Ordering A Custom Made Pipe....Do You Tip ?

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Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
Nw Indiana
When ordering a custom made pipe, do you guys ever give more then the quoted price ?
Fixed thread title, please see rule number 9. Pertinent portion: Please capitalize words in the thread titles. Thank you, Robert.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Probably some buyers throw in a little encouragement money if they like the pipe, especially if they might order another. However, the old rules of tipping said you don't tip the owner/proprietor of a business, since they are making the profit off the sale, instead of their service per se. Not tipping gives the artist a little more dignity. A new carver, it might be an encouragement, especially if the price is notably low. For a master carver who is charging hundreds or more, probably not.



Preferred Member
Jun 1, 2013
I hesitate to say this, because tipping is so ingrained in western culture, but I truly wish, as a society, we could move away from the practice of tipping.
It tends to happen in situations where the company wants to offer "the lowest price possible," thus, can only pay employees minimum wage and in some situation less. This results in the employee relying on tips to survive. The restaurant and wait-service industry is a perfect example of this structure.
Obviously, you cannot paint every scenario with one brush, but I believe there is too many variables when tipping is involved. Peoples moods, financial status, personality clashes, life events all can play a role is how well someone is tipped. Should the responsibility of "offering your employee the ability to make decent living" not be that of the employer? Why is it accepted that some industries allow tipping, but others do not?
I personally believe the cost of business, which should fully include the cost to pay your employees a fair wage, should be fully reflected in the price to the consumer. Don't hide cost's to the consumer behind the idea of tipping.



Preferred Member
Oct 21, 2015
Chicago, IL
I would lean toward no, trusting the maker to factor "parts and labor" into the cost she or he quotes you. I've never commissioned a pipe but this is how I've approached it when I've gotten tattoos. I'd say treat tipping in this setting as a potential bonus but not a necessity. The answer will be different in different countries though.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
Depends... if the pipemaker is new-ish and seems to have quoted me a really lowball price and the pipe turns out to exceed my expectations, then sure. New guys in any craft will lowball out of ignorance or want of work or to get a pipe out there. Maybe they will remember me when they have orders stacked up a year in advance. But, if it is a maestro maker at maestro prices, I may or may not. It would be harder for me to give more for a pipe price that I am already scrapping to pay for. I would want to, but probably wouldn't have the means.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
If it were a carver who was launched, I'd be afraid a tip might suggest that he or she lacked business acumen and I thought they were charging too little. If you do tip, I think you have to go with 15% or 20%. If there is something spectacular that has been added to the pipe, maybe more. But the negotiated price is supposed to include materials and labor as a fair trade, so there is the possibility of being misunderstood.
Maybe a note along the lines of, I am including something extra (or a little extra if that's the case) in appreciation for a good (excellent, fabulous) pipe and prompt service.



Preferred Member
@cosmic I've been trying to give more money to this crazy guy who makes pipes, goes by the name of Carmette pipes. He keeps on refusing !! :nana:
@mso you are right about the artisan getting the wrong idea. Instead we can always gift them tobacco or something nice instead.



Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
I had Boswell Pipes make me a Bing Crosby pipe and they included an ounce of Northwoods, pipe tool, pipe cleaners & matches at no charge. I don't know if you would consider me buying 4 ounces of their Christmas Cookie blend as a tip.....I sure don't.



Preferred Member
Mar 3, 2014
Kennesaw, GA
I think tipping has gotten out of hand. Don't get me wrong, I tip when appropriate, and tip well when it had been earned, but I don't tip for the sake of doing so. As for comissioning of a pipe, quote me a price that's fair for your product, and if I agree to it don't expect a dollar more when it's done.
The tip jar seems to always be out these days and frankly I'm tired of it.



Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
Chris, you bring up a good point. A favorite tin of tobacco means way more than a monetary tip! I encourage meaningful gifts of gratitude in that case! And for the record, I don't think anyone would argue about the normalcy of my crazy!



Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
i don't tip per se in the sense of an extra 10% or 20% in cash. I expect the maker to quote me an appropriate price. They are not hotel bellhops. That said, I have sent a few tins of tobacco a couple of times as a thank you, but never cash.



Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
I once gave Mark Tinsky an extra 10.00. That was because I was two days late sending the check after I had received the pipe, Other than that, no.



Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
I follow peck. A gift of some sort when the transaction is closed and I am fully satisfied. Particularly when I am establishing a relationship with the artist. The ladies where I get my coffee in the morning get chocolates or flowers a couple times a year. Coffee is always fresh, hot, served with a smile and quick bit of banter. I wish to keep it so.



Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2014
95% of my pipes are bespoke pipes. I pay the artist what he or she asks for the pipe. If all is good I purchase more or send them customers. I feel this is a better sentiment than a tip. I like to build relationships with the makers and if I am every in a place they are I buy them dinner or drinks.



Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2013
I would never "tip" a carver for a job well done. First of all that kind of cheapens the transaction in my opinion. I can see Peck's point where a gift of some tins as a "thank you" would be appropriate. My thank you is to post all over the place how great my pipe is, take it to my pipe club and pass it around for all to see, and to generally talk up the carver. If you have a friend or person on this or another pipe forum that values your judgement and they buy a pipe from that carver when they may never have if you didn't show it off; I believe that is the best form of "tipping".
I am not the most savvy pipe purchaser and have never heard of Michael Parks or Clark Layton before Peck mentioned them here, in great detail and with awesome pictures. I now own a Clark Layton commissioned pipe due to Peck's reviews and my appreciation of Peck's discerning tastes. I think Clark appreciates that more than a $20 tip. Not to mention that I have now spread his name to my small circle.
Again, just my two cents.



Junior Member
Jan 5, 2016
I've never carved a pipe but I do create custom music for people. When someone commissions me to write them a song I always quote them a fair price. On the rare occasion that they tip me upon receiving their music, I take that as a very high compliment. I also greatly appreciate when someone refers clients to me. But Warren has the right idea some of the greatest joys I've had in my music career was when a client expressed their appreciation with a gift. I have a coffee mug that a client gave me that I use every day. I have another regular client who brings me tea from her frequent trips to Japan. So if you want to express your appreciation beyond what an artisan charges, a non-monetary gift is a very good way to do that. Even something as simple as a thank you card is much appreciated. I actually keep a file with every thank you card I've received from clients over the years.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Nope. What I do is recommend the carver, and try to send them new clients. And I do more commissions with that carver. That's what my clients have done for me.



Preferred Member
Apr 26, 2012
Washington State
I don't. I pay the quoted price and leave it at that.
I hate it when places include an 15-18% gratuity and then expect you to tip more. Screw that! Since when did 18% become the norm. I tip 10% unless the service was exceptional and then I'll tip 15%. If my bill includes the 18% gratuity then the additional tip line goes blank. I should be the one that determines how much I tip based on the quality of service I receive, not you telling me I'm tipping 18% even if the service is shitty. That's BS!



Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
Metal- I also dislike a restaurant adding in a tip amount they determine, but in all cases I have seen, you can cross it out. That said, in my advancing years I've gone from the minimum acceptable amount to the maximum for good service.
As an aside, and a question for others, what I usually do is round off to the nearest dollar amount -do others do this? I think That $8 flat looks way better than $7.80, and even $10 looks better than $10.48.