Another tipping question
September 3, 2022 8:37 PM   Subscribe

Am I supposed to tip the tech at Guitar Center?

I took my son's guitar in to get the action fixed and it didn't even occur to me until now, should I have tipped the tech? I don't know if he's an employee that gets paid hourly or if he's contact and gets to keep what he charges. Either way, should I have tipped? If so, I'll go back and make it right. He fixed it, cleaned it, and restrung it. It looks brand new. My son is really happy with it.
posted by smashface to Society & Culture (3 answers total)
I have never done so but I’ll be interested to hear if anyone else has had a different experience.
posted by music for skeletons at 10:10 PM on September 3

I have never tipped a guitar tech. I have rarely even met the guitar tech - usually getting my guitar set up involves dropping off/picking up my guitar from the salesperson at the front counter of the store. Interested to hear what others say, though.
posted by gnutron at 3:58 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]

Best answer: They're hourly employees who also get a commission - source: this job listing from the GC job listing site.
Pay and Benefits for New York City Applicants:

Pay Rate: $15.00 - $22.50 + Commission depending on location, background and experience
Benefit Offerings: All associates are eligible for 401k. Full Time associates are also eligible for Medical, Dental, Vision as well as Sick and Vacation time

Guitar Center embodies the world of creativity and music by encouraging staff to find their own individual sound. Our mission is to develop and nurture lifelong musicians and make a difference in the world by enabling musicians and non-musicians alike to experience the joy that comes from creating music. We believe in creating inclusive environments that put our customers first all the while fulfilling our mission.

As our Repair Tech (Guitar), you will provide perform maintenance and repair services on customer-owned instruments and to assist in maintenance of specific store inventory, continually building and increasing the business through great customer experience and quality work.

A few special characteristics that make our Repair Technicians successful:

Customer Focus: Understands customer service principles, and able to provide an excellent customer experience. Able to connect with customers in a meaningful way. Is approachable, genuine, knowledgeable, encouraging, passionate, and committed to helping customers. Able to step in to handle customer service issues.
Initiative: Able to identify opportunities & issues and follow through on work activities to capitalize or resolve them. Able to learn quickly and take positive action without being requested to do so. Able to develop knowledge and skills including product, store operations, sales and leadership.
Selling: Able to work through GC certification program to gain a base understanding of products and sales techniques.
Training: Able to effectively train learners and communicate info and techniques so that they are retained.

Given that the hourly pay seems . . . not great . . . I don't doubt that the tech would have appreciated a quick $20 in cash slipped to him when you picked the guitar up.

BUT 1) tipping guitar techs in general is not really a thing IME unless it's an emergency repair or a particularly difficult job. Mostly I think because luthiers other than GC techs are generally independent business-people who either own their own shop or rent space in an instrument store, so one figures that they have set their rates appropriately and 2) GC is really "corporate" in the world of musical instrument stores, so I've got doubts that tipping is even allowed. Meaning I'd be leery of specifically going back in to tip the repair tech. Maybe carry a little cash the next time you drop your son's guitar off for a setup and if you get the same repair person - I know employee turnover is high at the company - you can slide it to them (discreetly) and say "Thanks for doing such a good job last time."
posted by soundguy99 at 6:15 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]

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