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Shoe Shine Tipping - Page 2

post #16 of 69
The $2.50 shine is a bargain. Go with the five-spot.
post #17 of 69
Thread Starter 
I usually give the guy at Nordstrom a fiver for a $2.50 chair shine.  I would probably tip less for dropping off a bunch of shoes.  His NBA analysis is worth the extra money, though.  I need to talk to him and get his breakdown of the Rockets-Mavericks series.
The reason I started this thread is this.  The shoe shine guy who comes to my office, on in infrequent, irregular basis, charges $5.00 per shine.  He's a very nice guy, but doesn't do a very good job. Nonetheless, I usually tip him at least $2.00 per shine. What really irritates me is that when I pay him $7.00 for a mediocre shoe shine, he gives me this downtrodden look that seems to say "Is this all I get?" For the $2.50 single shoe shine at Nordstrom's I generally do pay $5.00. I'm glad to see that my tipping practices are  generally in line with the posts in this thread.   Thanks for everyone's input.
post #18 of 69
A dollar tip?. Cheap b*stards. If a shine was only $2.50, I would hope at a minimum you would give the person a $5.00.
post #19 of 69
Even though we are Jan 1, 2009 and the last forum posted on shoe shine chair tipping was 2005, I am still going to throw in my two cents (no pun intended). First of all, I find it very sad that a SHINER sells his craft for $2.50, and even sadder that grown-up men do not possess the common decency to tip appropriately. The poor Shiner that sells his 'art' at that price has obviously very limited " marketing know-how" and obviously thinks that by charging only $2.50 more customers will climb aboard and then show their appreciation for his kind gesture and his incredible SHINE and tip him $5.00. Remember this poor Shiner likely pays rent, has to pay for his supplies, might even have to pay taxes. He is not pan-handler, he is not breaking into folks homes, he is not a telemarketing scamer, he is a hard working gentleman trying to earn a living. Not withstanding the fact that you feel great sitting up on his throne and getting a new face lift to your footwear. Unfortunately the SHINER should be teaching you or educating you about why he charges so little and why it cost more if you bring 10 in a bag, but he obviously does not know how to sell himself nor sale his services and as a result, a lot of folks do not know what to do now. I own one of Canada's Top Shoe Shine Stands. It is located in the lobby of the most prestigious commercial building in Downtown, Montreal, Canada. I charge $6.00 a shine for the clients in the chair and $7.00 per Shine for footwear brought to me in a bag. (I would be happy to tell you why if ever u are interested to know). I also have a few of my chrome shoe shine chairs on permanent locations in the offices of some of the top Law Firms in Canada. A bit about me: I was flown to Europe 2 times this past summer to SHINE at commercial trade shows for one of my American clients. I am the only manufacturer of Chrome Shoe Shine Chairs in North America. Just letting you know that I do have marketing skills and I continue to take the Shoe Shine business to new heights. But even when I am SHINING at My Stand the price per Shine of $6.00 is reasonable but I must tell you that the extra $2.00 - $4.00 tip that they give me, is received by me as a THANK YOU VERY MUCH. To me it means I love your work, I love your style and thank you for making me feel so special and for your undivided attention over the past 7 - 10 minutes. To me it means Thank you!. So, Gentleman, it is not just about SHINING shoes. Your $1.00 tip is totally ridiculous. Please have a heart and help instill some pride into the old SHINER. Show him your appreciation for a job well done. Give him $5.00 As for me, I am at [url][url] if you ever want to drop in and say hello. Of course if you ever want to get into the shoe shine business, U would be happy to speak with you. SHINE ON! Harry
post #20 of 69
Happy New Year and welcome to SF KleinShine.

I do hope you continue with this forum. You are obviously very knowledgeable about shoe shines and you'll find this to be quite the place for interest in your knowledge.

There are many threads and posts about shines and shoe care and I'll bet you would find then interesting and have an opinion.

As to the OP, I live in Houston and have been to the Nordstroms that you cited in the Galleria. I've paid $5 which would be a 100% tip I guess, but since I'm from NYC and now I've lived in Houston for quite a while, I know how much cheaper prices are in Texas than NYC.

I would be more concerned ( from the shoe shiner's viewpoint ), that more men will shine their own shoes in this economy than did so in 2005 when this thread was started.
post #21 of 69
I was just at the Nordstrom in Houston at the Galleria. I got 3 pairs of shoes shined and paid $15--100% tip.
post #22 of 69
So, why the upcharge for shining off the foot? I've always been curious.
post #23 of 69
I do wonder though whether most shine places charge what they do not because of a lack of marketing know how, but because of market forces. For example, near my office, a shine of $ 3.00 US plus $2.00 tip is a nice little luxury. At $ 7.00 dollars plus $3.00 tip, the shine ceases to be a little luxury for many men and starts to become something that is thought about. Once the shine involves consideration, I am guessing that is more often than not bypassed. In other words, it is priced at a point that many men will pay without much thinking. My guess is that shine stands in locations that that have a better heeled clientele (e.g., the law firm building) or are in an environment where one already expects to pay more (an airport for example), can charge more.
post #24 of 69

Aside from these special cases, generally, I round up to the nearest $5 mark, e.g., $10 or $15.

- B
post #25 of 69
The place near my office recently raised its prices to $4, which is quite bad for the shiners. It was easy before to pay $3 and tip $2. When I went in earlier this week, I paid $4 and got a dollar back. I had no singles, so I simply tipped $1.
post #26 of 69
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post

Aside from these special cases, generally, I round up to the nearest $5 mark, e.g., $10 or $15.

- B

Scoop neck blouses and there is no way that (a) he reads the paper; (b) there is not a line; and (c) she does not get good tips. However, the nice Mexican-American guys at my shoe shine place lack the competitive edge at that place.
post #27 of 69
Tuesday through Friday there is a Mexican lady with a shoe shine stand in the lobby of my building. She's in a out of the way part of the lobby with not much foot traffic. Even though I usually polish my own shoes, I try to get to her at least twice a month. She charges $3 per shine and always does a very careful and thorough job. She's pleasant even though she doesn't speak much English and always compliments me on my shoes, notes when I bring in a new pair and pays special attention to those, applying more conditioner than normal. She even applies edge dressing when needed, something I've never seen any other shoe shiner do. I always tip her at least 100% and she's always very grateful. I would never tip a shoe shine less than $2 unless it was a very poor rush job.

Thanks for the post Harry!


I went downstairs to get my shoes shined before I picked up some after-lunch coffee and the lady wasn't there. I was sad.
post #28 of 69
The guy I go to is $5 per pair and I pay $6.
post #29 of 69
I give a total of $5 at Nordies
post #30 of 69
Originally Posted by demeis View Post
 I find giving out change as a tip to be incredible rude and belittling unless your at an ice cream stand and putting it in a tip jar and they like.  
I totally disagree with this. I tip a quarter per shine because I like it when they look at me and say
"Geeze, two bits mistah!" then bite into it to make sure it is real and finish with something like "You're a saint!"
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