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Shoe Shine Tipping

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

  1. Limniscate

    Limniscate Senior member

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    I was just at the Nordstrom in Houston at the Galleria. I got 3 pairs of shoes shined and paid $15--100% tip.
     
  2. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    So, why the upcharge for shining off the foot? I've always been curious.
     
  3. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    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.
     
  4. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    Depends.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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


    - B
     
  5. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    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.
     
  6. marc237

    marc237 Senior member

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    Depends.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  7. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    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!

    **EDIT**

    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.[​IMG]
     
  8. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    The guy I go to is $5 per pair and I pay $6.
     
  9. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    I give a total of $5 at Nordies
     
  10. Silverback

    Silverback Senior member

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    Â 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. Â
    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!"
     
  11. Keon

    Keon Well-Known Member

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    The guy across the street in the (large) barber shop charges $7 per the price list on the wall. I was thinking about having him do my shoes.. but I suppose I'd have to give him a $10. It seems awkward to give $9.
     
  12. Silverback

    Silverback Senior member

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    The guy across the street in the (large) barber shop charges $7 per the price list on the wall. I was thinking about having him do my shoes.. but I suppose I'd have to give him a $10. It seems awkward to give $9.
    Actually I hate it when that happens. Then you have to actually have $9 in cash or just let him keep the $10. [​IMG]
     
  13. fcuknu

    fcuknu Senior member

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    I find that 5 bucks is the minimum tip for everything. I cant see giving out less than 5, I feel like an animal.
     
  14. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    Wow, there are some cheap bastards in this thread. I always figured the reason the charge for the shine was so cheap, was so that you can bulk up on the tip. Especially places where you pay at the counter & tip the shiner separately. Bastards.

    There was a couple of nice Hispanic ladies that worked the shine chairs at a shop down on Murray St? & when I went there for a shine they were always thorough & it felt like getting a foot massage. Hell, I think I learned how to shine shoes by watching them. Bastards.

    3 bucks should be at the low-end of the scale. Bastards.
     
  15. Orgetorix

    Orgetorix Senior member

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    When I lived in DC, the closest shine stand charged $8. At that price it was only an occasional splurge for me, and I always tipped $2.

    I only wish I knew of a place to get my shoes shined in Louisville.
     
  16. hadamulletonce

    hadamulletonce Senior member

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    I tip about $2-$3 per pair.
     
  17. Chips

    Chips Senior member

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    On my flight out of SFO, the day before Thanksgiving, I paid $7 for a shine that was very well done. I gave him a $10 and thanked him for the first shoe shine I've ever had someone do for me. He took care to do a good job, but I wonder if he was gouging the price a bit, since it was such a busy day at the airport.

    I laughed to myself when seeing so many people sitting down to have the ugliest cheapest shoes shined. When I left, a lady with pleather shoes with velcro straps was sitting down to have them shined. He would work on someone esle's pair while the first coat of wax was drying on mine. All in all, I only saw 5 others getting their shoes done, but I was the only one wearing leather soled shoes.

    Whatever floats your boat.
     
  18. jobro

    jobro Senior member

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    I live in Perth, Western Australia. I have never ever seen a shoe shiner. I was amazed at the website of the guy selling shoe shinning chairs.
     
  19. mr monty

    mr monty Senior member

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    So, why the upcharge for shining off the foot? I've always been curious.

    It's harder to shine shoes off the foot. At least it was for me. I was 12 (1960) and worked in a shine parlor on sunday mornings just before going to church.
     
  20. kealani

    kealani New Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 8, 2009
    To the person who is afraid of "grossly and unnecessarily" overtipping your shoeshiner, please read this: *I am a full-time, Monday through Friday, professional shoeshiner. *I am an independent contractor. *Shoe shining does not offer healthcare. *Shoe shining does not come with any benefits. *I receive neither vacation nor sick pay. *In fact, I get nothing but my commision on the shine and your tip, generous or otherwise. *Believe me, I'm not getting rich one shoe shine at a time. *Believe me, I'll never get rich, no matter how much you grossly overtip me. *Almost every product I use to shine your shoes is a carcinogen. You're welcome. *I clean dirt, mud, gum, sh#t, and whatever other hideousness you come in with off of your shoes. *I don't ever complain to you about that last one. In fact, you often never know I did it. *Shining shoes is backbreaking, grueling work. *I have pain in every muscle and joint in my body after a busy day shining shoes. *I continually study the art and craft of shoe shining. *I have made it my business to know how to care for and beautify your shoes/leather goods. *I have made it my business to know how NOT to ruin your expensive shoes. *I have made it my business to know how to care for the hand painted finishes on your shoes. *I have made it my business to make you look good. *I converse with you if you want to. I ask you about yourself, and I care about the answer. *I shut up and let you relax and read the paper when I can tell that you need a retreat. *I make you laugh, maybe for the first and only time in your day. *I remember your name when you return. I ask you about your family. *I know far more about your shoes than you do. I freely educate you about your shoes and how best to care for them. You are the recipient of my vast knowledge. *You completely f*#ck your shoes up, scuff them, gouge them, let them get over dry, soak them with rain, etc. etc. - and I fix it all, not with magic, but with SKILL and KNOWLEDGE. *You pay to have your shoes shined, not because you don't want to do it yourself, but because in a million years you could never make your shoes look the way I can. *Furthermore, I am private school educated. I have a genius IQ (no lie). When I converse with you, you are often surprised to find that I am actually (gasp) a human being. *I have found a passion in the art of shoe shining. *I have a clientele that trust me with their $5,000 bespoke John Lobbs, their Berlutis, and Bontonis, and Edward Greens, and ad infinitum. *I have a repeat clientele that routinely tip me $5, $10, $15, $20 ABOVE the price of the shoe shine. Now THAT is style. *Every customer who leaves my shop cannot believe how good their shoes look. *When you stiff me for a tip, because you are offended that you actually have to pay me to perform this menial task for you, I take it with a gracious smile. *Most shoe shiners, especially the ones in New York, are immigrant laborers who shine shoes for the slave wage of $2.50 or $3.00 a shine because they have no rights and no other options. Often, the shops they are working in are completely taking advantage of them, against the law. These shops will take a percentage of the meager $2.50 that they break their back for, so your tips make a HUGE difference in their lives. TIPPING SAYS MORE ABOUT THE TIPPER THAN ABOUT THE JOB OR THE RECIPIENT. IN FACT, TIPPING IS ALWAYS, ENTIRELY, ABOUT THE PERSON GIVING THE TIP. WHO DO YOU WANT TO LET THE WORLD KNOW YOU ARE WITH YOUR GRATUITIES? BELIEVE ME, I DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY WHEN YOU ARE A CHEAP ASSHOLE. Having said all of that, I encourage you to please go ahead and "grossly" and "unnecesarily" overtip your shoe shiner. http://www.shineology.blogspot.com http://WWW.ashineandco.com
     

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