Lately, been having conversations about people and donations. Just a philosophy in life I suppose. But donations, paying extra for service and tipping in general seem related…
A different conversation made me wonder about being so price conscious on things (before I buy things online, I usually search for coupons for that store…just today I saved 30% off an item cause I spent 5 minutes trying out various promotional codes). We were talking about REI versus Any Mountain. Recently, I was impressed with the staff at REI – they gave me some spare parts to attach a rear bike rack for my bike that doesn’t have mounts. These are spare parts that come from a rack I did not buy from them. Well, I bought a rack from them, but it was a different rack. And I found out that they’re a co-op that will give you back 10% of your money spent with them on an annual basis – it just comes as a credit to be used in the store.
So I was kind of bullish on them from a little encounter. Sharing that story and someone else brings up that they used to work at REI and the people there are the best, but that they use REI to do the research and learn about what to buy, then go buy it from Any Mountain. Any Mountain, when I’ve been in it, is kind of a mess. Dishevled. They agreed and called Any Mountain the Fry’s of sporting goods. Which makes complete sense. I don’t really like making any substantial purchase at Fry’s, cause I know they’re a little dicey. But I like their convenience and their prices.
Which got me to thinking about why do I worry about a dollar or five here and there from store to store? Sports Basement had the same rack that REI had for 3 dollars less, but they didn’t have as good a selection of panniers and I wasn’t gonna drive back and forth between the two for a couple of bucks (especially when the whole point of buying this stuff was to ride my bike instead of drive…) So convenience was the selling point – not the service.
Yet I’ll tip 15-20% on reasonable service for a meal. 25% on excellent (they didn’t visibly complain while Sal was making a mess and calling for his dog to eat the food off the floor…and screaming when no dog came). So why wouldn’t I pay an extra couple of percent to support a store that gives much better service?
So REI’s my store now.
And yes, the 10% kick back is really the main reason. But it sounds like a better story if I phrase it like I’m supporting their overall company vision.
Sal did get some really great biking gloves for 7 bucks there too – decked out in them over to the left.
But this whole tipping/service thing really hit home in Vegas. There was a decent roll and afterwards, for the come out roll, I wanted to bet the world for me and the dealers. And I had been messing around with $5 chips in my hand for most of the time cause that was usually all I had, but this was post decent roll and I had $25 chips in my hand, so since I didn’t look at my hands, I threw out 2 $25 chips for the bet. I started to call it back, but then felt that would be cheap and so I let the bet stand.
First roll was a 7. Which means you lose $20 and the other $5 pays $20 and the bet stays. Some dealers in some places take that $25 bet down since it was a winning bet, but some let the bet ride. These dealers discussed it a bit, some wanting to pocket the $25, others wanting to risk it for more. They kept the bet alive.
Next roll was a 3. Which means you lose $20 and the other $5 pays $75. For my bet, they’ll take $20 off the $75 and leave my $25 bet there and give me $55 in change. The dealers took their $80 and were pleased with the way things turned out. Since I got my $50 back for the initial bet for the 2 of us plus $5 and the dealers got an $80 tip, the bet was a positive all around. And I still had $25 on the world bet.
Normally, I press these things. But normally, I’m betting $5 on them. So I’d throw another $10 there to press mine to $10 and put the dealers back on for $5. I wasn’t going to do that with $25 chips though.
Next roll was a 12. So I lost $20 and the other $5 pays $150. They put $20 back on the world and pay me $130. And the dealers complain to each other for taking their bet down…
…and I am reassured about the karma in tipping.
(Next roll was a 6 so there were no further lessons to be learned…)