How NOT To Get Tips

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by notsoltd, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. About 4 months ago, I started working at a local grocery store. I was thinking at work tonight, and noticed something...

    For each customer that checks out, we offer to help them to their car with their groceries. Some say yes, some say no. Of the ones that say yes, some tip and some don't. I want to throw this in here, but if you are performing magic for tips, DO NOT take it to harshly if someone does not tip you! Some people may not have the money, some people may not think about it. There could be a number of reasons that someone won't tip you. Yes, that reason could be bad on your part but if you feel good about your performance, then more than likely their reason for not tipping you isn't because they didn't like you or because you didn't perform well enough.

    Now, to the point of this post - I have done MANY carry-outs since I started working at H-E-B. I have not always gotten tipped, and I have noticed a few things ABOUT getting tipped, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

    1.) I did a few carry-outs tonight, and noticed something. I would ask if someone would like help outside. If they immediately said yes, or if they had multiple baskets and couldn't get it themselves, I GOT A TIP when I helped them out. Now imagine performing - if you are busking, and people voluntarily walk up to see magic, it is more probable that they will tip! Same goes for if you are table hopping, and you perform for a willing, and excited table! They are more than likely to tip!

    Here is what I noticed - a few carry-outs I did went something like this:
    Guy (co-workers name) - "Ma'am, would you like help outside today?"
    Customer - "Hmmm, no thanks, I think I can manage."
    Guy - "You sure? Rob here would LOVE to help you out!"
    Customer - "Well...alright, he can help me out."

    I did a few carry outs like this and guess what? I didn't get a penny off these people!

    The same goes with magic - if they decline you, NO WORRIES! DO NOT keep pestering them about it! They may let you perform, but you aren't going to get anything and they are more likely to heckle you. Someone WILL want to see your magic and if they see that you are performing for tips, someone WILL tip you!

    2.) The second thing I have noticed is that YOU HAVE TO INTERACT! If I do a carry-out, and do not chat with the person during the entire interaction, more than likely, I will NOT get tipped. If I talk with the person, and ask how THEY are doing and how THEIR day has been, they will more than likely tip. Notice that I put "they," and "their" in caps? That is because people love to talk about themselves! Let them do that, and you will be on their good side!

    How does this apply to magic? NEVER just show magic to someone. HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THEM! Introduce yourself, but more importantly, make sure to know and remember THEIR name and don't be afraid to call them by their names while you are performing! Believe me, calling a complete stranger by their name not only makes them feel good but also makes them feel more comfortable with you! Just remember to not just SHOW them magic - SHARE the magic with them.

    Well, those are the two main things I have noticed about getting tips, and how I think they apply to magic but please know that these are not set in stone! I have literally had people have two or three baskets full of groceries and ask me to help them out before I get the chance to ask them and guess what? I don't even get a "thank you." Some people are just rude. Some people may not have cash. Some people may just not think about it until you've gone.

    These are just things that [I believe] will help IMPROVE your chances of being tipped.

    I know this was long, but if you read it, thank you!

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this or any comments anyone would like to add!

  2. We dont tip in Sweden.
  3. It's strange that some cultures or countries have it in their nature to tip where as others do not. Here in Australia it's not a common thing to tip at all and I've never been tip'd for performing. I'd love to take a trip to the US just to feel the difference in the way people respond to the art.

    Great topic

  4. This is heading slightly off topic, but I do think what these guys have said, which IS related to tipping, is fascinating. Indeed, us Aussies don't regularly tip as a rule. We sometimes do, but only in certain circumstances - it's not set in stone, even in the case of cafes and waitresses. But I'm heading over to the US in five weeks, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the differences are, as Byron mentions above, between how the art is perceived. Should be fun :)
  5. Even in the US I don't think tipping is that big. Most people simply do not do it. I've performed magic for 10 years, 2 of the last have been pretty steady at great gigs and only twice have I ever received a tip. I have great interaction, the magic is good, I just don't believe people want to throw out a couple of bucks for you because of the following:

    1.) They may not know if they are supposed to.
    2.) They may not have anything smaller than a $10 or $20 on them.
    3.) It may make the other people at the table feel awkward, like "Oh...I guess I better get out some singles too..."
    4.) They think, "Oh, he is getting paid to perform anyway here so that should be good enough."

    The two times that I did get tipped were exactly how it was mentioned above. You need to show a genuine interest in THEIR life and put in the extra time to make the performance special. Call them by name and show them that you are not just going through the motions.
  6. I guess it may differ between areas in the U.S. too. I have never performed for tips, but say when we go out to eat, it is a given that we are going to tip. 15% of the bill is either left on the table or included in the check.

    Last night I did probably 4 carry-outs, was tipped twice (in 8 hours) and made $5. Not much, but it sure does help. Everyone is different though. Once, I only did my job and bagged a younger couples groceries but engaged in conversation with them while doing so - I put their groceries in their cart and thanked them and told them to have a wonderful day. They walked off, and then I felt the man tap me on the shoulder and then handed me $5 just for bagging his groceries.

    This makes me want to go busking for tips and see what happens haha!
  7. I've found that the best way to get tips is to ask for them. Obviously, a blunt demand to hand over money can come across rude, so it's necessary to sweeten the pill. One way to do this is to tell a story describing how this one guy this one time gave you a hundred [insert local currency] tip just because he was impressed with a fancy cut you did, and then follow up with, "Now, I don't expect everyone at the table to be that generous...although it would be nice! Maybe I'll actually do a few tricks for you...then you can decide how much you think they're worth!" It very definitely gets the idea across that you accept tips, and that most people tip you, while coming across as a bit of a joke.
  8. Sorry post was referring to just magic gigs. At restaurants I definitely leave a 20 % tip with the check.

  9. This is something a lot of us forgot calling somebody by his name you create a bond and usually gets them more you said before is very important to remember their names..

    and magic is different...since usually you ask for tips with a hat line...I think the hat line must NOT include the words: money and tips...I usually say something along supporting the art or buying more decks...
  10. That sounds like a decent way of doing it. I've always liked the idea of borrowing a bill for an effect and putting it in your pocket and saying something like "Cool I get to eat tonight!" I think it is a really subtle way of hinting that you want money lol
  11. Just like Infected said, people in Scandinavia do not tip. Unless it's a person on the street doing something and having a hat or something to indicate that they are doing this for tips.
    When I was in the US and Canada in 2009 I noticed the tipping ... After seeing a waitress going bananas at a few guys I knew. At first I didn't know what she was so angry about and neither did they, cause we just weren't used to this and had forgotten all about this. Anywho ... I then just thought that this is for Waitresses and people that really do a good service but I was wrong. I asked a Bartender for a beer (bottle). He does a 180 and grabs a bottle. Turns another 180 and opens it and says "That'll be $5". I pay the man and drink. Later that night he said that I was rude for not tipping him. We had a long talk about it but I just didn't really see why I'd have to give him $2 or so just because he opened the bottle for me.

    Nice topic R.K. but personally I do not perform for tips. If I've gotten any kinds of tips then they have been paid to me as drinks.
  12. Oh I gotcha! A lot of magicians (Jamie Grant is one of them) only perform paid gigs where they do not have to worry about tips. Some of us, however, don't get that opportunity (or haven't yet) BUT busking is always an option. It takes practice and you won't always get a ton of money (Again look at Jamie's video of him busking for the first time. He barely got anything the first go round) but these were just some thoughts I had on ways to increase your chance of getting a tip (along with nice added subtleties that tell them you want tips!)

    This is great conversation guys! Thanks for responding!
  13. I do a local street festival called "First Fridays", every first Friday of the month. It's an outlet for all the artists and dealers to set up, and there are a LOT of people that come around for live music and whatnot.

    I actually do NOT do magic at this event, I twist balloons. Now, how this relates.. I twist balloons only for tips. People will come up and ask how much I charge, and I just say "I do this for tips".

    My thinking is, depending on how they like the balloon and my personality, they will give me what they think I'm worth. I've been tipped anywhere from a quarter to a twenty. I've also done free balloons because they didn't have any money to tip. I roughly make about $100-$150 for 3 hours of 'work'.

    That being said, balloon art is something tangible. I haven't done any magic gigs for tips, I've always had a set rate. I don't think you should expect to get tipped for doing street magic either. Now if you set up a table, and do a 'set' where at the end you pass the hat, then the audience knows that they should tip you for what they've just experienced.. if it was any good.

    I wouldn't expect to get tipped for walk-around magic though. I'd love to hear other peoples opinions on this that actually work for tips.
  14. I fully agree. By busking, I meant what Jamie did in his video - that is set up a table and perform for whoever stops, and then pass the hat around. If I was doing street magic, just walking up to people I would never expect a tip.
  15. A different version could be to borrow the bill, put it in your pocket and then say "Wait, this part comes after I've earned the money. My bad!" and then take it out and continue with the effect.
  16. That is clever! I like that! I may use that if/when I perform for tips!
  17. Do so and let me know how it worked if you do!
  18. Interestingly, the two times I've been tipped were at gigs where I had a set performance fee. In both cases the people who hired me chose to pay a tip in addition to my set price. I assume that means they were impressed with the performance ;-)
  19. If I'm at a charity gig, I'll say something like this:

    Hey guys, I'm Mehar the magician and I've volunteered to entertain you guys! I'm not getting paid so anything would be welcome, $1, $2, anything. And hey! If you guys didn't like my show, feel free to write a comment on the back of a $20.

    I try and keep it light, quick, and funny :D

    As for when Rob talks about people loving themselves, he's completely right! Dale Carnegie's 'how to win friends and influence people' is basically about getting people to talk about themselves and to listen and respond to make them talk MORE about themselves. People like themselves!

  20. Acting like a beggar during your performances makes you look petty and unprofessional. The best way to get tips is to not focus on trying to get them, focus more on entertaining the people and you may just get the tip you want.

    If you want to learn how to busk and get the most out of it, I know that Kozmo has a DVD set on the subject of busking, so there is that to check out and get some advice on.

    The other thing with getting tips for bagging groceries and helping people out to their car. Most business will tell you that you should refuse tips from people because you are being paid well enough by the place.

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