Tipping Guides

Jun 1st, 2008, 12:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 69
Tipping Guides

My friend and I were discussing whether it's appropriate to tip a guide. The one guide we are considering is self employed; is tipping then viewed differently than if you work for a company?
4holdings is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 01:04 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 674
I would tip a guide employed by an agency or comapany.

I would NOT tip a self employed guide, what is the point of that? I guess some Americans would since they love to tip though.
bozama is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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>I would NOT tip a self employed guide, what is the point of that?

Self-employed people who make their living with guided tours are usually hardly able to survive on the money they get. (I'm speaking from my own experience as a freelance art historian.)

A self-employed person doesn't get more than an employee but has twice the expenses on insurance, travel costs etc. A freelancer does not keep more than a third of the money he/she officially receives brutto. Many museums, institutions, companies take freelancers because it saves THEM money. The freelancer has to pay the price.

Freelancers in tourism business aren't well off. They'll appreciate tips probably more than employees who are sure that they'll earn their full salary every month. A freelancer never knows for sure where the money for next month's rent will come from.
quokka is online now  
Jun 1st, 2008, 08:15 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14
I would say that tipping should be based purely on the quality of the service that a guide has provided for you. If you feel you have had a good service then you should tip as you feel fit.
Siciliangems is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,375
I think tipping a self-employed guide is also pointless and silly. If they are self-employed, they are setting their own rates, and they don't have a boss or company taking the majority of the fee. If they don't think they make enough, they can raise their rates.

I do not agree with quokka who claims self-employed people don't make more than employees. If they don't, the point is, that's their own fault as they are setting their rates. I think there is some distinction here between employee/freelancers who are still working for a tour company or site and self-employed guides who are running their own businesses and setting their own rates. I would never tip a guide in a museum, but do tip guides on some tour bus trips I've taken, as I know they don't get a real big salary from the company, tipping is presumed. I would never tip a private guide who worked for him or herself and set their own rates.
Christina is online now  
Jun 1st, 2008, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I think it depends on the situation.

If the private guide is charging luxury prices, then they are already getting a decent profit.

But, if their price is anywhere even close to that of a group tour (and do consider how many people the group guides get tips from) then you do need to tip.

(If you're paying $500 for a day tour then the guide is making money - if way less than that - how much are they really making after all expenses?)
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 1st, 2008, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,058
The payment for a freelance guide is set by the company or museum they work for. Unless they run their own tour business, they cannot 'charge what they want'. Things are not that easy, sorry.
quokka is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 674
quoaka,, you are not getting this.

You DO have the rate to accept or reject the payment amount. If you choose to accept a certain amount for your tour but it is not enough for you to make a decent living and cover expenses then raise your prices. You are free do to this. An "employee" has absolutely no ability to do this.

How this works in my town for instance. I can charge a tourist a set price for a day tour of hightlights in my city. I add up all the admissions I would have to pay, plus transport costs if used, then I add on what I want to have for my wage, simple. I pay no one except the attractions I am seeing, and that includes any fees they charge me. My expenses are covered. My profit is up to me.

If you are not getting enough money you need to look at a few things.
ARe your prices good, are you advertising , are you worth what you ask( my experence here has been many tourists think nothing of paying 100's of euros for GOOD tour guides. I would think a group of 5 tourist paying 100( 500 euros a day) euros for a day tour ,, well, even after expenses getting paid 200 or more euros a day is hardly starvation pay, especially in a city like Paris where the " season" never ends.

The samart guides I hae seen advertised by word of mouth her on this and other forums seem ot promote walking tours, or use public transport, no need for expensive transportation or extra insurance.

If I get a private guide, and the fee is expensive ( which they all seem to be fairly enough I might add) then no, sorry, no tip.

An employee does get a tip though.
bozama is offline  

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