The tipping signs are paying off - and making Uber better than Lyft

acanas

Member
I've been driving part time in the Atlanta market for about 6 months. I drove full time for 3 weeks then part time since then. I usually drive Tuesdays and Thursday 3:30-7 pm and a few weekend nights 10pm to 3am. I try to drive mostly upper middle class areas like Alpharetta, Dunwoody and Buckhead and turn the app off right after dropping somebody off in a crappy part of town.

I don't hand out water, candy or anything like that. I do have 6 ft long iPhone and Android charging cables and let passengers play their own music with a 6 ft long aux cable. I go out of my way to offer the cables to every passenger at the beginning of the ride.

Historically I've been getting tips from 28% of Lyft rides, with an average tip of $2.65. This was enough for a difference to make Lyft more profitable than Uber so I always favored Lyft unless Uber was surging more than 1.9x. I've had a Square since my very first day of driving which I kept in the glove box and had NEVER used because nobody had ever asked for it.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to order this sign from in orange and this one for the rear passenger seat for a total cost of about $18.

I modified the mirror hanging sign a little bit by putting a Square sticker at the top with Visa/Mastercard/Discover/Amex logos and I velcroed the Square reader itself to the bottom of the sign for visibility and easy access.

I manually measured the percentage of Uber rides who tipped with the new setup. After 2 weeks (including HEAVY driving this last weekend) I had 30% of rides gave tips, most of them cash, and a couple of people did give credit card tips through the Square. This is a giant increase over the roughly 0% tipping I was seeing on Uber before the signs. Several people commented that they just didn't know they were supposed to tip Uber drivers and mentioned they were embarrassed now that they knew they had stiffed previous drivers.

The coolest thing is that people who do tip seem to feel silly going through the motions just to tip $2 so the average tip came in at $7! My rating wasn't negatively affected at all, in fact it rose a little bit and is currently at 4.83.

If we all put friendly tipping signs in the car, people would over time get used to it and realize that tipping is the normal thing to do when Ubering!
(Had to remove all the links because I'm new to the board).
 
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acanas

Member
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  • #9
Put them back out yesterday and did 2 Lyft and 2 Uber rides, 1 of each tipped for a 50% tipped ratio. The Lyft guy that tipped gave $3 while the the Uber girl that tipped gave $5 on a $21 ride.
 
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AxeOfGlory

New Member
One thing I don't understand:

My first night ubering I was a bit nervous the first ride. I explained to every rider after that that it was my first night and I'm new, and that I'm using this as supplemental income to pay off some venture capital loans. The FIRST night, I received 4 tips. 2 $10 dollar tips, 1 $2 dollar tip and one $7 dollar tip. All from different age ranges and demos. Since then, I have never received another tip.

Maybe I should go back to telling them it's my first night :biggrin::biggrin:
 

Bobby Flay

Well-Known Member
Yeah when you are nervous the passengers can tell, I remember my first day I was desperate for 5 stars and I negotiated with everyone to give me a good rating. I was concerned that if I didn't talk to the pax that they would rate me poorly. Soon I learned that the silence got me higher ratings.
 

acanas

Member
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  • #13
Why use a sign at all? Just put a glass in the cup holder and drop a couple of singles in there. Most people understand the concept of a tip jar without having to be told. Be sure to check it after each ride.
That would make perfect sense if it wasn't for Uber having spent a couple of years telling customers "The tip is included". The signs start the process of counteracting that negative message from Uber.
 

Disgusted Driver

Well-Known Member
I'm using the cup right now because my ratings got creamed when I did a sign.

The cup is only nominally effective, last 70 trips I would have expected about $10 in tips from 2 people, got $18 from 6 pax. So it seems to be encouraging a few more people to throw $2.00 my way. Better for sure but not what I would call a wild success.

No tipping seems to be so ingrained that even after they see the cue of the cup AND have asked me why I drive for Uber which gives me the opportunity to tell them about the 7 dependents I support and they sympathize with me, still don't get anything from most of them. That's messed up!
 

AintWorthIt

Well-Known Member
Glad to hear the signs are helping, I'm the owner of the Etsy store :smiles: The vast majority of feedback has been positive and riders are tipping more. Have a few new designs in the works along with something that is going to be really cool. Stay tuned!
 

Black LS430

Member
I have a feeling if I did this in Dallas I would get rated 0 stars for almost every ride. Dallas Uber riders are snobs. And cheap.
 

Hollander

New Member
I have a feeling if I did this in Dallas I would get rated 0 stars for almost every ride. Dallas Uber riders are snobs. And cheap.
I Do it in dallas and have no complainers. some dont tip of course because their cheap. but hey. half of them have been tipping lately and have been doing better on uber rather than lyft now.
 
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