Tipping Etiquette – Tips to Show Gratitude

Tipping Etiquette

Tipping Etiquette

A Consumer Reports holiday tipping poll finds that fewer than 1 in 4 of us pony up for a monetary thank-you to our mail carrier, lawn crew or garbage collector. However, the holiday season is the time to show our appreciation to the service people who make our life better.

Click HERE to watch this great and quick WCNC News segment on Tipping Etiquette!

Below is some holiday etiquette tipping advice from etiquette expert, Aimee Symington, of Davidson.

  • Prioritize your most important service providers. If someone’s work makes your life dramatically better, that person should be at the top of your holiday tipping list. The trusted housecleaner, the hairdresser who fits you in at the last minute and the baby sitter who always does a great job tending your kids should get more of your holiday tipping resources than service providers you use infrequently.
  • Don’t skimp on your employees. If you have household workers, such as a nanny, a housekeeper or a caretaker for an elderly relative, the holiday bonus is often considered part of the employee’s compensation.
  • It’s OK to consider need. The lower-paid the worker, the more holiday tips are likely to be appreciated — and the bigger impact your gift can have. Your tip to a manicurist or gardener may be a bigger deal than the same-sized token to a package-delivery person.
  • If you tip generously all year, you can skimp a bit. A smaller tip or a modest gift at the holidays is fine.
  • A note should accompany any tip. Your message doesn’t have to be elaborate, but should include a couple of sentences thanking the person for his or her good work and wishing a happy holiday.
  • Handmade gifts or treats. If you cannot afford to give everyone a monetary gift, a plate full of holiday cookies or candy is a low-cost way to express your appreciation.

Below are rough guidelines and tipping etiquette standards you can adapt to your budget and local custom:

Recipient Guideline
Babysitter One evening’s pay, plus a gift from your child
Barber Cost of one haircut
Beauty salon staff Half the cost of one haircut
Bus Driver $10 individual or more for collective gift from group
Day care provider A gift from you, or $25 to $70, plus a gift from your child
Dog walker Up to one week’s pay or a gift
Garage attendants $10 to $30 or a small gift
Gardeners $20 to $50 each
Handyman $15 to $40
Housekeeper Up to one week’s pay and/or a small gift
Live-in help One week to one month’s pay, plus a gift from you
Mail carrier Gift worth less than $20; no cash, check or gift cards
Massage therapist Up to the cost of one session or a gift
Nanny or au pair One week’s pay, plus a gift from your child
Newspaper deliverer $10 to $30 or a small gift
Package deliverer Small gift in the $10-$20 range
Personal trainer Up to the cost of one session or a gift
Personal caregiver One week to one month’s salary or a gift
Pet groomer Up to the cost of one session or a gift
Teachers A small gift or note from you, plus a small gift from your child
Trash collectors $10 – $30 each

 

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