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Boston holiday tipping guide: 2017 edition

What to consider

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Editor’s note: This guide has been published every year since 2011, and has been updated annually.

It’s that time of year again: The time to dole out dollars to those who make your condo or apartment building hum. How much should you tip, though?

Short answer: It depends. Consider these questions.

Is the tip included?

Some management companies include holiday tipping in their arrangements with condo associations and landlords. Thus, you may have already ponied up for what will turn out to be holiday bonuses.

This is actually fairly common in Boston.

O.K., the tip’s not included, I checked. Now what?

If you live in a particularly big building, then consider giving more. If in a smaller one, adjust accordingly.

And, while your own situation might differ, the economy overall is doing better than in previous years (knock on wood); so the expectation is there that any tips will be beefier than in 2014, 2015, 2016, etc.

This doesn’t tell me anything. What should I tip?

The following rules of thumb come courtesy of reader responses to Brick Underground, a dishy blog covering New York condo and co-op living (h/t Curbed NY).

  • Super, resident manager: $75-$175 on average (broad range: $50-$500)
  • Doorman and/or concierge: $25-$150 on average (broad range: $10-$1,000)
  • Porters, handyman, and maintenance staff: $20-$30 on average (broad range: $10-$75)
  • Garage attendant: $25-$75 on average (broad range $15-$100)

We would adjust accordingly as the Boston area is a teeny bit less expensive than Gotham. So perhaps:

  • Super, resident manager: $50-$150 on average (broad range: $50-$200)
  • Doorman and/or concierge: $15-$100 on average (broad range: $15-$150)
  • Porters, handyman, and maintenance staff: $10-$20 on average (broad range: $10-$50)
  • Garage attendant: $15-$50 on average (broad range: $15-$150)

Again, how big is your building or your condo association? And, by the way, how good has the service been this year?

Got it. Cash or check?

Which would you rather get? Yeah, we thought so. Cash.