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Tipping Perspective

October 4, 2013

I don’t know if I have very talked to much about my stance on tipping. This tends to be a sensitive topic, and I feel that I have a unique perspective on it and the expectation. Most gals I talk to expect to be tipped. 15% is good, 20% is awesome and anything over 20% represents a very impressed client. I had a conversation recently with a client that doesn’t like to be pressured into tipping. She said she usually does tip (I find her to be generous), but hates that people assume she will, or even worse, ask her too. We had a lovely candid conversation, and this was basically what I told her:

I do tend to expect a tip for manicures and pedicures, especially when I have done nail art. Facials I also expect a tip on, because I do a lot of massage in my facials. With waxing, I also expect to get tipped. I’m fairly anal about my brow waxes and I think I’m pretty meticulous with body waxing. When it comes to massage, I don’t expect it. Some people have a tendency to see their massage therapy sessions as part of their health care, and you don’t tip your doctor, right?

When I worked on commission full time, I always got tipped. If I didn’t it was usually because of younger clients that didn’t know any better. To this day, even with a part time commission based job, I do expect that tip. Simply because, even though the massage was $70, I see a fraction of that. It is very rare that I do not get tipped when working on commission, even as a massage therapist.

In the time I have worked in my office space, rented or been an independent contractor, it’s been different. Some people will always tip well, some people will simply round up, others, again, mostly massage clients, won’t tip at all since they know you aren’t having to pay out a middle man. I control my prices. I know exactly what I am getting paid when I book a client. I kind of feel that If I really expect that tip, then I should factor that into what I charge for my initial service. Them if the client wants to tip on top of that, it’s a generous gift.

Tips are exactly that, a gift. I do not expect them, I do not ask for them. They are a thank you for a job well done. Sometimes a client will tip me extra for the extras I throw into my services. I am always taken aback by people’s generosity. People tip in different ways. I have a client that brings me cookies every time I see her. I have another who is crafty and she brings me handmade decorative items for my office. I once had a client that begged me to get them in for a massage the night before I left to go on a vacation. That client was so grateful, he paid me double the price for the massage. I seriously got a $100 tip. It takes all kinds and there are all sorts of unique situations. Some people cannot afford to tip, and in this economy, I am grateful enough to be included in their budget, why add to that with the stress of additional fees?

Like I said, I have a unique outlook. I know of a gal who fired a client because she never tipped her. I thought that was so callous. Again, if your business demands the need for that extra cash on top of the service, then just raise your prices. Factor it in. Not everyone tips, not everyone can tip and some people will not tip to your level of expectation.

With this said, I am a good tipper. I tip the cheerful barista at my local coffee shop. I always tip 20% on spa services when I go to a day spa or my local nail place for my pedicure. I will even go as far as to ask if the gals are commission or booth renters. I tip the pizza delivery guy, and I always take care of waiters and waitresses. I also tip well because I believe that it is good karma to do so. Especially when you work in a business where you yourself accept tips.

I always get backlash professionally for my position. Tips are a bonus. They are a gift. Some people feel that they are being insulted if they don’t get a tip at all. I always see it as the icing on the cake


From → Massage, My work

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