Why Buying A Tattoo Gun On Amazon Is Probably A Bad Idea

There's a reason it takes a long time to become a tattoo artist. While there's no set average for how many years you need to put in before you can be deemed professional, the Alliance of Professional Tattooists recommend that aspiring ink masters complete at least three years of an apprenticeship before moving to the big leagues, according to Format. And even then, it usually takes around eight months for an artist in training to even tattoo their first client and earn a tattoo artist license.

And it's this license that enables you to purchase tattoo equipment, like a basic kit including tattoo machines, needles, and ink. In the U.S., it's illegal for unlicensed tattoo artists to even possess tattoo equipment with "the intent to use it," according to Body Jewellery Reviews. While an apprentice is unlicensed during their training, they are practicing their craft while be supervised by a licensed artist, per A Fashion Blog, which makes it okay.

So it may be a little alarming to discover that literally anyone can buy a tattoo gun on Amazon, license or no license.

Cheap tattoo kits can be very dangerous for inexperienced artists

Obviously, if you are a professional tattoo artist, it seems that Amazon does have a pretty trusted selection of equipment to choose from. But if you're unlicensed and not under an apprenticeship, it's a no-go area unless you want to break the law — and subject yourself and others to a variety of serious health concerns.

While Amazon doesn't seem to have an age or license check in place on these purchases (per the Daily Mail), actual dedicated tattoo sites do, according to Body Art & Soul Tattoos. They'll only sell supplies like ink, needles, and machines to professional artists and their apprentices, due to the risks that a cheap kit handled by an inexperienced, unlicensed person can unleash.

Cheap machines, ink, and needles run the risk of causing harm to you and/or others, partially just even due to the the way it's manufactured and the inexperience of whoever is giving the tattoo. From spreading blood borne pathogens to a potential allergic reaction, buying a cheap kit is a real no-go — especially if it's from an unverified seller on Amazon.