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  • Writer's pictureScott Crawford

Should You Tip Your Independent Massage Therapist in Santa Barbara?

Tipping culture is changing, and it’s leading to a lot of people wondering when they should and shouldn’t tip. What about an independent massage therapist? Is this a person you should tip?

Whenever you receive a service, tipping is customary. This is the case with massages. However, there can be limitations depending on the type of massage therapist you see.

It’s Usual to Tip an Independent Massage Therapist

When it comes to an independent massage therapist in Santa Barbara, you need to remember that this is someone working privately. They charge their own rates, even if they work within a salon setting. They usually only get paid when clients book with them, which means they rely on some tipping. It makes it customary to tip an independent massage therapist.

In a spa setting, tipping is general expected as well. The spas will pay the massage therapists a basic rate, with the top-up coming from tips.

Tips are viewed as an extra thank you for a service received. The more you tip, the more you acknowledge how great the experience has been. If you don’t tip, your independent massage therapist may not want to book you in again, as there are clients who pay better.

How Much Should You Tip Your Massage Therapist?

Now it comes to the amount to tip. Each independent massage therapist in Santa Barbara will have their own preference but take a look at what other people tend to do. What is the expectation in your area?

In most cases, the expectation is at least 15%, similar to restaurants. Some will set the expectation at 20%. So, if your massage costs $100, then you’re looking at a $15 to $20 tip on top of that. You want to base it on the price you pay rather than the time that is spent getting the massage.

If the experience is better than any others you’ve had, then you can tip more. But what about if the experience isn’t that great? Maybe you paid for an hour but only got 50 minutes. In that case, you need to make a judgment call. You should also talk to the massage therapist about the experience to see how they are willing to make up for it, especially if they cut the time short.

How Should You Tip Your Massage Therapist?

Now it comes to how to tip your independent massage therapist in Santa Barbara. The majority of massage therapists will prefer to be tipped in cash. This is the case for a lot in the service industry.

Of course, you don’t need to tip in cash if you don’t want. A tip can be placed on the card machine. If you are going to do this, it’s important to check to make sure that all tips go to the massage therapist and aren’t tipped out for other members of staff.

It is customary to tip your independent massage therapist in Santa Barbara. The amount you tip is up to you, but 15% to 20% in cash is standard.

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