Holiday Tipping For Those Who Deliver

BOSTON (CBS) – Your newspaper carrier and mail carrier (notice how politically correct I am here) have probably already left you a Christmas card with their name and address prominently displayed on the envelope in your mailbox or paper box.

Let’s start with your mail carrier: Should you tip them for taking good care of you all year? If you have had good service especially during bad weather, you may wish to show your appreciation. Postal Service workers are limited to a $20 gratuity by the Postal Service. Here a gift is also acceptable. Remember it was the snow plow that knocked down your mail box, not the mail carrier!

The newspaper carrier: Through sleet, snow and mud if you live in the country. The newspaper carrier brings us our paper link to the outside world. Maybe it’s a local kiddo delivering the paper but most times it’s an adult up at 4 in the morning trying to earn a couple of extra bucks. They are out there 365 days a year.

If you have received your paper dry all year, the official tipping guide suggests $20 and if you are happy with the service $30. One guide I found suggested $100. That was in California though. They don’t even have snow out there except for the mountains.

What about the UPS guy or the FedEx guy? I found mixed guidelines. One guidebook said absolutely nothing and another said if the UPS truck is in your driveway every day because you are running a small business from home you should think about tipping him or her. One book suggested a plate of cookies. I personally would rather give money than bake cookies these days.

FedEx does put a monetary limit of $75 for accepting a gift and UPS allows the drivers to make a judgement call.

Here is a list for other delivery people:

  • Food delivery: Meals from a restaurant, 10-20% of the bill.
  • Pizza Delivery: 15 to 20% with $3 a minimum. More for bad weather or a long distance.
  • Flower deliveries: if they are a gift no tip is required, if you ordered them $2 to $10, depending on how many arrangements they are delivering.
  • Furniture deliveries: $5 to $10 per person more if they move your furniture.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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