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since 4/10/2009
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Never tipped in cash, but I have worked at a shop were a few customers would occasionally bring snacks. I have tipped a good mechanic with expensive beer for doing me a favor.

And yes, clean bikes are much appreciated, I've noticed.
 

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i also unicycle
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2,043 Posts
i'd echo all that. when i do a quick job that my boss wouldn't exactly want me charging for, like say, taking off some pedals or something equally quick and easy, when they ask how much, i just say "a couple bucks, whatever's handy" and i usually get a $2-4.

i get weirded out if i'm tipped for doing normal work. if i go above and beyond or squeeze someone in, or whatever, cash is good, treats/beer is beer. Once at a local wing place, one of my customers came over and said that my meal and drinks were on him for the consistently great job we do for him. that was pretty rad, i kinda think he was showing off to some friends, but it meant a bit to me.
 

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nocturnal oblivion
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2,331 Posts
markf sounds right on.
I'd tip only if the mechanic or whomever went out of their way. Otherwise why? I know many will disagree. If the food and service suck at even a restaurant I don't tip (by poor service I mean bad/unfriendly). If it's great service I tip very well. Of course things like the workload of the server must be taken into account, ie the service was slow but they're visibly working their butts off, then yes, I tip.
Put it plainly: Do they deserve it?
 

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Former Bike Wrench
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15,976 Posts
$$ Tips are often not "officially" allowed by many employers, and frankly most mechanics (including when I wrenched) appreciate beer, mochas, treats, etc.

I had a few regular customers that always brought me something, somehow their bikes got done the same day when we were scheduled out two weeks or more ;)
 

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Johnny Dependable
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233 Posts
stumblemumble said:
markf sounds right on.
I'd tip only if the mechanic or whomever went out of their way. Otherwise why? I know many will disagree. If the food and service suck at even a restaurant I don't tip (by poor service I mean bad/unfriendly). If it's great service I tip very well. Of course things like the workload of the server must be taken into account, ie the service was slow but they're visibly working their butts off, then yes, I tip.
Put it plainly: Do they deserve it?
One time while at a cafe in a ski town a waitress interrupted our conversation to announce we were, "welcome" for bringing out our drinks. I guess she was offended that we didn't say thank you. Seriously. When I got the bill I wrote, "don't pet a burning dog" in the tip section.
 

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Purveyor of Trail Tales!
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1,189 Posts
How To Get To The Front of The Line!

Hey Folks,

In my experience a clean bike to start the process, a 12 pack of really good beer and a sincere personal "thank you" go a long way to getting your bike quickly fixed. All humans like to be recognized.

Take care,

Michael :thumbsup:
 

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canuck
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695 Posts
michaelsnead said:
Hey Folks,

In my experience a clean bike to start the process, a 12 pack of really good beer and a sincere personal "thank you" go a long way to getting your bike quickly fixed. All humans like to be recognized.

Take care,

Michael :thumbsup:
that makes a huge diff on how the bike is serviced

if I get a dirty filthy bike I do my best to return it that way.
or
if I'm not to busy and in a good mood, I'll clean the **** out of it hoping the owners guilt will over whelm them to wash there piece of turd the next time.

and god damnit ! don't try to rush me by telling me you need it tomorrow morning for a race and act like your going to die if it's not done and then not pick it up till the weekend all acting like you don't remember the dire need of immediate service...

that burns my butt. Because most people don't realize sometimes your mechanic will stay late "off the clock" to get it done. :eek:

I always get the little bmx kiddos to run across the street and get me a coke or RB will I fix there tire or chain.
 

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Registered
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2,751 Posts
A clean bike and being nice are the most important things.
Treats are nice but they aren't expected, they're paying for a service and they don't need to bribe anyone to get it.

I can't remember getting money as a tip much for spannering, except for a couple of times when doing emergency/while you wait work. Last year I got a £20 ($35?) tip for fixing a lady's crashed touring bike while she waited, new cables, new brake lever, super-ultra-dooper-rapid rim replacement finished for 40 minutes after closing. She made my day with that.

Getting dirty bikes is the worst though. Puts me in a bad mood before I've even started...
 

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I hate that name.
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1,643 Posts
Honestly, I feel awkward when I get a tip. I'm just doing my job. I treat everyone the same and I give them good service because I want them to come back, not because I'm fishing for a tip.
 

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Registered
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1,987 Posts
mtnbiker72 said:
$$ Tips are often not "officially" allowed by many employers, and frankly most mechanics (including when I wrenched) appreciate beer, mochas, treats, etc.

I had a few regular customers that always brought me something, somehow their bikes got done the same day when we were scheduled out two weeks or more ;)
my experience. if i go in my shop with a special request, especially if its 5pm on friday and i want to ride saturday, then i bring a 6 or 12 pack of sierra nevada pale ale. my bike gets done.
 

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Content from my avatar
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4,355 Posts
I don't tip because I'm usually only in the shop to buy parts so I can do my wrenching. Even then, the LBS usually doesn't have the stuff that I want. But I try to avoid situations where a tip would be called for. I live in a small suburb, so a lot of my friends work at local businesses (LBS, Coldstone, Round Table, yada yada yada). I recently got three gift cards for Coldstone, and I'm only using those because I can't turn them into cash and it's too much trouble to sell them. With cards no cash is ever seen and I don't have to worry about tipping a friend, that just gets awkward pretty quick, and I just try not to find friends while they're on the clock.
 

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Working in a shop for 4 years now, I've been bribed with pizza and beer never tipped though! Well by bikers atleast. Xc skiers love tipping on rush wax jobs!
 

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Start slow and taper off
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790 Posts
When I worked in a bike shop, the people that tended to tip were either regulars (who usually would tip in beer or by buying you lunch, and usually on a random day, not after you did something for them specifically), those who felt you went over and above in helping them (who usually tipped on the spot, in cash), and those who you suggested buy a particular item and after they used it a bit came to realize that you could have suggested they spend more money but didn't need to (and they usually tipped by buying lunch and then becoming a regular and eventually tipping in beer)

Over the years I also had a few regulars that worked in other industries and would tip in goods--a guy that would get concert tickets for us, a guy who worked in the camping industry and would give me camping equipments, and so on
 
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