6 Incredibly Unethical Ways to Increase Your Tips


Are you suffering in this struggling economy and more than willing to debase yourselves for a few extra bucks? Here’s a list of unethical ways to increase your tips! This list was composed as a joke, but I have seen many employees utilize these tactics—successfully. (Yikes.)

The Optimist’s Sob Story. Your boyfriend died and you’re an orphan. Regardless of whether you have children or not, you are now a struggling single mother…with leukemia. Your imaginary ex was abusive and thankfully disappeared months ago, leaving you with a broken heart, broken dreams, and a two-year-old daughter. More than anything, you’ve always wanted a family of your own, since your own parents abandoned you. You’ve had a rough life, but you’re an optimist and you believe in the power of positive thinking. You’re focusing on your baby, doing the best you can to make ends meet, and holding out hope that your Mr. Right will come along someday.

Sigh wistfully. Cash in.

The Tramp. Slutty clothes are your friend, especially in a shop with a large male clientele! Show more skin, babycakes. To really profit, crank it up a notch and channel your inner tramp!

We’re not just talking about batting your eyelashes and suggestively smirking at your target. If you want that green, you need to get shameless. Drop your comb, make sure they’re facing your backside (and getting the best view), and bend over to grab it with your legs spread shoulder-width apart. Don’t bend your knees. When you come back up, flip your hair and make sure you arch your back. This skill takes considerable practice, otherwise you risk falling over or giving yourself whiplash.

The Twins. No matter what department you work in, wear a low-cut shirt. Stylists and estheticians: during facial and scalp massages, be sure to lift the client’s head directly into your cleavage. Nail techs, make sure you’re leaning forward while filing to maximize the jiggling!

The Flirt. Bat your lashes. Cast sideways glances and playful smirks. Touch the client’s shoulders when you laugh at his lame jokes, tousle their hair playfully while you cut it, and hug them before they leave (be sure to linger).

Try not to let the collective power of your coworker’s glares cause you to spontaneously burst into flames.

The Shiny. People love shiny and sparkly women! Light reflection is the key to bigger tips, so blind those bastards with your awesomeness! You have two options here. You can put on glitter/shimmer until you feel like you’re wearing too much…then add more. If you don’t look like a disco ball, you’re doing it wrong.

Your alternative is to coat yourself in Crisco or oil. It doesn’t matter what kind—vegetable, canola, olive, baby—really, any one of them will do. Just make sure you’re good and basted. You should look like a buttered goddess.

The Naively and Obliviously Inappropriate. Don’t just be a bimbo—be the cutest, silliest, most adorable bimbo that ever walked the earth.

Repeat after me:
“I’m sooo tired. I spent all night on my knees. It was so dirty.” (The salon floor–duh!)
“Today was the worst day ever to go commando!”
“When I open my own salon, I’m going to name it Beautiful Diva Style Masters, but I’ll probably abbreviate it to BDSM to shorten the website URL.”

Who says you need skill or talent to rake in that musty lettuce? Get creative, act a fool, and laugh your silly ass all the way to the bank.

Previous articleSalon Compensation Explained: How to Pay Professionals
Next articleImproperly Classified: What To Do When You’ve Been Misclassified as an Independent Contractor
Beauty industry survivalist, salon crisis interventionist, tactical verb-weapon specialist, and the leader of at least a hundred workplace revolutions, Tina Alberino is known as much for her extensive knowledge as for her sarcastic wit and mercilessly straightforward style. She’s the author of the book The Beauty Industry Survival Guide and the blog This Ugly Beauty Business. When she’s not writing, educating, or consulting, she can be found overthinking everything, identifying problems people didn’t know existed, and stubbornly working to change the things she cannot accept.


  1. Does this mean you don’t approve?
    How about wetting down a thin white shirt?
    Or wearing a button-down shirt unbuttoned?

  2. As a male massage therapist, I don’t think these will work for me — that is until I try them and end up in prison… Definitely Not the type or increases in tips I’m looking for. LOL.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here