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Etiquette

Tipping vendor/owners

Hi Etiquette Mavens!

I know that it's not common practice to tip vendors who own their company (unless exceptional service), so I'm wondering if that extends to small operations like hair styling. When I get quotes from hair stylists who happen to work independently as company owners (like Lisa Smith of Lisa Smith Artistry, for instance), they are a bit higher than I was expecting. 

I understand that the actual number is a matter of geography, but I'm wondering if this pricing is a bit padded to include tip since the vendor is the owner. (To clarify: I'm not opposed to tipping if that's appropriate.) Has anyone encountered this and have some insight? Thanks!


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KnotRiley

Re: Tipping vendor/owners

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Hi Etiquette Mavens!

    I know that it's not common practice to tip vendors who own their company (unless exceptional service), so I'm wondering if that extends to small operations like hair styling. When I get quotes from hair stylists who happen to work independently as company owners (like Lisa Smith of Lisa Smith Artistry, for instance), they are a bit higher than I was expecting. 

    I understand that the actual number is a matter of geography, but I'm wondering if this pricing is a bit padded to include tip since the vendor is the owner. (To clarify: I'm not opposed to tipping if that's appropriate.) Has anyone encountered this and have some insight? Thanks!


    I'd tip my hairstylist/MUA regardless of who they are.  Hairstsylists charge more based on experience, hence why owners often cost more than the newer staff.
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    MesmrEwe
  • In theory, the owner of a business will charge enough to pay her bills and be profitable without discretionary payment (i.e.: tips).

    However, I will usually tip an owner of a business because even if they charge enough that they don't NEED it, it's still a gesture of appreciation of a job well done. That owner will be able to use the tip for something extra, like a dinner out, if she doesn't absolutely need it to supplement her income (as staff too often do).
  • I also understand one doesn't usually tip the owner of a business, because they are profiting off the business, but I still feel that a tip is given out of appreciation for good service done- thus I tip if I'm happy, and I don't tip if I'm not. 

    Does your stylist have to travel? 
  • Thanks for the input, PPs!

    @SP29, the hairstylists I've been getting quotes from do traveling hair as what I believe is a side business for some, without a home base and a specific range in which they will travel. I think that aspect is also part of the reason I'm confused. Since there's no studio space cost, almost all of the fee is profit.  

    Wedding services are inherently more costly and there is the convenience of having the artist come to you, so that was what prompted my original question.
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  • Thanks for the input, PPs!

    @SP29, the hairstylists I've been getting quotes from do traveling hair as what I believe is a side business for some, without a home base and a specific range in which they will travel. I think that aspect is also part of the reason I'm confused. Since there's no studio space cost, almost all of the fee is profit.  

    Wedding services are inherently more costly and there is the convenience of having the artist come to you, so that was what prompted my original question.
    There's a lot of hidden fees in cosmetology, too. My mother's a hairdresser who has done this kind of work, and it hasn't always been worthwhile for her, especially when people don't tip - though I'd also argue that she didn't charge enough in that case. ;)

    Remember, most hairdressers are using salon quality products - so they may be buying $30 bottles of hair gel while we're buying $10 ones, for example. Add in having to purchase your own travelling studio (capes, brushes & combs, irons, etc., which need to be replaced regularly), and the wear & tear on your car, and it can be hard to break even.
    kimmiinthemitten
  • I was thinking that travel might make it more expensive.

    I agree, this person isn't paying to rent a physical office space, but travelling to all of his/her clients vs. having clients come to them is expensive.

    I was also thinking in the case of one person, that stylist is entirely reliant on them self for the whole business' profit, where as a salon has many staff that can bring in multiple people at one time in the same space, plus buy products in bulk.

    If you're not happy with prices, I'd keep looking. The place I got my hair done for my wedding was a salon, and even though it was a "bridal up-do" it was a similar cost to any other place I've seen list prices for up-dos and even styling. I also got my make up done at the same salon and found their prices to be on par with any other salon or even the make up stores in the mall. 
  • These are all fair points, PPs! I hadn't considered the points @SP29 and @JediElizabeth just brought up. Again, I'm not opposed to paying the prices or tips if that's how these things work, I just didn't factor in the value of having guaranteed clients (as in at a salon) or access to bulk product purchasing. :smiley: Thanks again!
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    JediElizabeth
  • Thanks for the input, PPs!

    @SP29, the hairstylists I've been getting quotes from do traveling hair as what I believe is a side business for some, without a home base and a specific range in which they will travel. I think that aspect is also part of the reason I'm confused. Since there's no studio space cost, almost all of the fee is profit.  

    Wedding services are inherently more costly and there is the convenience of having the artist come to you, so that was what prompted my original question.

    As a hairstylist, I can tell you this is false. The person traveling to you to do your hair/make up, bridal party, etc. Is essentially taking the day off of their regular day to come to you. Especially if you are getting married on a Saturday. Weekends are the money maker days. Depending on the type of salon she works at she could see 10-20 people on a Saturday vs you and your party, where she is working alone and only has what she brought. Most stylists I know are "independent contractors" but are still renting space from somewhere else. Tips are always welcome. Also, her price will most likely include travel, that's why it costs more.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

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