Tipping culture in Argentina

on the brink

Registered
Yes, they are examples of them doing you a favour, so you return it. The end of year gift thing I also get, to a certain extent. But some poster here say they tip their potero all the time. For what?
I used to tip him for individual favors, now I just give him a fixed amount every month and forget about it. Easier for me and better for him - he can plan on a little extra coming each month. The arrangement has been working fine for the past four years.

By the way, everyone I know tips the janitor, whether they like him or despise him. I'm lucky to like Agustin so much, so tipping is no hardship.
 
Last edited:

Rich One

Registered
Hi Rich One

First I doubt that it is common here to "tip" the porteros. That might be the case in high class buildings, probably with a relative high percentage of (American) expats, but to my knowledge it is not a common thing in Buenos Aires. At least I have never heard of it and when I asked my Argentinian wife about it her reaction was a big "WHAT?!". And if it is not a common thing to do for locals, why would I pay the "Gringo tax" just because I could afford to pay?

If there is indeed a situation as you describe with the porteros, than it has in my view nothing to do with tipping. I wouldn't even describe it as a life insurance (as this a voluntary contract), but it is nothing but an implicit "extorsion" (if you don't pay, you will face negative consequences). Similar as "protection money" you pay to the local Mafia guy.

If you liked the video, you might also enjoy this one:
Well I guess we all have different sets of Experiences , mine come from living for 15 years in Recoleta in buildings with 150 apts. plus comments from other friends living in the area. I was the only "American" in the building . However many other nationalities present .
 

semigoodlookin

Registered
I used to tip him for individual favors, now I just give him a fixed amount every month and forget about it.
What does this mean? I know what it meant when I visited Bangkok, but what does it mean here?

And I assume, yes, he is very happy with the arrangement of getting extra money each month. And I would suggest if you are “tipping” him each month for “individual” things he does, you are in fact employing him in the black, not tipping him. You’re basically buying services he provides just to you each month.
 

Rich One

Registered
That's fine by me. If tipping someone is what it takes to a) like me and be nice to me and/or, b) do their job then they can forget about having a tip from me.

Isn't the portero the real greedy one? Taking his salary and expecting more from others to perform his role at his best?

I tip where it is neccesary, but never to the portero who already earns 65,000 a month, has his apartment in my building paid for, and for hours a day sits around in his hut watching football, or talking to people trying to get as much information about their lives. And, I want to be clear that I generally like the guy, have no issue with him. That said, I am happy I have been in my building for six years and my portero knows so little about me. We talk, about football mostly, but he doesn't know what I do for a living, where I am from, or anything else I consider personal.

I do not reject the idea of tipping or a tipping culture but I do entirely dismiss the idea that buying people to like me and perform well for me in the future. In fact, I find it morally problematic and showing classim, and potentially xenophobic.

Edit to add, I too just asked my wife about tipping porteros and she couldn't believe it. Never heard of it. I too have doubts this is the norm here. How does it work, anyway? When you walk past the portero everyday and say hi, you just slip him a wad of hundreds for no reason?
Porteros particularly Expect tips from Gringos and some locals. I talk with some porteros and they tell me what some locals give them . When they fix something or do a service like pay a bill , perhaps less than 100 pesos..! Argentinians are NOT big tippers..!

How does tipping work ?, Bring some medias lunas each time you go out for breakfast . When out for dinner bring him a dessert . , afternoons bring back a soda pop. whenever he does a service for you tip him $$ generously..! fifty pesos is an offense.

I'm talking of large apt buildings that have live in 24 hour receptionist/security . Not applicable to buildings where they have an outsourced portero some hours a week.
 

semigoodlookin

Registered
Porteros particularly Expect tips from Gringos and some locals. I talk with some porteros and they tell me what some locals give them . When they fix something or do a service like pay a bill , perhaps less than 100 pesos..! Argentinians are NOT big tippers..!

How does tipping work ?, Bring some medias lunas each time you go out for breakfast . When out for dinner bring him a dessert . , afternoons bring back a soda pop. whenever he does a service for you tip him $$ generously..! fifty pesos is an offense.

I'm talking of large apt buildings that have live in 24 hour receptionist/security . Not applicable to buildings where they have an outsourced portero some hours a week.
Do you mean fix something or pay a bill specifically for you?

If so, I think is where the difference is. If my portero fixed something for me, I would pay him for what he did not just tip him. I would ask the cost of doing that job and would never expect him to do it as a favor.


Equally, paying bills. I would never ask someone who does not have the job of paying bills to run to pay my gas bill and give him some food in return. I would just go to pay the bill myself and would be slightly embarrassed asking him to pay bills for me.
 

on the brink

Registered
And I would suggest if you are “tipping” him each month for “individual” things he does, you are in fact employing him in the black, not tipping him. You’re basically buying services he provides just to you each month.
Sometimes the ill will on this board gets me. "Employing him in the black....", indeed......! Please take note: I tip Agustin REGARDLESS of whether he does something extra for me or not.

I tip him because it is my Royal Pleasure to tip him, and because I have more than enough money for my needs, and it pleases me to share it.

So, he's happy, and I'm happy. Please, Semigoodlookin, try and be happy as well.
 

Rich One

Registered
Do you mean fix something or pay a bill specifically for you?

If so, I think is where the difference is. If my portero fixed something for me, I would pay him for what he did not just tip him. I would ask the cost of doing that job and would never expect him to do it as a favor.


Equally, paying bills. I would never ask someone who does not have the job of paying bills to run to pay my gas bill and give him some food in return. I would just go to pay the bill myself and would be slightly embarrassed asking him to pay bills for me.
Well Semi ... step aside for a sec. from the Me and I, and Consider OTHER viewpoints and situations in my building.

A lady can't change a light bulb on the Ceiling, she asks the Portero , he does it with a ladder, she tips him , must be generous.. Example 1
A lady was sick and asked the portero to go get a prescription.. he does, deserves generous tip Example 2
An older gentleman has problems getting around he asks the portero to pay his electric bill Example 3
A sink is plugged Portero comes with plunger and fixes it ...! Example 4

And so forth
 

BAHibs

Registered
My Argentinian partner gives around 10% based on the level of service, similar to the UK in a way I think.
 

Rich One

Registered
I'm curious - how is tipping based on the Prisoner's Dilemma? Are you referring to this Prisoner's Dilemma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma ?
Interesting maybe the next Nobel Economics prize will be awarded for the Tipping Theory . after the Auction Theory recent Nobel

Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson have won the 2020 Nobel Economics Prize for their work on auction theory. The Stanford University game theorists have helped in developing formats for the sale of aircraft landing slots, radio spectrum's, and emissions trading.12 oct. 2
 
Top