17 Things People Shouldn’t Be Tipping On

We all know that tipping is a way of expressing gratitude for excellent service. But did you ever stop to think that there might be some things you’re tipping on that you really shouldn’t be?

It’s true! There are certain services where tipping isn’t necessary or even expected. So, before you reach into your pocket the next time, look at this list we’ve put together.

You might just find that you’ve been overspending on tips all this while!

1. Service Technicians

Car Mechanic
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When it comes to service technicians, such as those who fix your appliances or electronics, tipping is usually not necessary. These professionals typically work for a company and earn a set wage for their labor.

They usually don’t expect a tip on top of their standard fee. Plus, the cost of their service often includes overhead, like transport and equipment.

So, it’s generally understood that you’re already paying for their expertise and time. Save your tips for services where it’s a customary part of the payment.

2. Flight Attendants

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Have you ever been on a plane sipping your complimentary beverage and wondered if you should tip your flight attendant? Well, let us clear that up for you – flight attendants aren’t there just to serve you snacks at 30,000 feet.

They’re safety experts, trained to handle emergencies and keep us all secure in the skies. Their paychecks come from the airline, not your pocket.

Tipping isn’t part of the high-flying culture. So next time, instead of fumbling for change in the cabin’s tight space, give them a warm smile and a heartfelt “Thank You” – that’s the best tip they can receive!

3. When Traveling in Some Countries

Koyasan, Japan
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Are you planning a trip overseas? Be sure to check the tipping etiquette! In some countries, like Japan or South Korea, tipping is not customary and can even be considered offensive.

It’s viewed as unnecessary because providing excellent service is expected, not something deserving of extra reward. So, save your change and avoid the awkwardness – instead, express your gratitude with a heartfelt thank you.

Understanding cultural norms will make your travel experience more authentic and enjoyable.

4. At Gratuity-Included Restaurants

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Have you ever spotted “gratuity included” on your restaurant bill and wondered if you should still tip? Well, here’s the scoop – these establishments have already factored in the service charge. It’s their way of ensuring their staff is fairly compensated.

So, there’s no need to dig deeper into your pockets – you can enjoy your meal without doing mental math. But remember, a genuine compliment to the chef or a positive online review can be just as valuable as an extra tip.

5. Professional Services (Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants)

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Have you ever considered tipping your doctor or lawyer after a check-up after some solid advice? Not so fast! Professionals like doctors, lawyers, and accountants are compensated through fees for their expertise, not tips.

These folks spent years honing their skills, so their charges reflect that – offering a tip might come off as less than serious.

Instead, refer them to a friend or write a glowing online review. That’s the kind of “tip” they’ll truly appreciate. Keep this in mind next time you’re at the office.

6. Highly Skilled Workers

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Have you ever had your house renovated and wondered if you should tip the workers? Here’s the deal – highly skilled workers like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters are paid a fair wage for their expertise.

Their prices reflect their high-quality work – tipping isn’t expected or required. Instead of cash, why not offer them a refreshing drink or a hearty thank-you?

It’s a great way to show your appreciation without blurring professional lines.

7. Counter Service Workers (Unless You Feel Obligated)

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Have you ever been at a counter service joint and wondered about tipping? Here’s the lowdown – these workers usually earn a standard wage, unlike their counterparts in full-service restaurants. So, tipping isn’t the norm.

But if their service blows you away, drop a few coins in the jar. It’s not obligatory, but it can be a nice gesture.

Remember, a friendly smile and a “thank you” can also make their day – remember this next time you grab your coffee-to-go!

8. A Stylist That Messes up Your Haircut

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Have you ever walked out of a salon, horrified at your reflection in the mirror? Don’t reach for your wallet just yet! Tipping is a reward for good service, and a botched haircut doesn’t qualify.

Instead, communicate your dissatisfaction to the stylist or the manager – they’re professionals and should be open to feedback. Remember, your tip is a thank-you note, not a consolation prize.

So next time you get a less-than-stellar ‘do, hold onto your dollars – they might be needed for a corrective cut elsewhere!

9. Bartenders Who Won’t Serve You

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Have you ever been at a bar, money in hand, but can’t catch the bartender’s eye? Here’s a tip – don’t tip! Tipping is a way of saying “thank you” for good service – if you’re not being served, there’s nothing to thank for.

Instead, consider finding a new watering hole where your business is appreciated.

Remember, your hard-earned cash should go to those who value your patronage. So next time you’re left high and dry, keep that change in your pocket and vote with your feet!

10. Fast Food Workers

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Have you ever thought about tipping at your favorite fast-food joint? Hold that thought! Unlike servers in full-service restaurants, fast food workers earn a standard wage and aren’t reliant on tips.

Plus, fast food’s quick and efficient nature doesn’t leave room for exceptional service that warrants a tip. Of course, if someone goes above and beyond, feel free to show your appreciation.

But save your change for the charity box next to the register or your piggy bank at home!

11. Grocery Store Cashiers

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Are you thinking about tipping your grocery store cashier? Let’s rethink that. While crucial to your shopping experience, cashiers are salaried employees who typically don’t rely on tips.

Their role doesn’t traditionally include the personal, attentive service often associated with tipping. Instead of reaching for your wallet, a sincere “thank you” and a smile can be the best tip.

So, save those extra coins for services where tipping is customary, or add them to your rainy-day jar at home!

12. Retail Store Employees

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Are you confused about whether to tip retail store employees? Allow us to shed some light. Unlike service industry roles, retail workers aren’t typically tipped. They earn a set wage, and their job doesn’t involve the level of personal care that often justifies a tip.

Instead of parting with your hard-earned cash, why not share your positive experience with your manager? This feedback can be far more valuable to them in the long run. So, hang onto those extra dollars for another day!

13. Gym Trainers (Unless Personalized Service)

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Gym trainers get paid a lot because fitness is now one of the top priorities for most people. Fitness trainers make money by delivering results and not necessarily through tips.

Unless you receive personalized training that goes above and beyond the norm, tipping your gym trainer is not expected or necessary. The best thing you can do for them is to recommend their services to others, which will ultimately help grow their business.

14. Hotel Staff in Countries Where Tipping Isn’t Customary

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Next up on the list are hotel staff in countries where tipping isn’t customary. Just as we mentioned in the case of restaurants, it’s important to research tipping customs before traveling.

In some countries, tips aren’t expected and may even be considered offensive. So, before you reach for your wallet, do your homework and respect the local culture.

If you receive exceptional service that goes above and beyond, compliment them or leave a positive review online to show your appreciation.

15. Self-Serve Buffets

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Why would you tip someone when you are the one doing all the work? Self-serve buffets are a prime example, where customers serve themselves and may even clear their tables.

While some may argue that servers still deserve a tip for refilling drinks or bringing extra napkins, it’s ultimately your choice. If you feel you received exceptional service, feel free to leave a small tip as a token of appreciation.

16. Pickup Orders at Restaurants

Pickup Orders
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This is similar to self-serve buffets, as customers are responsible for picking up their food.

Like self-serve buffets, it’s not expected or necessary to tip in these situations.

However, if you feel like the staff went above and beyond by providing excellent customer service or accommodating special requests, a small tip is always appreciated.

17. Public Transport Drivers

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Have you ever considered tipping your bus or train driver? Here’s a new perspective. These professionals are not typically tipped as they provide a public service, paid for by your taxes.

Their role is to ensure everyone’s safe travel rather than personalized service. Instead of tipping, a friendly wave or a simple “thank you” can make their day.

So, keep your change in your pocket and enjoy the ride, knowing that your fare contributes to keeping public transport on the move!

Some Situations May Not Need Tips

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So these are the top 17 situations where tipping may not be necessary or expected. Remember, tipping is always a personal choice and should never be forced or imposed by societal norms. If you feel someone has provided exceptional service and deserves a tip, go for it! But don’t feel obligated to tip in every situation because it’s the norm.

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Eating leftovers
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We’ve all heard the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” But sometimes, our frugal habits can cost us more in the long run. Whether buying cheap items that break down quickly or spending hours to save a few dollars, some money-saving tactics aren’t worth it. This post will reveal 15 common frugal habits that could waste your time and money.

15 Frugal Habits That Are Not Worth It Stop Doing Them Now

Money Manners Mishaps: 10 Unrefined Financial Habits That Are Costing You Friends and Fortune

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Money is an essential part of our lives. Whether we like it or not, it’s a subject that we have to deal with regularly. But how much do we know about money etiquette? Did you know that certain money habits could be considered rude? You may not even realize that you have been guilty of them!

Money Manners Mishaps: 10 Unrefined Financial Habits That Are Costing You Friends and Fortune

Author: Steve Cummings

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Saving money, living frugally, and investing for the future


Steve Cummings is the founder of the personal finance blog The Frugal Expat. As a traveler and expat, he has learned much about saving money, living frugally, and investing for the future. His mission is to help people in save, invest, and reach financial independence.