Before you decide to become a client of a body piercing shop, there are a few important things you should look for. First, make sure the shop’s various licenses and credentials are posted (if you are not sure of the requirements for your area you can contact your local health department). Second, check to see that the shop has a wide variety of body jewelry – if a shop does not have enough of a selection they will not be able to use the correct size and type required for your piercing (this occurs in many tattoo shops that offer body piercing as an afterthought, done when business is slow for the money. Note: If you are unsure what kind of shop you are in, look at the signs in the windows and see the size difference between the ‘Tattoo’ sign and the ‘Piercing’ sign – if they even have a body piercing sign at all). Third, and most importantly, the body art establishment should be kept perfectly clean throughout – that means the floors, walls, furnishings, chairs, etc. etc. (there should never be any smoking or drinking by staff or clients at any time inside the shop, nor should there be the residual smell of nicotine residue in the establishment). Finally, make sure the piercing room is a completely separate room that is immaculate and used only for the purpose of body piercing.
You will find that many establishments are actually tattoo artist that offer body piercing as a side activity. This is due to the fact that a shop makes 10 to 20 times the money tattooing than from piercing. Although there are dedicated body piercing shops out there, they are few and far between. If you do not have a dedicated body piercing shop near you, try to pick a tattoo shop that shows genuine concern and interest in body piercing, one that will not try to ‘up-sell’ you into getting tattooed. It’s also a good idea to visit the shop on a separate day prior to piercing, this way you will have a better chance of devoting your attention to the premises and it will allow you to make an objective decision before you get your piercing. Feel free to ask any questions regarding the establishment, it’s staff or regarding the types of tools and equipment they use. Any respectable body piercer or shop owner will gladly show you around and be glad to answer your questions. If there is anything amiss, or the staff acts irritated or defensive with your questioning, you can be it is not the kind of shop you want to be pierced in.
The final factor in your decision will be a subjective one; comfort level. The right shop will fulfill all the above criteria for cleanliness, and have honest and professional staff that will not try to pressure you into a piercing in any way. You will know the right shop for you when you step into it, it will just feel ‘right’. That feeling of comfort comes from staff that convey genuine concern over your welfare, and will make themselves available to you at all times, even on days you are no spending any money.