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: 12-17-2003
Thu, 02-28-2013 - 7:23pm

I don't know Age, maybe where I go they are just more efficient, work more as a team, and any place I've gone to, it takes longer then 3-5 minutes to remove gel polish. More like 10 minutes, maybe 15.

Yeah, I still can't really comprehend. I mean I am not just sitting there talking to the client, I am taking off old polish, trimming their toenails and filing them, filing calluses down, massaging, etc

I thought I explained, there's usually soaking time between each step in the process ... with a pedicure and a gel manicure.

If I ran off to work on someone else they'd just be sitting there waiting.

Nope, as I said, usually there's soaking time, which I don't mind ... most people don't. Who would complain about keeping their feet soaking in a spa bath?

I have had my nails done at cheap places before and have never had my technician leave to go work on someone else in the middle of my service.

I guess I've explained this. During gel manicures and pedicures, there is time and I don't know where you think they are leaving go to? :) The person is sitting right next to you. And again, I don't care, I actually like the extra time they give soaking my hands or my feet.

Personally, I find I get much better service here then at a pricier spas ... but that's just me. IME, pricier spas tend to rush through everything.

Even if you could make the timing work somehow, when would you have time to clean anything?

I am not sure how they do it where you work, but the sink is right there .... they do wash their hands. And before and after each pedicure, they wash the basin.

I also hope that if it's a person giving you a back massage (rather than the mechanical massage chairs, not sure which you meant) that they are a licensed massage therapist, as is required in nearly every state.

Sorry that wasn't clear, considering I was talking about getting a massage while getting a pedicure or foot rub, I thought it was clear what I was talking about.

I guess, IMO, I feel this inexpensive place offers more then the high end spas. I mean it's not so hard to comprehend. You walk in, sit in a chair, soak your feet, the next person walks in, sits down and begins to soak their feet .... if anything, we are getting more time for half the price. After scrubbing and clipping, you soak again ... and so on. Sure, it take a bit longer then 45 minutes, but that's a good point, more time is actually spent on the service you actually receive .... and, as I said, they earn more, do more and end up with more tips. :)

And again, with a gel polish, I appreciate the extra time I get to soak and moisturize my hands.

No, there are a lot of "cheap" places I won't go to. As I said, it took some searching to find a place I could afford, receive good service and leave an appropriate tip.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

I meant to say earlier that the reason hairstylists can double up on clients is because when they do perms, chemical straightening, or color there is always 20-40 minutes of processing time. I used to answer phones and book appointments for a hairstylist who did this and there was a real science to what services you could fit in where. She also could not do it at all without an assistant to do much of the washing, rinsing, and blow drying. If you let someone over process by even a few minutes the results can be disasterous, and you can't exactly stop in the middle of someone else's haircut to go spend 20+ minutes rinsing out and blowdrying your other client. Booking more than two people at a time was extremely rare as well because the timing just didn't work out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

Yeah, I still can't really comprehend. I mean I am not just sitting there talking to the client, I am taking off old polish, trimming their toenails and filing them, filing calluses down, massaging, etc. Even if there is a minute here or there I am not touching the client I am busy cleaning and gathering things I need to do their service. And if you are removing gel polish correctly you should not be sitting there soaking fo more than 3-5 minutes tops. After that I again must be physically present with my client for the next 45 minutes. If I ran off to work on someone else they'd just be sitting there waiting.

I have had my nails done at cheap places before and have never had my technician leave to go work on someone else in the middle of my service. That's just weird. Even if you could make the timing work somehow, when would you have time to clean anything? I hope your technician is at least washing her hands thoroughly in between handling different clients, as is required by law. I also hope that if it's a person giving you a back massage (rather than the mechanical massage chairs, not sure which you meant) that they are a licensed massage therapist, as is required in nearly every state.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Wed, 02-27-2013 - 1:05pm

lol, well, it's really not that difficult and this isn't an upscale spa where one would expect personal service. Pedicures, while you are soaking, she might be scrubbing the next person or doing clipping and cuticles and then move on down the line. Then you soak again, she might start the polish on the next person down the line and so on.

Manicures .... I usually get a gel manicure so, she will wrap the nails to remove the polish, which takes time so, she will move to the next person and do whatever they need, then while they soak, she moves back to me and so on and so on.

It's really no different from a hair stylist cutting hair while waiting someone elses perm or color to set.

 If I were paying $50 for a pedicure, I would probably expect one person to sit their and entertain me the whole time, but I kind of like it this way. I go with people I know, so, I can talk to them if I want or just sit back and relax. Plus, I get more time to soak my feet and enjoy the back and foot massage. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

How on earth do you do more than one pedicure or manicure at a time? I am physically with each of my clients for the entire service.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 1:06pm

>>Maybe people think I make a lot more than I do then. It seems to vary a lot by region. Here a commission of 25-40% is typical. There are places that offer 50% but you will be sitting on your butt with no clients for more than half the day, so in reality you are better off taking the job with lower commission. Those jobs tend to put a lot more money and time into advertising and marketing.<<

We have all kinds of salons here. I actually found the spa charging $40-50 for a pedicure is not nearly as good as the place I go to, which charges $22. My point was, I have no way of knowing which place and what services determine the manicurists commission. I only know because I know people personally. So, the place I go to, the girl might get 50%, making $11 for that hour. As where the high end place charging $40, they may only pay their emplyee $9 or $10 a hour.  But, the place I go to ... that girl is probably doing 4 or 5 pedicures at a time ..... know what I mean?

The salon I spoke of is a very well known place (has been around forever) and they do pay very well. A well trained person may take a cut in pay to wash hair there just to get their foot in the door because they know, eventually, they will be very well paid.  When I used to go there, I never tipped more because I knew they made very good money. So, when we get into percentages, I might tip them 10%. The hairdresser I use now, charges me $32 and I tip her about 15%. My husband goes to a woman who charges him $10 .... he gives her $20! She gets a 50% tip. :)

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

sorry, double post

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006

Maybe people think I make a lot more than I do then. It seems to vary a lot by region. Here a commission of 25-40% is typical. There are places that offer 50% but you will be sitting on your butt with no clients for more than half the day, so in reality you are better off taking the job with lower commission. Those jobs tend to put a lot more money and time into advertising and marketing.

Massage Envy locations are all independently owned so the pay rates can vary, but the vast majority of them pay 15$ per hour of massage. (That means if they don't have a client they are not getting paid for that time) They have one of the lowest pay rates in the industry. It's a good place to start out though, because they will keep a steady stream of clients coming through your door. There is one a half mile from my apartment and I considered working there. I work at the airport and I make 20-30$ per hour of massage. I average about 100$ in a 5-6 hour shift, not counting tips. It is worth noting that very few MTs are physically able to work 40 hours a week doing massage. 20-25 hours a week is most common.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013

I am a member of Massage Envy. In all the rooms there are envelopes for tips, and a helpful chart so that you know how much would equal 10%, 15%, 20%, etc.  At first I was put off, but I'm sure there have been problems. Members pay a monthly fee plus each massage (after the first which is included in the fee) is 50% off the regular price. Tips are based on the regular price. I never schedule a massage if I don't have $15 or $20 on me. My hat is off to you; I would not be able to use my hands like that all day. It's not an easy job!

age-of-aquarius wrote:
<p>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. </p><p>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.</p><p>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. </p>

Shaking my head at the things grown women get their panties in a wad about.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 7:40am

I see what you are saying and some people are just cheap. Throughout the years, I've met many people who work as hairdressers, manicurists and whatnot. It's an odd business because, as you talk of the percentage you get in income, it's different for everyone. Some rent space from their shop and earn more, others outright own their business ..... while here, high end salons? The hairdressers, manicurist etc, earn 50-60% of the fee. So, a $60 haircut? The hairdresser earns $30 per cut and can cut 2 heads in an hour! I would find it hard to sympathize with someone making $60 an hour cutting hair complaining about their tip ... know what I mean?

Maybe some people just don't know how little you actually make. I just don't see it as a standard, like all manicurist receive a standard percentage of the bill? It all depends on where you work and I would think a high end salon would be paying you more then they actually do.