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. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003

Maybe people aren't aware of how little you make? I mean, I would never regularly leave a 40% tip. Is that customary? I go monthly for a pedicure and I give about a 15% - 20% tip. Same for my nails, but I started doing my fingernails myself. Maybe every month or two, I have my manicurist do them. It's too expensive otherwise.

Or maybe some of your customers are feeling the crunch of the economy and don't have it to give you. Or maybe some are on a fixed income? Maybe some are cheap?

Maybe when your regular clients are there, the receptionist could schedule their next appointment. In that way, you won't have to worry about your poorer paying customers taking their spots?

I have to admit, this is a tough one for me. When I go to the spa, I go with two other women. One tips more then I do, the other tips far less, but at least they are getting the business. I mean, if the poor tipper didn't go at all, the manicurist would be out the entire sale.

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