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A Tip Or Two: Service Professionals Your Should Tip

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

If you were shocked by how much you were informed you had/have to tip on your wedding day, you’ll likely be surprised at how much tipping you have to do in life in general.

And, it’s not just for special occasions, but also for a variety of common personal services ranging from dining out to take out.

1. Hair Care Specialists: Form cutters to colorists the average tip is about 15 percent of total cost. However, if your find that you’ve been given VIP treatment, you may want to toss in a few extra bucks, between $3 and $5 is customary. And, oh yeah, while you don’t generally need to tip the owner if he or she cuts your hair, in major metropolitan areas, you generally do.

2. Hair Care Assistants: These include shampoo guys and gals, and just about anyone else who “pampers” you while you wait. As a general rule, these folks get between $2 and $5 per person, though if they treat you exceptionally well, you may want to ante up by a dollar or two. Also, make sure to hand the tip directly to the person who took care of you or did your shampoo or blow drying rather than leaving with someone else.

3. Fitness Professionals: We all know how hard staying in shape is, so personal trainers (though not cheap) are often worth their weight in gold. Experts suggest an average tip of between $50 and $100 each time you reach a goal, and if you are squeezed in at the last minute, show your gratitude with a small, thoughtful and generous gift. And, keep in mind that discretion is the better part of valor, especially in cases where the gym discourages tipping.

4. Massage Therapists: Experts suggest tipping between 10 to 20 percent of total cost, making sure to tip on the higher side if the therapist made an “exception” to fit you into his/he busy schedule. Make sure to ask therapists that make house or office calls if the tip is included in the fee or not.

5. Beauty Consultants: While it’s not necessary to tip the gal (or guy) behind the makeup counter that did you “makeover”, it’s best to keep in mind (before booking one) that many of these individuals work on commission, so you should be prepared to buy (something at least). You may also want to ask for her card and/or her name and (if satisfied with her work and product) return to her counter the next time you need something.

6. Helpful Healthcare Assistants: A great nurse is an invaluable asset. But remember, tipping is generally frowned up. Instead, you may want to offer him/her a small token of your appreciation such as a gift certificate, flowers, candy, etc. Also, since nurses work in teams, it’s best to send your gift to the “floor” of the hospital, rather than to individuals.

7. Car-Wash Attendants: Unless you do it all yourself, including the wiping down of your vehicle, experts suggest at least $2 per vehicle for a standard wash and anywhere from $3 to $5 for larger vehicles. Plus, you’ll want to tip 15-percent for detailing. Also keep in mind that most car washed pool tip funs and distribute equally among employees, so if you want a certain amount to go to a certain individual, tip him/her personally.

8. Parking Attendant Professionals: From Valets to Garage attendants, experts suggest a tip of $2 to $5. However, if you pay for monthly parking, you need only tip during holidays, about $25 (minimum) and up, an amount presented to the garage manager. When it comes to valet parking however, make sure to hand your tip to the individual who returns you car to you and NOT the person who actually parks it, unless they are one and the same.

9. Pet Preening Professionals: The average acceptable tip for grooming gurus is between $5 and $15. However, for larger dogs or for added services you may want to kick in a few extra dollars. You may also note that in larger cosmopolitan area, pets get much more pampering and pet groomers on average get tipped about $50 and up.

10. Retail Sales Rep: Remember, these folks are often highly skilled professionals without the fancy title, lets say, of image consultant or personal stylist. So, if you had an extra helpful guy or gal, note that while tipping is usually prohibited, there’s nothing wrong with calling the boss and telling them, sending a thank you note, or buying the person a cup of coffee.

11. Barista: Let’s not forget the hardworking folks behind the coffee counters across the country. After all, where would you be without your Grande, non-fat, no-whip, double-shot, hazelnut-vanilla latte? So, before you walk off without so much as a thank you, consider throwing your spare change in their tip cup or adding a few bucks to your pre-paid coffee card.

12. Takeout Cashier: These are the folks responsible for your lunch or dinner order, so treat them nicely. The average tip is about 10 percent, or a little extra for a large or rush order, and/or if the individual helps you to your car. And, if you’re a regular, repeat customer, tip a little more to ensure continued quality service.

13. Grocery Help: From those who bag your groceries to those who carry them to your car, while a tip is not expected, consider giving some spare change to those who rise above the required calling. On the other hand, keep in mind that some consider “carry out” service part of what you are paying for.

14. Assistance With Big Ticket Items: It’s always great when you find someone to carry that plasma TV to your car for you, so, it’s also a nice gesture to want to show your (monetary) appreciation. However, remember that most major retailers frown up such practices and discipline those who accept accordingly.

15. Furniture Delivery Personnel: Experts suggest tipping each individual between $5 and $10 and adding another $5 or $10 if they were instrumental in helping you set it up or carry old items out and to the curb. You may also want to tip a bit extra if your delivery people are working in extreme weather conditions.

16. Food Delivery: On average you are looking at about 10 to 15 percent. However, if your driver makes an exception such as delivering below minimum or out of his normal range, perhaps you could be a little more generous. On the other hand, if the restaurant already includes a delivery fee, you may want to rethink tipping.

17. Door To Door Groceries: Generally speaking the tip is the delivery fee. However, if the weather is bad, the delivery person brings your bags in or up the stairs, or if he/she travels out of the way, you can offer the driver between $2 and $5 for their efforts. Remember most stores “do” discourage this, but drivers and delivery personnel wont’ be penalized.

18. Parcel Personnel: Delivering things is what these folks get paid for. Unless it’s an extra heavy item, rush order, etc. you really don’t have to tip. But, if you get frequent parcels from the same driver, you should tip at the holidays.

19. Liquor Delivery: The norm is between 10 and 15 percent. However if someone goes out of their way, ante up to 20 percent. Remember, while tips in this case aren’t necessary, they are appreciated.

20. Skycap: This is the person that helps you with your bags and in some cases even takes seat requests. For common care tip $1 to $2 per bag, but for special requests tip between $5 and $10.

21. Tour Guide: It’s recommended you tip about $1 to $5 per person, unless you’ve secured their services for a private group in which case it’s advised you tip between 10 and 15 percent of the cost. Also if the individual helps you with luggage etc. again, you may want to up the ante.

22. Hotel Room Staff: Primarily refers to your “chamber maid”. Tip $2 to $5 per night, leaving the tip in an envelope marked “housekeeping”.

23. Poolside Attendant: Generally these folks aren’t tipped. However if they are helpful in finding you lounge chairs, towels, sunscreen and/or a drink, you may want to toss them a few bucks ($2 to $5 will do) On the other hand, if you want to continue receiving star treatment, you may want to tip a couple of dollars per chair the first time your pool attendant goes above the call of duty.

24. Doorman: Generally speaking, holding your door open is the person’s job. But if he hails you a cab, you may want to offer him a dollar or two. You may also want to consider tipping (a little extra) if he’s helpful with directions, restaurant recommendations, etc. And, if you don’t have cash at the time, place some in an envelope and leave it (with his name on it) with the concierge.

25. Bed and Breakfast: There is no need to tip anyone but the housekeeping staff. However, if you get star treatment you may want to leave a 10 percent tip expressing your gratitude. And, don’t forget to recommend your friends.

26. Roadside Assistance: Typically you should tip between $5 and $20 depending on the service. Again, if those involved brave the weather, you can tip up to $50 or more again, depending on the circumstances, especially if no one else would come.

27. Handyman/Housepainter: Generally no tip is required, those it’s advised that you do provide food and drink (for the crew).

28. General Contractor: Again, no tip is required but if he throws in a few perks or works overtime, you may want to consider a small token of gratitude such as a dinner certificate or tickets to his favorite game.

29. Building Superintendent: Because the super’s job IS maintaining the building you don’t have to tip for a one-time service. However, if your super is exceptionally helpful and accommodating, you should tip accordingly. Also, at holiday time consider a $25 to $100 tip or gift of equal value.

30. The Cable Guy: Tips are typically prohibited. However if the individual spends an unexpected amount of time trying to hook you up, at least offer to buy lunch or a cup of coffee. And remember, a professional who hedges at a tip for “free” extra channels is likely in violation of company policy.

31. Movers: The standard is between $20 to $50 per mover and a bit extra for heavy items, and/or items that need to be carried a distance, especially up and down stairs. Also, for a big move, tip 10 to 15 percent of the total cost to the team leader, responsible for distributing it among the crew.

32. Realtors: Since it’s part of their job to sell your home, you can forget about the tip. Still, experts suggest that if one realtor shone above the others, a non-monetary gift IS appropriate. And, in many instances YOU can expect a gift after the deal is made.

33. Ceremony Officiants: Though there is no steadfast rule, a donation to the house of worship is the norm. If there are special circumstances also give the officiant a special non-monetary gift.

34. Kids Party Performers: Experts suggest an average of 15 to 20 percent of the performer’s fee. But, again, if the performer has to deal with extenuating circumstances consider adding another $12 or $20 to that amount. Also the more generous the performer is with patience and time, the more generous you tip should be.

35. Open Bar Attendant: Generally speaking, if you’re a guest, you don’t have to tip. In fact, it may be considered “tacky” for the attendant to display a tip cup. However, if you request something exotic or unusual the bartender has to go out of his/her way for or if you are ordering quite a bit, you may want to hand him/her an amount equivalent to a dollar a drink. By the way, just FYI, the person hosting the event is responsible for tipping 15 to 20 percent.


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