You’ve heard of “shrink-flation” and “greed-flation” before. Here’s another one to add to your vocabulary: “tip-flation.”
It’s the unwelcome shopping surprise that has social media buzzing.
Shoppers report seeing more and more tip requests in increasingly unusual places.
You might not be able to escape it while holiday shopping, even from home.
On TikTok, you’ll quickly find folks aren’t too pleased about it.
So what’s the deal?
“It’s a relatively new phenomenon,” said Dipayan Biswas, marketing and business professor at the University of South Florida. “I see it becoming more widespread.”
Biswas has studied tipping for a decade. He said this new tipping trend started with the boom of digital kiosks.
Then the pandemic, plus inflation, led to more businesses allowing tips to make jobs more lucrative at your expense.
“Like I’m sick and tired of tipping right? So that’s my biggest worry that it might actually affect the industry where it really matters the most,” Biswas said.
“Mr. Manners” Thomas P. Farley has a “tip without hesitation list” and just three people make the cut:
- Washroom attendants
“The very concept of a tip is that we are rewarding a service employee who’s being paid less than minimum wage,” the etiquette expert said. “I really wonder where is the line. Will you one day be in your doctor’s office or your dentist’s office, will you be tipping?”
When it comes to holiday shopping, Farley’s top tip to avoid tipping is to pay with cash.
But if plastic is a must, there’s power in saying, “No.”
“You need to own your position,” Farley said. “You do not need to feel guilty about it.”