Normal tips for massage therapists

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Normal tips for massage therapists

Postby ace88 on Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:32 pm

When I go to the chiropractor and get a 1/2 hour massage, insurance is paying for most of it and I don't tip them. However, once in a while I will go for either and hour or hour and a half massage with two different therapists who have their own private practices. Those full body massages are much better than what you get in the chiropractor's office, but they cost $60 to $100 based on time.

My question is, what is a normal tip to expect from a session? If the time is an hour, I've given them an extra 10 bucks. So if I paid $60, I gave them $70, if I paid $100, I gave them $110. Do most of your clients tip, and if so, how much? Is what I am giving considered normal? :D Thanks!
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Postby SalemRose on Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:41 pm

It varies from client to client but usually I get something like the following......
30 mins $5 - $8
60 mins $8 - $20
90 mins $10 - $20

I once got $3 for a 60 min massage! And hey, it was better than nothing! Tips are nice, I like to get them. I have one client that doesn't tip at all. But he's there every week and he gives me a big tip for holidays. So that works out nicely!

What you're giving them is fine! Massages are expensive! It shows you value their work! I am sure they are happy with it!

Steph!
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Postby Shannon on Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:51 pm

My tips range from nothing to $60.(not a typo)


I don't expect my clients to tip me. But its nice when they do.

I agree with SalemRose massages are expensive and some people can only afford the already set price. If you can't tip but would like to, refer someone to your Therapist. To me that is more of a tip than you giving me $10 or whatever they leave me.

Plus people walking out with smiles saying "I feel so much better" is a tip in itself.
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Postby SalemRose on Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:00 pm

Shannon wrote:I agree with SalemRose massages are expensive and some people can only afford the already set price. If you can't tip but would like to, refer someone to your Therapist. To me that is more of a tip than you giving me $10 or whatever they leave me.

Plus people walking out with smiles saying "I feel so much better" is a tip in itself.


Oh, I totally agree. Refer a friend! Tell them when they go in to tell the MT that you refered them (they'll probably mention it anyway!). I think that's the best tip out there! It shows your MT that like her work so much that your out there talking her up! That's a compliment! And besides, remember what they say "It's the thought that counts!".

Steph!
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Postby Breathe on Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:27 pm

I have my own practice, and I set my prices so that I do not expect tips. My credit card processing does not offer a line for tipping. I'd say about 20% of my clients leave a little extra.

But, when I worked for a chiropractor on commission, it was really nice to get that $5 tip after a session, because the massage fee was split with the office.
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Postby Pandoras_Gift on Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:52 pm

Normally it is suggested to be 15-20% of the price of the service rendered. When it is billed through insurance, I understand that you do not know what is charged. I would estimate the tip if you choose to give one, by using the the range of prices for that area. My tips range from $15-40/hour, although I work in a very high end range in the NYC metro area. But yes, the therapist is usually happy to accept anything that you feel is proper, the best tip is to speak well about the service to those that you know. Word of mouth is the best advertizement out there.
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Postby mush on Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:59 pm

think about it this way, if an MT works on a percentage or split fees, like in a spa, then 15% gratuity is typical.
if an MT is self employed, then tipping is not necessarily expected, although appreciated. after all, if i need a tip, i should raise my rates.

medical environments get tipped the least.
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Postby ace88 on Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:32 pm

I'm not the best for recommending clients....I feel a little uncomfortable doing that with the group of people I am around, and probably just because of my personality. I hate anything where I feel like I am marketing. However, a couple days after I had had a 90 minute massage, I emailed my therapist to tell her how well I had felt the next day after...and how I had played basketball and beat two guys because I felt so flexible. She asked if I could give her a testimonial to put on her website. Since that was something I am good at (writing) and because she gives great massages, I was more than happy to help out in that way. :D At least I feel of some use!

Thank you for all in the information about the tips. I will probably give $10-15 each time, and maybe a bonus near Christmas.
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Postby mush on Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:57 am

ace88 wrote:She asked if I could give her a testimonial to put on her website. Since that was something I am good at (writing) and because she gives great massages, I was more than happy to help out in that way. :D At least I feel of some use!


that is so valuable to her. good for you :smt038
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Postby bushido_smt on Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:00 pm

In school, it's fairly customary for us to receive tips since we're not getting paid, but it doesn't always happen. Outside of school though, we've been told time and time again - charge what you feel you're worth. Then you won't be disappointed or upset when you don't get a tip.

Having said that, in school or out... I enjoy tips - extra money is always nice. However, keeping the previously mentioned ideas in mind, I'll charge what I feel my services are worth and never "expect" a tip! :wink:
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Postby Nordic1 on Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:03 pm

Shannon wrote:My tips range from nothing to $60.(not a typo)


I don't expect my clients to tip me. But its nice when they do.


I also don't expect tips, but it is always nice when I do receive one, especially when I know that the client really appreciated the session. Last week I had a new client who received her massage as a Christmas present and I was really touched when her husband handed me a fistful of cash as I was leaving their home. It actually turned out to be a $10 tip since all of the bills were ones, but still it was most definitely the thought that counted. :D

The largest tip I ever received was $110 for a 90 minute massage. 8) Even though I felt that the session had gone exceptionally well, I still wanted to check with my client and make sure that there wasn't a mistake. When I found out that there wasn't a mistake and that she really did want me to give me that much of a tip, I was on Cloud 9 the rest of that week. :D
Last edited by Nordic1 on Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Yemaya on Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:21 pm

When I worked at a chiropractor's office, I did receive a few tips, but not often. I think the more medical settings tend to discourage it since people don't normally tip doctors, etc. Now I'm at a health club, and tips are a lot more common, though by no means universal. I don't bill insurance, so all of my clients are paying out of pocket, and I really appreciate that they are even willing to spend as much as they do on the basic rate.

I agree that recommending my services or offering to write a testimonial are excellent ways to let me know how much you enjoyed your treatment.
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Re: Normal tips for massage therapists

Postby nybor7 on Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:06 pm

ace88 wrote:My question is, what is a normal tip to expect from a session?


My answer to your question above is nothing.
The key word here for me is expect.
I have been given anything from $5-$50 for a tip.

It's always appreciated, still, never expected.

I don't try to use the argument about ..."well, you don't tip your dentist do you?" as some MT's do..... I'm not a dentist etc.
I just don't expect it.

Robyn
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Postby greatkat2 on Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:54 pm

just like in a restaurant, 20%, but that is at a spa where they take 60% of my money PLUS product charge PLUS a fee if you use the credit card machine. so if youcan, always try to tip in cash. this will ensure that the therapist gets the whole thing. when i worked at a chiro, i didnt hardly ever get tips, and that is one reason i dont work at a doctors office anymore. i wont lie, tips are great, and i count on them, but i live in a big city where tipping is the norm, same can not be said for all places i guess.
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Tips? Huh? Where are they?

Postby MassagesOnTheRun on Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:52 am

I've heard so many horror stories how therapists part time for a spa and part time for me at the same time. Spas and other companies take so much of the percentage, leaving little left over for the therapist.

but that is at a spa where they take 60% of my money PLUS product charge PLUS a fee if you use the credit card machine


My company only keeps $40\hour max. Whether it's chair massage or table massage the therapist never makes less than $50\hour base, plus the average tip is $20-30 an hour. ($40\hr company and $70-80\hr therapist average, quite fair I think)

Part Time Therapists here average 10 appointments a week at $700 or more, based on their schedule. Some less, some more. If they want to work longer hours, they are welcome to. Some only have a three hour time block each day free, so they just work one or two appointments each day, and are happy with that.

Yesterday a new therapist on her first appointment made $115 in one hour. The appointment was at a nice hotel through the concierge, only 10 minutes from her Arlington house. She said the single appointment was equal to, or slightly more, than what she made slaving away all day at her last spa job. She said just one or two appointments a day with my company would make her very happy. She now regrets wasting so much of her time at this "Upscale Spa".

80% of therapists who work\worked for me say that their spa client told them that they left a cash tip for them in an envelope at the front desk. When the therapist went to collect the money,"Nothing was left for you". The receptionist had three Starbucks coffees sitting in front of her.

The spa client had a whole day worth of treatments and mysteriously, the therapist, the nail person, the mud wrap person, and the hair stylist, all didn't receive any tips on the credit card. But the clients's credit card had an additional $125 charged over what the cost of the treatments were. The spa owner denied anything.

One therapist left my company for a while to work full time six days a week at a spa. She told me what happened above to her, and several more similar stories. She worked all day for 12 hours, and realized that working for me part time she always received 100% of her tips, had more free time, more fun, less stress, and was slightly more profitable. She said she was sorry she left and apologized to me for leaving. I gave her a hug and said, "Welcome back, you have several clients who were asking for you. I have an appointment for you in three hours?"
Last edited by MassagesOnTheRun on Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby serenitymassage on Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:26 am

Hi!

I'm not a massage therapist but I am just a client who goes for massages every two weeks at a local day spa.

I am so glad you brought up this subejct. I always leave a tip on the table in the room where I receive my massage for two reasons: Less than honest personnel at the front desk and the fact that I feel that it is no one's business how much the massage therapist receives for a tip. Maybe it's not proper etiquette, but I feel better knowing that my MT gets his tip!
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Postby serenitymassage on Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:28 am

serenitymassage wrote:Hi!

I'm not a massage therapist - just a client who goes for massages every two weeks at a local day spa.

I am so glad you brought up this subejct. I always leave a tip on the table in the room where I receive my massage for two reasons: Less than honest personnel at the front desk and the fact that I feel that it is no one's business how much the massage therapist receives for a tip. Maybe it's not proper etiquette, but I feel better knowing that my MT gets his tip!
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No poking here.

Postby MassagesOnTheRun on Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:12 am

Just to let you know I wasn't poking fun at Senerity spa (Herndon \ Alexandria). They are good people! :) (Experience from my direct contact, client's contact, and therapist's contact) I was poking fun at another spa.

You tip your waiter at the table, why not leave a massage tip on the table?
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