy zip code is not necessary to be successful in the laser tattoo removal business (in fact, we encourage our clients to minimize overhead as they start out).

Nonetheless, the patient's experience does factor into the prices you can charge.

Look at your office's location, parking, waiting room, treatment room – and think how it would influence a patient's willingness to pay more or less for the experience of coming to your practice.

Technology

Realistically, most patients don't research laser technology before deciding which practice to go to for laser treatments. That said, if you've invested in superior technology for your practice, it's appropriate to charge more than your competitors because you'll be giving your patients better results for their skin.

If this is the case, make sure to emphasize the benefits of the better technology in the patient consultation so they feel confident in paying more for their treatments with you.

Practitioner Qualifications

Skin specialists such as plastic surgeons and dermatologists can charge the most for their time performing tattoo removal, as patients are willing to pay more to be under their care. Skin specialists often charge up to double the going rate for their treatments.

Other physicians and mid-level practitioners are also able to charge above-average rates for their services. Medical spas and tattoo removal specialty clinics typically charge close to the average rate. Tattoo shops and discount providers tend to provide treatments at a slightly lower price point.

For a point of reference, the average tattoo removal treatment costs about $200 to $225 and takes only 15 minutes to complete (this includes time for the consultation and aftercare). With no consumable costs, tattoo removal is a high profit procedure for all providers.

Marketing & Branding

With everything else equal, a clinic with a well-perceived brand is able to charge more for their services.

Most tattoo removal patients research the procedure online before booking an appointment. If your practice has five local competitors but you're the only one with strong rankings online and a professional and informative website, your clinic is perceived like the best choice in town and you can charge accordingly.

 

3) Decide the Right Pricing Structure for You

Over the years, we've seen many types of pricing structures for laser tattoo removal. The two most common types are size categories and price per square inch.

Pricing Structure Types

Type Pros Cons

Size Categories (XS, S, M, L)

  • Simple
  • No room for negotiation
  • Gives price break for large tattoos
  • None

Price per Square Inch

  • Customized to patient
  • Can advertise low price per square inch
  • Takes time to calculate
  • Cost prohibitive for large tattoos
  • Focuses discussion on price
  • Some tattoos have negative space or are not easily measured
Pulse Count / Duration of Treatment
  • Price proportional to wear on laser
  • Puts pressure on speed/efficiency of practitioner
  • Not commonly done
Flat Price for Guaranteed Removal
  • Patients feel confident in what they're paying for
  • You don't know anything about the ink in the tattoo or how easy or hard it will be to remove – don't promise something you can't know
Gradation Scale
  • Less ink in tattoo = lower price for the treatment, patients don't feel gouged
  • Complicates pricing
  • Late stage treatments might not be profitable for provider
  • Not commonly done

 

Pricing Examples

We recommend size categories for tattoo removal pricing because it's easy for the patient to understand, doesn't open up space for negotiation, and isn't too expensive for large tattoos.

Here are some examples of what size category pricing per treatment can look like:

 

XS

S

M

L

XL+

Size 1" x 1" 2" x 2" 4" x 4" 6" x 6" 8" x 8" +
Description Size of Postage Stamp or Smaller About the Size of a Business Card About the Size of Your Palm  About the Size of Two Hands  Half sleeves, sleeves, and more
Dermatologist / Plastic Surgeon $149 - $199 $199 - $299 $299 - $399 $399 - $599 Custom
Medical Spa / Physician Practice $99 - $149 $149 - $199 $199 - $299 $299 - $499 Custom
Tattoo Removal Specialist $75 - $125 $125 - $175 $175 - $249 $249 - $349 Custom

Of course, your practice might be outside of these ranges depending on your brand and market. We've met some physicians that have a minimum price of $1,000 to do any treatment – no matter how small – because they had reputations that enabled them to do so. 

We recommend doing custom pricing for all XL tattoos, as it will be a small percent of your customers that fit within this category (most tattoos are small-to-medium in size). 

 

4) Tattoo Removal Discounts to Offer

Discounts help patients feel like they're getting a good deal for your services without cheapening your standard prices.

Package Deals

Virtually all aesthetic procedures that require multiple treatments (hair removal, tattoo removal, laser lipo, skin tightening, etc.) are sold both as package deals and a la carte.

The a la carte option is good for patients that want to break up their tattoo removal cost into pieces, but the package deal has benefits to both the patient and the provider:

  • Receive revenue up-front
  • Patient commits themselves to the process
  • Patient commits themselves to your practice
  • Significant savings for the patient

Since most tattoo removal patients need at least 5 treatments to see complete results, we recommend offering:

  • 10% off a package of 3 treatments
  • 20% off a package of 5 treatments (buy 4, get 1 free)

Other Common Discounts

We've seen practices do these other discounts as well:

  • 50% off the treatment of a second tattoo
  • Discounts for military members and veterans
  • Free or significantly discounted treatments for breast cancer radiation tattoos

 

Find What Works for You

Your treatment pricing is an important part of positioning your practice  – it's worth it to do some research and decide what makes the most sense for you and your patients.

Remember, laser tattoo removal is very fast procedure, and you're charging a premium for your time. Even if your prices are affordable, you'll still be highly profitable.

Learn More

Check out these other resources from Astanza: