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Tipping Point: Tipping at a Dress Shop?

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Tipping is a controversial topic and has expanded from traditional industries such as restaurants, hospitality, and salons to newer ones like retail and even mortgage bankers.

Recently, a post by a favorite author of mine described her experience purchasing a prom dress for her daughter, only to be met with a screen requesting a tip during checkout. This raises the question, is tipping at a formal dress store necessary, or is it just another example of tipping culture gone out of control?

The answer is simple: tipping at a formal dress store is not necessary or expected. If you feel like you absolutely want to tip and it is allowed by the shop, you can certainly do so, but it's important to remember that there are other ways to show gratitude for excellent service that don't involve money.

Unlike servers, bartenders, or hairdressers, sales associates at formal dress stores are paid a regular wage. Their compensation is not based on tips, so it is not expected or required.

Providing good customer service is a crucial aspect of a sales associate's job, even if it may be rare at times. While going above and beyond is always appreciated, not every instance of good service must be rewarded with a tip.

So, what should you do instead of leaving a tip? Here are a few alternatives:

Leave a Heartfelt Thank You:

Express your appreciation for the sales associate's help and the excellent service provided. A sincere thank you can go a long way.

Refer Your Friends:

If you are happy with your experience at a formal dress store, recommend it to your friends and family. This not only shows your appreciation for the store but also brings them more business.

Write a Nice Review:

Positive reviews can help stores attract new customers and improve their reputation. Take a few minutes to write a review about your experience.

While tipping has become a standard practice in many industries, it's important to remember that it is not always necessary or expected. Being pressured or guilted into tipping can actually detract from the experience and leave us feeling confused instead of appreciative. Let's continue to show our appreciation in a way that feels authentic and meaningful to us.


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