My Handyman Says I Ought to Tip Him $20/Job. Severely?

Expensive Penny,

I had a handyman with two helpers do transforming in my home over a interval of many months. Typically, all three got here to my home; generally, he despatched one or the opposite to work at my home. 

The final job he did for me, he stated on his manner out the door that he had been doing work for somebody who would hand him $20 each time he completed the work. So he needed me to know that his costs had been going up and he was charging me per diem. He principally left indicating that he was not for rent once more. The one indication that he was anticipating a tip for his work was the story he informed. 

I’ve very seldom used a handyman, and I’ve by no means thought of tipping them. I’ve requested a number of individuals in the event that they tip handymen, and it has been a 50-50 cut up on the reply. 

Since he was the proprietor of the enterprise, ought to he have included a tip in his invoice? When he despatched the opposite people to do work, if I requested a few invoice, they referred me to the proprietor and left with out a tip. Are we presupposed to guess whether or not individuals are presupposed to be tipped?


Expensive P.,

In case your handyman thinks he can command an additional $20 per job for his companies, he ought to cost clients accordingly. Under no circumstances would I begrudge anybody for taking the best-paying work they will discover. However what he shouldn’t do is count on his clients to get the memo by way of ESP that he desires more cash.

If solely there have been an inexpensive customary for when tipping must be a norm. In professions the place staff have lengthy trusted suggestions for his or her livelihoods, like serving and bartending, gratuities are non-negotiable. They’re additionally a pleasant gesture when somebody really exceeds your expectations, significantly in the event that they in all probability aren’t raking in a fats paycheck.

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However it’s completely different if you’re coping with a enterprise proprietor. For those who can’t justify your value will increase and as an alternative depend on the goodwill of shoppers to spice up your earnings, you don’t have a viable enterprise.

Nonetheless, I don’t blame you for second-guessing your self, on condition that tipping tradition has gone wild up to now couple of years. So I polled roughly 10 pals and acquaintances about tipping on this situation simply to substantiate you and I aren’t the lone cheapskates. The consensus was clear: The overwhelming majority of individuals aren’t tipping their handyman — not as a result of they don’t worth the companies they supply, however as a result of they count on them to extend their charges to replicate their market worth.

One of many huge issues with the proliferation of tipping is simply how a lot data is anticipated of the client. You’d in all probability be extra inclined to tip somebody making $12 an hour than somebody making $120 an hour, however you typically don’t have any ballpark guesstimate for what a employee is incomes. Some employers don’t even enable for tipping. And naturally, an enormous issue within the determination is what everybody else is doing. You don’t need to be a cheapskate, however you additionally don’t need to give away cash if you’re not obligated to take action.

In some unspecified time in the future, you must surprise: Is it ever acceptable to easily pay somebody to do a job on the fee you mutually agreed upon?

The truth that your handyman didn’t provide the possibility to easily pay the upper fee is odd. He might not need to settle for future jobs from you for any variety of causes. However he may have communicated that by saying he’s not obtainable, reasonably than dangling one consumer’s tipping habits over you.

The way in which your handyman handled this was unprofessional. I additionally assume he did you a favor, although. I don’t know if his story in regards to the buyer who suggestions $20 per gig is legit. However you place a excessive degree of belief in somebody you rent as a contractor. I’m unsure I’d belief this man, and I wouldn’t need to cope with somebody who communicates so ineffectively — significantly within the occasion {that a} dispute would come up.

Discover a new handyman. Ask your pals or neighbors for suggestions. Whilst you’re at it, ask them what they pay for his or her companies and whether or not they add on a tip.

In the meantime, I hope the client who suggestions your earlier handyman $20 per job has loads of work obtainable for him. As a result of along with his strategy, that particular person might wind up being his solely buyer.

Robin Hartill is an authorized monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your tough cash inquiries to [email protected].

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