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Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick Guide to Holiday Tipping

The average tip is between $10 and $25. Be prepared to give that to everyone you encounter for the next three weeks.
According to a survey Consumer Reports, the average holiday tip is between ten and $25. About a third of people said they'll tip the person who delivers their newspaper. And about 25% plan to tip their dog-walker.
--But in every category except housekeeping, more than half of people said they're NOT giving tips out.
--The website has a new guide for what you should be tipping this year. Here's a quick list of people you should at least THINK about.

#1.) Doormen. Anywhere from $10 to $100 each, depending on how much they do for you. And you don't have to spread out the tips equally. If one of them is nicer, give him more.

#2.) Building Superintendents. Again, anywhere from $10 to $100. But tip less if you also tip him during the year.

#3.) Barbers, Hairdressers, and Manicurists. If you're getting your hair cut or your nails done this month, and you always go to the same person, just double your NORMAL tip.

--If you're NOT planning to go, don't make a special trip. Since you normally tip them when you see them, there's no need to tip them again for the holidays.

#4.) Your Gardener. $20 to $50. But if you use a service that sends a different gardener every week, don't tip at all.

#5.) Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters. One or two weeks-worth pay. So, if you give them $30 a week, a $60 tip is generous.

#6.) Babysitter. If they only babysit every now and then, don't worry about it. But if it's on a regular basis, one or two nights' pay is good. Or go with a gift card.

--If it's a full-time NANNY, it should be somewhere between one week and one MONTH'S pay.

For your day care staff, $25 to $70 for each staff member. Plus a small gift from your child.

#7.) Your Housekeeper. If you don't normally tip them, give them about one week's pay. But only if it's the same cleaning person every time.

#8.) Your Mailman. He's not allowed to receive cash, so go with a gift worth about $20. But don't feel like you HAVE to. If you have more than one mailman, don't worry about it.

--Or, instead of a gift, just send an email to his supervisor explaining what a great job he's done all year.

--FedEx doesn't allow drivers to accept cash or gifts worth more than $75. U.P.S. doesn't have a policy.

#9.) Your Assistant at Work. Buy them a gift worth at least $50. If they've been with you a long time, spend more. A gift certificate, or tickets to an event are both good. But avoid anything too personal, like clothing or perfume.

#10.) Miscellaneous Service People. For more random people . . . like your spinning instructor at the gym, or your favorite checkout person at the grocery store . . . gift cards are usually fine. But not necessary.

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