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Do You Ever Tip Your LBS?

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Do You Ever Tip Your LBS?

Old 10-09-11, 11:23 PM
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abstractform20
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Do You Ever Tip Your LBS?

Say you go into a shop and get helpful information, however you are planning to buy online or elsewhere...do you compensate them for their time and help, or do you exploit their service?

i have known people that go into a shop and consume employee, with no intent of compensating the shop in any way.



*note: i am against compulsory tipping in areas where there is a minimum wage, like California. i tip when i feel it is deserved; i have even tipped at wal mart customer service. this is not to somehow awkwardly brag, just to display principle...i dont want this to turn into a reservoir dogs opening scene.*
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Old 10-09-11, 11:40 PM
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kaiserboy
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I would not tip a hostess if I go into a food joint and ask what's good
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Old 10-09-11, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kaiserboy View Post
I would not tip a hostess if I go into a food joint and ask what's good
what if you ask the hostess "what's good, and what do i need to prepare it?"

then the hostess tells you what will be good for you, then shows you the ingredients and tools needed.

you then say, "thanks", and order everything online...?

what if you tell the hostess, "every time i eat this platter, it causes much discomfort". then the hostess examines the platter and you, then makes a few quick adjustments that lead to a positive long-term experience between you and each order of the platter, from then on...and lets say you have that platter several times a week, or at least several times a month, and you love it. i guess it must suck to help you.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:22 AM
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Beer, yes. Money, no.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:29 AM
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As a bike shop mechanic, I can honestly say that beer pleases pretty much all mechanics more than anything.

As a high school student, I can honestly say I'd much rather have $10 than beer. YMMV

When a customer that we all worked hard for just brings in beer, I feel jaded. But I'm the low man. Whatever, I suppose.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:31 AM
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I usually tip the mechanics.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:46 AM
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No, but I also never go into a shop without the intention of buying from them.

As mentioned above, beer is the culturally accepted form of tipping a bike mechanic. I suggest pizza or sodas if any of the employees are under age.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
No, but I also never go into a shop without the intention of buying from them.

As mentioned above, beer is the culturally accepted form of tipping a bike mechanic. I suggest pizza or sodas if any of the employees are under age.


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Old 10-10-11, 12:51 AM
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No. But I've tipped them (both bike and motorcycle) when they've done work off the clock for me.

For example, I was installing a new SRAM crank and I didn't have the right tool to torque the bottom bracket. Carried the frame in with the BB screwed hand tight and the guy torqued it quickly for me - he wasn't going to charge me for that two minutes of time, so I slipped him a $10.

KeS
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Old 10-10-11, 01:04 AM
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No.

But then I don't go into a shop and get helpful information either. Most of the time all the information I get in bicycle shops is, "No, we don't have that in stock (we're not even sure if one of those exists!), but we might be able to order it for you ... if I can find it somewhere in one of the mass of catalogues I've got under the counter here. And it will take a minumum of 6 weeks to get here, if it exists and if I can find it."
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Old 10-10-11, 01:14 AM
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Yes.
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Old 10-10-11, 01:42 AM
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I bring beer to the wrench who I usually go to. He usually puts my bike to the front of the line ('come back in 45 minutes and it'll be done'), does great work, and charges a ridiculously low amount of money. He also seems a little sheepish when I bring him beer, but I think he's getting used to it.....
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Old 10-10-11, 02:34 AM
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I always tip the mechanic, especially when they don't charge for minor stuff. Slip them a 5 spot for lunch or a beer, they remember and I can get secret adjustment tips willingly from them.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:36 AM
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No, and they've still always been helpful, friendly, and have done a good job.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:08 AM
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I tip the mechanics.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:19 AM
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I have bought a shop pizza for lunch. I have never given a money tip.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:21 AM
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I don't tip, but I rarely, if ever, leave the shop without buying something, even if its just a tube or a water bottle. Sometimes I will go ahead and pay full prices there when I know I can internet the item for much less, but their shop rates are really reasonable and they are nice folks. This thread has me thinking about phoning in a pizza for them, though (and yes, I would pay for it over the phone, no practical jokes...).

We'll see how it all goes now that I ordered BMC's for my bride and me - the local shop only carries Giant, and nothing they had tickled my fancy. I know he really wanted to sell me a bike, but.....
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Old 10-10-11, 05:39 AM
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There are only five employees at my LBS and all are friends to varying degrees through the group rides. Strangely, all but the single HS student, are at least BSc eductated and one is a PHD. They also encourage social drop ins and always have coffee on so it is more a social environment than a business environment. That said, yes, I bring in wine, beer, baked goods etc, for them and any customers that may be occupying the place. While they always give me bikes and parts near cost, I always insist on paying full labour costs. If they don't charge me enough for labour, yes, I will shove a 20 in their shirt pocket. Great shop and great guys.
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Old 10-10-11, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
Say you go into a shop and get helpful information, however you are planning to buy online or elsewhere...do you compensate them for their time and help, or do you exploit their service?

i have known people that go into a shop and consume employee, with no intent of compensating the shop in any way.



*note: i am against compulsory tipping in areas where there is a minimum wage, like California. i tip when i feel it is deserved; i have even tipped at wal mart customer service. this is not to somehow awkwardly brag, just to display principle...i dont want this to turn into a reservoir dogs opening scene.*

I've bought beer and pizza for the mechanics. I give one of them all the old components and wheels I take off old bikes that I fix up. He uses them to fix up other bikes for poor people. I get excellent service. I am always willing to pay but sometimes if it's just a minor adjustment they tell me to forget about it.

I do not pump bike shops for information so I can buy elsewhere.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:21 AM
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The only time I give "something extra" to my local is when they let me use their tools to build / repair my bike after I buy online. It's usually coffee, or some other refreshment other than beer. None of the staff drink alcohol so beer is out and my local is more focused on selling their own custom complete bikes, as opposed to selling components anyway.

Side note...This shop refuses to work-on / repair any bike which you in the US would class as a "big box" store bike as they just don't have the time to do it. It doesn't really affect their bussiness at all because they have their regular clients and customers which span generations. They simply recommend other bike shops for the person to go to.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:26 AM
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Tipping is verboten at my LBS. I'm sure that food is appreciated, though.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:32 AM
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Never gave it a thought to be honest. I do buy from them even when I know I can get it cheaper on the internet just to support the business.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Never gave it a thought to be honest. I do buy from them even when I know I can get it cheaper on the internet just to support the business.

this
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Old 10-10-11, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by I <3 Robots View Post
I usually tip the mechanics.
+1
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Old 10-10-11, 07:27 AM
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I have once, the shop was busy and I needed a new bottom bracket installed before the next day. He moved me to the front of the line, I came back with sandwiches.. everybody was happy.
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