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Shoe Shine Tipping

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

  1. Sonny58

    Sonny58 Senior member

    Messages:
    413
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    It depends. If they condition with Renovateur they get more. [​IMG]

    Seriously... I enjoy polishing my own shoes and feel like I get a better job than I would otherwise receive. So I don't utilize the service of a shoe shiner. But if I did and, if I got a good shine and was treated respectfully I'd feel compelled to give a very generous tip. An extra fiver would be no problem or ten if I didn't have change would seem appropriate.
     
  2. cwh812

    cwh812 Senior member

    Messages:
    572
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    Feb 24, 2009
    In general, I find people who over-tip to be obnoxious (often to the point of insulting), the economic equivalent of dumping. They train society to hanker after money which they have not rightfully earned and to become selective of their customers, lowering the standards or quality of their work for all except customers they deem as generous. That shoeshine blog is pathetic and a very apt example of avarice. Anyone who praises clients as having style just because they routinely tip $5-$20 seriously needs to re-examine his business and professional ethics.

    At my previous job and my current job there is a guy who comes to our office twice a week and shines shoes. They both charge $4 and I always tip 100% - another $4. There are several reasons why I do it - 1. I believe their service is worth more than $4 to me. 2. I do not think it is a pleasant job and I really appreciate there are people out there who do it. 3. They are friendly people and I strike up conversations with them all the time - about shoes, sports, current events, etc... and 4. Because I tip well and am friendly with them I know they are going to give me good service.

    So basically what you are saying is that I am being obnoxious to the point of being insulting. What I say to you is - what business is it of yours? This is a relationship and business transaction between me and my shoeshine guy. We are both happy with the end results so why should I give a f%$@ what you think?
     
  3. Raralith

    Raralith Senior member

    Messages:
    216
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I use to tip the remainder to the next 5th, but I've never seen a sub $5 shoe shiner in Los Angeles so it normally comes out to be $2-$4 dollars. If I were every charged $3, I'd probably tip $2 unless they were friendly and held a good conversation with me than I'd tip $7 and say it was cheaper than a movie ticket.

    That being said, I just cannot possibly ever bring myself to have someone shine my shoes because I just don't have confidence in their products. I use to get a cheap pair of shoes shined on a monthly basis since I wore them every day, and I stopped when I started doing it myself. I was around the area of the old shoe shiner, and I stopped by thinking to see his technique since he's a fielded veteran. Once I saw the cheap shit he used, bottles of spray on wax, some caked up and cheap wax, conditioner thicker than lube, I had to just get the hell out of there. Do you interview prospective shoe shiners, go through their inventory, or have them answer a questionaire before you drop them off? Do you know if your shoe shiner uses Sapphir or some other high quality shit?

    Well, considering that I know people in the saloon business, and I have friends that have them as clients, I can give you two good reasons why this happens. Reason 1 is that staying competitive, especially in the last few years, is important. You'd be surprised that people that normally pay $300 for hair work (cut, color, $40 blow drys) would balk at this when the economic is in the shits, but evidently, this is true. For me, if I know two hair stylist that do a good job, one charges $40 and the other $60, I'll go for the $60 but pretty much tip $10 (or $20 if the conversation was good, I love to fucking chit chat OK?) regardless of the base price for a haircut. Unless you are completely booked and no longer take walk ins, your base price does matter to a certain extent. Reason two is tax evasion so you can claim $40 income on a hair cut and say every 3rd customer was a stingy jew and pay $3-$6 less tax on that 3rd haircut (assuming income 30% tax). If you work 6 days a week, 3 haircuts a day on average through the year, you are looking at 939 haircuts, you report less tips on every 3rd (or on all of them), save a thousand or more on taxes, and blow it in Las Vegas, literally.
     
  4. upnorth

    upnorth Senior member

    Messages:
    1,503
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    Jul 30, 2007
    At my previous job and my current job there is a guy who comes to our office twice a week and shines shoes. They both charge $4 and I always tip 100% - another $4. There are several reasons why I do it - 1. I believe their service is worth more than $4 to me. 2. I do not think it is a pleasant job and I really appreciate there are people out there who do it. 3. They are friendly people and I strike up conversations with them all the time - about shoes, sports, current events, etc... and 4. Because I tip well and am friendly with them I know they are going to give me good service.

    So basically what you are saying is that I am being obnoxious to the point of being insulting. What I say to you is - what business is it of yours? This is a relationship and business transaction between me and my shoeshine guy. We are both happy with the end results so why should I give a f%$@ what you think?


    I don't know what business it is for you to quote me but please don't flatter yourself. Just because you tip your shoe-shine man $4 does not begin to put you in the big league, as much as you want to think how generous you are.

    Also, it is obvious you did not receive a complete education because not only were you quick to jump to conclusions wrongly, but you chose to interpret what was said in a context that made it easy for you to launch a personal attack. It is obvious that your shoe-shine man not only was respectful, he was professional and did his job well, even going beyond his job scope to build a rapport with you and wholly deserving of his tips. You are right, you should not only NOT give a fuck what I think but you don't have to go all princessy sensitive about it so please don't go around quoting me thinking I was refering to you.

    A consolation is that you are obviously much better educated than the other guy who goes around calling people thrash just because others either came from a different cultural background or had a different point of view. It is apparent that not only is he poorly educated (based on his reading skills) and badly brought up (lack of manners), he is also much in need of anger management if the mere fact that just an internet discussion on tipping would make him go berserk. I am quite sure that in my 3 years in the States I've probably helped more families become financially stable and guided more children back to school or deservedly through college than he will ever achieve in his pathetic life.

    Next time, think about it before you decide to go all out loco and launch personal attacks or judge others just because of a prior post.
     
  5. Srynerson

    Srynerson Senior member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    There's a gentleman who comes to my office (roughly every two to three weeks) to pick up shoes for shining. (He shines them elsewhere in the building.) He charges $6 a pair, but he also sells a card for 6 shines for $25. If I don't happen to have a card when he comes and I need to pay the full rate, I tip $1 a pair. If I'm using the card, I tip $2 a pair. Maybe I've been drastically undertipping him based on what other people are reporting, but no one I've mentioned this to IRL has ever suggested this was unfair. (In regards to the earlier discussion about tipping owners versus employees, I assume he's self-employed because the "shine cards" use his name on them and he's never mentioned working for anyone else.)
     
  6. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    2,651
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    Jun 12, 2010
    Location:
    Keyboard War Room
    So it's still OK to use the term 'stingy jew' in conversation?

    I don't remember stepping into that time machine and roaring off to the ancient land of bigotry.
     
  7. nmprisons

    nmprisons Senior member

    Messages:
    1,151
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    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Reason two is tax evasion so you can claim $40 income on a hair cut and say every 3rd customer was a stingy jew and pay $3-$6 less tax on that 3rd haircut (assuming income 30% tax).

    you, sir, have all the charm and intellect of my pet iguana, and he has been dead for nearly eight years.

    please die soon. thanks.
     
  8. Raralith

    Raralith Senior member

    Messages:
    216
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Since someone seems to have been greatly offended at my comment, please accept my apology as it's a simple, while distasteful, term quite a few people in my profession use. Understand that, again as distasteful as the word is, it was used in context, and I'm sorry for those I offended. Edit: Revised the last line because I am being apologetic and don't want to make more of a fool out of my self than I already have.
     
  9. nmprisons

    nmprisons Senior member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    . . . it's a simple, while distasteful, term quite a few people in my profession use. Understand that, again as distasteful as the word is, it was used in context. If you don't accept it or still feel quite butt hurt still, take those two words that nmprisons graciously sent me and stick it up your 3 letter word than learn to grow the fuck up.

    I assume, based on your diction, grammar, and punctuation, that your "profession" has something to do with selling homemade t-shirts outside of white power concerts.

    That said, you make a good point, it is certainly the targets of your bigotry that need to grow up. I'll get right on that.
     

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