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Shoe Shine Tipping

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HoustonBusiness, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. HoustonBusiness

    HoustonBusiness Active Member

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    Houston's Nordstrom has a couple of guys who provide a shoe shine service next to the shoe section. They typically do a very good job. Sometimes I sit in the chair and have them shine the pair I'm wearing, other times I bring a large duffle bag with 5-10 pairs of shoes to be shined, leave the shoes with them for a couple of days, and pick them up later.

    The charge for the shoe shine is $2.50. I'm curious to know what you all consider to be the appropriate amount of a shoe shine tip. Any thoughts?
     


  2. demeis

    demeis Senior member

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    I find that you should at least tip a dollar for one pair of shoes.  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've only had my shoes shined once and was chared $3.00 and tipped $1.00. I would say for each additional pair add maybe .25 or .50 cents. As for me i would do the following

    1 = $1.00
    2 = $1.50
    3 = $2.00
    4 = $3.00
    5 = $4.00
    6 = $5.00

    etc. I don't know if thats a lot for a shoe shine but i feel like tips are important to people and ahve heard my friend complain about crappy tips so i try to tip a bit more especially for a job thats really not that fun (for most people i find it really relaxing)
     


  3. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    To give $1 for one pair would mean having to use change, which I agree is not good. So, I'd just round up to the whole number, giving a total $3 per pair, 50 cent tip per pair. That's a 20% tip.

    1 pair = $3 total
    2 pair = $6 total
    3 pair = $9 total
    4 pair = $12 total

    and so on
     


  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    I find it relaxing as well. I wait for a sunny day, go out back, put some Chopin on shine my shoes whilst I occasionally stare at the lake.

    Jon.
     


  5. DandySF

    DandySF Senior member

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    I happen to be in NY on business and have had my shoes shined twice at a shop at 53rd and 5th, inside the subway entrance. I saw a number of well dressed men with attractive shoes getting shines. Nearly everyone paid the $3.50 for the shine and then handed the staff member some folded up money. It looked like the standard tip was two bucks. By the way, they did a great job on the shoes; in fact I just had them re-heel some Allen Edmonds this morning.
     


  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    In NYC the smallest denomination of paper currency is the $5 bill. When you hand one out, its gone. Doesn't matter if the charge is $2, $3, $3.50. The five is gone.

    One dollar bills ... and anything of metal ... are reserved for vending machines and panhandlers.
     


  7. scnupe7

    scnupe7 Senior member

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    When I was in Charlotte, I used to frequent a stand that charged $5 per pair. I would tip two bucks if the guy did a thorough job. If I received a rush job, I would tip one dollar.
     


  8. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    The guy I use is the semi-official firm shoeshine guy, who goes office to office in my building (I'm in DC). He charges $5 for shoes and $6 for chukka and ankle boots. Either way, I give him a $1 tip. At Christmastime, I give him $20 (so a $14 or $15 tip). I don't know if a buck is typical of what others give him but he has never done other than a tip-top shine job or otherwise let on that I don't tip enough.
     


  9. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    I get my shoe's shined at a place in my office building that does an incredible job but charges only $2.50 - I typically tip $2.

    Panzer
     


  10. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    Holy smokes, If all of you are willing, I will polish all your shoes to a shine of your liking if you were to pay me $5.00 each. (I'll try to make myself free during christmas time. [​IMG] )
     


  11. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    While I'm firmly in the shine my own shoes camp, on occasion I've relied on the services of a professional shoe shiner. And, based upon my meager experience, $2.50 is a bargain. Be a mensch. Give the gent a fiver and eschew the change.
     


  12. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    The place near my office charges $3. As Alex noted, the fiver is gone in a flash. Hence, a $2 tip.
     


  13. cpac

    cpac Senior member

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    another new yorker here.

    As my office is very near grand central, I find myself going to a different shine place all the time. Usually the cost is $3 and I'll tip $1, or if feeling generous, $2.

    That said, if I ever settle on a "usual" place or guy, I'd probably always go with the bigger tip. Just like buying clothes from your regular salesman, the relationship is worth it.
     


  14. Murrah

    Murrah Member

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    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.
     


  15. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I get a shine every day I'm not wearing suede shoes. The stand charges $7 for two coats and I tip a buck, or 15%. If I get the four coat shine for $12, I tip $2.

    I know the shiner is already getting a couple dollars more per shine than at a stand that charges less. They are always happy to see me.
     


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