putting money in tip jar

The Ultimate Tipping Guide

Have you ever gotten your hair cut at a new salon and wondered how much to tip? You tried to remember…is 20 percent standard? Or is it 15? Wonder no more. We asked smart-shopping expert Trae Bodge for her guidelines on who to tip and how much.

Download the PDF version here.

Everyday Life

  • Car washer: $2–$3 per car, $3–$5 per SUV/truck/van
  • Dog groomer: 15–20 percent
  • Server: 18–20 percent
  • Bartender: $1 per drink for beer/wine;$2 for a complicated cocktail; 15–20 percent for an upscale bar
  • Coat checker: $1–$2 per item
  • Movers: $10–$20 per mover
  • Valet parking attendant: $1–$5
  • Pet sitters/walkers: 15 percent “if they were hired through a service,” says Bodge. “If they’re independent, simply pay the agreed-upon fee.”
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Delivery Services

  • Food and drink: 10–15 percent
  • Flowers: $2–$5
  • Laundry/dry cleaning: $3–$5
  • Appliances or furniture: $5–$10 per person, depending on the difficulty

Spa Services

  • Makeup artist, masseuse, hair stylist, manicurist/pedicurist, waxer/threader

These are easy to remember, says Bodge: All are 15–20 percent.


  • Hotels
    • Concierge:$5, says Bodge, “if they go above and beyond.”
    • Housekeeper: $2 per day
    • Room service:$2–$5
    • Bellhop: $2–$5, depending on how many bags
  • Taxi/car-service/rideshare drivers: 15–20 percent

Special Events

Typically, if you’ve hired an independent contractor, it’s customary to pay the rate you agreed upon, and you aren’t required to tip, says Bodge. “However, if they work for a company or service, a tip is a nice gesture,” she adds.

  • Limousine driver: 15–20 percent
  • Photographer: $50–$100
  • Videographer: $50–$100
  • Live band: $15–$20 per musician
  • DJ: $50–$100
  • Wait staff: 18–20 percent. If someone goes above and beyond, give them $20 individually, says Bodge.

The Holidays

During the holidays, don’t forget the people who help take care of your home, especially if you’ve gotten to know them.

  • Mailman: USPS employees are not supposed to accept monetary gifts, including gift “You can give a small general gift or something sweet, like baked goods or chocolates,” says Bodge, “but the value must be no more than $20.”
  • Doorman: $20 per person, or more if there is only one doorman. “General gifts or sweets are nice, too,” Bodge says.
  • Landscaper/gardener: “Tip the cost of one service,” says Bodge.
  • Trash/recycling collectors: $10 each, or general gifts or sweets
  • House cleaners: The cost of one cleaning
  • Contractors: $20 per person, if regularly used

By Ashley Rapp

Here’s another kind of tip: Head to geico.com for a free insurance quote on auto, motorcycle, homeowners or renters insurance and more, to see how much you could save.

Read More: The Best Time To Buy: A Month-By-Month Guide To Scoring Big Bargains

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    Leave a comment

  1. Tim says,

    Seems to be a class system type of award seeing as the trash/refuse collector only gets $10.00 for picking up after everyone and a doorman gets only $20