Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

Holiday Tipping from Consumer Reports

November 29th, 2010 by Deb McLean

Need help on who gets tipped and how much? Here are the results from Consumer Reports latest survey showing who consumers tipped and stiffed and how much they got. The tip amounts are medians — the midpoint between highs and lows. That filters out the super-generous tippers, who gave $500 to the housekeeper, as well as the penny-ante tips from the Scrooges among us. 

Housekeeper: 66% give the housekeeper a holiday gift. Median value: $35

Teacher: 60% tip the teacher, but cash is less likely than a gift card or gift. Where 53% gave the housekeeper cash, 45% of those giving something to the teacher chose a personal gift. Median value: $20

Hairdresser: Just 48% of those surveyed gave their hairdresser a holiday gift. Median value: $20.

Newspaper delivery: As newspapers have struggled in recent years, Stanger said customers have apparently become more likely to tip the delivery people getting up in the wee hours to plop their newspaper paper in the bushes. Some 49% tipped the newspaper carrier. Median value: $15.

Manicurist: 48% gave something to their manicurist at the holidays. Median value: $15.

Who gets stiffed?

Garbage Collector: It’s a dirty job, particularly at the holidays when only 11% of those surveyed said they gave anything to the person picking up their trash. Median value of tips, when they were given: $20

Mail Carrier: To be fair, the postal service discourages tipping, telling patrons that they shouldn’t give cash and can only give gift cards if they’re worth less than $20 and can’t be turned into cash. That means 79% of mail carriers get nothing. The 21% who get something, get a gift worth $20.

Gardener: Only 23% of those surveyed tipped the lawn crew, according to Consumer Reports. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the tip amount was the second-most generous recorded in the survey. Median tip: $25.

Pet care: People pandering to our pets got tips about 27% of the time. Median value: $20

Barber: It’s clearly better to cut a woman’s hair than a man’s. Almost half of women tipped their hairdresser; just 34% of guys tipped the barber. But the tip amount was the same. Median value: $20.

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