I’ll chime in with some thoughts for you… these are my thoughts and figured I would share as to provide an alternate viewpoint. Kinda long my apologiges…
I’m an esthetician who primarily does waxing and facials currently.
I price my goods and services with no reliance on tips whatsoever and I make this absolutely clear with my clients.
I had an interaction early on with one of my very first clients. She said she’s had facials on cruise ships, in the cheapest ghetto spas and the most pricey places you can imagine all around the world. She said I had topped them all and tipped me the same amount as the facial had cost her ($50 at that time) and said “Please do something nice for yourself… I’m appreciative of the great service and experience”. I tried to refuse because I felt weird about it and she told me something that has stuck with me ever since. By refusing I was stealing her joy. I had never thought of it that way. But it was true… now, I still felt weird about it but a situation a few months later would be how my heart and head would change it’s viewpoint.
Not long after that, another one of my client was looking for a cheap used couch and put out an APB looking for one on her social media and I told her I had one so I sent several photos. She said “I LOVE it, it’s perfect how much is it!?” I said “It’s free”. She said “No, I cannot take your couch for free, you are too kind blah, blah, blah it’s too nice for free”.
Then I remembered that first client and it dawned on me… this was the same thing! I laughed and said "Look, I have zero need for this couch and if this couch can bless you with it’s comfiness and the fact that it is free so you can do something else with your cash… please take it it would bring me so much joy to know it will now have another good home. I told her about the other client and how it had right then helped me see things differently and she laughed and agreed. She just felt weird taking something for free and was not used to such kindness. She said her life was full of people who always wanted something in return. I told her to get used to at least one person who doesn’t.
When people (client and non clients) want to do something nice for me or give me something that is healthy and not harmful, I prefer to not steal their joy! My pride has gotten in the way before but now I look people in the eye and say “Thank you” and when I buy that coffee and lemon loaf that is SO good with the gift card they gave me, I send a photo and say thanks again for the yummies and it brings them joy a second time with no additional cost whatsoever!
So would I rather let my clients experience joy from something freely given or refuse it and have them walk away without it? I choose to participate and freely receive (if healthy) and sometimes it even benefits another person like my husband (was given a giftcard to a nice restaurant).
I have my thoughts and others will have theirs.
There can be several correct answers to one question… but the simplest path to the correct answer for you personally may be to simply ask yourself this
“If the tip prompt on the credit card machine did not come up at all… would I be fine with that or would I have an innate personal desire to offer a tip somehow anyway?”.
Whatever your answer is to that question would be 100% correct because you are the giver. If the would be receiver declines, they have their reason and that’s okay too!
Now, if my couch client hadn’t said “Oh I love it” when she saw my couch pictures that would be different… I wouldn’t have pressed back a bit and would never condone forcing anyone to accept a gift or tip. Boundaries exist for a reason and while I initially refused the large tip from that long ago client because of my own hang-ups at the time I can now experience joy along with them whether it is a coffee card or a cool little potted succulent I can hopefully not kill because I agree and subscribe and choose to participate in the creation of joy with others as a giver and receiver.
BTW, I was given 2 trees that I love and every few months I ask the two clients if they would like to go see them and how big they are getting. They squeal with delight every dang time (it’s really neat seeing their eyes light up when I ask). I think of my clients every time I water them and it gives me a chance to reflect, have a moment of gratitude… and again experience joy!
I hope this gives you another viewpoint but really the bottom line is the answer is within you and you alone because there is no answer that’s right for everyone on this one.