4 Ways to Handle Point-of-Sale Tip Requests

Image source: Getty Images To quote the late Nancy Reagan, “Just say no.” Key points Consumers are increasingly asked to supplement employee pay by tipping on everyday purchases.Don’t wait until you’re at the cash register to determine who is (and is not) on your “tip list.”Tips are not mandatory — you control who earns a tip for excellent service. If you have yet to run into a point-of-sale (POS) tip request, you undoubtedly will. POS tip requests are popping up everywhere, from concession stands to automatic car washes. That’s right. Some automatic car wash owners would like to be paid and then tipped — even though no employee labor is involved. How it worksHere’s an example of how POS tip requests work. You walk into a store to pick up a new top, choose the item you like, and pay for it with a credit card. The store clerk swipes your card, then turns the card reader back to you for a signature. Rather than finding a line to sign your name, you find a prompt to leave a tip. Retailers determine the tip suggestions, but they typically range from 10% to 30% of your total bill. How you can handle POS tip requestsNo matter how great the pressure may be to make the person on the other side of the counter happy, you have options when you’re asked to tip.1. Just say noHit the button that reads “no tip” and walk away with a clear conscience. Only you decide when tipping is appropriate.2. Create a tip listEtiquette expert Thomas P. Farley, better known as “Mister Manners,” told ABC7 New York that he has a tip list, and only three people make the cut: servers, bartenders, and washroom attendants. On your tip list, include anyone you would usually tip without being prompted. For example, you might want to include your barber, hairdresser, or the person who cleans your hotel room.3. Stick with the listTattoo the list on your mind so you never leave home without it. Pushing “no tip” when asked by someone who does not make the cut is a smart way to leave money in your bank account.4. Pay with cashIf you want to avoid awkwardness at the register, pay with cash. This is especially helpful when you expect to shop in a store you know will ask for a tip. It’s a win/win. You don’t have anyone watching to see what you do, and you don’t have extra credit card debt to pay off. The trickery behind POS tip requestsAs you stand there, trying to determine whether the service you received is worthy of a tip , the employee who ran your card is looking at you, waiting for your response. While tipping is intended to reward excellent service, studies have shown that most people are motivated by social pressure to do what is expected. Imagine that you’re strolling through a boutique, shopping for a gift. While the store employee doesn’t help you find what you’re looking for, they are friendly, and you strike up a short conversation. Now, instead of leaving the store thinking how pleasant that employee was, you’re asked to rate their pleasantness by leaving a tip. And it’s all while they’re looking at you from across the counter. Harry Brignull is an expert in ways design can manipulate people into making specific choices. In an interview with Vox, Brignull said, “It’s easy to cross the line from honest persuasion to harmful manipulation.” Brignull explains that touchscreens sometimes emphasize the buttons that leave a big tip. However, they de-emphasize the button that leaves no tip at all. In the industry, it’s called “dark patterns.” A growing trendABC7 News in New York City spoke with Dipayan Biswas, a marketing and business professor at the University of South Florida. Biswas — who has studied tipping for a decade — says that businesses allow tips to make jobs more lucrative for their employees. The employer does not have to raise employee pay if customers are willing to foot the bill. As the practice grows, the concern is that more businesses will adopt POS tip requests to keep their employees happy. It’s up to you to determine whether you’re willing to supplement their income. Alert: highest cash back card we’ve seen now has 0% intro APR until 2024If you’re using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our expert loves this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2024, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. In fact, this card is so good that our expert even uses it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. Read our free review

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