Is it common to tip auto mechanics at holiday season?
June 23, 2016 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I have found a great automotive repair shop. Honest, qualified mechanics and qualified office staff also, fair prices. I was surprised to get a call from them in December, wishing me a happy holiday. Now I'm wondering if that's code for "Hey, throw a few bucks our way since we've helped you out this year."

I drive a 20 year old truck* -- needing a good mechanic and a AAA membership is just part of life for me. I found this great shop maybe two or three years ago, I trust them totally. I have not been shy in thanking them for doing what they do, complimenting them on how well they do it.
*I happily drive a 20 year old truck -- it's the prettiest pickup in Texas.

I took my pickup in today to get it inspected, costs $16, a cost that is set by the state of Texas, nothing in it for my mechanics, really. I felt unwelcome there, first time ever. Sets me to wondering again, did I read that December phone call wrong? Should I have thrown them a hundred bucks? I don't have tons of money falling off of me but they have saved my ass on a number of occasions, not that they did the work free but always they did the work right. I trust them implicitly, and that is real important to me.

I'm pretty much clueless on tipping service ppl, other than wait staff, who I always tip very well. I know the percentages and I far exceed them, I know that it's expected and I don't mind it, just part of dining out. But anyways, I don't come from money, I do not have nor have ever had a doorman or a maid or a (insert whatever service position here) and I am not sure if I got south-footed on this thing.

Do you tip your mechanic at holiday season? Aside from wait staff, who do you tip at holiday season?

Bonus points: What could I do to make this right now that it's 2/3 through June?
posted by dancestoblue to Work & Money (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've never heard of such a thing and it would never occur to me to tip an auto mechanic. The only people I tip extra at holidays are the newspaper delivery person and my hairstylist, and the stylist only when I'm in for a visit in December. Some people tip the mail carrier but I have never done that.

I would chalk it up to some auto mechanic shops are much better at marketing than others. I don't think it was fishing for a tip.
posted by Miko at 8:52 PM on June 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Here's what Tom and Ray said.
posted by Miko at 8:54 PM on June 23, 2016


I don't tip them and this is not a thing I know about. I might bring by food (or beer if appropriate) if I was getting late December service. You could leave them an awesome Yelp review if you'd like to do something now.
posted by jessamyn at 8:54 PM on June 23, 2016


I bring food or beer. When she broke her leg skydiving, I brought in puzzles and one of those long arm grabber things you use to pick things up when you can't quite bend and reach for it.
posted by tilde at 9:01 PM on June 23, 2016


Here's what Tom and Ray said.
posted by Miko at 10:54 PM on June 23

Cool -- didn't think to look here. Thx!

You could leave them an awesome Yelp review if you'd like to do something now.
posted by jessamyn at 10:54 PM on June 23

I left this review last year.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:21 PM on June 23, 2016


didn't think to look here. Thx!

I just Googled "tip auto mechanic." It's come up on some other forums too. I think you're in good company.
posted by Miko at 9:22 PM on June 23, 2016


Tip them if they do something incredible or go way out of their way for you. I don't think this situation calls for it.
posted by Slinga at 9:34 PM on June 23, 2016


I pay professional wages to my mechanics and don't tip them. If my mechanic expected one from me, I'd find a different one. Tipping traditionally goes to people that make a subsistence living (or less than one) from their paycheck or have high out of pocket costs (like tax drivers) and rely on tips to make up the difference.

If your sample size is a single day that felt off, I wouldn't put too much importance on it yet - they might have had a busy or bad day and it's entirely coincidental. It seems unlikely that a small business would bother to keep track of who did or didn't do something nice for them nearly seven months ago and exact justice now. If you get a cold shoulder a second time, then you might start looking elsewhere.

Aside from wait staff, who do you tip at holiday season?

When I worked in an office building, I helped organize a fund for the janitors, as they got paid very little to literally deal with the shit that we didn't want to. At this stage in life, I don't really have anyone that I have a holiday tipping relationship with, though I might do something for my mailperson, as he's been going above and beyond this year.

When my grandmother was in a nursing home, we gave her caregivers a nice tip each year, as they did a lot of unpleasant work for low wages.
posted by Candleman at 9:39 PM on June 23, 2016


The Christmas wishes may have been in recognition of the fact that you're a valued customer who left a great review - it may have been their way of thanking YOU.
posted by Jubey at 10:03 PM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't tip my mechanics. I do, however, bring a tray of homemade cookies at Christmas because my mechanics are AWESOME.
posted by kimberussell at 3:51 AM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


If your sample size is a single day that felt off, I wouldn't put too much importance on it yet - they might have had a busy or bad day and it's entirely coincidental.
posted by Candleman at 11:39 PM on June 23

Unless/until I have more experience such as yesterday, I'm just going to assume that it was a busy day and let it go.

Thx to all who answered. Seems that the overall consensus here is that tipping is *not* a thing that's expected by mechanics. I'll go with that consensus.

Marked resolved.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:52 AM on June 24, 2016


While we don't tip in Australia, I have tipped my trusted mechanic with a six-pack of beer each time he does my fixed-fee inspection certificate because there is no profit in it for him and I know he does a thorough job of checking for issues.
posted by Thella at 3:36 AM on June 25, 2016


I wouldn't ever think to tip my mechanic though last year they went above and beyond for me so I sent them cheese.
posted by small_ruminant at 6:57 PM on June 25, 2016


« Older Dress shoes for walking   |   Is it ever a good idea to force resolution in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.