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A tipping question for a unique situation

Ventnor City, New...
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A tipping question for a unique situation

I'm American, so for me, tipping feels polite and appreciative. However, as a good traveler, I also know that the customs in my home are not necessarily the same in the places I travel. I dont want to totally disrespect local customs.

I'm arriving in Paris with my family on Christmas morning (December 25), and we're renting an apartment through one of the popular (and legal) agencies, at the outskirts of the Marais, across the boulevard from the 11th. The agency offers to have groceries waiting for you, but this service is unavailable on Christmas Day. The "greeter" of the apartment recently emailed me to ask if we have any questions prior to our arrival. I asked about groceries, not knowing the agency doesn't offer that service on Christmas Day. She replied that she will be happy to buy groceries for us and have them in the apartment when we arrive.

That's very nice of her to offer to do that. In addition to reimbursing her for the groceries, my impulse is to thank her with a cash tip on top of the cost of the groceries. If your response is something like "that's not necessary" then I will do it anyway, because it will make me feel good to tangibly thank her beyond a heartfelt "merci beaucoup." HOWEVER, if your response is that my offering a cash tip would be rude or would cause her discomfort or would be negative in any way, then of course I want to respect the local custom.

I just want to do the right thing, and I don't want to offend her. What wisdom can you share with me? THANK YOU!

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74 replies to this topic
Pennsylvania
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1. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

I would bring a nice gift native to your home town or state.

Hopkinton...
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2. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

I agree with Maddie. Or buy her a nice bottle of wine or Champagne.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

This is IMHO a situation where a tip is appropriate. View it not as a tip but as paying for her extra time for a service not normally offered. A gift is fine too, but she is doing this job presumably to support herself and nothing compensates labor quite so well as money. While tipping is not the norm, this is an above and beyond situation. locals may chime in here if we are all off base.

Victoria, Canada
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4. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

THis is a unique situation, it is Christmas after all! I don't think she would be offended with 10-20 euros being offered with wishes that she buy herself a Christmas drink .

I agree wine might be nice too , but about 4 years ago I gave alcohol to an apartment greeter we had dealt with, only to find out he didn't drink !

I would decide after arrival if I was going to give 10 or 20 based on how well she stocks the groceries and how helpful she is on check in , being Christmas Day does present a different position as I am sure most folks would rather be home that day and they don't get double time for working a holiday in that job I bet !

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

"...I will do it anyway"...so why do you ask? Talk about giving the forum the flick!

If I was greeting you, and you offered me...how much...10€...20€...50€ I'd consider it a gross faux pas.

I think you are on the right track with a warm "thank you so much" or "merci beaucoup" and shake hands.

Not sure, if you are arriving on Christmas Day, how you would have time or the opportunity to buy a bottle of champagne - maybe at the airport?

But I found this web site with some interesting suggestions for "typical New Jersey gifts":

943thepoint.com/7-perfect-gifts-for-people-w…

The CatStudio glasses would be my first choice provided you can carry them safely - maybe in your carry-on. Visually interesting, useable everyday. And not over-the-top.

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

In this situation the monetary tip is very appropriate IMO.

It's Christmas and having grocery brought to the apartment (floor, lift? ) should be rewarded.

Ventnor City, New...
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7. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

GoingRoundAgain, I highly suggest you re-read my post, because you very badly misinterpreted what I was saying. I set up the scenario of someone saying "It's not necessary ...." If someone responds that it's not necessary, that it's not expected, then I interpret from that that it's not offensive, will not cause a problem, and therefore I'd follow my own instincts. I was sharply contrasting that with the potential response that my offering a tip would be offensive to her (or make me look foolish or otherwise bad), because as I said, the last thing I want to do is offend or make myself look like an oaf.

But I truly DO appreciate your oer suggestions and links. :-)

Edited: 12 December 2017, 02:34
Ventnor City, New...
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for Walt Disney World, Orlando
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8. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

"other" not "oer". LOL

Perth, Australia
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9. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

I know I am coming from a non-tipping culture but I am wondering if your greeter is doing this as a gift as it is Christmas. Rather giving the money as a "tip" put it in a Christmas Card as a "gift". This way you are less likely to offend.

Pittsburgh...
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10. Re: A tipping question for a unique situation

I think a 10-20 euro tip or gift or whatever anyone wants to call it would be appropriate and appreciated in this situation. I like the idea of putting it in a Christmas card.

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