Consumer Reports Survey: Holiday Tipping Grows More Generous; Child-Care Providers, Housekeepers and Teachers Among The Most Tipped

CR December issues offers advice for tipping etiquette

Nov 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from Consumer Reports

    YONKERS, N.Y., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The traditional list
 of holiday tip recipients is growing and gratuity amounts are increasing
 according to a recent survey in Consumer Reports December 2007 issue.
     Who was the most likely to receive a holiday tip last season? Sixty-two
 percent of respondents who gave tips in Consumer Reports' survey reported
 that they tipped their child-care provider. Housekeepers/cleaners (61%) and
 child's teachers (59%) were also among the most likely to receive some form
 of holiday bonus from respondents.
     The good news for those on the receiving end: compared to a similar
 survey Consumer Reports conducted last year, tips were up about $5 apiece
 in many instances. Cash or cash substitutes, such as gift cards, were more
 popular than giving an actual present.
     "The holiday tipping list is growing and the traditional recipients,
 such as hairdressers, newspaper carriers, and child-care providers, have
 been joined by an ever-expanding group, including fitness trainers, spa
 attendants, dog walkers, and elder-care workers," said Greg Daugherty,
 executive editor at Consumer Reports.
     Respondents also indicated that during the holidays they tipped:
 hairdressers (54%), newspaper carriers (47%) manicurists/pedicurists (44%),
 barbers (40%), gardeners/lawn-care crews (32%) mail carriers (31%),
 school-bus drivers (31%), apartment building caretakers (30%) fitness
 trainer/instructors (26%), and sanitation/recycling collectors (15%).
     The Consumer Reports National Research Center asked a representative
 U.S. sample of more than 1,800 people what they gave last holiday season.
 The December issue of Consumer Reports, on sale November 6, offers more
 results and helpful advice for holiday tipping.
     Nearly half of respondents tipped their housekeeper in cash or cash
 substitutes. Respondents tended to thank their hairdresser, barber,
 manicurist/pedicurist, and newspaper carrier with cash or cash substitutes
 more than others on the list. On average, housekeepers/cleaners and
 child-care providers received tips of greater value than others, the
 average tip values being $50 and $40 respectively.
     Those who worked with children were more likely to receive actual
 presents than others on the list. While their child's teacher was among the
 most tipped last season by respondents (59%), only 20 percent of
 respondents gave teachers cash or a cash substitute. School-bus drivers and
 child-care providers were also more likely than others on the list to
 receive an actual present.
     CR's advice for tipping etiquette:
     How much should you tip? Where you live can affect how much you tip.
 According to experts, folks in the Northeast are the biggest tippers;
 Southerners tended to tip the least. But tips in the South are often
 accompanied by or even replaced by a homemade gift. Despite the regional
 variations, Consumer Reports offers general advice for folks looking to
 express their gratitude this holiday season:
     -- When in doubt: Match one week/session. If the person is not on our
     list and provides service weekly, give the equivalent of one
     week's pay. For instance, if your dog walker charges $75 a week,
     give her a $75 tip. If your guitar teacher charges $50 a
     lesson, consider $50 or a present of similar value.
     -- Use gift cards with care. The cards are popular as tips because
     they are widely available and are graceful proxies for cash.
     However, gift cards often go unclaimed and CR warns consumers
     to stay away from the bank-issued variety, which often have
     fees and expiration dates.
     -- Know the boss's rules. Mail carriers aren't supposed to accept
     cash or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash. They can
     accept non-cash gifts worth $20 or less. For teachers, check
     with your school district's office or parent-teacher
     association. Giving cash to a teacher might be seen
     as a bribe. Instead, try movie-ticket coupons or join
     with other parents to buy a gift certificate for a local shop.
     -- Keep it crisp. If you're giving cash, try to get to the bank
     for fresh new bills. A thank-you note goes a long way, too.
     More information on holiday tipping and helpful advice can be found in
 the December 2007 issue of Consumer Reports, available wherever magazines
 are sold. Portions of the report will be available on
     DECEMBER 2007
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 may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports(R)
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SOURCE Consumer Reports