2019 Holiday Tipping Guide

It’s that time of year again. Amongst the sleigh bells ringing and children singing, there’s the nagging stress about how much to tip our building staff and other service providers for the holidays. Keep in mind, services you’ve become addicted to in the past several years, like Seamless, Amazon Prime, and grocery delivery have your building staff working a lot harder than they ever used to. Show your appreciation for this extra level of service and remember–cash over cookies! (And if you’re getting confetti all over the lobby like these folks, you’ll want to up your appreciation.)

Here is a general guideline of tipping ranges:

  • Super, resident manager:  $75-$175 on average (broad range: $50-$500)
  • Doorman and/or concierge (the latter handles more personal requests, like lining up an emergency dog-walker):  $25-$150 on average (broad range: $10-$1,000)
  • Porter, handyman, and maintenance staff: $20-$30 on average (broad range: $10-$75)
  • Garage attendant: $25-$75 on average (broad range $15-$100)

If you’re not inclined to tip, especially if you live in a doorman building, you’ll be in the minority. A 2017 survey showed that just 2% of people (whether they rented or owned) did not tip their building staff at all. Here are a few more guidelines for tipping:

  1. Newer doorman typically receive less than veterans.
  2. Consider how much you ask of your doorman, or how much service they provide. If you’re the person with the frequent deliveries or always struggling with dogs and strollers, you may want to tip your helpers a little more.
  3. It’s okay to tip light if you’ve run into financial troubles this year. Just not if you’re walking through the door weekly with Prada purchases.
  4. If your building has a tipping pool, consider tipping your favorite staff a little extra.
  5. Renters tend to tip less than owners due to a variety of factors–but tipping is expected nonetheless.

What About Service Providers? 

Tipping people who provide you with services is also pretty standard in New York during the holidays.

  • Cleaning person/housekeeper: 1-2 weeks of pay.
  • Cleaning service: Tip 15-20 percent throughout the year, as a portion of their earnings goes to the cleaning service. If the same crew cleans your apartment each time, a holiday tip (one week’s pay) is appreciated.
  • Full-time nanny: One week’s pay minimum, or two if you can afford it. Or, one week’s pay and one week of vacation.
  • Regular babysitter hired occasionally: Consider $25-$50 in cash or a gift card
  • Regular dog walker: One week’s pay
  • UPS delivery: Since UPS assigns drivers to specific addresses, $25-$50 if you have a lot of packages delivered. More if you have a lot of business-related deliveries.
  • Mail carrier: By law, mail carriers can’t accept cash or anything worth more than $20. In reality, some (but by no means most) residents do tip in the $25-$50 range, especially if they receive a lot of deliveries or a lot of mail that requires signatures.

It is not traditional to tip contractors/handymen or property managers. Whew!

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