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Fri Dec 26 2014 00:07:10

How Much Do You Tip Your Postal Carrier?

By: Ina Steiner

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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?

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by: bluesky5 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 09:23:57 2014

I gave him a nice note and some home made cookies.  I appreciate the work that he does.  However, it seems that these days is someone just does their job well it's a big deal.  When I was in the corporate world, my reward for doing my job well was getting to keep my job.  What a concept! :)

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

Mon Dec 29 09:34:25 2014

It is 1rst time, I read that you can give a tip to an USPS carrier.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Mon Dec 29 10:10:00 2014

My carrier goes the extra mile for me. He checks every day to see if I have outgoing mail (so I don't have to put in pick up orders). He brings me empty buckets every 2-weeks. We have a central mail-box in our condo development but he brings our mail to the door every day when he checks for pick-ups. He always has a smile. I won't say what or how much he was tipped but it was to show him how much I appreciate all the extra's.

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by: Dragonfyree This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 10:32:40 2014

Years ago when I first requested a pickup on line - I had another package to go when he showed up.  I asked if I could add it even if it wasn't listed.

He told me he hated the online pickups and if I didn't want to use it, I could just put a note on my mail box asking him to ring the doorbell, that I had packages to pick up.  He doesn't care what class of mail it is - It's usually all media mail - he takes it.

My elderly father who lived with me was home every day, so it was great.  When my father passed away, my carrier and his wife came to the viewing to offer condolences. He and my father talked almost every day when he was picking up the packages.  

$15 Subway card, and a bag of assorted homemade cookies and candies, every year.

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 11:42:15 2014

Tipping the letter carrier if deserved is a nice idea when one has daily contact with the carrier.  

I receive little mail at my roadside mail box, but I do enjoy dropping off outgoing packages at the local Post Office.  I know all the clerks by name and they know me and of my Internet business.  Some days this is my one chance to talk to someone face to face.  

When my brother ignored an E-Mail advising that my old PO Box was closed last year, he of course sent a Christmas card to the closed PO Box two weeks ago.  Fortunately, rather than return the card to my brother, the person who fills the boxes, held the card for me until I dropped off packages.

I would gladly tip my letter carrier and the clerks at the Post Office, gladly!  If as a gesture of modest humanity, those big shots who are abandoning the sinking ship USS eBay, jumping into the crowded lifeboats with their pockets stuffed full of 23 million bucks eagerly throwing children and old ladies into the cold freezing black sea.

If they would only share a few bucks with the the millions of us that made them filthy rich.  If they would only share, we would be more than happy to tip the folks that make online sales possible.

Happy New Year!

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by: sosmarystyles This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 12:23:40 2014

I tip my regular postman $30.  I have several fill-ins but I confirmed with my postman that he was the regular guy on my route since there was an apparent change this last year.  My guy is very conscientious and always has a smile, and he deals with all my small packages and I'm grateful.  No BS from him as I've often experienced with other carriers who fill in for him while he is away.  

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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 16:53:02 2014

Ms. Belcher- our postmaster is a DISGUSTING person, and I can see why she is a "Ms".
Perfect name for that beast up there.
Over the 15-16 years that I have run my business I went out of my way to flip a $20 bill every year to each of the folks at my local PO.
I told them it wasn't much but that they could get a few beers or put it towards their cable bill.
They were like friends, and I and others could not help but notice that Ms. Belcher would DEMEAN them right in front of a long string of waiting customers.
I remained PLEASANT to Ms. Belcher but I had a $2000 item get damaged, with full insurance, and I had a claim.
I had never had a claim before (over $30) and my mortgage was due so I was a bit STRESSED, but stayed polite.
Ms. Belcher made the claim very time-consuming and difficult for me, the webpage was NOT working for PO claims and I needed a bit of simple clarification and I was treated as an idiot, not a customer who brought in 20-30 packages a day.
Even though I eventually got the problem solved on my own I stayed neutral and pleasant whenever I went up there to ship as I was running a business.
This PO then installed a new 24 hour kiosk, (which I used instead of going up to Belchers counter). The machine developed and expensive and nasty habit of getting PAID labels stuck INside the machine. This means that I have to go to another 24 hour kiosk 15 miles away which I did so I could put the tracking # in on time.
Then I had to go BACK to my local PO (Belchers) the next day to beg for a refund on the label that got caught inside THEIR machine.
At first one of my dear agents would have my label ready- they pulled the roll of stuck labels out and offered to give me the label, but often I had already used another machine at another PO for that package- they did not like giving the cash refund.
I was polite and Belcher was getting furious??!
I was the (polite) customer and I had to go to another PO and drive miles to get there because they didn't do WHATEVER they needed to do for the labels not to get stuck in THEIR machine??
The PO staff could see that I was getting upset but they warned me- do not question or cross Belcher- I told them that I was TIRED of having her angry at me and that I was just trying to pleasantly run my little business.
Finally, after about 20 or so late night stuck labels I said to her that it should be easier for me to get refunds as it is their machine that was malfunctioning.
A day or 2 later, I was at the counter one day, over a package that I was simply shipping, and I had a stuck label the night before that I was awaiting a refund and Belcher told me she wasn't going to do any more refunds, she had my RECIEPT for the new package in her hand and she told me to GET OUT, I said I will but I need that PAID RECIEPT IN YOUR HAND- THE PACKAGE AND TRACKING # I had just paid for- for that tracking number to which she replied "I don't care" I am calling the police!
She handed the receipt over after she made the call and the police visited my home and made me sign an order that I am not allowed at my PO foe 1 year.
This is just a guy trying to run a business here! Pleasantly and POLITELY!
If you file a regular complaint to the PO it goes DIRECTLY to the Postmaster, and they QUASH your complaint then and there- you must write the big PO guys in Washington, DC, but they don't do anything either.

She is still there, of course.

Get a job as a Postmaster and you can abuse customers all day and be BULLETPROOF.

No wonder they go postal.

I go in there now and I don't say nuthin' to nobody.

You are welcome for my business.

Ebay thinks shipping is EZ?!

And Griff, Doughnuts DO NOT WORK!

MH
PS: I do not have $$ to tip anymore but the nice folks who were at my PO have retired or transferred. I miss my old PO friends and I wish them well, away from BELCHER.

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by: MrBaliw This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 29 21:46:37 2014

We always give her a tip - $60 this year. We have a package pickup almost every day and she is very helpful.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Dec 30 09:56:13 2014

It makes no sense for me to tip our usps carrier. Apparently, we're on a ''training route'' that never (NEVER!!) has the same carrier for longer than 4-5 weeks.

Always someone new, always someone learning the ropes... and always at our expense.

Yes, everyone needs to start somewhere... but I really wish the USPS would spread-the-misery-around to other neighborhoods.

About the time that the new trainee starts to become competent, confident, and reliable... they're shuffled-off to some other route and we must endure yet another newbie. Five more weeks of late and misdelivered mail... unscanned packages... overlooked pickup requests, etc etc.

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by: JusMe This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 30 14:46:03 2014

I AM tipping my mail carrier - $40.00. He is a sweet guy, can THINK and is mighty helpful.

Something wrong with my package? He takes care. Like I said - he is thinking during his job.
And that's much appreciated.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Dec 30 16:41:38 2014

@Mass Howler - There's a female clerk in my post office who appears to be training to be another Ms. Belcher. I get a lot of large packages that can't fit into my post office box. Every single time I give her my box number, she repeats it back to me incorrectly, and I have to say the number again. This has been going on for years and she's not that old so I doubt she has hearing issues. In addition, I hand in packages almost every day to have scanned, and she always seems surprised that I want a paper receipt for the acceptance scans, like she's never seen me before. And she always seems annoyed with everyone, no matter if they just want to buy a stamp, or something more time consuming.  

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by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 30 18:19:53 2014

LOL!
Maybe they are sisters!
You got 1 who is acting stupid just to torture you, and THEY WONDER why no tips- SHEESH.
If you want the best, safest, most bulletproof job with a pension- get a job as postmaster.
Our whole town and ALL the carriers hate and talk about the evil MS. BELCHER.

Poor employees up there, living in FEAR.

She could not have a more perfect name, and I hope she never finds a husband- god help him if she does.

She has a BIG contorted rear end and talks to staff and customers like she was raised by wild dogs.

Imagine, for 1 year I had to send a neighbor up to pick up sig. tracked mail. I tried to avoid BELCHER by using the 24-hour machine but if labels got stuck I had no choice. I ate the first 10 labels but it just got too expensive to keep on going to the other PO and eating that 1st label that I just found a 24 hour kiosk a few miles farther away- funnily enough- this 24 hour kiosk- NEVER, not once, got a label caught so it was MAINTENENCE that was not being done on Belchers kiosk.

The output wheels needed to be replaced or cleaned more regularly.

Peace and respect to all in this new year, except MS. BELCHER.
MH
PS: Just trying to quietly and politely run a business here! I am an extremely NICE customer.

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by: Just My Humble View This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 31 00:32:09 2014

I feel so fortunate after reading some of the posts here. Maybe that is one advantage of living in a small town!

The staff at my local Post Office is amazing, friendly and helpful -- they call me by name, and they love to tease me. I do my best to be considerate of them, and they return the favor. My carrier is a hard-working, considerate single mother. I've never had a package abandoned uncovered -- she leaves them on my covered back porch as close to the door as possible, and has always been as sweet and friendly as can be when picking up packages -- even very heavy ones.

Every year, I take a tray of goodies (cookies, fudge and other candies) to the Post Office for the staff to share, and I put together a ''pampering kit'' in a basket for my carrier with bubble bath, body wash, lotion, candles and a mug of candy and cocoa. I don't worry about the $20 limit, deciding that no one can prove that I spent more. 'Tis the Season!!
:)

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by: older but not wiser This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 31 12:08:58 2014

$20 each to my carrier and his alternate

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This user has validated their user name. by: eBoy

Fri Jan 2 10:46:57 2015

$20 every year. She's an angel and helps a lot with my eBay shipping!

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This user has validated their user name. by: SalesBoy

Fri Jan 2 11:46:10 2015

Our carrier is an angel! She helps us with our outgoing eBay packages by allowing us to keep a weatherproof hinged-cover tote below our RFD mailbox where we put outgoing parcels that won't fit our oversized mailbox.

We have a magnetic sign we put on the mailbox door to alert her, or an alternate carrier, that more parcels are in the tote for pickup.

Anyway, we give her the maximum allowed gift of $20 every Christmas.  I believe that, in general, Postal workers do a fine job and deserve recognition like this, when deserved. They're not rich by any means - no matter what some poorly informed commenters may say.  And, BTW, neither I nor my family and friends work for the U.S. Post Service.

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by: SFH Storm This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 3 08:53:57 2015

Prior to this year, I tipped my carrier with a $25 Gift card. Now, I don't seem to have a carrier.. Mail isn't delivered until 6-7pm by different carriers. I never have packages picked up. 6-7pm pick up means they won't be scanned until the next day. I take my packages to the post office where they are all kind and efficient. Additionally, if the line is long, they don't make me wait. This year I bought a $50.00 Pizza Gift Card for the Post office staff to have a pizza party.

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by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 4 23:30:22 2015

up thru 2012 i would tip my mail carrier. because back then i had lots of sales and needed his help. I would leave a slip in the mailbox and he would walk up to the front door and pick up the large bag (or bags) of packages and put them in his truck. i LOVED not having to go into the post office. (of course now i'm sad that i don't have enough sales/packages to have him pick up.) i would give him give him a case of his favorite ''beverage'', wrapped up discreetly.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Howard

Tue Jan 6 10:55:54 2015

I tip my letter carrier every Christmas with a $25 gift card. I thought that was the allowable limit. I didn't realize it was $50 until I read the link in this blog post. I ship a lot of packages that he happily picks up and I receive a lot of packages that he happily delivers. He works far harder for me than for most of the other people on his route and he deserves some recognition and appreciation. We've even become friends over the years. The postal employees at my local branch are good to deal with too, although I don't deal with them as often. My attitude towards the post office and postal employees is overwhelming positive because the people I deal with are positive and professional. Unfortunately it sounds like a lot of my fellow online sellers aren't as happy with their USPS interactions.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 6 11:53:24 2015

My postal carrier sometimes brings my mail to me , when its too big for the boxes. He came here this summer , 120 outside , he looked half dead , I took him out a ice cold bottled water. He was shocked , " no one has ever" ,gulp , gulp!. I just said; " thank you , enjoy".
He has never forgotten.

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