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How Much Should I Tip for This Service?

2-hour delivery

A definitive guide to how much you should tip for common home services… if at all.

We all know to tip our doormen during the holiday season and add a few dollars to our food delivery bills, but when it comes to home services, things tend to get a little…well, murkier. After all, should you pay when someone’s delivering flowers or a small package? What about huge furniture deliveries? Surely those deserve a tip… right?

“Tipping is something you do willingly for service that goes above and beyond,” explains etiquette expert Diane Gottsman. “A lot of times, we expect we need to tip, but when someone’s being paid by their company, it’s not completely necessary.” However, many times, determining the appropriate occasion can prove to be fairly difficult.

But not to worry: We spoke to etiquette experts, asked companies themselves, and did all our thorough research to figure out exactly who you should tip and how much you should tip. We even figured out when you don’t need to tip at all, so read ahead: You’ll never have to wonder, “Should I have given them something?” again.

Small package deliveries

Most of the time, the store hires a messenger service to deliver small packages for you, so your delivery person likely isn’t being paid much per hour. For this service, Gottsman suggests a few dollars. However, if it’s a delivery service like UPS or FedEx dropping off your package for you, there’s no tip needed.

Large furniture deliveries

“This depends on a few things—level of service, stairs, effort, and size of load,” says Gottsman. If it’s simply a chair or something, you can tip around $5, but for instance, if it’s a couch delivery and your messenger just lugged the item up several flights of stairs, she suggests $10 or over, depending on the cost and size of the item. This can go up to $25-$30.

Flower delivery

Again, this is usually done through a messenger service, so $3 to $5 (depending on the size of the bouquet) works well for a tip.

Plumbing work

There’s no need to tip for this, according to Gottsman—it’s their job!

Heating or A/C work

Especially if it’s a one-time visit to set up heat or air-conditioning, no tip is required. However, if this is your common repair person and the job has lasted a long time (especially without heat or air!), then $20 should be sufficient. And offer something to drink—it’s the polite thing to do.“This depends on a few things—level of service, stairs, effort, and size of load,” says Gottsman. If it’s simply a chair or something, you can tip around $5, but for instance, if it’s a couch delivery and your messenger just lugged the item up several flights of stairs, she suggests $10 or over, depending on the cost and size of the item. This can go up to $25-$30.

Electrician's visit

According to several electricians, they don’t expect any tips for their services… especially since they charge a significant fee per hour. So, don’t worry about tipping them.

Pest control checkup

There’s no need to tip pest control—they charge enough.

Moving Services

According to Gottsman, this depends on the level and size of the job, but you can assume that $20 to each mover for a small job is enough. If the job has been exhausting, then 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of the move is sufficient. However, instead of tipping each mover individually, you can just give the total amount to the foreman, who can then divide it amongst the crew as needed.

House Cleaning

If your house cleaner comes through a service, you don’t have to tip, as he or she will be making a fair amount through the company. However, if this is an individual, you can tip a few dollars over the amount if you feel like the job has been exceptionally done. Note, though, that if this is your regular person, only tipping extra during the holidays is totally fine.

Painting

Gossman says there’s no need to tip painters, unless you’re especially thrilled with your new paint job—in which case, up to $20 per painter works.

Taskrabbit-ing

The official website states that tipping is optional, but if you do choose to tip, your Tasker will receive 100 percent of the tip amount. You can leave the tip through the app—but note that there’s no reason to, unless you’re thrilled by the level of service.

Furniture assembly

If your furniture delivery person is also assembling your furniture for you, it’s customary to tip a certain amount—these can be brutal. After all, remember how hard it was to assemble that Ikea bookshelf in college? Depending on how long the task takes, $10 to $20 is a good amount.

Cable installation

Most cable companies actually prevent their employees from accepting tips, so there’s no need to worry. The same goes for smart home installations.

Original story from housebeautiful