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What is Tipping?


A small present of money given directly to someone for performing a service or menial task. (aka gratuity).

Wider definition

  • Is a bonus a tip?
The custom arrived in the US from Europe in the late 1800s but early in the 20th Century, an anti-tipping campaign gathered pace, driven by the view it was undemocratic and a means to create a servant class


  • Rounding up bill
  • Double local tax
  • Tip before tax
  • Tip after tax
  • Tip cash
  • Tip by card
  • Automatic tip
  • Automatic tip + voluntary tip
  • Tips going to business
  • Tips shared
  • Tips for individual
  • Tips for bad service

Other attributes

Discrete or continuous
Qualitative or quantitative

What’s wrong with Tipping?

How do you get it right?
Some consumers, don't want to feel like an employer.
Tips make it hard to budget
'Unpopular' people get less tips. (Less attractive people, people of colour, women etc)
The reverse is true of customers, white males get better service.
If you want to save money and carry your own suitcases, you get funny looks.
Before you tip, you don't agree a price, this creates bitterness. Is it really worth $1 tip for every drink served or suitcase put in boot, or even $3 for opening a door???
Tipping and quality of service, only have a low correlation.
The larger the group the smaller the Tip. This is why restaurants add an automatic tip for larger groups.
Sincere smiling can increase the tip.
Servers introducing by name can increase the tip
Paying by card increases the tip
Waitresses can get better tips than waiters with red shirts, touching you on the arm and smiley faces on bills.
It can turn waiters against their employers, by giving the customer free stuff, or not fighting the restaurants corner.
Its done as a percentage, as opposed to time taken, so some rates can be excessive.
Its demeaning for the staff to wait around while we rummage for change.
You don't feel you can ask for change.
Administration time taken to work out how much to pay for each cleaner and belhop.
It removes genuinity from the relationship of tour guide and tourist. Is the guide just being friendly for the money?
Why can't it be included in the overall price, then you could really compare products.
It doesn't seem to be a genuine token of appreciation, but a ritual.
What about tips for all those people you don't see? 
Tipping is a form of barter of price, with the terms being offered first before price agreed.
Why not tip the receptionist, but tip the belhop?? why it is customary to tip some professions and not others.
You don't want to return if you give a bad tip, as you may get bad service going forward.

Also related to bonus's which are a different matter.

Note that while this website doesn't like some aspects of tipping, it is not suggesting banning it. It does suggest they should be voluntary unless made clear prior to service, and intimidation for not paying a tip treated as a criminal matter.

Arguments against xxxx

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xxxx can have positive externalities

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Tipping will stay as long as the servers are not paid a full wage.


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Source of income and jobs

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Censorship is futile

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Collateral damage

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Banning across borders

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    In Singapore, tips are supposedly illegal, he found, while in Fiji, Iceland and Japan, they cause embarrassment and offence.


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    Teenagers attitudes to xxxx

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    Feminist attitude to xxxx

    Producer level censoring

    Parent or self censoring

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    What next

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    Washington was the first state to ban it in 1909, followed by Arkansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. But these laws were all repealed by 1926, and since then tipping has flourished.



    Link147 Mind tricks to get better tips