Guidelines for tipping during holidays

Consumer Reports offers guidelines for tipping during holiday season

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DETROIT - Each holiday season, many of us struggle with the decision over which service providers to tip, and how much extra to give them.

A new survey from Consumer Reports gives you some insight into what other people are doing, and it's not great news for those people who cut our hair, walk our dogs, and deliver our newspapers.

For example, 53 percent of those polled last January say they gave their housekeepers cash or gift cards. Another 15 percent gave them some kind of gift, but that means 36 percent gave nothing at all. The media value of the holiday gift was $50. Housekeepers were the most often tipped workers, and they received the most valuable gifts.

Many people also give their hairdressers a little something extra at the holidays. However, according to this survey, 54 percent say they give their hairdressers nothing, 38 percent give cash or gift cards, and 9 percent gave a gift. The average value was $20. The least likely to get tipped were garbage collectors.

Consumer Reports began taking this survey in 2005. It found a decline in the tips in several categories in 2008, most likely, it says, to the beginning of the economic crisis.

To read more about holiday tipping, follow this link to Consumer Reports.

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