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How Much to Tip Everyone For the Holidays

A simple guide to getting gratuities right this time of year

By Catey Hill and MarketWatch



Here’s a breakdown of who you should tip this holiday season and how much:


Hairstylists, Manicurists and Masseurs



Gym Staff



Home and Car-related Services


Eyring suggests that you give a housekeeper about $50, or more if he or she comes more frequently than twice a week. Hoffman says that parking attendants (for those who regularly use one) should get about $10 to $35. Gardeners and pool maintenance staff should also get tipped, typically between $20 and $50 each, experts say.


If you live in an apartment, you’ll likely have a different set of people to tip. The doormen should get between $25 and $100 apiece, the porters and handymen $10 and $50 each and the elevator operator $15 to $40 each, says Hoffman — all depending on how often you interact with them. (Those who live in pricey cities like New York and San Francisco will likely want to tip on the higher end, says Eyring.) Don’t forget the super or custodian, who should get $50 to $300 apiece; tip more if there’s no doorman and the service has been particularly attentive, but tip less if you tip throughout the year, says Hoffman.


Home-Delivery Services


The people who deliver your mail and packages have to play by a different set of tipping rules than other professionals.

Your regular Postal Service mail carrier isn’t allowed to get cash tips (or checks or gift cards, which can be exchanged for cash) and cannot accept gifts worth more than $20.

Give your regular FedEx and UPS workers a small gift like a gift card to a local restaurant like Panera Bread since they usually don’t have much time for lunch, says Eyring. You should also consider tipping the newspaper delivery person $15 to $20 if you get daily delivery and $5 to $15 if just on weekends, says Hoffman.



Pet Care


If you have a regular dog walker, groomer or pet sitter, it’s nice to give her a little extra for the holidays. Hoffman says groomers should get a small gift plus 1/4 to 1/2 of the cost of one session. A dog walker or pet sitter (assuming she’s regular) should get roughly one week’s pay (a gift is optional).


Elder Care Providers



Other People


There are a few other people you should consider tipping or giving a gift to if you regularly interact with them. Eyring says that if you’re a regular at a doctor’s office and the staff — such as the receptionist or physician’s assistant — is especially kind to you, consider giving them a gift card or small gift to say thanks.

Also, give a waiter or bartender who serves you regularly a tip of $20 or more.

If you’re a frequent traveler, you may want to reward the hotel concierges and service staff you interact with throughout the year with a gift or tip worth at least $20, she says.

Catey Hill is a freelance personal finance writer, who has written for Next Avenue, The Wall Street Journal, SmartMoney, Worth,, and others.


Catey Hill is MarketWatch's senior content strategist. She writes about how to upgrade your life, and helps readers find great deals on products and services. Follow her on Twitter @CateyHill Read More
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