In the age of auto-pay, Groupon and niche home service apps, it’s hard to know what people are tipping their gardeners, housecleaners and landscapers. Are tips included in the bill, is it transmitted electronically or is it still expected in cash – like in the good ol’ days?</br></br>The home service and trade industries are chilled to their collective core over the prospect that their customers don’t know <em>how</em> to tip, much less what to tip. So, here are a few helpful guidelines.</br></br><strong>Discounted services do not equal a discounted tip.</strong></br></br>Home cleaning services are fond of using discount sites like Groupon to acquire customer leads. The idea is that you get a discounted cleaning and enjoy it so much that you sign up for continued service at the usual rate.</br></br>It’s important to keep in mind that the cleaning person is not in on the marketing plan. Many cleaning businesses do specify that tipping is not expected or required, but even if that’s the case you may decide that the service deserves a tip.</br></br><em>Housecleaners:</em> 10% of full price</br></br><strong>Consider an annual “bonus” or holiday gift for regular staff. </strong></br></br>If you’ve got someone coming in on the regular it makes more sense to tip at the end of the year or around the holidays. Gifts are also common and acceptable, but shouldn’t be given in lieu of cash unless an understanding of expectation has been reached.</br></br>It’s a bit uncouth, however, to ask multiple staff members to split a bonus, if you happen to have more than one individual in your employ.</br></br><em>Bonuses:</em> One week’s pay + a gift or additional tip</br></br><strong>Know whether your workers are self-employed or paid employees.</strong></br></br>Having an understanding of your staff’s employment status can help determine what’s appropriate for a tip or bonus.</br></br>In a perfect world, we would tip at our discretion based on service alone, but that’s not always how things work. People often have different ideas about pricing and tipping, and most are usually happy to discuss it.</br></br><em>Tip Details: </em>Inquire with the business regarding tipping for those who are employed; otherwise, discuss expectations with workers to ensure good work and a healthy professional relationship.</br></br><strong>Let your conscience be your guide.</strong></br></br>There are good tippers, and there are bad tippers. The funny thing is that most bad tippers <em>believe</em> they’re good tippers, which is to say they've got their minds made up. At the end of the day, if you cared enough to read this you’re probably already a good tipper and these guidelines should only reinforce that.</br></br>So, congratulations on being a good tipper – your housekeeper probably already loves you! On the other hand, if you're on the hunt for good, professional service you can <a title="Find a Local Home Cleaner" href="https://porch.com/local/home-cleaners?tid=social_atgstores_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~_~~" target="_blank">easily find a local home cleaner at Porch.com</a>.