When it comes to tipping fortune tellers/psychics/esoteric readers, tipping might not be the first thing on your mind.
Even though I have been doing readings for over 22 years, when I first started out I had no idea that tipping a reader was as normal as tipping a waiter, hair stylist, or anyone in the service professions.
Tipping conventions vary from region to region, country to country. When I lived in Las Vegas, it was common to tip anyone in the service industry even if they're in a paid salaried job. For instance, when the Tech Coordinator for Verizon came to install internet services in our apartment, he got a tip. When we had a real estate agent show us apartments, she got a tip. When we moved to Kansas City, the Tech Coordinator was taken aback and put his hands up in the air, shaking his head, stating proudly and partially offended that they didn't take tips.
Given that bit of info, readers are not waged employees - at least not as readers they aren't (if you find one who is, it's the very rare exception).
Just like most businesses, even the very best of readers can't count on a steady pay day. In the reading business, it's feast or famine. In other words, some days can be booked back-to-back with clients, and sometimes there are stretches of days without a booking. In the end, it often balances out.
Typically in the service industry, there's a tipping convention. Tipping rates depend on satisfaction of service. There are also unwritten rules. For example, when at a hair salon, it's normal to tip the stylist but not if (s)he's the owner of the salon - that is, unless (s)he's the sole employee of that business.
The same goes for tipping readers. Since most readers are sole employees of their own business, tipping them is definitely not unheard of at the time of payment or right after your reading. How much you tip them is subjective to how satisfactory their service was to you. There are things to keep in mind, however.
In a party setting, readers typically offer readings at a flat rate negotiated with the host(ess). In other words, they are offering significantly reduced prices per reading as a service to the guests. When a tip jar is on the table, guests tipping is very appropriate, as well as the host(ess) tipping.
At fairs, readers' prices are sometimes controlled by the event coordinators and in many cases, limited to a standard price. In that case, tipping is also very appropriate.
If you are visiting a psychic in their own office, then tipping is not necessary. However, if you are thrilled with your reading, then there is nothing wrong with showing your appreciation in the form of a tip. Tipping service professionals, such as servers, hairstylists, and yes, psychics, typically follow this scale:
25% for amazing service
20% for excellent service
15% for good service
10% for average service (your reader did his/her job, not more or less)
5% or less for absolutely poor service.
As a reader, I've gotten tips equal to or more than my fees more times than I can count. I'm not saying it's the norm, but it's not unheard of. In truth, my tips vary. Here in the Kansas City area, I've found that when doing readings at my studio, I get tipped about 80% of the time. At parties, I've always gotten some of the highest tips from casual parties (say a birthday, retirement, fundraisers, and theme parties), but have gotten the lowest tips at costume parties and weddings.
As such, for all parties where there's a tip jar, I add a 20% gratuity fee. For parties where you, the host(ess), prefers that there is no tipping jar, I add a slightly higher gratuity fee to the cost of the flat fee. The reason for this is because I can promise to provide excellent service in a professional manner. Your guests will be thrilled!
If you're interested in making an appointment with me for a reading, or an event, get in touch. I typically reply in 48 hours or less.
Thanks for reading.
Kansas City Astrology & Tarot
Astrology, Tarot, Pendulum, & Palmistry