Can Home Depot Employees Take Tips

If you are enjoying the service you are receiving from a Home Depot sales associate, you might think it’s a good idea to tip them. After all, you discussed your DIY project in length, and not only did they recommend the correct power tools for the job, but they discussed some problems you might encounter and how to solve them if you do. Can Home Depot employees accept tips from customers?

Home Depot employees are asked not to accept tips. Of course, some associates will accept your tip if they feel safe to do so at that moment.

How can you plan for a smooth interaction if you really want to tip your Home Depot employee? How much do the employees get paid anyway? Who doesn’t appreciate a tip now and again?! Let’s discuss ways you can show appreciation for your Home Depot employees.

How much do they get paid?

According to, which generates salary data from “millions of employees and third-party sources using machine learning algorithms,” here are the wages for some Home Depot roles nationwide.

Usually, the staff on the floor directing customers to products and answering questions are called “sales associates.”

  • Cashier: $15-$19/hour
  • Customer Service Representative: $18-$23/hour
  • Sales Associate: $23-$34/hour
  • Manager: $76-132/hour

Why would you tip them?

Home Depot is a home improvement retail chain selling various construction supplies, home appliances, and renovation tools. Not only are in-store employees heavily trained on the products they are selling and how to use them, but the company partners with local contractors offering in-home services. Should you tip these Home Depot employees?

Home Depot does not allow any of its employees to accept tips. However, some of these in-home contractors are part of a third-party company found by searching Home Depot’s pro services finder. These “pros” come to your house and can install shelves and flooring, among many other services offered.

In case you are wondering, Home Depot does ensure these contractors have general liability insurance and have been background checked. It will be up to you to use your best judgment to tip these contractors.

One commenter named Michael says he does not tip a department store employee for curbside delivery if a “service fee” or “delivery fee” is attached to the total cost. This is a good point regarding Home Depot in-home services contractors because the company may fully compensate them for the extra travel to your home.

Can you tip a sales associate in the store after they just answered your fifteen questions about setting up your grill or installing a toilet? You may have just ordered a bunch of custom-cut wood and watched the Home Depot employee carefully work on your request. Naturally, you want to show appreciation.

No, Home Depot prohibits sales associates from accepting tips.

Why are tips prohibited, anyway?

We don’t know Home Depot’s reason for telling employees to decline tips. Usually, tips are prohibited because they would need to be reported to the IRS. Additionally, your base salary would decrease if you were in a tip-accepting position.

One theory is that big-box retailer stores like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, and others won’t allow their employees to accept tips because they want to project the services included in the experience. Complimentary services set a good vibe and make customers happy.

A commenter named Sunil says companies create policies “based on what customer experience they like to project.” For example, some companies offer free loading into your car. This is helpful if you have kids or have purchased half the store. The pleasure of being offered and accepting free loading services would change if tips were the norm.

How can you tip a Home Depot employee?

Home Depot employees are advised to “politely decline” tips. Are there other ways to show your gratitude? Of course. One suggestion is to ask the associate if it is okay to let their manager know what a great job they did or if there is another way to mention your name to Home Depot corporate. The associate may have a preference for how you show appreciation.

For your cashier, their name will be printed at the bottom of the receipt with a survey. Try to remember the name of the store associate and add their name to this same survey. It always helps to let them know which department they helped you in.

You can tell the employee how much you appreciate their help immediately after the encounter. Or you can try to find and let their manager know in person before leaving the store. You can also leave a Google review with their name.

If you insist on tipping money, ask the employee if you can hand them cash at that moment. Try to be cool and discreet to not put the employee in an awkward position to proclaim “no.” If they feel safe accepting cash then and there, maybe they will. Or won’t. At least you offered.

If you’d like, you can call Home Depot’s customer service line at 1 (800) 466-3337.

Lastly, if you feel the associate went above and beyond to help you on your renovation project, you could be like the former CEO of Home Depot, Frank Blake, and write a handwritten thank you. Blake’s top tip about writing thanks you notes is to specify exactly why you appreciate their service, as opposed to being general.

In conclusion, your tip might be rejected

Tipping and gratuity culture vary from country to country. The culture is diverging in the U.S., with some people feeling tipping is more out of hand than ever and some businesses claiming they are a “no-tip” establishment. 

Historically, it is customary to tip U.S. employees in the hospitality industry, including employees serving you at a restaurant or carrying your bags to your hotel room.

One restaurant in San Francisco called “Zazie” has declared itself a tip-free place. They raised menu prices and paid their staff better wages with more than usual benefits.

At the heart of it, tipping is voluntary. It is up to the customer to tip. Whether they feel obligated to tip or it is how they genuinely want to show appreciation. That is the customer’s decision. However, you might be rejected if you try to tip an employee at a “no-tip” establishment like Home Depot.

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