Do You Tip Your Tech?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ElJay370, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    Just recently had one of my amps worked on. The total came out to somewhere around $150.00, so I handed the guy $160 and told him to keep the change. It wasn't much, but I know how hard it is making a living in this business, so I thought I'd throw him a little extra. Plus, this was the first time I'd ever been in this guy's shop. The work was good and he was knowledgeable and personable, so I wanted to show my appreciation. I'll definitely be taking other amps to him.

    So what about you all? Do you tip your tech?
     
  2. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    Yes.
    I reward good work.

    Mark
     
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  3. 8barlouie

    8barlouie Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve never tipped my tech. Never actually thought of it.
     
  4. Verne Bunsen

    Verne Bunsen Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m very hard on my tech. I ridicule him mercilessly, point out every flaw in his work and rarely if ever praise his good work. Did I mention that I am my own tech? o_O
     
  5. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I've never tipped anybody in my life. I may have bribed a few...
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I could see saying “keep the change”. Tipping is not normal for this type of work and might be taken the wrong way.

    A small gift such as a six pack of craft beer or some other thoughtful token of appreciation would be appropriate, appreciated, and likely to ensure great treatment in the future. Also likely more memorable and appreciated than a few extra bucks.

    Another example- my bike mechanic straightened my derailleur hanger on short notice and I could see he was very busy in his shop so I offered to go and buy him a deli sandwich to make sure he got a decent lunch. That was greatly appreciated by him.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you tip your doctor?
     
  8. LuthRavin

    LuthRavin Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    OP..says to the effect "I know how hard it is to earn a living" yes while that's true...but...In my area..the best techs aren't hurting for cash at all..as a matter of fact there is a long waiting list..and if it's an emergency it almost like seeing a DR in the ER.. I've never tipped a tech..only told them I'd be back..do you tip your gas attendant..providing you still have one(we still have them in Oregon)..no self service...
     
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  9. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I pretty much am my own tech. When I do a good job, I buy myself a round or two.
     
  10. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    You don't tip an auto mechanic, do you? I'm not cheap but tipping can get out of control.
     
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  11. ab2012

    ab2012 Tele-Holic

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    I do.
     
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  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I actually kinda just did, three weeks ago. I took my latest build to my tech for a little "neck" dressing and set up. When I picked it up, he wanted to charge $10 LESS than his very reasonable quote. I said go ahead and take this, I appreciate the fast turnaround and quality of work, and just gave him the original price.
    Only for a circumcision. ;)
     
  13. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hmmm, interesting discussion!

    I've never tipped a tech and generally presume it's up to them to charge what they are worth and what they can run their business charging.
    If I knew a good tech was struggling due to lack of business or due to an illness I might help them out if I was in a position to do so.

    But those who rely on tips like waiters and barbers and not the same as trades people who charge an agreed upon rate for agreed upon services.
    Again though, if I knew a business of any kind was facing going under, and I wanted to keep them around, I might make a donation.
    I've actually also discussed with friends how they set their rates in their small/ one man business ventures.
    I've similarly been told to charge what I am worth and can live on, rather than thinking about what the customers might be able to afford or how good a deal I can give customers.

    If a tech is too cheap I'll mention that their prices are awfully low, and rather than giving them donation money I'll advertise their service in my community.

    I think this is a good discussion in light of guitar shops shutting down as we all switch to cheaper online prices.
    Wanting a good guitar tech or amp tech is maybe more critical than wanting a good full service guitar shop, but OTOH all the good full service guitar shops I used to love until they closed down either had in house techs or outsourced repairs to reputable local techs.
    This meant I could leave my amp at my local guitar shop and they took care of transport etc.

    When I worked as a guitar tech out of my Brooklyn loft I was always surprised that strangers left their guitars with me.
    But when I switched to tech work at a local guitar shop I had repairs coming and going every day I was at work, and the customers knew who had their gear.

    A well established tech is a fine bet but I've dropped off $1000 amps to strangers houses I'd never done business with.
    There was an amp tech in Boston (Matt Wells?) who required the customer be referred or he wouldn't take in your amp, and his contact info was kept secret. The deal was also don't expect your amp in less than a year because he was that good.
    Tempting mojo but I declined.
    There was another amp tech there who had a good rep except for having stopped answering calls from customers when he had a drinking problem. When he sobered up his prices were low, and I got a Super reverb recapped and modded a little for IIRC $80.
    I was then tempted to give him a tip and maybe I should have, but I took a risk too and the guy was pretty nutty.

    As a carpenter I eventually chose to charge a solid rate that only wealthy clients could afford.
    Hard choices involved in running a business.
    Customer or business helping out is one thing, and a good thing.
    Routine tipping seems odd.
    A waiter or barber can affort a rate scale where they get screwed now and then if we don't tip.
    A business like an amp tech or guitar tech needs to be more clear on pricing IMO.

    For that matter it would be nice if "my" auto mechanic was more clear on pricing!
     
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  14. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    i don't. i don't think that's an expectation either. i show my appreciation with frequent visits and multiple thanks... and he's always taken my projects and charges me accordingly. if he wanted more money from me... I'd trust him to charge me more since he kinda sets his own prices.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I had a dentist in NYC who gave a discount after he finished for not whining.
    Basically he said the whining and moaning was a drag and it was a bonus to him if he did his work without somebody whining at him through the process.

    Do people whine and moan when getting dental work done?

    Kinda like the client who wants to hang around, watch you work, ask questions and tell stories.
    Extra charge for that.

    We also have had threads where customers complain that their tech isn't friendly and chatty when they drop in at the business.

    Maybe a customer who makes a point of not being a PITA is tipping with behavior, where a customer who's needy, chatty, and demands a lesson, ought to add 20% to the payment.
     
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  16. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    As a guitar tech, I never expected a tip. As others have said, I charge whatever fee I feel comfortable asking for my services. I have had people occasionally do what I just did...give me about 10 bucks over what I charged and tell me to keep the change. I didn't feel insulted or condescended to at all. Just appreciated.

    Honestly, repeat business is more valuable to me than a tip.
     
  17. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    Good auto mechanics are just as scarce as good guitar techs.
    I tip to show I appreciate good work. Sometimes its only a six pack. Sometimes more.
    I consider a gratuity to be part of the price that is just part of paying for competence.
    I don't know about other areas, but where I live there is a scarcity of techs (of all kinds) who are really and truly skilled.
    I even tip my computer tech. Really good computer techs are harder to find than, etc.


    Mark
     
  18. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    I am my own tech...
     
  19. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    As has been discussed, a "tip" might be taken the wrong way in these types businesses where tipping is not normally done. But there are lots of ways
    to show appreciation that won't possibly construed as condescending. Promising to refer the person to others; giving a sandwich or a six-pack; sending a
    Christmas card, offering assistance in some other way (for example, if you're a webmaster maybe you offer to upgrade the person's website for free), etc.

    Being a good person and a good business person are often all one and the same-- you want to be an easy customer to deal with, someone who is never
    a pain in the butt or overly needy, someone who is fair and works to resolve any issues as amicably and smoothly as possible. And you want to be someone who
    can express honest gratitude for a job well done. Money is actually one of the least impactful ways to do all of these things....the little things you do that are the "icing"
    on top of the money that you already agreed to pay are going to be more memorable. Most of all, just not being a difficult customer to work with is the thing that really matters.

    I am a big fan of the Rotary Club's Four Way Test in evaluating how to do business properly. Any business deal should look this way to all parties at the end of the day:

    1. Is it the truth?
    2. Is it fair to all concerned?
    3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
    4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
     
  20. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Food is king. So many times it just gets too busy to get away that you're left starving while trying to get organized enough to get away. It is much appreciated. Good on you.

    I always made an effort to keep our team mechanics fed, caffeinated, or drunk, depending on the hour of day. Thankless job.
     
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