Sunday, March 26, 2023

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

Pricey 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 mentioned on his means out the door that he had been doing work for somebody who would hand him $20 each time he completed the work. So he wished me to know that his costs have 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 break 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 couple of invoice, they referred me to the proprietor and left and not using a tip. Are we presupposed to guess whether or not persons are presupposed to be tipped?


Pricey P.,

In case your handyman thinks he can command an additional $20 per job for his companies, he ought to cost prospects accordingly. By no means would I begrudge anybody for taking the best-paying work they will discover. However what he shouldn’t do is anticipate his prospects to get the memo through ESP that he desires extra money.

If solely there have been an inexpensive commonplace for when tipping should be a norm. In professions the place employees have lengthy trusted ideas 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, notably in the event that they most likely aren’t raking in a fats paycheck.

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But it surely’s totally different while you’re coping with a enterprise proprietor. If you happen to can’t justify your worth will increase and as an alternative depend on the goodwill of consumers 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 prior to now couple of years. So I polled roughly 10 buddies and acquaintances about tipping on this state of affairs 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 anticipate them to extend their charges to mirror their market worth.

One of many large issues with the proliferation of tipping is simply how a lot information is predicted of the shopper. You’d most likely be extra inclined to tip somebody making $12 an hour than somebody making $120 an hour, however you typically haven’t any ballpark guesstimate for what a employee is incomes. Some employers don’t even enable for tipping. And naturally, an enormous issue within the resolution is what everybody else is doing. You don’t wish to be a cheapskate, however you additionally don’t wish to give away cash while you’re not obligated to take action.

Sooner or later, it’s important to surprise: Is it ever acceptable to easily pay somebody to do a job on the price you mutually agreed upon?

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

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

Discover a new handyman. Ask your pals or neighbors for suggestions. When 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 shopper who ideas your earlier handyman $20 per job has loads of work accessible for him. As a result of together 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 difficult cash inquiries to [email protected].

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