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Old 03-27-2006, 07:54 AM   #1
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Do You Tip A For A Massage?

Tipping is always such a cloudy issuse. When it comes to restaurants I feel I am a very good tipper. I almost never leave less than 20% and often times leave more than that. What about tipping for a massage though? Are you supposed to tip and if so what percent? I know there is no right answer here so Tell me what you do.

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Old 03-27-2006, 08:49 AM   #2
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I view massage as a "medical procedure" and get mine at a body works clinic from licensed professionals etc. I don't tip my doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc. I do tip my barber, but I don't pay him $85 and hour either (or more!)

I think it kinda depends what kind of massage and where you get it. A neck/back massage at a beauty parlor, maybe it's common. At some day spas it may be possible to tip on a percentage of the entire bill and know it gets divided fairly. I would say, get to know your massuse and inquire.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:32 AM   #3
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I have never tipped after a massage. Frankly, my brain is usually mush by then and they are darned lucky I can even figure out how to pay them, let alone tip.

I'm with Robo though, I see it as a medical thing and I would never tip my doctor or dentist.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:39 AM   #4
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I think of it as a paid procedure too, so I wouldn't tip. However, if this is something that you do on a fairly regular basis, I would tip at Christmas, or buy a small gift.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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I always tip when I get a massage. The place I go to is a salon/massage spa and I tip the hair stylists and manicurists so I tip the person who gives me a massage as well.
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Old 03-27-2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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This is interesting. I would never have thought to tip a masseuse. I think maybe the difference would be the place where they work and who owns it. If the masseuse is the owner, no tip. If they work for some larger entity, then maybe.

I personally feel tipping gets a bit out of hand and ridiculous. That is not intended as a slam or to say that people should stop doing it. I just think that the number of people expecting a tip is greater than I think it should be. Oh dear, that didn't come out the way I intended it to. Hopefully it makes sense to you all.
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Old 03-27-2006, 03:31 PM   #7
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If it's a chiropractor or someone who charges for the services as a medical practice, you wouldn't. If it's at a salon or spa you should. Percentage wise, I'm not sure. I would say maybe 10% but someone please correct me if I'm wrong. But the main difference in the two places are in the pay. Many spas will pay their employees a much less hourly wage (same as a restaurant) because they can supplement their income with tips. A PT or sports medicine/rehab place will pay a much higher hourly to their employees because they can depend on insurance premiums and other factors to pay for the patient visits.
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
I have never tipped after a massage. Frankly, my brain is usually mush by then and they are darned lucky I can even figure out how to pay them, let alone tip.

.
I can vouch for that. She's a lousy tipper!
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Old 03-27-2006, 04:31 PM   #9
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I usually just lie down on the massage table.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:34 PM   #10
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I have been for quite a few massages. Other than the one while we were on our honeymoon they have always been for medical (back/neck) problems. I had never tipped before. Well this last time I went to a new girl. I believe she works for herself, but rents a room in the back of a hair salon. I do not think (but I could be wrong) that she actaully works for the salon. She gave me a discount (as a lot of them do), because it was my first time with her so the total for 60 minutes was $48. I handed her $50 and then she asked if I needed change. I said no. I felt kind of weird because I am happy to tip if it is the correct thing to do, but I had the $50 I gave her plus a for twentys. I felt that if I was going to tip them $2 was not enough, but I didn't give her a twenty and tell her to keep some more. So now I don't know what to do the next time I see her. If I plan on tipping her each time then I need to give her extra to make up the horrible tip I left her the first time, but if I do not plan on tipping her again then it will be a little awkward since I gave her a couple of bucks the first time.

After I gave her the money she did not seem offended in any way or anything and continued to talk to me and give me advice about what to do if I was sore the next day or two and things like that so hopefully she did not mind the lousy tip.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:39 PM   #11
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I've never had a professional massage.

But I might...depending on good it was.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:40 PM   #12
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I always tip for a massage.
My wife and I used to have our favorite massuse come over to the house... she would her, then me. In that case there was no tip because we were trading out. Our art for her massage.
But more often than that nifty set up, I would go to the massuse's place of business. I normally tipped $5 on a $50 massage.
When at a spa, I usually left a $5 also... just data point
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:41 PM   #13
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I believe that, if the massage is for genuine medical reasons (physical therapy, with prescription or referral), one needn't tip.

However, if you're going for other reasons (just because it feels good or to loosen tight muscles after a workout or something), the tip should be similar to that which is offered to one's hair stylist.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:46 PM   #14
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Z what would you say in my situation? It was for medical reasons, but I did not have a prescription. A doctor did mention to me that it might help, but nothing in writing and insurance surely won't cover it.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:24 AM   #15
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Based on what you said earlier... the situation where she was 'independent', it seems that a tip would be in order. It also seems that your doctor could have written a referral for physical therapy so your insurance would have (most likely) covered it.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:28 AM   #16
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My insurance will only cover it if done by an MD. I can't find anyone in the area who does that.

Now it is just my assumption that she is independant. I do not know that for sure, but that was the feeling I got.

I kind of felt that since she was possibly independant then a tip would not be needed since the full price of the massage goes directly to her and she is the one who sets the price. Kind of like when you get your hair cut you tip the hairdresser unless they are also the owner, or at least that is what I have been told.

Tipping is always so complicated and there does not seem to be a right or wrong answer, just what it right or wrong to each invididual and each situation. Thanks for your input everyone!
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:34 AM   #17
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Never had a massage professionally but I probably would of tipped given your situation. If you happen to get a written referral for any further visits I'd say no tip needed.

But then again I didn't realize the whole thing about not having to tip an owner of a salon till after the fact. I don't know how to go about stopping the tip. I've been going to this guy for at least 5 years and always tip 5.00 for the haircut and 10.00 for the cut/highlight.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:36 AM   #18
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I am just curious why the distinction between a referral and no referral. I am not saying you are right or wrong, just trying to understand the thought process.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:36 AM   #19
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gb, if you tipped me 2 bucks, i would have given you my best advice too. ya know, lift with your back, not your legs, with quick, jerky twisting motions...

actually, i agree with alix about tipping getting out of hand. a good business should have a sign or some kind of handout/document describing their policy on tipping, and the appropriate amounts. geebs, i would call the place (anonymously, or speak falsetto and say your name is alix from edmonton ) and ask wht their policy is on tipping.

some jobs are paid low salaries expecting tips to augment them, so you should to tip those people accordingly. but other companies pay an appropriate salary for the work rendered, so tipping is intended for when the worker goes "above and beyond".
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
gb, if you tipped me 2 bucks, i would have given you my best advice too. ya know, lift with your back, not your legs, with quick, jerky twisting motions...


That is actually what I am a little nervous about. I am wondering if/when I go back to her if she will push extra hard on trouble spots or something like that. You know, the massage equivelant of a waiter spitting in your soup
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