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Customers Will Not Tip!

Customers Will Not Tip!

How in the world do I get more customers to tip? They have all these special requests ...

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  • throw the paper on the deck
  • throw the paper on my front porch
  • never throw it in the driveway
  • put it the doghouse

    But these people NEVER tip! They require me to burn more gas and increase the time it takes to do my route. Do they not know or care that I am the one losing out when they have special requests?

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    sstephe194's picture

    I too have customers who

    I too have customers who don't tip. I have waitressed and been stiffed by people for whom I've given perfect service. Papers are different from waitressing, however, because the customer rarely if ever interacts with us a humans. They go to the box or open the door and magically there's their paper; no thought is given to the fact a human put it there. I just ended my first full year.

    I don't know as it has improved my tips, but I am hoping what I have done over the course of this first year will make a difference this Christmas. These are the things I have done.

    adopted Snoopy & Woodstock as a "logo."

    had post-its made with Snoopy reading a newspaper with my name and phone numbers.(Vista print)

    gave them a magnet with all the contact info they need attached to my Christmas card last year. (Of course Snoopy and Woodstock were decorating the tree and the magnet featured Snoopy reading the paper on his dog house.)(VistaPrint)

    In instances when the paper has been late, I write a cute little apology honestly explaining what happened. Of course Snoopy is demonstrating the appropriate emotion.

    I deliver in the afternoon, so I see the people more frequently. I try to be as friendly as possible and let them see me as a fellow human being.

    My two dogs, Bernice the Golden Retriever, and Margo, the small labrador mix, almost always ride along which often helps engage customers.

    We'll see how the Christmas tip goes, but I do know when I put out a notice apologizing for a period of about a week when I was having tire problems which caused lateness, one custom wrote me a lovely card with $25 in it.


    To get more tips on

    To get more tips on Christmas, I put out a Christmas card the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Put the card in a self-addressed envelope. don't bother with the stamp. I get a wave of returned cards for a couple weeks after that then they stop coming. Then I put out a second card around Christmas because a lot of people them lose them or forget; then I get a second wave of returned cards. I buy the cards for the next year after Christmas when they get marked down to 90% off. Its actually a lot cheaper to buy the premium cards at 90% off than it is to print them yourself or buy hundreds of the cheap ones at full price. Oh, and I have the dog sign the cards with his pawprint (I made a .jpeg of his pawprint and print it on all the cards).. I think it elicits more tips.

    It's inevitable. nothing you

    It's inevitable. nothing you do can change their minds. they need someone in their circle to tell them to tip or they need to see what it's like to get tips. i tipe my service providers (garbage, recycle) because i know what it's like. the customer should just realize sometimes this is a crappy job and even a buck or 2 from half your customers would be great for the hard caring work you put it for them

    I started a paper route

    I started a paper route about a month ago in a very well to do area. It's called an estate route. Unfortunately, my employer keeps all of our tips. We get nothing. Yet, all of my customers want their papers on the stoop. If I put a thank you card monthly when I put the bills in for him, I'll probably get fired.

    We can't say anything

    We can't say anything directly to the customers to ask for more tips. I try to do things 'extra' and see if any tips increase. When it rains, I will actually put the paper in a place where it will not get wet and they will not have to walk out into the rain. Some customers will give tips, some won't.

    We are not allowed to do

    We are not allowed to do special requests on routes anymore. The head office won't allow them.

    I have about 120

    I have about 120 customers(just one route) and maybe five to ten of them tip. Is that normal? I can't imagine waiters and waitresses put up with that kind of tipping rate.
    I deliver it to the porch in most cases and bag when there's a chance of rain so I don't think my service is particularly shoddy.
    My route is a fairly upper class neighborhood but maybe that just makes them more stingy, I dunno.

    About 10% of my customers

    About 10% of my customers tip me now. What is weird is that when I was delivering to the ritzy neighborhoods, less than 5% of my customers tipped! Then I switched to a more middle class neighborhood and more of my customers tip now. I thought that was the weirdest thing ever!

    zachchiles's picture

    If you are delivering

    If you are delivering perfectly, it will be difficult to get non-tippers to start tipping. You shouldn't have to do anything special to get people to tip. If it is not in their nature to tip, you won't get any tips.

    What I have noticed is many people wait until Christmas time to give tips. I would prefer tips throughout the year instead of the one big tip at Christmas, but you can't turn down money.

    I also noticed that some routes have great tippers while some other routes just don't tip! I guess people who think alike move into the same neighborhoods.

    Keep at it and maybe you will get a different route or different folks will start moving into your area who do tip. Their tipping nature could catch on and more people on your route could start tipping.