What’s the best way for drivers to get tips? There are a few pretty clever tip box ideas out there, so in this video we’ll be testing a few different types of tip signs and jars. I’ll explain which ones work the best and share some other strategies for maximizing your off-the-app income.
Check out the video, then read the transcript below if you prefer to read.
Will asking for tips lower your ratings?
The big question a lot of drivers have about tip signs and jars is whether having one will lower their rating. It really depends on what kind of service you’re offering. If you’re just doing the bare minimum, asking for tips may prompt your passengers to give you a lower rating, but going the extra mile helps justify the ask and your rating will be far less likely to suffer.
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I didn’t notice any hits on my ratings on Uber or Lyft while using these jars and signs, but I think a big part of that is due to the extras I’m providing to my passengers. Recently, I got this unlimited 4G WiFi hotspot from an organization called Calyx. This allows me to give my passengers in-flight WiFi to play music or watch videos on their devices. Here’s a link to the hotspot I use.
I mostly got it for personal use. The ride sharing application is just a nice bonus. While it’s a good conversation starter and it helps justify my tip containers, it is very rare that a passenger will actually make use of it.
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There are plenty of other ways to justify a tip container without buying an expensive WiFi gadget though. You could offer bottled water, mints, candy, or even just phone chargers, friendly conversation and safe driving. These are all tip-worthy extras and they’ll go a long way towards making your passengers feel good about your tip jar. And it’s all deductible on your taxes.
The MacGyver laminated tip sign
The first tip jar I tested actually isn’t a tip jar at all. It’s a simple sign, but professionally printed and laminated for maximum durability. This sign was sent to us by one of our readers and you can find it here. This is sign is pretty direct, and at the bottom it includes an accurate summary of the tipping situation, stating that tips are appreciated, but not required. I expected the humor in this sign to bring out people’s generosity, but it didn’t work quite as well as I’d anticipated. I think that passengers were hesitant to discuss the subject of tipping, so most people avoided responding to it altogether. I only tested it for a day or two though, so your mileage may vary. It’s possible that I just got an unusually stingy bunch of passengers while testing this one.
Illuminated Uber tip jar
The next item is a classic tip jar with a very cool twist. This tip jar was provided to us for this review. The jar has two very helpful features. First it has a sturdy handle which you can use to secure it to a headrest and because of its shape, the thank you will still be visible. Second, the jar comes with its very own lighting kit. A string of blue LEDs that attach to a button cell battery and switch. The battery and control unit is equipped with a Velcro strip on one side as is the underside of the charged lid. Flip the lights on, secure the battery to the lid and put it all together for instant awesomeness. The words “Thank You” will still be visible, even in the dark, making it clear what you’re after.
This jar was the most profitable during my testing period and it got plenty of comments. Several folks said, “Oh, I’ve seen things like this on Pinterest” or “I want to have these on tables at my next party”. People really got engaged with it and that meant plenty of tips. The lights are just bright enough to help people see in the back seat without being distracting.
My only complaint about this item is that the Velcro attachment for the battery mechanism and switch is not super secure and I don’t see it lasting very long. Going forward, I may glue it on to the lid. Other than that, this is a fantastic and effective tip jar. Pick one up for your car here.
UberTipBox.com illuminated jar
Finally, we tested a tip box sent to us by another RSG reader and the founder of UberTipbox.com. This box is designed to secure to your car’s center console using a long velcro strap. Included with the tip box. You’ll also receive a high quality braided charging cable, compatible with iPhone, Android, and USBC. The box features a blue LED to illuminate the tip slot and cables powered by two Double A batteries. So, I actually don’t have a center console in my tiny car, but I managed to squeeze it in anyway. I ended up using the velcro strap to affix the box to my two front seatbelt connectors.
It’s not the most secure set up, but it looks fine and it seems to stay put. The only issue is that it gets messed up if I need to move my front seats back and forth. Customers really liked having the chargers right there. Almost everyone uses them, especially when they don’t have to ask. I also love that the box keeps them off the floor. I’ve had to replace my chargers many times after they got stepped on or caught in the door, so having them secured like this is a big plus.
The model we received comes with a soft blue LED light powered by two Double A batteries. My only complaint is that the Thank You decal is still pretty hard to see in a dark car. In the future I may get some decals of my own to put over the clear plastic portion, just to make sure riders know what it is. Hit the link to learn more about this thoughtfully designed tip box and pick one up today.
Will a tip jar really increase your earnings?
Will having a tip jar significantly improve your Uber earnings? It depends on a lot of factors. At the end of the day having a tip jar by itself may not get you a ton of tips, because when people tip they’re tipping you, not the jar. Don’t expect to be rolling in cash the day you get one. Collecting tips takes practice and patience, and the main secret is to provide a tip-worthy experience, but when you add a tip jar to an already exceptional ride you’ll definitely see a boost in your earnings.
Thanks for watching, and drive safe.
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