There should be some of these. Years of piercing experience, tons of happy clients, a portfolio of successful work. Ideally, you would know someone who used this piercer before and is super happy with the experience. If not, feel free to do some research. A lot of piercers now maintain an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account with client photos. If they’re really old school, they might have actual hard copies in some kind of album with pages you can flip through.
The portfolio is particularly important. Just because John Q. Piercer has been piercing for 20 years doesn’t mean he isn’t known as “Cock Eyed Johnny” in the piercing community for his hilariously crooked piercings. Every city has a piercer like this. If you think I’m joking, call a piercing studio and ask where not to get pierced. All the other studios will have had experience correcting this piercer’s mistakes. Make sure that piercer isn’t your piercer.
Also, remember that sometimes the most experience doesn’t equal the best piercer. Just like doctors, old school piercers may not be keeping up with current community standards.
Ask: “Have you ever done this piercing before and if so how many times? Do you have pictures?” Some weird, new piercings, or rarely requested ones may be something they’ve never done before, or maybe they’re only done one or two. Make sure that what they’re doing for you is familiar ground.