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Topic Options
#2161960 - 10/05/13 12:45 AM Tipping Piano Techs
Grandman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 178
Loc: Usa
I would like to know if it customary to tip the piano tech after he/she services the piano? If so, what is the standard gratuity?

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#2161969 - 10/05/13 02:14 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
helloworld1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 82
If he is working for a large company, then give normal 15% tip. If he on his own , you do not need to tip at all.

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#2162015 - 10/05/13 07:07 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: helloworld1]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9172
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: helloworld1
If he is working for a large company, then give normal 15% tip. If he on his own , you do not need to tip at all.


This is a general rule, but tipping is never required, just appreciated.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2162028 - 10/05/13 08:10 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
I always tip in the 15-20% range. I tend to pay for the service with a check and give the tip in cash.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2162051 - 10/05/13 09:20 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: helloworld1]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1121
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: helloworld1
If he is working for a large company, then give normal 15% tip. If he on his own , you do not need to tip at all.


And why is that? Is there some reason that the independent tech, who has to pay all of his own FICA, all of his own medical insurance, and retirement, needs less evidence of your appreciation than someone who works for a large company?

I don't get tips. If I did, it would make me think I wasn't charging enough.
regards,

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#2162055 - 10/05/13 09:34 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Ed,

Like you, I'm confused by the "large company" concept when it comes to tuning. All of the tuner/techs that I have used have been self-employed, i.e. independent contractors. My tips are a true gratuity when I am pleased with the quality of their work. But, then again, I don't engage tooners.

I'm curious. Would you be offended by a tip on a tuning or in-home service?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2162058 - 10/05/13 09:54 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2648
Loc: western Wisconsin
I don't tip. However, I pay immediately, don't argue about pricing and never bounce a check.
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#2162067 - 10/05/13 10:29 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3857
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
[...] My tips are a true gratuity when I am pleased with the quality of their work. [...]


And this is what tipping is all about, really, isn't it? It's a way of saying, "Hey, I really appreciate what a beautiful job you did," or, "Man, I just want to acknowledge that you really busted your hump on this job. Thank you!"

Also, since we're on the subject, here's an observation which I mention as someone who has worked, self-employed, in an occupation where tipping is "never expected, but always appreciated":

Usually, it is the people who can afford it the least who generously tip the most. Usually.

(Sometimes people do surprise me, though.)

--Andy
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2162069 - 10/05/13 10:35 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
OperaTenor Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 2380
Loc: Sandy Eggo, California
Some of my customers tip. I very much appreciate it, but never expect it.

And, I'm with Andy about who tips the most generously.
_________________________
Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
[url=www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind]www.facebook.com/NoPianoLeftBehind[/url]

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#2162084 - 10/05/13 11:23 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
bkw58 Offline

Silver Supporter until December 19, 2014


Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 1672
Loc: Conway, AR USA
Where the unofficial State motto is "Thank [Goodness] for Mississippi," tipping for piano work was rare. If any, it usually came via a family transferred from The City where tipping is customary for just about everything.
_________________________
Bob W.
Retired piano technician
Piano Technicę

"Never argue with a fool, people may not be able to tell you apart." - author unknown

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#2162091 - 10/05/13 11:31 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Ed Foote]
Gerry Johnston Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/13
Posts: 98
Loc: Haverhill, MA
Originally Posted By: Ed Foote
Originally Posted By: helloworld1
If he is working for a large company, then give normal 15% tip. If he on his own , you do not need to tip at all.


And why is that? Is there some reason that the independent tech, who has to pay all of his own FICA, all of his own medical insurance, and retirement, needs less evidence of your appreciation than someone who works for a large company?

I don't get tips. If I did, it would make me think I wasn't charging enough.
regards,

I agree with Ed to a point on this. Occasionally, a very happy customer may give me a tip. This happens maybe two or three times a year. The thought is certainly appreciated. But, if it were to happen more frequently I would think my fees were too low. Around the holidays people might give me a plate of cookies or brownies to bring home - this is appreciated too, but it is more of a friendly gesture than a tip.
_________________________
Gerry Johnston, Registered Piano Technician
Haverhill, MA
(978) 372-2250
www.gjpianotuner.com

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#2162095 - 10/05/13 11:46 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19262
Loc: New York City
I think those that feel tipping is more important/appropriate for those who work for a company assume that the company pays far less than what an independent person charges.

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#2162102 - 10/05/13 11:56 AM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
fcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 49
Loc: GA, USA
Guess I'm in the minority as usual as I don't believe in tipping professionals
and/or persons that are paid according to their skill level. When I was raised
it was considered unprofessional to accept a tip and insulting to offer a tip for
professional services.

If you felt that an extraordinary service had been provided,
you would reward that service by referrals and/or perhaps a letter of appreciation or
even a small token of appreciation at a later date or holiday.

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#2162111 - 10/05/13 12:10 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: fcar]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19262
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: fcar
Guess I'm in the minority as usual as I don't believe in tipping professionalsand/or persons that are paid according to their skill level.
I don't think you're in the minority, and Rich Galassini has indicated that tipping independent professionals in not the norm.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/05/13 12:11 PM)

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#2162117 - 10/05/13 12:29 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
KurtZ Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 876
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
I don't generally tip independent contractors who bill their time at around $100 per hour. If my tech returned promptly and courteously to touch up a bad note after the full tuning, I might very well offer another $25-30 for his trouble. I gave tips to the techs who came out on my two warranty calls. I might offer a little extra if I felt the tech did quite a bit of voicing touch up or touch adjustment and only gave me an invoice for the tuning. At our repair shop we occasionally do small freebies that aren't worth writing up an invoice. Most of those people will offer a tip for the favor. If a tech did the work, I'll take the tip and put it straight into the pocket of the tech with no house split. If I or the boss did the work we'll either try to refuse the tip or put it into a jar that aids the wage help with their lunch when they need it.

Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#2162232 - 10/05/13 05:38 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3320
Originally Posted By: Grandman
I would like to know if it customary to tip the piano tech after he/she services the piano? If so, what is the standard gratuity?


I mean, no one minds getting extra money, but I never tipped my tuner before I myself became a tuner, and I don't expect my clients to tip. Technicians should be charging appropriately for their work, making tipping unnecessary.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#2162243 - 10/05/13 06:14 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
B-986 makes a good point. For tuning and the little in-home stuff, I do tip. For shop work, I don't. In that case I consider it to be a flat fee service based on a quote.

FWIW - I have my pianos tuned twice a year. I had a problem with a jack on one key and called my tuner/tech. He swung by the same day and it took longer to pull the action than it did to reset the offending pin. He wouldn't accept any compensation, not even a tip, so he got a plate of home made chocolate cookies I had baked for that eventuality.

The biggest thing, tip or not, is to develop an ongoing relationship with your tuner to get the best outcome.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2162294 - 10/05/13 09:31 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3857
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
[...] The biggest thing, tip or not, is to develop an ongoing relationship with your tuner to get the best outcome.


Now *that* is the honest truth! When my mechanic had to climb under my van when I drove it into the shop on a snowy day, and had slush drip down on him, yeah, I gave him a tip for the trouble.

Otherwise, it's a pan of brownies or a box of donuts every so often. It's *all* about relationships! Good one, Marty!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#2162298 - 10/05/13 09:42 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 553
I tip my tech, but I know he undercharges me, and he always comes ASAP.
_________________________
"Most pianists are poor musicians, they dissect music into bits-and-pieces, like a roast chicken" -Debussy

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#2162353 - 10/05/13 11:59 PM Re: Tipping Piano Techs [Re: Grandman]
Gary Fowler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/13
Posts: 375
You don't NEED to tip your piano technician! But he /she loves it when you do, and will do the little extras for you the next time he services your piano. (tighten up your piano bench, pay a little more attention to your dog, etc. )
_________________________
Making the world a better sounding place, one piano at a time...

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