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-   -   Do You Tip Your Stringer? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455946)

RetroSpin 02-26-2013 09:21 AM

Do You Tip Your Stringer?
 
All my previous experience has been situations where I dropped off my racquets at a club shop or downtown pro shop and picked them up later. They provided the strings.

I am now playing in a town in florida. I'm not impressed by the stringing service at my club. There is a shop in town that advertises MRT stringers. I talked to them and they actually said they didn't carry too many brands of string and gave me a price for using my string, which they seemed happy to do. They also said i could get an appointment and have it done while I waited ( and hopefully watched). This last feature is important to me, as getting back and forth is a hassle.

My question is whether or not it is appropriate or expected to tip the stringer. If so, how much for a $20 string job? I will be using BHBR which I know is a pain in the neck to string, so I think a little extra to the stringer is not unwarranted, but I don't want them to feel I am bigtiming them or whatever.

bcart1991 02-26-2013 09:38 AM

Find out their favorite beer, and take a six-pack next time you drop off/pick up. More personal than cash, IMO. It works for bike mechanics and stringers alike (I'm both in my neck of the woods).

Irvin 02-26-2013 09:40 AM

It is not expected but it is very much appreciated. Would you tip a valet, barber, hair dressor, or waiter? Why not tip anyone that provides a service for you?

TIP = To Improve Service.

Would you rather the stringer got your racket done as quickly as possible and collect his money or take the time to do it right?

tennis_ocd 02-26-2013 09:52 AM

my kids don't tip me; even when I cave and use the good stuff. when I used to have them done I'd tip the kid $5.

Woolybugger 02-26-2013 11:45 AM

establish a good relationship with the stringer while you watch. kindness and a personal touch goes a long way.

when you get to know him better, you might buy him his favorite snack/drink or whatever.

if you start tipping cash, it will be expected in the future and you can never back out of it.

zapvor 02-26-2013 11:49 AM

i have been tipped, and no you dont have to do it everytime. i always feel bad because its not like i am really doing anything special. the only time was once a lady said she needed 3 prestiges done in like 1hr and i said yes right away to help her out.

Fintft 02-26-2013 11:54 AM

Yeah, a bottle of wine works best for my stringer as well (but only once in a while).

I also kinda jump the queue so...But the most important factor for me is that I don't trust anyone else to string my natural gut and expect it to last a couple of weeks.

Gaz77 02-26-2013 12:00 PM

Tipping is typically an American thing to do. But i view it as the person is charging you a reasonable rate for their service, if they were not they probably wouldn't be doing the job in the first instance so why do you need to pay them anymore. On the other hand if that person has gone out of there way for you then why not tip.

coachrick 02-26-2013 01:38 PM

I've mentioned this before. The best tip I ever received was almost 200 sets of pretty nifty syn gut(about a $7 wholesale value each in the '90s) from the family of two very highly ranked juniors. I would do stuff like string a half-dozen rackets on Christmas Eve so they could make a flight or pick up/drop off their rackets when needed. Cash is always good; but getting over $1000 worth of string was nothing to sneeze at ;) .

I tip the exterminator, plumber, HVAC techs, etc...even if it's only a Powerade/Smart Water during hot weather. Never hurts to offer a gift card to a local lunch place or something similar.

There were many years when I was broke enough to REALLY appreciate tips and now that I can afford to, I try to 'pay it forward'. Make no mistake...sometimes it's a bribe; but when the service advisor at your Euro car dealership can go an extra bit for you, the $20 lunch card you gave him can save you ten-fold dollars sometimes.

However, as a stringer, the best 'tip' a customer could give was to recommend my services to their friends and teammates. ;) When stringing 'at home' for over ten years, I never advertised for new clients. Some of my best customers were also good at screening the potential new clients, if you know what I mean. :) THAT was a great tip!

coachrick 02-26-2013 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gaz77 (Post 7237848)
Tipping is typically an American thing to do.

We tried to 'study up' before visiting Italy in the mid-'00s; but the tipping thing was confounding.(We did learn to tip independent of the actual restaurant bill, lest the waitron not receive the gratuity).

Our first encounter was with a taxi driver(a real one) taking us across Rome from the airport through the morning 'rush' and then backing the taxi down an alley-way to the hotel entrance(folding the exterior mirrors of parked vehicles along the way!) and insisting on helping with the luggage and NOT wanting a tip! Contrast that experience with the taxi driver who wanted 50 Euro to drive me THREE miles to Foro Italico :(

pvaudio 02-26-2013 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woolybugger (Post 7237808)
establish a good relationship with the stringer while you watch. kindness and a personal touch goes a long way.

when you get to know him better, you might buy him his favorite snack/drink or whatever.

if you start tipping cash, it will be expected in the future and you can never back out of it
.

It is for this reason that I categorically refuse tips even if the person doesn't have exact change. I absolutely do not want people thinking that they should tip me, because if they take their racquet anywhere else locally, they wouldn't tip the guy at the counter when they went to pick it up. I want the string job to speak for itself and advertise itself. If it's something above and beyond like doing a grommet replacement, then sure, but for a stringing...no.

Lakers4Life 02-26-2013 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coachrick (Post 7238035)
We tried to 'study up' before visiting Italy in the mid-'00s; but the tipping thing was confounding.(We did learn to tip independent of the actual restaurant bill, lest the waitron not receive the gratuity).

Our first encounter was with a taxi driver(a real one) taking us across Rome from the airport through the morning 'rush' and then backing the taxi down an alley-way to the hotel entrance(folding the exterior mirrors of parked vehicles along the way!) and insisting on helping with the luggage and NOT wanting a tip! Contrast that experience with the taxi driver who wanted 50 Euro to drive me THREE miles to Foro Italico :(

I had a similar experience in Rome, from the airport to Magdalia de Oro (near the Vatican). The ride was 50 Euro and the guy wanted a 5 Euro tip. I had just gotten off a plane and changed $100 at the Airport for something close to 70 Euro. (FYI: Money changers at the Airport are ripoffs)

Getting back to tipping, I don't expect it, in fact I try to give it back, unless they really insist I take it for my trouble. Most of my clients are used to paying more for less service, so to them it's worth it.

I Heart Thomas Muster 02-26-2013 03:46 PM

My buddies usually bring me a six pack of beer but it works out for everyone in the end because we drink it on the courts.

Now that I think of it when I worked at the tennis/golf shop I was only tipped by golfers when I would do work on their regrip/reshaft/bend their clubs. Never tipped by a tennis player for stringing/matching/etc.

zapvor 02-26-2013 04:37 PM

wow.

actually sets of string would be awesome. i rather get that than cash. it just doesnt seem right

struggle 02-26-2013 05:49 PM

tip for what? heck no, i paid already. i might buy the fella a beer or few.

S&V Specialist 02-26-2013 08:02 PM

I've developed a good relationship w/my stringer and have given his kids free lessons many times as a way to say thanks for all my hassle.

RetroSpin 02-27-2013 10:13 AM

Interesting range of opinions so far. Apparently few tip their stringers. It seems to me an awful lot like getting a haircut though. I wouldn't think of not tipping the barber. At the same time, I've never tipped a pro, tennis or golf, after a lesson.

I wouldn't do it if it was just a drop-off type arrangement, but I will probably be there looking over their shoulder the whole time. Seems like the right thing to do, but I am kind of concerned about being roped into having to do it every time I get a string job.

diredesire 02-27-2013 11:55 AM

Yeah, it's not normal around where I'm at to tip the stringer, either. Most "home" stringers around my area are competing for lowest labor price anyways. It's not unusual to see $10 strung syn gut frames, but most stringers I know are in the college age range.

If it's a pro-shop, I have even less incentive, as I feel like many places stick you with overpaying for undertrained services, but that's my biased perspective peeking through.

fortun8son 02-27-2013 01:25 PM

Occasionally a client will tip me. It's very nice when it happens, but I don't expect it.

jswinf 02-27-2013 02:39 PM

I only tip my stringer when I drop something small that rolls underneath it, like my marbles...:(


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