Everyone knows to tip the server at a restaurant or the hair dresser or barber, but things become more problematical when you have tradesmen come into your home or business to do work. In general, people who work as servers in restaurants, hair dressers, bartenders, barbers, etc., tend to work for lower wages with no benefits. It is customary to tip these folks at all times and tip even more for excellent service. However, tradesmen and women like electricians, plumbers and painters are trained professionals and typically are paid at a rate commensurate with their training and expertise. Therefore, tipping for tradesmen is optional and up to the client. Then there is a bit of a gray area — the tradesmen and women like landscapers, movers and carpet cleaners, who while skilled, don’t necessarily require tons of training to do their jobs.

So when is it appropriate to tip tradesmen and women? Here’s what various Valley tradesman have to say about their experiences.

Michael Sweet, owner of Sweettouch Carpet Cleaning says, “We recently built in a line for gratuities into our invoices for clients to use if they want to, but we don’t expect tips. We are here to serve, but if my employees go above and beyond to assist clients, they love to know their hard work is appreciated.”

The Valley of the Sun has lots of swimming pools, and plenty of people have pool care services that come to clean the pool every week. “I don’t encourage or expect my clients to tip, but every once in a while, they’ll express their appreciation for excellent service,” says CR Moreth, owner of The Pool People. “My favorite is the lady who gives me a small monetary tip and a gluten free cookie (she know I can’t tolerate gluten). I know she makes a special trip to the store just to get me that cookie and that means a lot to me.”

What about tipping the folks that keep your landscaping beautiful? Scott Murray of Desert Classic Landscaping says, “NO, if it is the same person each week providing services to a residence. I would recommend tipping around the holidays).”

“Tipping the appliance repair technician is solely up to the customer,” says Kathy Jones of Accredited Appliance. “If the customer feels the technician did a good enough job, tip him or her. A good rule of thumb is: When in doubt, tip.”

Owner Dave Krzyzak of Palm Valley Garage Doors says, “I don’t feel that my clients SHOULD tip. I perform a service and the pay a reasonable amount for that service. I do however have customers that do tip, for different reasons, quick response, good service and sometimes just because they liked you.”

Dan Meissner, owner of Cor Movers says, “I am proud of the professionalism of my team. We show up neat and tidy, polite and ready to work. We take great care of our clients and their possessions. Because we do a great job, 9 out of 10 times the customers tip — generally 15 – 20 percent of the total bill — and even more if we do an especially good job or go over and above for them. For us it is all about doing the right thing by our customers.”