Haggling and Tipping

by Adrian, Friday, January 28, 2011, 15:47 (3683 days ago)


We're off tomorrow! Just have a few last minute questions I'm hoping someone can help me with...

As with most tourist destinations, I assume there is a marked up price for Americans. Is haggling fruitful? Is there a rule of thumb for how much you can get the price down? (i.e. in China you should assume that the price quoted to you is 4x higher than the 'real' price.) I don't mind paying a bit more as I recognize I am fortunate, but I don't like getting ripped off either.

What is the rule of thumb down there for tipping at restaurants, and tipping for services (such as tours, massages, etc.)?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


Haggling and Tipping

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, January 28, 2011, 20:01 (3683 days ago) @ Adrian

I don't haggle and it turns me off to see tourists bartering down any vendor, especially when that vendor can't even earn in a year what the tourist is blowing on a week on vacation. If I don't like a price then "no gracias" is my response and I'll find what I want elsewhere. If the vendor wants to offer me a better price it's up to them how bad they want to make a sale. But I never barter.

I don't tip taxis if the only thing they do is drive me from point A to point B. If they carry bags or help with groceries then a tip certainly is in order. Though the way most taxi drivers drive I'm almost tempted to tip if they simply drive like a sane person. I don't get in taxis with political slogans on them, that have music blaring, or that advertise sex businesses or enslaved dolphins. And I never take a taxi that honks at me as I'm walking down the street.

In restaurants I tip 15% for decent service. If it's a cheap restaurant I usually tip 20%, if it's an expensive restaurant it can go down to 10% and the waiter still goes home happy. Bartenders should always get between 5 and 10 pesos per drink, depending on how expensive the joint is. One drink, they still get a 10 peso tip. If they can make a perfect mojito I might leave them in my will. :badass:


Haggling and Tipping

by SuZih, Friday, January 28, 2011, 20:24 (3683 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Speaking of Mojito, where DO you get a good one in Z?


Haggling and Tipping

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Friday, January 28, 2011, 20:29 (3683 days ago) @ SuZih

Juan at the Catalina Sunset Bar makes the absolute best mojitos in town. Good thing 'cause it's a fantastic location for mojito sippin'. ;-)


Haggling and Tipping

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Friday, January 28, 2011, 21:12 (3683 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

A man after my own tipping heart, Rob.

I have found that beach sellers will offer a better price if you look interested but ambivalent. The first price is rarely the last price but I am not real interested in haggling. Come on. They are not Goldman Sacks here. They are just trying to get by.

Silver sellers haven't discounted much recently. The people I deal with I trust to offer me a fair price to begin with. I think they try to strike a fair bargain.

I tip in Mexico as I tip in the US. Perhaps slightly more generously than the formula (US and Mexico alike) but I appreciate a person who works hard for a living.

I think the thing with taxis is good. If they do something extra, tip. Otherwise, the convention is don't tip. I notice that when I take the taxi from and to the airport, the driver is very quick to handle the bag, which is fine by me and he gets his tip. In the US, I generally toss the bag in the trunk and tip anyway so I appreciate the effort.

I say, be a reasonable person.

Haggling and Tipping

by Canadian Rainbirds ⌂ @, Victoria BC and Zihuatanejo, Friday, January 28, 2011, 23:10 (3683 days ago) @ Fran

Rob, though I don't always agree with you, (what a boring world that would be!) I must say that this is the best barter/tipping comment I have seen in 20+ years of traveling in Mexico. Nicely put.:-D

Haggling and Tipping

by fishfan, Saturday, January 29, 2011, 00:27 (3683 days ago) @ Canadian Rainbirds

Not sure about haggling, but I tend to over-tip in Z. There are limits. When the service is lousy, and that has happened, I leave nothing or next-to-nothing. Cab-wise, I always tip. During my last visit, I handed the keys to our room to my dad, who forgetfully left them in the cab. Sheer panic was setting in when the cab re-appeared at our locked door. I'm not sure whether the tip prompted such fast action, but it surely did not hurt. Of course, we gave him another healthy bump for returning our keys so quickly.

This has probably been said before, but stuff is so cheap in Z (if you want it to be that way) that I think generosity is morally mandated. My dad and I are returning on Sunday for a week. We're paying $350 for a place to stay for the week. Airfare for the both of us is south of $600. We'll be fishing five days at $150-$175 a day. Do the math: We can, almost, vacation for a week in Z. for not much more than it costs to live at home.

Haggling and Tipping

by michoacan, Saturday, January 29, 2011, 03:27 (3683 days ago) @ fishfan

Over the years a lot of waiters have told me that northerners tip a lot more than their fellow compatriots. I always get a kick out of a young masero at the Pacanda restaurant in downtown Lazaro. He has an excellent memory. When I sit down, he rushes over with a steaming cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. And there is Manuel at the Playa Azul hotel restaurant, he treats me more like a friend than a customer. I always try to remember the truism about folks who ply the service trades in Mexico:

We Survive On Our Wages / We Live On Our Tips

Haggling and Tipping

by randy, Saturday, January 29, 2011, 02:08 (3683 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Rob...is it really ok to not tip the taxi drivers?


Haggling and Tipping

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, January 29, 2011, 08:19 (3682 days ago) @ randy

Tipping taxi drivers for no reason, like overtipping waiters, only makes them think you've got money to waste so they might as well raise their rates or overcharge you.

Please, we don't need any ratebusters making life more expensive for those of us who have to make a living here.

Haggling and Tipping

by Adrian, Saturday, January 29, 2011, 08:20 (3682 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Thanks so much for all this advice! I tend to be a generous tipper, having survived as a waitress in San Francisco for years. Couldn't even survive on wages. Good to know how others treat tipping.

Though the most valuable advice is rob's mojito recommendation. Thank you so much!