Why do some people tip poorly or not at all?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Why do some people tip poorly or not at all?
41
Mon, 02-25-2013 - 12:52am

I have been a licensed manicurist for over nine years, and have recently became a licensed massage therapist as well. A big part of the reason I got into this line of work is the pay, and tips are customary. Tips make up about 40% of my pay as a manicurist, and over 50% of my pay as a massage therapist. I really love my both of my jobs and enjoy the work, but I wouldn't be doing it for 40-50% less pay.

I really can't fathom why someone would tell me I did a beautiful job, that they feel brand new, that they want to come back to me every month, and then leave a tip of less than 10% or even sometimes none at all. I do everything in my power to keep my clients happy and do the absolute best job I can. I have a lot of pride in the level of my work. I don't half ass it, even if I'm not feeling great or having a bad day. I am always warm and friendly, even when the clients don't return that to me. The receptionists always ask if they would like to leave gratuity, so it can't be that they don't know (it has to be added in on the computer with our checkout system, rather than written in on the reciept.

I am not complaining about how much I make, because even with the rare low/non tipper my tips still average out to be at least 20% of the total bill. Obviously it's worth it to me to keep doing what I do. I know there will always be people who don't follow the customs and that is just part of the job. I'm just trying to understand why someone would intentionally do that in the first place if they are happy with the service they recieved? I mean I get that a lot of people don't like the institution of tipping and would like to see it go away (I even agree in some ways), but do you think you are going to change that by being part of the 1-2% that refuse to do it? Why punish the person who just cut your toenails? How does that make sense? It especially galls me when these people make appointments during my busiest days and times and my regular clients who tip me well cannot get in as a result. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

No, I don't own the salon. I work for a smallish local chain that is very successful. The owner is a former corporate attorney. I think we should raise our prices, but unfortunately it isn't up to me.That said it would be kind of unfair to make everyone else pay more just to make up for those who feel entitled to recieve luxury services at someone else's expense.

In theory it would be fine with me if we just raised our prices and stopped accepting tips, but here's where it becomes a problem. If we raised prices by 20% (and gave all of that increase to the technician) the people who only tipped 10-15% would be mad, and justifiably so. If we raised prices by 15% then I would be mad because I routinely get more than that and my income would suffer. Not only that but it's hard as it is to find enough employees, let alone good ones (part of the reason we cannot keep up with demand) and I know for a fact that some of the girls I work with immediately stop giving a s--- as soon as they are guaranteed a tip (like when we do groups of 6 or more there is an automatic 17% gratuity). Sadly, not every manicurist takes pride in their work for it's own merits and are only doing a good job to get the best tip possible. And, sure, we could fire them, but we are already consistently understaffed, so...

Many of my regular clients do book ahead, but not all of them are able to for various reasons. We service a lot of high profile guests, owners of large businesses and such. They're busy. Having crappy tippers is just an unavoidable part of the business. I just don't get the attitude or the reasoning behind it. To me your budget shouldn't be any excuse because I have been a single mom living on an income of 10K a year, and I still managed to tip appropriately. If you need to cut back on your spending it shouldn't be at someone else's direct expense.

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

I was at school today and we were exchanging small talk, This young guy said he lived in this small town nearby which made me think of this very well known italian eatery there, When I asked if he went there he said No, b/c they can't afford to tip, That broke my heart but it was so genuine.

 

 

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

I have never been to a massage therapist and I've never had a pedicure, The last manicure I paid for was for DD1 when she went to her first dance, That was three years ago and my tip was comparable to what I tip hair stylsts b/c it was done there.  Is that your own salon?  Raise your rates!

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Mon, 02-25-2013 - 4:16pm

Well, all I can suggest is you try to schedule your good paying customers for their next appointment while they are there. Most of my friends have standing appointments with their manicurists. Eventually, you should fill up with only good paying customers.

We were never taught just to tip. There's a standard amount, higher for better service, lower for bad service. But, I agree, I searched high and low before I found a great place to get my mani/pedi that was reasonably priced. I avoid the higher end spas.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

I also don't get this idea that people should just tip whatever they want and I should be grateful for it. I was raised to beliueve that tipping below what is customary for good service is extrememly rude. I would never do it. The way I was raised, if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out. I mean, leaving a $2 tip on a 48$ service is just rude, especially when you can literally walk down the block and get the same type of service for 25$, or even get a less expensive one with me that will still get the job done. Nobody NEEDS to spend $50+ to get their nails done.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

No, a 40-50% tip is not customary. My tips make up 40-50% of my income because I only get paid 25-35% of the service price. 10-20% is customary, though I do often get more, personally. I'm also not grateful just  have the client  because I am fully booked and would have had one anyway. There are plenty of cheaper places one could go if they can't afford it. I mean, you could always do it yourself too. It's a luxury service.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

I suspect that most of your clients are young; under 45. These people tend to have families to support and money can be tight.   Your much older clients (over 60) may be on fixed incomes. When the economy is bad, people have less money to spend on non-essential services.And those who do, tend to reduce the use of those services and spend less on the added-on costs.

A tip is suppose to be freely given; on top of the cost of the service but not everyone has the money to tip generously.  It can mean the difference between using the service or not at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

I suspect that most of your clients are young; under 45. These people tend to have families to support and money can be tight.   Your much older clients (over 60) may be on fixed incomes. When the economy is bad, people have less money to spend on non-essential services.And those who do, tend to reduce the use of those services and spend less on the added-on costs.

A tip is suppose to be freely given; on top of the cost of the service but not everyone has the money to tip generously.  It can mean the difference between using the service or not at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998

Maybe not everyone knows that tipping is customary? Or they regard you as a professional, and assume it would be insulting to tip you. People don't tip their doctors, after all, so if someone is going for a massage treatment, they may think you are, in a sense, the "physician" treating their pain. And there are some people who are just cheap. I worked as a waitress one summer in college, and like most people doing that job, I have horror stories about high-maintenance, rude and stingy people!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
I had no idea in the world that it was customary or expected to tip 40-50 percent for ANYTHING. I have never had a massage or a mani/pedi. I get a professional haircut about three times a year and tip in the neighborhood of 20%. We give our dog groomer about the same and i usually give her the equivalent of one grooming fee at Christmas since we use her very regularly through the year. I tip 15-20 percent at restaurants depending on the quality of service. The only other services I get that I tip for are can rides and hotel maid service.