A money-savvy individual who likes to keep an efficient eye over their finances and write about ways to optimise their resources.
To Tip or Not to Tip
So, you have decided to get some form of piercing. Whether you went for your ear, nose, septum, nipple, or somewhere even more private, you'll wonder how much of a tip to leave. Piercing is usually surprisingly cheap; it is usually the jewelry that is surprisingly expensive, so you might look at the combined cost of piercing and jewelry and think that is all you need to pay.
But, while that is technically true, many people choose to tip their piercer. It is the same principle as when you get your hair cut. You sit down with the expert, you tell them what you want, and they deliver. If you are happy with the end result, you might choose to add on a bit on top for their time and expertise. (Of course, if you end up in a lot of pain and a wonky piercing, you might want your money back, never mind offering a tip on top!) But if the job is done well, you should probably tip your piercer.
The only question, then, is how much? This can be quite a toughie to work out, so we want to break down the why of tipping a piercer and what you should consider if you want to leave a good tip.
Why Should You Tip Your Piercer?
The job that a piercer does can seem like something that you should tip for, does it not? They are literally going to be piercing your body so that you can add some form of personally desired décor. And while you could have someone who isn’t a professional pierce your ear, you should absolutely avoid doing so. Professional piercing is a service that requires incredible discipline and technique. It also requires that all of the piercing equipment used is 100% safe to use; can you say that about someone who is doing a back alley piercing?
So, you should tip a piercer because they offer something you want that would be simply too dangerous to get done by a non-professional. They take the risk out of the experience because they do it right. They ensure that you have less to worry about because they are there with their expensive equipment, extensive training, and expertise.
This means that you know the piercing is done safely, it is less likely to get infected, and you will have fewer things to worry about.
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Piercing is cheap enough—even after the tip. There is no benefit to going to a non-professional. This is a specialist skill, so respecting the technique of the individual is very important.
How Much Do You Tip a Piercer?
So, the main thing you want to focus on when it comes to the tipping of your piercer is to look at the overall cost of the service. Tips should always be given to a piercer who gets the job done right without any excess discomfort. Something in the region of 15 to 20% of the total cost (piercing + jewelry) should be enough. If you feel like they did an extra special job, then you might want to up this to a 25 to 30% tip.
For example, getting a lobe pierced might cost $20, plus $10 for jewelry. A 15% tip = $4.50.
That still might not be very much. However, those small tips can add up for the piercer. Service providers rely on tipping to turn their poor wages into a living wage. A piercer needs tips to make their job something that is affordable to do for a living.
Alternatives to Tipping
Keep in mind, it doesn't actually necessarily need to be money that you end up 'tipping' your piercer with, especially if you know the piercer on a personal basis. You could gift them something that they might want, such as a certain beverage or food, or tickets to see a band they like. All of these are great ways to show how appreciative you are of the work that they have done.
Do You HAVE to Tip?
On the other hand, it's not required that you tip your piercer. A piercer might expect a tip, but if they didn't do what you wanted, then you don't have to leave one. Just pay the bill and be on your way. They might be disappointed and even ask why, but they should use the feedback to improve and provide a better experience for the next customer.
Please do let us know the experiences you have had around tipping piercers. Is it something you do regularly? Are you someone who does get a lot of piercings but doesn't generally provide a tip and instead just pays the bill presented? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Russel Garret