AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Fri Dec 26 2014 00:07:10

How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

It's customary to give tips to service providers around the holidays - hairdressers, cleaning services, newspaper delivery people. An obvious recipient for online sellers is their postal carrier or USPS window clerk (depending on if they have pick-up or if they drop off their packages).

On Christmas Day, we were discussing with family how much to tip their postal carriers for Christmas, if at all. And are you showing appreciation for their hard work, or is it a mechanism to help ensure good service in the future?

Interestingly the Postal Service has rules about how much you can tip employees.

Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy
All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.

What about other shipping carriers - should you tip UPS and FedEx drivers, for example? And are there others you should be sure to tip to show your appreciation?

As an online seller, how do you approach tipping around the holidays?

Comments (61) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Russ This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 28 20:35:59 2014

I reward my carrier because I have developed a friendly relationship with that person.  When I did sell on eBay, my carrier was attentive and accommodating...scanning my parcels in my presence at the USPS vehicle.

Developing ''business'' relationships with any party relative to your own success is a good thing.  Give a little, get a lot.  Perhaps that is why my relationship with eBay died...I didn't send a tip to anyone in San Jose...oh, that's right...I paid through the flutter valve for nothing!!  

Unlike several posters, I never experience a steady stream of different carriers.  Just once in a while.  My primary  is the one receiving a holiday gratuity....for which I receive a personally written ''thank you'' note.  Ah, the good 'ol days of social skills...not the ''social media'' mindset but rather a ''Miss Manners'' moment.  A real thank you...I am aging myself and so be it!

Makes me wonder how some folks ''tip'' at restaurants...yikes...those servers are paid about 2 dollars an hour...who needs to tip?!?!  Seriously...

As the new year of 2015 approaches, people need to prioritize their resolutions...number one should be:  Dump eBay before they dump you...

Happy New Year!

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: WhoKnewIt This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 28 23:52:54 2014

Nothing.  Tipping has gotten WAY out of hand.  We use to tip everyone but the customer service has gone down the tube.  Last year was a very tough one for us financially, my business was off over 80% with all the changes Etsy made over the course of the last 2 years.  So, I still wanted to do something special for the Postman.  I had gotten some cute Christmas ceramic mugs and put individual packages of cocoa mix in it with a couple candy canes.  Wrapped it cute in cellophane wrap with ribbon and attached a note thanking him for his great service over the past year.  He evidently felt it was not worth his time (it obviously was not cash)and he left it in the mailbox.  It was CLEARLY marked for him.  I felt like I had insulted him....so, he's never received anything from us again and never will.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Dec 29 00:09:34 2014

My PO guy told me years ago that gifts to PO employees was illegal. Not sure if it changed, but I don't tip them or anyone else although I did give a small gift to my cleaning ladies.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: forrosebud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 00:10:06 2014

My 'regular' postal carrier can make life absolutely miserable for recipients if she chooses to do so. Reporting her to the postmaster does nothing. She works in the post office and also delivers mail. I've known her for 25 years. Her last act of nastiness was to record a pair of $300 optical frames as 'delivered' on the USPS tracking page. I happened to be home waiting for the delivery. I printed the page and raced to the post office and waited for her and an explanation. The look on her face said everything, but all she could actually say was it was entered in error. Huh? She has returned my mail and  neighbors mail (bills) to sender with a stamp 'no longer at this address'. I've lived here 27 years.  When I watched a recent newscast of a female mail carrier tossing mail and packages into a dumpster, I was surprised it wasn't her! And yes, I do tip my garbage pick-up and recycling guys!    

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: joshua This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 00:13:38 2014

Living in a small town you get to know the clerks and carriers and they know you. I normally drop my packages at the PO. If the carrier is there she will give me any packages then. If I had a few days with no sales they ask where have I been. If I get to the PO 5 minutes before closing I get harassed for waiting to the last minute. So I tip them with fresh vegetables, homemade jams/jellies or fresh baked goods. Have the same relationship with the UPS driver.  

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: forrosebud This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 00:30:13 2014

I should add that I don't live in a small town, even though at times it feels like it. I live in a small city in Northern CA that is 7x7 square miles with a corrupt Post Office...  

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: puppy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 00:46:40 2014

What a bunch of scrooges who are commenting on much mail carriers earn :( Its Christmas...a person's salary has nothing to do with giving a gift of appreciation from the heart. I give my mailman a Starbucks card for $10 each year with a note saying to please have a cup of coffee and danish on me in thanks for a job well done. You get what you give in this world. Do you decide what gifts to give friends and family based on their income? What a sick way to approach gift giving. Giving from the heart feels good. Try it, some of you scrooges. Maybe your heart will grow a few sizes bigger.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Dec 29 00:51:51 2014

Nothing this year. Here's why: my letter carrier lost two packages. I now have to hand carry all my packages valued over $200 and have him scan them in front of me. I also have to schedule a pickup online. It is a royal pain. He is supposed to scan all packages upon pickup, but he doesn't. They don't get scanned until he is back at the post office. Anything can happen between our condo and the P.O., and things HAVE happened.  

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Katie This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Dec 29 00:56:57 2014

We gave him homemade blackberry jam and Christmas baked goods.
It's not to pay him, it's to say "thank you."

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Dalpal This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 01:42:57 2014

I agree with puppy's comment.  It's not about what the carrier may earn, but a token of appreciation.  I've had the same carrier for about 5 years, and I leave her a card with 2 $10 gift cards for fast food, restaurants or Target. She's always been reliable, tries to keep my boxes out of the weather when my porch doesn't shield them quite enough, and has a good sense of humor about my 3 dogs trying to terrorize her daily from the other side of the bay window.
Good advice: Be kind to others...everyone's fighting some kind of battle that we may not see.  

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 02:38:14 2014

um...a box of cookies?  Oh I forgot this year...no tip.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 02:41:26 2014

This year's USA postmistress drives a Lexis......last year's drove a Beamer......
(I forgot to tip my Canada carrier)
So much fun trying to please two country's postal folks.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 02:44:17 2014

...meanwhile My friend's US "rural delivery" driver OBVIOUSLY has no dental plan!  He lost his family on 9-11; & he's still getting dumped on by the gov't! (uncertain if he got cookies)

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 02:48:09 2014

LasVagueness, You get home pick-up?!?!!  That's a long-forgotten wet dream here in Canada!  Soon we'll all be forced to go to "community boxes" to receive mail too!!  I wonder how much crap mail they can stuff in those little boxes whille the important mail gets crimped & shredded to cram in more junk mail & fliers!

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Silverdog This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 03:44:36 2014

I have a very good operation going on with my carrier, when I have packages coming In, he will ring my bell to let me know, when I have packages going out in the mail, I hang a sign on my mailbox, ''out-going mail'' he will ring my doorbell and wait for me, and is the best USPS carrier I have had in a very long time,he gets $20.00 from me this year, he does go out of his way to take care of me, so he does a great job !! and much deserving for a tip !!  

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: gejbooks This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 07:43:11 2014

I'm really amazed at the responses here. I live in a rural area, I am the largest shipper in my zip code.   My carrier is a non-union part-time USPS employee who has the shortest route serviced by our Post Office.  Has never missed a pickup in 4 years.    If UPS or FedEx are late dropping off packages at the PO she calls me if there are any addressed to me to see if they are urgent - in which case she drops them off on her way home in her personal car.

So yes, I give her a gift card to a local store that she likes.  USPS regs say gifts must be no more than $20 (and cash and gift cards are prohibited) but I've never known a carrier to turn down a larger tip.  I give her $25.  

When I lived in a city I gave the walking letter carrier $25 and the driver who picked up my business packages $50.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: MRV This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Dec 29 07:45:34 2014

Although I live in big town USA (New York) I have to say that my mail carrier is amazing.  He makes sure to bring all packages to my door (doesn't leave a slip and make me trek to the P.O. or lock them in the package room like carriers before him).

He's been with us for a few years now. I used to give him 10.00 in a card, but this year gave him $20.  According to the USPS website, they're not allowed to accept more than this.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 07:58:10 2014

I find it entertaining to have a poster, who obviously enjoys patting himself on his pompous posterior, to call people idiots and to pull their heads out.  I wonder if he bothers to question where the USPS gets its money to finance operating deficits.  Must think it is Chase and B of A.

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: Wag more bark less This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 08:11:55 2014

My mail carrier does a wonderful job and when he is on duty, he has never missed a package. He even caught a few of my mistakes and saved me from losing packages. I have given him $20 for the past few years at Christmas and I leave him $5 gift cards and candy sporadically. He even helps out when the the fill-in carrier makes a mess of things.  

Perminate Link for How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?   How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

by: KathleenJohnson This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Dec 29 09:02:01 2014

Tipping a well paid public employee is akin to graft and bribery as far as I am concerned. Why are you tipping them? For "good" service? For service beyond what your neighbors receive as they "do not" tip? Personally, I believe not only should it be forbidden - it should be prosecuted.  

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.