I am surprised no one has thought of this before.

When you choose an answer as the best, why not also have an option to tip the answerer if they were particularly helpful? In other words, you would 'donate' reputation to them. I have wished this existed on a couple of occaisions. I think it would be a great way to thank helpful people - we do this in a restaurant, why not online?

  • What is that supposed to mean? Jan 22, 2010 at 8:18
  • 32
    We don't tip in Australia. We pay people a real wage.
    – random
    Jan 22, 2010 at 9:18
  • 8
    "we do this in a restaurant".. Depends on where you're from. If you try to tip a waiter here in Italy they will look really surprised and ask you why you're giving them money. I believe the only country where tipping is customary is the United States.. Anyways, I don't think it's a good idea as some people would probably start to always expect tips (as it happened in US restaurants =p) Jan 22, 2010 at 10:53
  • 5
    Tipping is expected in Canada as well as the US. We left tips in restaurants when we travelled to England, Scotland, and France as well, and nobody looked at us funny there. Jan 22, 2010 at 12:52
  • 2
    @Graeme - in France, I wouldn't risk being served again by a waiter I wouldn't have tipped the previous time...
    – Gnoupi
    Jan 22, 2010 at 15:00
  • 1
    @random - but what about the sheep? Do you tip them?
    – Pollyanna
    Jan 22, 2010 at 17:00
  • how far should one tip a cow? 15 - 20% ... while 90 degrees seems excessive! Jun 24, 2015 at 0:27

5 Answers 5


This is what the bounty system is for.. if you really want to reward a great answer, then start a bounty and award it.


Bounty system was also enhanced to make this easier:


  • 6
    Using a bounty for this has too many prohibitions; if it's too much like hard work, it won't be done. Jan 22, 2010 at 9:37
  • 7
    Besides, there's a minimum of 50 rep. for bounties. Jan 22, 2010 at 9:38
  • 5
    The bounty has to be given in advance, and rewards the highest voted answer regardless of how helpful it is - and from the wording on the FAQ, it only applies to answers created after the bounty was started, so you can't retroactively reward an existing answer. Jan 22, 2010 at 12:55
  • 5
    You can set a bounty after an accepted answer and then select that answer again to win the bounty. @gra
    – random
    Jan 22, 2010 at 14:55
  • Some questions are a lot harder than others. Those who take time on the hard questions should be rewarded more somehow. A tip would be a great way. It would be nice to be able to tip without un-accepting an answer then making a bounty then re-accepting. Plus, you have to tip a min of 50. What if I only want to tip 25? Not a critical feature, but a definite "nice to have".
    – Vaccano
    Apr 19, 2010 at 16:30
  • 8
    @Jeff Atwood @random- This solution is even more unusable as you now have to wait 24 hours before you can accept a bounty answer. The person who I want to "tip" will now think that I dissed him by removing his accepted answer and opened it up for more discussion. Bounty just does not double as a tip system.
    – Vaccano
    Apr 19, 2010 at 16:35
  • @vaccano I don't think waiting 24 hours is a dealbreaker. Rate limiting is necessary throughout the system to prevent abuse. Apr 19, 2010 at 23:22

Tip is a nice term.

I feel bad if I mark something as answer when there others equally as good, it would be nice to "tip" or somehow acknowledge that they are also as good, possibly with a extra +10 (upvote + answer = 25, so upvote + tip = 20).

I think though, that just being able to give a tip would be open to abuse and/or should only be open for the question asker to give to the people answering - it shouldn't be open for anyone to tip anyone - that is what upvotes are for.

  • Agreed - I only had it in mind for the asker. Also, limits on amount (say 5-50) would curb abuse. Jan 22, 2010 at 7:19
  • 1
    Yes. Up-Vote is a tip without losing your money.
    – Naveed
    Jan 22, 2010 at 7:28
  • 1
    Excuse me? Your money? Jan 22, 2010 at 8:18
  • 1
    Money is not the best term for reputation, as it implies that it needs to be spent in order to be used.. And this is only true for bounties. Jan 22, 2010 at 10:57

If you appreciate the help somebody provided, accept their answer, and then look through some of their answers to other questions. When you find good answers, upvote them.

Do not abuse the voting system. Vote only for questions that you genuinely feel merit an up vote.

  • 4
    Just don't do so too fast; you don't want to arouse the attention of the suspicious voting detection system.
    – John Rudy
    Jan 22, 2010 at 15:11

Let's see -- you have the upvote, which you can award to anyone, including multiple posts, to indicate that they are "good." These reward the recipient with +10 rep.

You have the "accept," which is to indicate that said answer was the one which either directly solved your question or got you closest there. You can only accept one answer, and this rewards the recipient with +15 rep.

If the other answers are "as good," they will be rewarded by other members of the community with their upvotes.

Remember: Once your question is here, it's not just your question anymore; it's the community's. They will also read it, and vote accordingly.

To use your own analogy: Your upvote is your tip. Your acceptance is "paying the check."

  • 1
    Also, accepting an answer and commenting under with enthusiastic words is a way to increase that effect, directing other people to vote for him.
    – Gnoupi
    Jan 22, 2010 at 15:03
  • 1
    If that were true and always worked, why is there a bounty system? I think the person who asked the question typically has more stake in the answer than the SO community.
    – SmacL
    Feb 19, 2010 at 15:56
  • 1
    I don't agree. There are times when the ability to give more would be appropriate. Jan 1, 2011 at 1:34
  • @javamonkey: And for that, there is the new(er) bounty system, wherein anyone can place a bounty on any question, and award it to any answer he/she feels is the best. Thus, tipping is now supported.
    – John Rudy
    Jan 2, 2011 at 23:23
  • 1
    You're still relegated to the 50 rep increments - a bit too spendy to be considered a "tip" IMO. Jan 3, 2011 at 1:28

If we allow 'tipping' then people will start to expect to be tipped (if it gives reputation), and it will become another contentious point.

The system provides adequate means of thanking your answerers, there's no need to add additional layers of "thank you!" on top.

If you really appreciate their work, add a comment to that effect - trust me, they like being recognized.


As a counterexample, I would love to tip both answers on this question I posted yesterday:

Rotate webpage via code?

I'm trying to think of another way to reward multiple answers beyond the usual voting/accepting/commenting...


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