It’s quickly becoming that time of year when we need to start thinking about holiday tips. Just like we get Christmas bonuses and gifts, we shouldn’t forget those people who help us all year round. Top of this list should be your doorman.

Doorman holiday tip amounts can range anywhere from $25-$500. Don’t panic at the amount of the upper range. You’re not obligated to give anything you can’t afford. Here are some guidelines to help you decide what to give:

Level of service

When planning out how much to give your doorman you should think of the level of service you’re getting. Does your doorman help you with errands? Walk your dog? Sometimes even watch your kids while you run to the corner store? If this is the type of service you’re used to, you should plan to give a significant tip. If your doorman is more like a security guard who only opens the door or monitors the lobby then you can consider making your holiday gift smaller.

Length of relationship

Other factors that can influence the amount you tip your doorman are the amount of time you’ve lived in the building and how long the doorman has been working in your building. If you moved into the building in September it stands to reason that you don’t need to give as much. And if you’ve lived in the building for years, it is completely acceptable to give the long-standing doorman a larger tip than a newer employee.

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Own vs. Rent

Typically owners give more than renters. If you own, it’s assumed that you have more disposable income then a renter. You also probably plan to live in the building for a much longer amount of time if you own. This means you will work with your doorman over years as opposed to months and might want to give more to show your appreciation.

Year-round tipping

Do you give your doorman a $5 every time they carry luggage for you? Or $2 every time they bring you a package? If this is the case you can consider giving less during the holiday season. It is customary to still give something, however, so consider giving a physical gift instead of cash. You may find that a basket of baked goods or a bottle of wine fit this situation better.

When is it acceptable to not give a tip?

You are not required to give a tip. If you have tipped your doorman well for years but have financial hardship this year, it’s completely suitable to skip a year. Consider writing your doorman a nice card, thanking them for their help all year round, if you can’t afford more.  If you decide to simply not tip for personal reasons, you should consider the possibility of getting less service from your doorman. They most likely won’t take it out on you but they won’t be as willing to go above and beyond to help you out, either.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so in one way or another let your doorman know that they are a valued help to you and you wish them a happy holiday season.

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