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Topic: Accepting tips
Message: Posted by: MikeRaffone (Sep 5, 2005 06:14PM)
I found that for most parents, it would never cross their mind that magicians work for tips. Is it true that a birthday party magician should expect to receive a tip? Is there a subtle way to let the parent know you accept tips? Although I occasionally recieve a tip without asking for it, I have maintained the policy of not soliciting for tips, but accepting them when they are offered.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Sep 5, 2005 06:42PM)
I don't expect tips from birthday party shows but I always accept them when they are offered. I do not think it is professional to demand for or request/hint that tips should be given. As magicians, we are getting paid well enough for our services to expect tips.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 5, 2005 07:50PM)
What I do is never ever solicit or even hint at a tip. My price is what I state and what I expect the client to pay me for the services I provide to them. Even if they offer me extra money for a tip, I will always go back to them and state clearly that the agreed upon amount was such and such and that they paid me too much. If then they say you were great and we want to give you this as a tip, then I will simply tell them thank you so much and that I appreciate it but they did not have to do that for me.

For me, I make sure that what I charge for my services is the amount I feel my services are worth to the client.

Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Sep 5, 2005 09:50PM)
It's your decision, certainly, but ... ... Money ... Refusing money .... ... [Does not compute] ... ... [Does not compute]

Even if it's not about money, turning down a freely offered "thank you"??? Should employees turn down a Christmas bonus as well?

For my part, I would never wait around with my hand held out like a bellman in a hotel, but I do glance at the check after the show and express gratitude for any freely-written extra amount (I do not count the cash in front of a customer).
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Sep 6, 2005 01:23AM)
If they offer a bit extra I accept it. I would never solicite or imply one should be coming.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: graemesd (Sep 6, 2005 01:50AM)
I once told someone a true story - I had a horrific show the year b4 and after the show the parents could see I worked my nuts off and I got a £20.00 tip.

all of which was true

when I received my cheque for this show I got £20.00 tip!!!

I just happened to tell the story at the next show and guess what - £15.00

I only told the story in the first place cos I was asked by the way.

ive never done it since and I'm sure it was pure coincidence - but ifelt v guilty after..NOT
Message: Posted by: Tom Stevens (Sep 6, 2005 05:52AM)
Tipping is supposedly rare in australia. I am slowly working on changing the entire culture, though, one soul at a time. I do this by cheerfully accepting their tip. And thanking them profusely.

I sometimes get a tip when I do an outstanding HIGH energy performance. About 10% of my clients have given me a tip.

It is their way of saying "we REALLY liked your show. You made us adults laugh as well." which is what they often say verbally as well.
Another way of expressing this is to instead book me the next year.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Sep 6, 2005 06:23PM)
I think you should always accept a tip when it's offered. Some people might feel slighted if you don't accept it. I mention tips in my confirmation pre-show letter. I got this idea from Ken Scott (along with a lot of other great ideas, too). Thanks, Ken!
By the way, I got my best birthday show tip this past weekend. $55 and that was after my deluxe show. They could afford it.

Message: Posted by: magicarisimon (Sep 6, 2005 06:55PM)
I think that you should accept tips if given. But if they give you extra cash without mentioning the tip, you should make sure it's a tip. One time I thought someone gave me 20 extra and as I was walking out he asked if he had given me extra and when I said yes, he asked for it back. That was embarassing.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Sep 6, 2005 08:17PM)
HA! I guess that was an embarassing situation for you magicarisimon!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 6, 2005 09:04PM)
I agree. That is why when I get money or a tip and I am not 100% sure it is a tip, I will always go back and tell them that they paid me too much. This not only looks good, but it is honest and in most cases, it is indeed a tip that they want you to have. It is just good buisness practice and a good relationship building skill to always go back and tell them they overpaid if you are not 100% sure.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 6, 2005 09:16PM)
I not only accept ALL tips, but I have a firm unspoken policy to do an extra trick, or two for anyone who offers me food.
It is all about the love.
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Sep 7, 2005 01:25AM)
I did a nieghborhood party on Sunday evening. There were two things that made the tip a bit more special than most (even higher ones);

1) I got paid at the start of the performance, and the contact person made a special trip into her house, and out, to tip me just as I was finishing. (The event was in the cul de sac.)

2) The HOA paid me, but I am sure the tip was from her. It was an odd amount, so she obviously took whatever she found reasonable, and brought it to me.

I've had tips nearly 10 Xs that amount, but I'll recall this one longer.

As noted above, I would double check if I had any feeling that the extra was not intentional, and always thank them! In my experience, they usually indicate that there is a little something extra, so it is rarely an issue.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Sep 7, 2005 02:13AM)
I think that's a great idea.
I didn't used to think it was a good idea to sit down and eat with the family before or after the show, time permitting. But I now do it. I do this because of a Bill Malone tip on one of his dvds. He says that is the time you build relationships and book more shows, including different types of shows. He says to have answers ready to many of the obligitory questions they are sure to ask you.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 7, 2005 02:16AM)
I refuse twice and then take it so as not to be rude. I don't get many tips since I put my prices up!
Message: Posted by: itshim (Sep 7, 2005 04:33AM)
I've found that you get more tips if you charge an odd amount (i.e. finishing with a 5) rather than an even amount (i.e. finishing with a 0). Every so often I up my fee by £5 and then notice the drop/rise in tips. This is in the UK which doesn't have much of a tipping culture (although saying which I have been tipped by as much as my original fee in the past). Like everyone else in this discussion I don't expect or solicit tips but do take them when offered.

Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Sep 19, 2005 12:06PM)
[quote]On 2005-09-07 05:33, itshim wrote:
I've found that you get more tips if you charge an odd amount (i.e. finishing with a 5) rather than an even amount (i.e. finishing with a 0).Nigel[/quote]Just curious; a question for those of you that accept payment by credit card. Do you find that you receive more, less, or the same in tips as when you receive payment in cash, money orders or checks?
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Sep 20, 2005 02:32PM)
The situation between England and the USA is interesting. In London I was probably tipped every 3rd. show. In Phoenix I rarely do a show where they do not tip..........and the tip is frequently over $50! If paid cash, always count it infront of the client. If you count it in the car and you have been underpaid, it is embarrasing to go back and tell them!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 20, 2005 02:50PM)
Jolly Roger
I wish I live close enough to you to see you work, because I get tiped every tenth show and I thought I was pretty hot.

PS It's probibly that Clint Eastwood look
Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Sep 20, 2005 10:32PM)
[quote]PS: It's probably that Clint Eastwood look.[/quote]Yeah, who wants him to think of them as 'that punk'! I personally think it's the accent. :winker:
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 21, 2005 09:23AM)
Does that mean if I moved to England I will get better tips, because of my South Philly accent?
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Sep 21, 2005 10:32AM)


Message: Posted by: James Munton (Sep 21, 2005 10:37AM)
I think I read somewhere about putting something in your confirmation letter about tipping. i.e. that it is not expected, but feel free to do so!

I don't do this, but I do accept a tip when it is offered. Most people pay me by check and they either add it on to the check or give it separately as cash.

I used to accept payment by credit card, but stopped because I never got a tip when they paid by credit card.

Message: Posted by: JesterMan (Sep 21, 2005 01:18PM)

I lived in Darby (borough) for a couple years, so know that accent all too well. (Oddly enough, my last place of residence in PA was also near you, in Fairview Village). I can assure you that the purported accent of Rocky, Adrian and the gang will NOT increase tips, unless you can find a place where it sounds 'classy'. Good luck with that! :bigsmile:

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 21, 2005 01:36PM)
So sounding like Sylvester Stallone only made him rich?
Message: Posted by: Tom Stevens (Sep 24, 2005 08:53PM)
Last weekend I was driving out and scratched some fancy car on my way to the show. This was disheartneing because it was a lower paying job I got through an agency.
As I approached the house and saw that it was a very fancy house I had to suppress all negative thoughts about how much more these people could afford. I remembered the words of Anton Zellmann "I decided that every performance I do will be the best performance I can possibly do." Or something to that effect. He of course was saying that in context of getting word of mouth referrals.
So I put on a very high energy performance. This was a crowd of very active 5 to 7 year olds, and I could see that the mom was already exhausted even though the party had only started half an hour earlier.
After the show she told me she was extremely pleased and I also had noticed that she was able to sit down and relax while I took on the demanding crowd of kids. She took out her cheque book and asked how much it was, I said "$160. ..Not including the tip," with a wink. She said of course there'd be a tip! She started filling out the cheque, seemed to change her mind and then crupled it up and re-wrote it for $200.
I must say that was the biggest tip I've gotten so far. (mind you I usually charge about that much for my show).
If you think that's brazen, I'd think it just as brazen as mentioning tips in a booking letter. Which I might start doing too.
Anyway that was also the first time I got a tip when being paid by cheque.
Message: Posted by: Pizzazz (Sep 25, 2005 12:37AM)
I donít ask for tips when doing a party or event. But if I am working a restaurant doing balloons and table hopping, when I set up the contract with the manager I offer two packages 1) The restaurant pays me X-amount of dollars and I donít except tips or 2) They pay me an appearance fee (a little less then package 1) and I wear my little badge that says tips accepted. Now I now that a lot of you are going to have mixed feelings on this but believe it or not most managers go for package 2) Now there are a few that say they want the first one because this is a service to there customers.
Message: Posted by: Tom Stevens (Sep 27, 2005 08:13PM)
Pizzazz, What percentage or $$ difference is there between package 1) and 2)?