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How Much Should I Tip? A Holiday Tipping Guide

Cleaning Service: Cost of One Visit

For a cleaning service that's done an excellent job for you all year, and visits once or twice per week, consider tipping the cost of one visit.

Yard Worker: $10-$30

For someone who tends your lawn, cleans your pool, or otherwise takes care of your property on a regular basis, a small gift or tip for each member of the crew is appropriate. Either split the cost of one cleaning among the crew for smaller tasks, or tip each worker in the range of $10-$30.

Newspaper Delivery: $10-$20

Your newspaper carrier has probably already left an envelope in your Sunday paper for a tip. It's customary to tip this person between $10 and $20, depending on how often you take home delivery of the newspaper, and how reliable the service has been over the course of the year.

Mail Carrier: Under $20

The United States Postal Service does not allow its mail carriers to accept cash gifts. If you have a personal relationship with your mail carrier, a gift card or other token gift worth under $20 is acceptable.

Parcel Service: Under $20

If the same delivery person shows up at your door day after day, a year-end tip could be appropriate, but check the company policy for what's appropriate. For example, FedEx forbids its employees to accept cash, while UPS has no formal policy. In general, a gift card or token gift is a good idea.

Trash and Recycling Collectors: $10-$30

Check local ordinances to see if your city or town's trash collectors are permitted to accept gratuities. If so, cash or a gift worth $10-$30 is appropriate for these workers.

Doormen and Garage Attendants: $10-$80

If you live in a building with a doorman or garage attendants, you should tip on the basis of how often you see each of them, and the level of service they provide. For a garage attendant, this usually falls in the range of $10-$30. For a doorman it may be more, perhaps as much as $80, depending on your relationship.

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