Tipping an installer?

Please reply by conversation.


Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Aug 2, 2004
Im having my DTV installed today! Its been 3 weeks without the boob tube and I am looking forward to seeing something other than rewatching all of my Curb DVD's!

My question is this. Should I tip the installer and how much should it be? I always offer refreshments to installers as I know how hot and tiring it is to climb up onto the roof in 90 deg weather. I dont have a problem tipping but I wonder how much is justified?

Thank you,

stone phillips420

stone phillips420

On Vacation
Oct 20, 2004
10.00-20.00 depending upon professionalism plus quality of work


Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 4, 2004
If he does a great job, sure. Let him know before. An incentive for better work.


Jul 15, 2006
wished the peeps in my area knew about tipping lol i have got tips sometimes it is nice when that happens


Retired & lovin' it!
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
Central PA
slacker106 said:
wished the peeps in my area knew about tipping lol i have got tips sometimes it is nice when that happens
I guess it's mostly ignorance! I'm not "cheap" but I really don't even consider giving tips except in the traditional situations, like restaurants, caddy, etc. I hadn't considered tipping my last installer (Dec. - before I started reading in this forum), but in retrospect I think he deserved one! Even tho' he was several hours late, he was apologetic and had no problem completing my installation on the roof even tho' it was cold and dark. (He didn't mind me helping - wonder why?) I learned that my job was his last one before having just 1 day off after working 14 straight, 10-12 hours per. Regardless he did a great job (811, DPP44, repoint D300, add D500, activation, confirm 3 sets working, etc.) I probably should have given him $25-$30 for about 1 hour's excellent work. On top of that, this past spring I found a tool he accidentally dropped in his hurry. I'm sure he had to replace that one himself!

I hope I have a chance to meet up with him again but I have no changes pending. (I did my last upgrade myself in May). I'd like to return that tool and give him that tip in retrospect, maybe with interest...!

(I know his first name only. Anyone out there working for See World? PM me...!)


Bourbon Tester
Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
I'm Nationwide
I always encourage home owners to talk to their installer before anything starts to lay out expectations and to know what is happening to their home; and IF the "feeling" is right, mention some pay/tip on the back end for accommodating you; out side of begging for big extras for free . I also offer nice cold drinks during the summer during the job and coffee, etc if its cold (not here in AZ). Not only is that the right thing to do, but it reinforces the tip you discussed earlier by showing that you are a giving person.
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Pub Member
Feb 11, 2006
Only tip after the job and only if he does something extra without complaining and cleans up 100% of his mess. Leaving stripped cabled jacket everywhere does not justify a tip. and 90% do it.


Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Aug 2, 2004
I have tipped the last 2 or 3 times I have had installs done. Albeit, the last one I should not have tipped at all. The guy left a mess, and the sat was pointing in the wrong direction (Voom).

The D installer is in the middle of the work and its about 85-90 outside. Like I said before, I always offer cold drinks etc. The installer has already been very easy to work with, will be doing a few extra things for me and unless he crashes through a window or something he will definitely be rewarded for his hard work and clean install.


Active SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 30, 2006
n.c. arkansas
as an installer most of my customers are great about offering cool drinks and many invitations to supper. i do my best to go over the plan withthem and keep my mess to a min. and there have been a couple of occations that i have been tipped but i in no way expect that .


SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 27, 2004
When I used to work in San Francisco Bay area as an installer there, tipping goes with the area!

Average people some tips
millionaires in Mission San Jose NEVER TIP! no matter how many extra thing you go thgought to get their TV running.

South San Francisco, San Bruno, Daly City, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos, Pala Altos, Los Altos very very very good tippers!!!!! I used to make over $100/week just in tips in those areas.
Some customer even ask how long does the average install is and they will make you worth while if you spend more time at hooking their TV's up.
I even got tip for service calls that was already fixed by customer and they tip me just for showing up.. :)

Concord, Berkley, Plesent Hills, Richmond > no tipper just bunch of complainers.
in between all that there is a place called Piedmont and they tip very well and offer drinks and REAL nice people there.

San Franciso, Oakland no tippers.

Alameda a few tippers there.

San Leandro, Oakland (Ghetto [ they will tip if you hook up 2nd receiver to neighbor house] Rich part of Oakland never tip.

Livermore, Pleasanton(old skool rich ppl there will tip) peope who live in Developement area where they build new million dollar home with starfoam won't tip you and they will refuse install if its not an non standard install and you have to charge more.

As for tipping the service man. Never less then $10!!!!!!!!!!!, that's National Standard.
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2005
South of Heaven
I tipped the only 2 installers that I have dealt with from D*, but, in general wrt tipping, I do not offer it in advance (I am not saying my method is any better or worse than others mentioned here, it is just my preferred method), because, the way I see it, if they really have pride in their work it will show despite the lack of that incentive a tip might give, it is also how I judge what they get tipped.

If the guy looks like he's gonna be a halfasser, I'll stop him, and will offer a small 'tip' to see if his attitude improves, or I'll bust out with some cash in front of him, so he gets the message, if he gets the hint, and starts 'caring' more, than I add to the tip at his departure, if not, he gets no more, now, if the person does what is expected of him (his contractual expectations, not mine), he will get a generous tip without question, it has worked pretty well for me with D* and other home-type service calls.

And of course, I never ever would expect any freebies, or special requests to be done free, the guys gotta make a livin' too, and, anyone who comes into my home, worker or not, is treated as a proper guest, offered bottled water, etc, part of my reasoning is that while I have no beef tipping installers, it is not really a tip-dependant job (arguable these days), like, for instance, a waitress.


Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 18, 2005
I was planning on tipping my last installer $20.00, but then he hit me with a $50.00 wall fish. I did offer refreshments :)


SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 26, 2006
North Central Indiana
The last technician that I had was bragging he made about $2,000 a week from DISH as a private contractor. I make about $300. He needed to tip me. :D


Bourbon Tester
Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
I'm Nationwide
As for tipping the service man. Never less then $10!!!!!!!!!!!, that's National Standard.

LOL, haralious! Once again from a post I made a LONG while back, here is the Official Tipping Etiquette Guide. LONG, but very worth the read.

Tips on Tipping

Not knowing the proper tip or gratuity for a service can be very unsettling. The rest of your party might not know it, but inside you may feel highly stressed as you walk up to the coat check or curbside check-in. The challenge is not everyday situations, but when you are taken out of your normal environment. For example, if you travel only occasionally, hotel tipping etiquette can be a real mystery.

This brief guide covers most tipping opportunities.

Remember that tipping is discretionary. If you don't think tipping is necessary in a particular circumstance, then don't tip. This is a guide for people who are planning to tip and want to know the appropriate amount. If you think tipping in general is stupid, then don't tip. But don't complain that the minimum wage is too low. Don't complain that the only new jobs being created are low income.

Have Mercy!

Have you had a hard day traveling or at work? Do you feel a little grumpy? Were you sharp with someone?

Well, guess what! People in service industries don't always have great days either. Show them a little mercy and assume the best about them. Maybe your waiter is a little absent-minded because his mother is sick in the hospital.

Instead of skipping the tip, talk to the manager about poor service.

Pre-tax or post-tax?

This is a common question. Tips may be calculated pre-tax, but many people just use the total bill.

Coupons and gift certificates

If you received a coupon or gift certificate, how do you calculate the tip? Tipping is always based upon the normal price of the good or service. If you get a coupon for 20% off, then tip on the original price. The amount of work done by the server is not less because you paid less. If you have a coupon for a free entree, then tip based upon the regular price of the entree.

Many gift certificates today act more like a debit card. A $50 card is the equivalent to $50 cash, but it can only be used at the named store or restaurant. In that case, you can use the card to pay for the tip as well as the food or service. If you have a gift certificate for a free meal or spa treatment, call the man

But the service is already so expensive!!

With proper tipping etiquette, the percentages of your tips do not change because of the cost of the service. Let's take a hair salon, for example. Of course, you can always tip on the lower end of 10-20%. But if you are going to go to a more expensive salon, then it is assumed that you can afford $120 plus tip. If it is really a big crunch for you, then I would recommend going less often or finding a salon that is more within your budget.

My wife and I lead a series on financial stewardship, which is basically living within your means. The material that we teach can be obtained at: http://www.crown.org/. There's no shame in figuring out that $132-144 is a bit much for hair. It bothers my wife too, but she has a budget set up for it and does it anyhow. She just spends less on other things like Starbucks.

Christmas Holiday Tipping Etiquette

Christmas is a great time of year to remember those people who serve you regularly. Since it only occurs once a year, holiday tipping can be a source of holiday stress, but it need not be so. I recommend a gift or a tasteful Christmas card with a tip inside. Delivery should occur in the month of December prior to Christmas day. Tip those who serve you all year long and whom you have a personal relationship with.

* Maid - one week's pay. If you use a service and never know who is coming out, don't tip at all.
* Gardener - $20-50.
* USPS Mail carrier - Non-cash gifts with value up to $20. This is for mail carriers that you know and see regularly. Read more below.
* UPS - Regular driver - $15.
* FedEx - Not allowed to accept cash gifts, but a gift up to $25 in value is permissible.
* Apartment building superintendent - $50-200. Tip less if you tip throughout the year.
* Apartment Doorman/concierge - $10-80 or more each, depending upon building. The fewer doormen the building has, the more you tip each one. Those who serve you more should get a bigger tip.
* Apartment building handyman - $15-40 each.
* Apartment building elevator operators - $15-40 each.
* Shampoo - $10
* Manicurist/pedicurist - $15 or more
* Hairdresser/stylist - $15 or more
* Massage therapist - $15 or more. Read more about tipping massage therapists at www.frappydoo.com.
* Newspaper carrier - Daily - $25 - 50, weekend - $10
* Regular overnight delivery person - $10-30
* Teacher - $25-100. Give a gift certificate to a bookstore or office supply store. If you know the teacher's hobbies or interests, then a gift certificate would be nice from the local movie theater, hobby shop, mall, fine restaurant or day spa. Some teachers might feel uncomfortable receiving gifts around grade time. If you are unsure, ask your principal first.
* Coaches, tutors, ballet instructors, music teachers - A small gift from your child.
* Garbage collector(s) - $15-30 each. Nowadays, most garbage collectors are really truck drivers. The truck has an arm that does all the work. If this is your situation, there is no need to tip.
* Baby sitter - One night's pay, plus a small gift from your child.
* Full-time nanny - One week's to one month's pay based on tenure, plus a small gift from your child.
* Au pair - One week's pay, plus a small gift from your child.
* Day care service - $25-70, plus a small gift from your child.
* Parking attendants - $10-20 each
* Personal trainer - $60-100 upon reaching goal.
* Country Club - I believe in tipping at Christmas regardless of the club's tipping policy. I recommend a minimum of $50 for your waiters, locker-room personnel, front-desk employees, and golf professionals. For head waiters or special service, make it $100.
* Dog groomer - 1/4 - 1/2 cost of a session.
* Dog walker or sitter - 1-2 week's pay.

Gifts for USPS Mail Carriers

There are rules regarding gifts for USPS mail carriers. I'll quote them from the USPS website.

While many Postal Service™ customers have traditionally thanked their mail carrier with gifts of cash during the holiday season, this practice puts our employees at risk of violating federal law. The Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch ("Standards"), specifies that Postal Service employees may not accept gifts from outside sources (including Postal Service customers) or gifts given to them because of their official positions. Postal Service employees are also prohibited from soliciting gifts from outside sources.

There are a number of exceptions and exclusions to the general gifts rule . Postal Service employees may accept the following items:

* Snacks and beverages that are not offered as part of a meal.
* Items with little intrinsic value (i.e., greeting cards, plaques, pens, coffee mugs, etc.).
* Perishable items (i.e., flowers, chocolates, cookies, etc.); if the items are clearly worth more than $20, employees should share them with others in the Postal Service workplace.
* Items with a market (retail) value of $20 or less.
* Gifts motivated solely because of a personal relationship.
* Gifts for which the employee has paid market (retail) value.
* Gifts paid for by the Postal Service.

Postal Service employees may not accept cash - in any amount or form (bills, checks, money orders) - from an outside source.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Postal Service® Law Department's Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346, or send an email message to ethics.help@usps.gov .

At the airport

The first opportunity to tip during travel is usually upon arriving at the airport or train station. Here are some tipping guidelines:

* Porter or skycap - $2 per bag or more if the bags are heavy. $2 extra for curbside check-in is optional. If you arrive late and he helps you get to your flight on time, tip an extra $5-20.
* Electric cart driver - $2-$3 a person.
* Wheelchair pusher - If they are just pushing you down the ramp from the gate to the plane (or in reverse), then nothing. If it is from the ticket counter to the gate/plane or from the gate/plane to the luggage carousel, then $5 is appropriate. Tip more if they help you with your luggage ($1-2 per bag) or if they help you to your car. If they are pushing you from one terminal to another (long distances), then $10-20 would be appropriate plus extra for luggage. Tip less if they are unpleasant or rude.
* Flight attendant or other in-flight personnel - Nothing .
* Charter pilot - Nothing. It is not necessary to tip pilots unless they provide extra services. Then it is whatever you deem appropriate for the service.

Ground transportation

* Taxi, limo, paid shuttle, or van driver - 15% of the total fare. Up to 20% if the driver helps with the bags or makes extra stops. No less than $1.
* Driver of courtesy shuttle - $1-$2 per bag if he helps with the bags.

At the hotel

Before you arrive at a nicer hotel or resort, inquire as to whether gratuities are included in the price of the room. Some hotels are now charging a daily fee that covers all tipping for hotel services. If there is not a daily fee, these rates are appropriate:

* Valet or parking attendant - $1-3 is appropriate for parking or returning the car. It is not necessary to tip for parking, but always for returning the car.
* Doorman - If he hails you a cab, $1-2. If he helps you with your bags in or out of the car, $0.50-1 a bag. Use $1-2 per bag if he carries them all the way to the room. If he just opens the door, nothing. If he is exceptionally helpful with directions or restaurant recommendations, same as concierge.
* Bellman - When he helps you with your bags, tip $1-2 per bag. Give him the tip when he shows you your room. If he just carries the bags to the front desk and then disappears, save it for the person who carries the bags to your room. Upon checkout, tip a bellman who helps with your bags. Tip more for additional services.
* Concierge - $5-10 for help with hard-to-get dinner reservations or theater tickets. Tipping is optional for just plain advice. Tipping can be done at the end of the trip or at the time of service, just keep is straight so that you are fair.
* Room Service - If gratuity is included, add nothing or $1. Otherwise add 15-20% to the total charge.
* Delivery of special items - If you request extra pillows or an iron, tip $1 per item received, minimum $2.
* Maid service - $1-5 per day typically, up to $10 per day depending upon how much mess you make. Tip daily because there might be a different maid each day. Leave the tip on your pillow. Err on the side of being generous, and tip on the last day also.
* Swimming pool or gym attendant - Nothing, unless you require special services such as extra seating or inflating pool toys; then it is $2-5. If you want the same deck chairs every day, then tip $2-3 per chair beginning the first day.
* Hotel maintenance staff - Nothing to replace a light bulb, fix the air conditioning, etc.

Tipping at a Bed and Breakfast (B&B)

Many, if not most B&Bs have a no-tipping policy in the US and Canada. In other countries it varies. It never hurts to tip, but it is definitely not expected, and many B&Bs specifically ask that you do not. Most are family owned and the price they charge covers everything.

The safest bet is to inquire at the specific Bed and Breakfast where you plan to stay before you arrive.

If there is hired housekeeping staff, then tip the same as at a hotel.
Tour guides

Check ahead. If the tip is not already included, give 10-15% of the tour price. No less than $1-2 for a half-day tour, $3-4 for a full-day tour, and $5-10 for a week-long tour. This is a per-person rate. Tip private tour guides more. If the bus driver is particularly helpful with bags, then tip $1-2 per bag.

* Boat trip - If the trip is over 3 hours, tip $10-$75 depending upon the cost of the excursion and the quality of service.
* Outdoor guides (fly fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, etc.) - 15% of the cost of the service. Some companies have a no-tipping policy. Check when you book the trip.

Cruise ships

Many cruise ships have a no-tipping policy. Find out in advance. If you are supposed to tip, find out if it is done at the end of the trip or at the time of service. Oftentimes, at the end of the cruise you are provided envelopes with suggested tip amounts. If you are supposed to tip, budget about $20 per day.

* Waiter - $3 per day per person.
* Cabin steward - $3 per day per person.
* Bus boy - $1.5 per day per person.
* maitre d' - Not necessary unless special services provided.
* Bar steward - Usually, 15% is automatically added to bill.

Restaurants or bars

If you get awful service, talk to the manager. The manager cannot correct the situation if he doesn't know about it. Skipping the tip will not accomplish anything, and the next poor customer who gets that server will get the same service you did.

If you are buying the meal and someone offers to get the tip, tell them they can buy next time, and you pay the whole thing. This prevents any uneasiness about them seeing the amount of the bill or worrying that they will be stingy on the tip.

Restaurants report a percentage (around 12%) of the gross sales for food and beverage to the IRS for their staff. This means that if you have a $200 food bill and $200 wine bill, the restaurant will report 12% of $400 or $48 as income to the server. In other words, the server has to pay tax on it whether you tip it or not. If the restaurants do not report it accurately, the restaurant and the wait staff get audited by the IRS.

Please don't get hung up on the 12%. It is just a reasonable example. I recommend tipping 10-15% on the alcohol and 15-20% on the food. 10% on the wine is perfectly acceptable. Whether to tip 10 or 15 percent would depend in large part on how helpful the server was in choosing the wine and serving it.

* Food server - 15-20%
* Cocktail server - 15-20%. For free drinks in Vegas, tip $1-2 per round.
* Bartender - 15-20% or $1 per drink. If at the bar before a meal, settle up with the bartender before you go to your table.
* Wine steward - 10% of wine bill.
* If a bar has a cover charge, you do not tip on it.
* Busboys - Nothing, unless he did something extra special like cleaning up a huge mess. Then give him $1-2.
* Maitre d' - Nothing, unless he gets you a special table or the restaurant is full and you had no reservation. Then give $5-10 or more.
* Coat check - $1
* Restroom attendant - $1
* Separate checks - If you want separate checks, ask the server to go ahead and add 18% gratuity to each check.
* Musician in lounge - $1-5
* Musician that visits table - $2-3 if you make a special request. Optional if he just stops by and plays.
* Takeout - If you get good service, in other words, the waiter gets and packages the food, then tip $1-2 or up to 10%.
* Drive through - Nothing.
* Self-service restaurant or buffet - Nothing unless there is some service. Tip 10% if the server delivers all or part of your meal or keeps your drinks refilled.
* When breakfast is included in the price of the hotel room - Estimate the value of the meal by looking at a menu. If there is no breakfast menu, consider the quality of the hotel and the price of an evening meal, then make your best estimate. Your tip should be 15-20% of your estimate.
* Teppanyaki chef - 15-20% of the total bill. The gratuity will be split among the wait staff and the chef.

Double time

If you hold a table for two serving periods, make sure that you tip double. In other words, if you spend enough time at a table that a waiter could have typically gotten two parties seated and served, then compensate him for his time by tipping him twice. I like to ease his mind by telling him this about half-way through.

Barbers, salons, spas

* Barber - $2-3
* Hair Stylist or Color Specialist - 10-20%. $3-5 extra for last-minute service.
* Shampoo or other assistant - $2-5 for each person. Hand the tip directly to the person providing the service.
* Manicure or Facial- 15%
* Massage therapist - No tip if at doctor's office. 10-15% otherwise. If they come to your home or hotel room, find out in advance whether a tip is included in the price.
* Electrologist, laser hair removal - Nothing.
* Salon or spa package - Determine in advance whether a service charge is included. If none is included, then 10-20% split among the service providers. You can ask for it to be divided, pay each person at the time of service, or leave it in envelopes available at the front desk.
* Owner who provides any of the above services - Follow the rules above.

Country club

At many country clubs, tips are included in your monthly bill. It is worthwhile to look it up.

* Shoe shine - $2 per pair.
* Small errands - $5. What's a small errand? Running to the store, sending a fax, calling a cab.
* Large errands - $10-20. For concierge-type services of ordering flowers, obtaining hard-to-get theater tickets, etc.
* Golf caddies - $15-25 above any fee for the cabby.
* Golf or tennis pro lessons - Nothing.


Many contracted services for weddings include tips in the final bill. Make sure you read your contract carefully so that you are not double tipping. As always, if you receive service above and beyond what you expected, extra tipping is recommended.

* Civil ceremony officials - $50 - $75, more if travel involved
* Minister, priest, rabbi - Minimum of $100, more if travel involved. Give the gratuity to the best man who will in turn give it to the officiant following the ceremony.
* Coat check - 50 cents per guest.
* Limo driver - 15% of the total fare. Make sure the tip is not included already in the bill.
* Florists - Only necessary when service is beyond expectations, up to 15%
* Photographers - Only necessary when service is beyond expectations, up to 15%
* Bakers - Only necessary when service is beyond expectations, up to 15%
* Reception Musicians or DJs - Only necessary when service is beyond expectations, up to 15% or $25-50 per person.
* Open bar at receptions - There are two views on this. Some say tip $1 for each visit to the bar. Other's contend that the tax and tip are included in the cost of the open bar, and that the guest should only tip if it is a cash bar. I lean toward the latter view, but it never hurts to be generous. If you are the host of the event, make sure it is not included. If it is not included, the tip is 15-20%.
* Wedding organist, musician or soloist - First check whether or not the gratuity is included in the rental of the church. If not, $50 per person or $75 per person for close friends.

Funeral Etiquette

The tip or gratuity for the clergyman who performs a funeral service is called the honorarium. The amount of the honorarium is typically $50-200. The amount is personal and varies based upon many factors:

* How much of the service does the clergyman perform, and does it include a graveside service?
* How many ministers are speaking at the service.
* How well do you know the minister?
* How good of a job does he do?
* What is customary for the area?
* How much can you afford?

When my daughter died, I had two ministers from my church perform the services. One spoke for the memorial service, and the other did the graveside. Both refused the honorarium. When this happens, wait a couple of months and do something special for him. Be sure to send a thank you card regardless.

If you are still not sure how much to give, then ask for some help from the funeral director. He will know what is customary.
Tipping Caterers

Tipping Caterers can be a real mystery. The best thing to do is to talk to the caterer in advance. Most caterers have a service charge that is included in the bill and is distributed to the cooks, driver and wait staff. If there is no service charge or it is not for the people doing the work, then tipping 15% is appropriate. This amount should be divided among the servers by the on-site manager. If it is included, you don't need to tip any more. Of course, if someone really goes out of his way for you, then feel free to tip that individual extra, remembering that it will be extra.

Tipping Movers

There are many things to consider in a move. A professional mover is going to be careful to protect your floors, walls, doorways, and belongings. That said, it is unlikely that your move will go perfectly, whether you are moving yourself or paying someone else to do it. Something will get broken. The question that matters is were they being careless, or was it a genuine accident? Every time I have moved furniture myself, I have caused more damage to my home than movers ever had. I take this into consideration when I look at accidents.

Tipping occurs at the completion of the job. Consider providing lunch if the move extends over lunch, and always provide beverages for the movers.

* One mover - limited move - 1-10 items and nothing over 20 pounds - $10-20
* One mover - difficult move - The degree of difficulty changes based upon stairs, narrow passages, small elevators, large or heavy items, appliances, etc. - $20-50.
* Multiple movers - Basically tip each mover the same as above, but lower it by $5-10 for each mover. Feel free to pool the tip and give it to the supervisor for distribution, but don't lower the amount because you combined it. The problem with combining the tip is that you cannot reward people based upon their individual performances.
* Car Shipping - There is not much information available about tipping the truck drivers. $20-25 is probably appropriate.

Emergency roadside service

Consider the level of danger. Tip an additional amount if it is roadside service versus in a parking lot.

* Towing service - $5 - $20 depending upon circumstances and your desperation.
* Jump start - $3 - $5
* Tire change - $4 - $5
* Locked out of car - $5 - $10

Miscellaneous services

* Car wash - $2-3 for a car; $3-5 for an SUV or large vehicle. If there is a tip jar, leave your tip there. It will be split among the workers. Otherwise, tip the person(s) who did the cleanup after the wash.
* Car detailing - 15%
* Salesperson or personal shopper at department store - Nothing.
* Cosmetologist at makeup counter - Nothing
* Travel agents - Nothing.
* Realtors® or real estate agents - Nothing. The best way to say thanks is to refer people to them.
* Title company closing agents - Nothing.
* Mortgage loan officer - Nothing.
* Financial planners - Nothing.
* Car salesman - Nothing.
* Interior designer - Nothing.
* Graphic designer - Nothing.
* Farriers or horse haulers- Nothing.
* Swimming lesson instructor - Nothing.
* Carpet cleaners - Nothing.
* Piano tuner - Nothing.
* Nurses - Nothing.
* Bagger at grocery store - Check in advance to see if the store has a no tipping policy. Most have one. If it doesn't, then $1-3 for the bagger and $1-5 for the person who loads your car.
* Sports arena in-seat food service - This one is tricky. At most arenas you tip the person who takes the order 15%. You tip at the time of payment, not delivery. The best thing to do is to ask before you order. You definitely should not tip both the order taker and the deliverer unless you split it.
* Makeover specialist at department store - Nothing unless you used over 15 minutes of her time and then bought nothing.
* Shoeshine - $1-2.
* Pet groomers - Most pet groomers are paid based upon a commission, not a regular salary or hourly wage. Typically your tip should be 15% of the bill or $2 per dog, whichever is greater. If your dog is difficult, then tip more. Obviously, don't tip if the quality is poor.
* Pet sitters - Tipping is not required, but most pet sitters will appreciate a tip. 15% is appropriate if you want to tip.
* Clown at children's party - $15-25 depending upon the quality of the performance and the heat level of the day. Others say 15-20% of the performers fee.
* Exotic club - Nothing. Shame on you. I can't believe you would even ask.
* House painters - Nothing. Offer them cool drinks instead of a cash tip. If you are overly impressed with the job, then tip each painter with an amount you feel comfortable with.
* Contractors - Same as painters.
* Appliance repairman - Nothing.
* Telephone, security, cable, satellite, internet installers or repairmen - Nothing.
* Auto mechanic - Not necessary. If you insist, tip about $10-20 for bills up to $500, and $50 for bills over $500.
* Window tinting service - Nothing.
* Tailor or seamstress - Nothing.
* Weekly lawn or landscaping service - Nothing.

Tipping for Deliveries

* Furniture or appliance deliveries - $5-10 per person. If the delivery is huge, then $20 per person.
* Grocery delivery - Usually included in the fee.
* Flower deliveries - $2-5 for normal deliveries and $5-10 for large ones.
* UPS/Fed Ex - None.
* Dry Cleaning or Laundry Delivery - Nothing. Most services instruct drivers not to accept gratuities.
* Liquor delivery - 10-15%.
* Pizza deliveries - 15%, but not less than $2.
* Delivering a big box like a TV to your car - Nothing. Most stores prohibit employees from receiving tips, and the employee may be subject to discipline for doing so.

Full-Service Gas Stations

If you receive service (clean windshield, check fluid levels, etc.), the tip varies from $1-5 depending upon how much they do. $1-2 for a good job on the windshield, and $3-5 for windshield and fluid check. If you have to ask the person to do these things or they do a poor job, then I wouldn't tip anything for windshield only or $1-2 for the full whammy.

There is one big exception. If the price of gas at the self-service pumps is $1.70 and the price for full-service is $2.50, then they are already charging you for the service.

Casino Tipping

Before we talk about casino tipping, let's discuss a budget. Before you go to a casino, you should determine how much you are willing to lose before you call it quits. Gambling is fine for entertainment, but it is not a good means of wealth accumulation. If the odds weren't in the house's favor, casinos would not make as much money as they do. Gambling without a budget is poor stewardship of your money.

Casino workers are a part of the service industry and make 2/3 of their income from tips. Without tips, they are grossly underpaid.

One general rule for tipping at a table is that you tip when you are winning, not losing.

* Craps or blackjack dealer - $5+ chip per session. If you prefer, you can place a side bet for the dealer up to 10%. The size depends upon the table's minimum bet; however, it should never exceed $25. At a $5 table, the tip would be a $1 chip. At a $25 table, use a $5 chip.
* Poker dealers - $5+ chip per session. You may tip 10% of your winnings, but not to exceed $25.
* Roulette dealers - $5+ chip per session.
* Keno writers/runners - $1+ for first ticket. If you play a lot, tip more. 5% if you win.
* Drinks waiter - $1+ chip per drink. Remember that you are getting free drinks because alcohol lowers your inhibitions and you will gamble more.
* Slot machine changers - These guys are pretty much obsolete because most machines today spit out paper receipts of winnings. If you do have a machine that pays in coins, tip $1+ chip per change, plus 5% on a jackpot, not to exceed $25.
* Slot machine attendants - $1-2 chip when they repair your machine.

Tip Jars

They're showing up everywhere -- tip jars. Most people hate them. Where is it appropriate to leave a tip in a tip jar? We'll cover some of the basics.

* Starbucks - Nothing.
* Any fast-food restaurant - Nothing.
* Buffet-lines or cafeterias - Nothing. If there is a person who comes around and keeps your tea glass full, tip him personally $1-2.
* Donut, bagel or coffee shop - Nothing.
* Sports arena concession stands - Nothing.
* If you get the idea that tip jars are inappropriate at any food-service establishment that does not actually bring the food to your table and keep your drinks refilled, then you are correct.
* Laundry service - Nothing.
* Car wash - $2-3 for a car; $3-5 for an SUV or large vehicle. If there is a tip jar, leave your tip there. It will be split among the workers. Otherwise, tip the person(s) who did the cleanup after the wash.
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Doctor Bob

Doctor Bob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 22, 2003
Riverside, California
What a great post Charper1, I'll read it when I get a free minute...

Tipping is very simple, if the person giving the service deserves a Tip, then I Tip them, 10 to 30%....


Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jan 6, 2005
My best tip was having my joining fee - $400- for my local golf course. I was ontime, curteous, clean, quick and did a professional looking install with hidden wiring and a system that was easy to use and did a great job of explaining the system to them. This is what they told me as they gave me the check for the membership.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 22, 2005
South of Heaven
I did valet parking for about 2 years at a gambling establishment (a greyhound race track), and I noticed an interesting thing, 90% of the time, the richer the person, the smaller the tip, on average, the biggest tips came from working Joes, with perhaps the exception of an occasional generous well-to-do person, who won big that night at the track.

I always wondered if it was just coincidence, gambling specific (serious gamblers are a unique bunch indeed) or if anyone else has noticed this.


SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 11, 2003
My tip was hooking up all the receivers, programming the remotes, and running the phone lines during the install so that's more than enough so he can get to his next intall quicker.
Doctor Bob

Doctor Bob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 22, 2003
Riverside, California
Roger said:
My tip was hooking up all the receivers, programming the remotes, and running the phone lines during the install so that's more than enough so he can get to his next intall quicker.

What a great Guy you are, Roger!!!

Phone lines are not part of the the install, however, and of course I'm sure that your Installation Technician did appreciate your help on the Remotes... LOL
Please reply by conversation.

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