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  1. #1
    Senior Member LetterRider's Avatar
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    Do you tip your framebuilder??

    A framebuilder is providing a service, just like a server or your hair person, but is it the kind of service that gets a tip? If so, is it the standard 20%? Anyone know the answer to this?

  2. #2
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    I dont think so. Not all services are tipped, and building a bike frame as not just like waiting tables or getting your hair done. The framebuilder isnt expecting it anyway, so dont feel guilty.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  3. #3
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    the gratuity is included in the contract. but if you like your ride that much, just buy another one from the same builder.

    the builder is more of a custom manufacturer--providing a good-- moreso than a service. the "service" is a part of the manufacturing process.
    Last edited by WadePatton; 11-02-07 at 06:21 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    If he shines your shoes, give him an extra 20.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    No. He is creating a tangible product, not just delivering something created by someone else. I like the frame created by Bruce Gordon so I mention his name whenever I have a reasonable excuse.
    This space open

  6. #6
    Bourbon junkie ricebowl's Avatar
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    since when is 20% standard?

  7. #7
    Senior Member LetterRider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info...you (mostly I) never know who and who not to tip anymore.

    And 20% has been standard for quite some time now - at least since I was a waitress about 5 years ago. But then again, I always tip more than 20 if service was actually good.

  8. #8
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LetterRider View Post
    I always tip more than 20 if service was actually good.
    So you might tip up to 20% if service is less than good?

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  9. #9
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Do you tip your Doctor?

    What about your Accountant?

    Architect?
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  10. #10
    Senior Member LetterRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    Do you tip your Doctor?

    What about your Accountant?

    Architect?
    No, but I also wouldn't pay for these services in cash. I also kind of doubt I'll ever have enough money to actually need an accountant

  11. #11
    Senior Member LetterRider's Avatar
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    So you might tip up to 20% if service is less than good?
    Depends on why the service is less than good. If it's awful, I will leave 15%. People have bad days. There are all sorts of reasons for poor service. I do suppose there would be rare occasions where the server deserves an insult instead of a tip and I will generously hand that out instead.
    Everyone that I know that's worked in the service industry tips big. We understand how much the job sucks and how much of an effect one nice tip can have on the rest of the night (not to mention on paying the bills).

  12. #12
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by LetterRider View Post
    We understand how much the job sucks and how much of an effect one nice tip can have on the rest of the night (not to mention on paying the bills).
    Says it all right there!

    Tipping your frame builder is a wonderful idea!

    I know how much I've appreciated being tipped. It's extra money, usually "under the table" so it doesn't get reported. (which increases it's value)

    And it's not the dollar amount so much as the thought!

    I know some "tip" with a 6-pack, but I'd rather have the $! (I don't drink but 6 beers a year)

    Maybe my outlook is based on where I live. Most wage-earners around here RELY on tips to survive.
    Without tips, there wouldn't BE anybody to bring your food, haul your luggage, park you car, pick you up in their taxi, or cut your hair.

    But the doctors here are top shelf, the lawyers can win for you, and the accountants can easily find investments for your millions... providing you're insured, can afford $500+/per billable hour, and have millions that need investing!

  13. #13
    Bourbon junkie ricebowl's Avatar
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    I just can't resist this topic. But 15% for awful service is crazy! That's the equivalent of just giving money away. Average service gets an average 15% tip. Good service gets 20-30%.

    The waiters/waitresses I know tend to be very judicious when giving tips. The ones that gave waiting tables a try for a few days and decided it wasn't for them tend to be the extravagant ones.

  14. #14
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    I've built frames and after the cost of the tubing, solder, gas, paying a local shop to thread and cut, then paint, I barely make anything on it, not even including my labor. I have machine shop capabilities so labor was minimal. Everyone I sold to didn't have much money so no tip.

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    The whole point of tipping is that you participate in the payment of a salaried individual (or sometimes unpaid, or sometimes commissioned) so that they are motivated to serve you and not just their employer.

    In many employment situations that's a conflict of interest (that's the point). If you work at the CIA, and take tips from Al Queda to share info with them, it tends to be frowned upon.

    If you are already directly paying someone for a product why would you in addition tip them? In the case of, say a cycling tour guide, they can deliver the product without going over the top, if they really go out of their way, then a tip would be conceivable, since there is a range of potential outcomes. If Richard Sachs builds you a frame, presumably the outcome isn't in doubt, and I would be a little concerned that a tip implies it's all up to how much you overpay whether he does a good job or not, which as a builder I would find insulting. Some places will take an overpayment to put you to the front of the line. I think this ticks customers off, even if it is explicit as an option, though I guess it gives people willing to wait a little longer a subsidy.

    As far as how high tips should go, 10% used to be standard, then 15%, and 20% seems fairly normal in certain centers. If people give you terrible service they shouldn't get anything. If they are really rude a good reaming out and an attempt to have them fired is within reason. Sometimes it is clear that the service problem is with the restaurant and not the server, in which case one might show sympathy if they were good at communicating and such.

    Some places have fixed tips, you automatically get dinged for a percentage regardless. This really shouldn't ever happen, what is the point? But at the same time it should only happen in a place so good that good service is the norm, or one participates in it's management. Like a private club I used go to. I never had bad service there, and had I, I would have been able to complain from the perspective of a part owner (member) of the club. I had other ways of nailing a server, though I never had to. Denny's has a minimum tip on more than 8 guests, possibly because people within large groups often try to skip out on the tip part of the bill when the bill gets divided up.

  16. #16
    Senior Member LetterRider's Avatar
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    So it seems that the majority does not tip their framebuilder unless he REALLY deserves it or goes beyond his duties to make you happy.
    I'm a little amused by the tipping controversy that's going on here. I've been working for tips for the majority of the past 6 years and it's kind of nice to hear from people who actually believe in tipping well for excellent service. It doesn't happen that often.

    And ricebowl, I think your tipping rules are fabulous. Where are you in NorCal? I lived there for a bit so I'm curious. I saw very few serious bikers where I was. Maybe I just wasn't looking.

  17. #17
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    You're only working for tips because of your rubbish minimum wage, and the fact that the labour movement have let employers errode conditions to the point where employers actually shift the burden of wages off themselves directly to the customers!

    What's next? A tip to cover the rent?
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  18. #18
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    What's next? A tip to cover the rent?
    You obviously DON'T live in California.

    The tip is to cover a pint after you've spent your last pence on the rent.

  19. #19
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    "I've been working for tips for the majority of the past 6 years and it's kind of nice to hear from people who actually believe in tipping well for excellent service."

    Probably depends on the kind of restaurant one frequents, but excellent service is pretty rare in my opinion. We live in a society where people expect a bonus for showing up to work. Literally. Was watching some of the democratic debate the other night, and caught part of the teachers merit pay argument. Of course this is the time for fake promises, but in essence, because they don't pay teachers a sufficient wage they are talking about merit pay for stuff they traditionally did but didn't get paid for, like after school. I don't care one way or another, but it's a little like giving a soldier the Medal of Honor because he not only faught with average distinction but volunteered to do some KP (have to think pre-haliburton).

  20. #20
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Do you tip cashier at grocery store? Gas station? Auto mechanic? Your mayor? Congressman? the prez?
    Here is a real tip: No need to tip anyone IF they get paid a proper wage.
    Pay our politicians minimum wage, they claim we can live on it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member LetterRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Do you tip cashier at grocery store? Gas station? Auto mechanic? Your mayor? Congressman? the prez?
    Here is a real tip: No need to tip anyone IF they get paid a proper wage.
    Pay our politicians minimum wage, they claim we can live on it.
    The problem is that most people don't know how much everyone gets paid and what that actually amounts to. I have no idea how much an auto mechanic gets paid. Gas station attendents and grocery cashiers surely don't get paid a proper wage, but I'm not going to tip them. And who determines what a proper wage is? Someone could say, well, you are a waitress because you don't have a good education and didn't try hard enough so you don't deserve to get paid any more, your job is SKILL-LESS. That's the problem. I tend to feel like I should tip someone if their skill benefits me personally. I know that is not always the case, but that's how I feel. I tip the person who cuts my hair, why not my framebuilder?
    This could go around and around, but when it comes down to it, there is a small percentage of people in this world who make the money. Most of them don't deserve it or work hard enough to earn it. The rest of us get screwed either by taxes or not making a living wage. I see nothing wrong with being generous with what little money I have.
    Would you be offended if you got an unexpected tip? Probably not.

  22. #22
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    do you tip your tattoo artist?
    of course.

    do you tip your tattoo artist even if they are the sole proprietor/shop-owner/artist?
    of course.

    do you tip your apprentice tattoo artist when they ink you in/outside of their shop?
    of course.

    i see tipping a framebuilder as no different an idea. they are providing a custom service, just for you. ____ = either framebuilder or tattoo artist, ---- = bike or ink.

    1st step, you contact your ____. next step, you sit down, talk to the _____, show them some ideas of what you want. then the _____ will ask you some questions. you'll answer the ____, and more talking ensues. then the ____ will quote you a price on your -----. you agree, or not, and then the ___ will tell you how long it'll take before you can get your -----. after a bit, they'll probably call you to update you on the status of your -----, and maybe even show you the design before any "physical" work happens. then, after everything is done, you go in and get the -----, and then pay the _____ the established price. finally, you like the service so much that you give the ____ a nice cash tip, even if you pay with a credit card.

    it's also no different than a painter, sculptor, metal fabricator, etc. being commissioned for a work. tips are definitely expected.

    it's all in how the customer sees it; buying a custom bike is not just a service, and not just a product. that frame is an extension of the builder's mind and hands, and hopefully it'll be considered a colloquial "work of art," instead of just "some bike."

    i've never kept an official record of this, but i'd estimate that at least 60% of customers of mine have tipped me, as their framebuilder. they've never asked, i've never mentioned it, but i'm glad they do it.

  23. #23
    Bourbon junkie ricebowl's Avatar
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    deserve? proper? difficulty of work? What's all that got to do with money?

  24. #24
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    So what would be a good tip?

  25. #25
    "this is not suck" j0e_bik3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Deltron View Post
    Says it all right there!

    Tipping your frame builder is a wonderful idea!

    I know how much I've appreciated being tipped. It's extra money, usually "under the table" so it doesn't get reported. (which increases it's value)

    And it's not the dollar amount so much as the thought!

    I know some "tip" with a 6-pack, but I'd rather have the $! (I don't drink but 6 beers a year)

    Maybe my outlook is based on where I live. Most wage-earners around here RELY on tips to survive.
    Without tips, there wouldn't BE anybody to bring your food, haul your luggage, park you car, pick you up in their taxi, or cut your hair.

    But the doctors here are top shelf, the lawyers can win for you, and the accountants can easily find investments for your millions... providing you're insured, can afford $500+/per billable hour, and have millions that need investing!
    I'll second that,...

    (and I get to brag a bit here )

    I did a complete restoration on a 1936 Brough Superior (famous vintage motorcycle) a few years back, and after the bike won "best resto" in show at pebble beach (2006) the owner sent me a nice fat check, TOTALLY unexpected, and well over the cost of the restoration (which was NOT cheap by any standards)

    I felt wonderful, like I was a part of a team that did something, in short it made me feel great, hell I still smile when I think of that picture with him holding the trophy.

    so I'd say HELL YEAH, tip your framebuilder if you feel he/she did an exceptional job, and by all means tell everyone you can think of to go get one made by the same builder,.....as you just can't buy better advertising than word of mouth, and believe me, that framebuilder will remember you, I still send the owner of that brough a thank you card at thanksgiving.
    GT road bike conversion: fixed
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