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How to to offer as a reward for returing a wallet?
March 5, 2009 4:50 PM   Subscribe

I lost my wallet yesterday and received a call from a man who found it and we're arranging for its return. Should I offer him a reward? How much?

So I drove away from a parking lot with my wallet on the roof of my car. Went back 5 minutes later, retracing my route and couldn't find it. I canceled the 2 credit cards immediately and wasn't too upset about the whole thing. I don't think there's much cash in it and the wallet itself wasn't too valuable. So then I got a call from my doctor's office today saying someone called their office about my wallet. The guy who found it used the only thing in it with a phone number (my insurance card) to call my doctor's office and have them relay his number to me. So I called and yep, he has it. He even knew what my car looks like 'cause he saw me drive off and tried to get my attention by honking his horn but I must not have heard him. He was only here for the day but will be back in town next week and has offered to meet me somewhere to give it back to me. This is all super super nice of him. He went to some effort to track me down and will probably have to take some time out of his day to meet me. I'd like to offer him a reward but have no idea what's appropriate. My initial thought is that I'll offer him $20, does that sound fair?
posted by otherwordlyglow to Grab Bag (64 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd give $20 unless there's money in the wallet. If there's more than $40, give half of whatever was in there, no matter the amount.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:56 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


When something similar happened to me, I brought the person some chocolate.
posted by kitcat at 4:56 PM on March 5, 2009


I wouldn't give him any money as a reward. Surely returning your wallet is pleasure enough? I'd sincerely thank him and that would be it.
posted by dydecker at 4:57 PM on March 5, 2009


$20-$50 is the appropriate range, having been on both sides of that story. I'd almost bet that a person who puts that kind of effort into getting it back to you probably won't accept the money, but it sounds like your plans are solid.
posted by thejoshu at 4:57 PM on March 5, 2009


There probably wasn't much more than $20 in the wallet, though I'm not sure I'd want to base the "reward" on that.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:59 PM on March 5, 2009


If it had a lot of money, I'd offer him a $100. Because he shouldn't be doing it for the money and he knows that, but you know in the back of his head he'll be thinking "but still…"

Otherwise, $50. Having to get your license and credit cards and shit all over again sucks and you know it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:01 PM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Plus, if you're a cheapskate, think of it this way: he's more likely to refuse the money if you offer a lot, because most people don't usually negotiate a reward. "No, no, I couldn't possibly take $50. How about I take $20, instead?" More likely they'll just say thanks, but no thanks. But if you offer them a $10, well, damn straight they'll take a $10. Because you can justify it so much easier… Well, after all, gas was probably eight bucks round trip…etc.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:08 PM on March 5, 2009


Bring him a homemade treat.
posted by ColdChef at 5:08 PM on March 5, 2009


If it were me, A card with $20 and a decent bottle of wine -- it's hard not to accept a gift when given, as opposed to trying to hand him cash. And, if he's not into the vino, he can regift.
posted by liquado at 5:11 PM on March 5, 2009


Offer him cash.

The two times I've returned wallets, they've actually given me everything in the wallet--about $25 and $60, respectively. They've operated on the principle that I could have kept the wallet altogether and they'd already written off the cash. And I gladly accepted, since I seriously considered keeping the money and mailing the wallet to the address on the license. This is basically what I would expect if I lost my wallet.

(This might be different if I lost a wallet with, like, $1000 in it or something. In that case, I'd probably pony up $100 and not the entire thing since it's probably the money I want back and not the wallet.)

So, I'd offer money. Maybe $20 or so.
posted by Netzapper at 5:15 PM on March 5, 2009


the amounts above seem reasonable and even if he doesn't accept, it would be a good thing to offer...

You never know someone's situation ... we live in a world where sometimes a little extra cash comes in handy... every now and then I'm down to my last 50 in a week and even that much more means I rest a bit easier until pay day...

It's a nice gesture at the least and maybe more depending on his circumstances..
posted by Weaslegirl at 5:16 PM on March 5, 2009


Bring $150. Offer him $100. When he refuses, give him fifty.
posted by Zambrano at 5:21 PM on March 5, 2009


A little more than a year ago the guy sitting next to me on the train left his wallet wedged between our two seats. He was long gone by the time I noticed it. I picked it up, opened it and found a green card, drivers license, about $80 in cash, and a few credit cards. I used my cell phone to call one of his credit card companies and asked them to call him with my number and to put a hold on his card. I called someone and had her google his name and town to try to find his number directly; she found the number of someone else with his last name, a fairly common last name of a specific nationality, and this person actually knew the guy and relayed the number to me. I talked with him briefly to let him know that I had his wallet and arranged to meet him the next day.

When he got there, I suggested to him that he still cancel the credit cards if he hadn't already - I know I'm honest, but how does he know that? He said thank you and left.

A reward would have been nice. Dydecker, when someone goes to a reasonable amount of trouble to return something of value, it is a good idea to reward them. Yes, the person returning the wallet is just doing the right thing, but he did spend the time to find otherworldlyglow.

Personally, I could have handed the wallet to a train conductor and the guy might never have gotten it back. Replacing a driver's license is time consuming, and I can only imagine what replacing a green card is like.

A little cash, or a homemade treat, and sincere thanks are all good.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:22 PM on March 5, 2009


A reward would have been nice. Dydecker, when someone goes to a reasonable amount of trouble to return something of value, it is a good idea to reward them.

Well, when you say a reward would have been nice, it sounds like you were expecting to be rewarded...just for doing the right thing. If I found a wallet, I would go out of my way to give it back and I wouldn't expect anything in return. Because that's what a decent human being does. You don't return it hoping they will open their purse for you. You return it to be kind, and kindness is its own reward.
posted by dydecker at 5:27 PM on March 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


I returned a wallet that I found to someone recently. She offered me lunch, coffee, etc etc in thanks, and was obviously overwhelmed with relief that she was getting it back, and with everything in it. I refused all, but it was nice of her to offer. If she had forced $20 or a gift card or something into my hand, I would have taken it because it's rude to refuse at that point. If you really want to reward him, bring whatever YOU think is appropriate. He shouldn't be expecting anything.
posted by autojack at 5:28 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why don't you give him the option: 40 bucks or a burger and couple beers with you?

Might gain a friend. Will regain a wallet. And if the cash is missing in this situation, he's a crook cuz he saw it fall off your car. Don't give him anything in that situation.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 5:28 PM on March 5, 2009


six pack, wine, chocolate. party gifts, basically. and don't look in the wallet until after.
posted by rhizome at 5:30 PM on March 5, 2009


If I'd gone to the trouble he's gone to, I'd think $20 was a wee bit of an insult. If you had to add up all the time it would take to get a new health card, drivers licence, etc., then I think it's reasonable to do what Zambrano advises.

When my wife's wallet was lost, we brought the returner a gift basket with fancy biscuits, sparkling cider and chocolate. I think she probably would have preferred a cash reward, though.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:34 PM on March 5, 2009


I'd bet you can offer the guy as much as you want and he'll refuse it. But maybe not. So offer as much as you can afford. Best case, he refuses and you both feel great. Worst case, he takes it and you're not out more than you can afford.

Or the handmade treat thing. If I was returning a wallet and the owner did that for me, I'd be on top of the world for the rest of the day. It's the right thing to do and I would never consider not doing it, but it's nice to have it acknowledged.
posted by bricoleur at 5:35 PM on March 5, 2009


Agree with Rhizome, something pleasurable but not money. Maybe some gift certificates to a movie theater, and your warm thanks about it being so nice to have your faith in people validated -- I think basically, you just owe it to him to make him feel really good, I think that's what would make him most happy, if he's the kind of guy who goes to this trouble.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:42 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it would be a lot classier and more thoughtful to provide a non-cash gift. He'd be more likely to accept that as well.
posted by ignignokt at 5:43 PM on March 5, 2009


Maybe not so much more thoughtful, but more "effortful." I guess it depends on his own mores about adults and cash gifts.
posted by ignignokt at 5:44 PM on March 5, 2009


Cold chef's idea--a homemade treat-- is nice, too. Plate of cookies, etc.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:45 PM on March 5, 2009


don't give him food. one, you don't know what he likes/can't have. two, that's weird, and i personally would TAKE the food, and then throw it away, because really, who knows about the crazies out there?

since it doesn't seem to have been an expensive wallet, nor does there seem to have been a ton of cash in there, offer $20. he may or may not take it, but you MUST offer something.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 5:45 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd buy him a round of drinks if he were a local, or in lieu of that, the same sentiment and some cash. $20 is fine. It's a nice bit of spending cash for a small luxury, but not so much as to be embarrassing to accept.
posted by desuetude at 5:48 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


$20 buys enough pleasure to return the favor IMO.
posted by troy at 5:48 PM on March 5, 2009


Don't offer a reward. Never offer a reward. If you want to give it, trick them into taking it. If you don't want to give it, don't offer it. Offering a reward is embarrassing for everyone, unless it's for a kidnapped child or something.

If you want to reward him, what you do is buy a nice thank you card. You take forty bucks (or a good gift card, movie theater is nice) and put the thank you card and money in the envelope and seal it. Do the exchange. Say thanks a bunch, here I have this for you, and then say your goodbyes. He won't rip the damn thing open in front of you. He'll say no problem and hold on to it until you part ways. Thus, you don't give him the option to refuse. You avoid making him feel awkward for accepting a reward.

If you don't want to give him a reward, just don't. But that would make you a jerk, imo.
posted by milarepa at 5:56 PM on March 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


If you want to give it, trick them into taking it.

I hate when people do shit like that. Don't treat me like a child. I don't need an incentive to do the right thing.
posted by ryanrs at 6:02 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


On non-preview: but apparently other people do...
posted by ryanrs at 6:07 PM on March 5, 2009


I hate when people do shit like that. Don't treat me like a child. I don't need an incentive to do the right thing.

I was being a little facetious, but it's not about treating you like a child or even about giving you an incentive. It's about doing a nice thing in return to stranger who has done a nice thing for you. Accepting a reward is embarrassing, even if you could really use it. If you want to give it, give it in such a way that is not embarrassing. It's the polite way to do it, in my opinion. Whipping out 20 or 40 bucks is weird and would make me really uncomfortable.
posted by milarepa at 6:07 PM on March 5, 2009


I don't understand the sentiment that tracking down the owner of a wallet and personally handing it over fully intact is, by default, "the right thing". It's certainly the nice thing, but it doesn't seem at all obligatory. Cash is, in most cases, not the most valuable thing in a wallet--just the most useful to someone who isn't the owner.

They lost the wallet. It seems totally and completely acceptable to me to take the money and either turn it in to lost and found or mail the wallet to the address listed on the license. This is pretty much the minimal "right thing" I'd expect somebody else to do for me. I would find it the "wrong thing" if they started charging shit on my credit cards. But, lost cash is fair game. I don't see it as anything like theft... their carelessness caused the cash to leave their possession. To a logical person, it's already gone. Why does it matter whether or not it goes in my pocket or the bum next to me?

Simply returning the wallet is a service, not a moral obligation. You're helping them avoid having to go through the pain of getting new ID, credit cards, etc. And you're probably returning a couple small items of sentimental value as well, if their wallet is anything like mine. All of that saved time is worth far more than any amount of cash I ever have in my wallet.

If somebody returns a wallet and leaves the cash, I consider that Good Samaritan above-and-beyond behavior. That absolutely deserves monetary reward. It's not an incentive (which is offered ahead of time), it's a reward... which happens after good behavior has altruistically be demonstrated.

If you found an unidentified envelope with cash in it, would you turn it in to lost and found? That's ridiculous... cash being untraceable and universally useful, the lost and found guy is going to take it. Why give it to somebody else when you can use it yourself.

I guess I would feel pretty annoyed if I had a thousand dollars in my wallet or something like that. But, you can be damn sure I would be holding on to such a wallet well enough not to lose it. I'd also be pretty pissed if I dropped my wallet, somebody saw that, picked it up, took the money, and handed me the wallet before I even realized I'd dropped it--that's pretty much pickpocketing. But, a wallet for which I've been searching for a couple days? They're entitled to all the cash in it.
posted by Netzapper at 6:16 PM on March 5, 2009


I think zambrano and misanthrosarah have it exactly. Recently I tried to thank our building maintenance guy with homemade truffles for all the wonderful snowshovelling and salting he'd done through our shitty winter. He refused, because he can't have chocolate, leaving me with gratitude and no outlet for it.
No-one is allergic to cash, and he put a good effort into getting the wallet back to you. If he's such a really good guy he'll take it and give it to some whom he knows needs it more than he. Greasing the karmic wheels never hurts in these situations.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:18 PM on March 5, 2009


Ok, I guess that sounds reasonable. When someone insists on offering me a reward, I usually say something along the lines of "keep the money, but if you ever see a wallet on the ground, you owe it to me to pick it up and track down the owner." Kind of a pay it forward / golden rule type thing.

I suppose I'm sort of a jerk for not graciously accepting rewards when offered, but it seems so tacky. Oh well.
posted by ryanrs at 6:18 PM on March 5, 2009


I'd get them fancy chocolate or the like. It gives them some thoughtful reciprocation without feeling mercenary and cutting into the glow of altruism.
posted by abcde at 6:22 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


To clarify: milarepa sounds reasonable. Curse these fast-moving threads.
posted by ryanrs at 6:22 PM on March 5, 2009


Good god don't make or buy food for this person, you know nothing about him other than he's decent enough to return a lost wallet. Fifty bucks.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:23 PM on March 5, 2009


Why don't you give him the option: 40 bucks or a burger and couple beers with you?

No, don't put him in the position of saying, "I would rather have the money" and feeling like he has snubbed you.
posted by jayder at 6:25 PM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


It seems totally and completely acceptable to me to take the money and either turn it in to lost and found or mail the wallet to the address listed on the license. [..] lost cash is fair game. I don't see it as anything like theft... their carelessness caused the cash to leave their possession.

"It wasn't bolted down" is no excuse for taking something that belongs to another. Neither is "someone else would just take it if I didn't."
posted by ryanrs at 6:25 PM on March 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


I suppose I'm sort of a jerk for not graciously accepting rewards when offered, but it seems so tacky.

I have never accepted them either. It's weird. That's why I think if you want to give it, give it in such a way that is not awkward for the person who just did this really cool thing for you.
posted by milarepa at 6:31 PM on March 5, 2009


"It wasn't bolted down" is no excuse for taking something that belongs to another. Neither is "someone else would just take it if I didn't."

Ah. I guess I just don't feel like something lost does belong to another. Yes, it's real nice if you return it to the person who lost it--and I always attempt to (intact, no less). But, if it's lost, I feel it belongs to whomever picks it up.
posted by Netzapper at 6:31 PM on March 5, 2009


Sure, if it's just cash on the ground. But if it's a wallet, then you've got the guys name and should make some effort to find him (or not pick up the wallet).
posted by ryanrs at 6:39 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess I just don't feel like something lost does belong to another. if it's lost, I feel it belongs to whomever picks it up.

So if I invite you over to my house, and you find $50 stuffed down the back of the sofa, you'll keep it?
posted by dydecker at 6:45 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I vote GIFT not money. Once I found someone's passport and she brought me a bottle of wine. At the time I didn't drink alcohol at all, but years later I still remember and appreciate the thought behind that little gift. I can guarantee that if she'd offered me money I would have declined AND felt very awkward.
posted by serazin at 6:45 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Returning a wallet, but taking its cash is something the police would likely called theft.
posted by ShooBoo at 6:47 PM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I had a very very similar thing happen to me, drove off with my wallet on top of the car and had it returned by someone who had done a fair bit to find me. As it turned out, he wound up handing me the wallet. I offered to give him cash out of it right there but he waved me off. He had a somewhat unusual name enough so that I could find his address on the internet. When I was finally home from my trip, I wrote him a letter telling him how much his kindness had meant to me and how much it had saved the day on my trip and a little bla bla about what I had been up to. I don't know if it was the right thing or not, but that's how I handled it.
posted by jessamyn at 7:11 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


But, lost cash is fair game. I don't see it as anything like theft...

this type of differing morality is pretty much unreachable by moral argument, assuming you would be accepting of someone else keeping all the money you had lost.

Other than saying that you are a bad person, I can offer that you don't necessarily know how much the lost money means to the other person, and that being a moral person is doing the right thing especially when nobody is looking.
posted by troy at 7:20 PM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ah. I guess I just don't feel like something lost does belong to another.

better known by the technical legal term, "finders keepers."

I say, you never know. Gifts to a stranger are a crap shoot. But there is many's the individual who will not want cash, because you go from being a good Samaritan to a very cheap errand boy. Only a dick would be offended at the offer. The last time this happened to me (as the finder) I was offered but turned down money (in honesty the offer was kind of half-hearted, this was on a University campus and I'm sure she needed that 20 more than I did, and I said no. There are times in my past I would not have said no to 20 dollars from someone who could obviously afford it. Ask if you can give them something for their trouble, if they say yes, $20 would be fair.
posted by nanojath at 7:29 PM on March 5, 2009


Upon rereading what I wrote earlier, I realize that I didn't convey the guy's total lack of gratitude. He just sort of took the wallet and left. I think he checked that everything was still in there; it was the opposite of a warm and fuzzy experience. At the time it made me think twice about making the effort again. Perhaps that experience unnecessarily colours my response here.

I'll admit to being shallow about this: I like people to say thank you. I like it acknowledged when I do something for someone else. I find that the basic courtesy of "thank you" is something that people forget. There does need to be some sort of give and take. This not only applies to the world of lost wallets but to a few other worlds as well.

Anyhow, I'm finding it interesting that there is clearly no consensus on the proper response to someone returning a lost wallet. I'm going to go survey people I know now.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:32 PM on March 5, 2009


I vote for giving him whatever cash is in the wallet.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:35 PM on March 5, 2009


I suggest $20-$50 cash tucked inside a nice card with handwritten thoughts about how helpful it was of him to return your wallet. Cash alone is crass, but you don't know enough about the person to offer any gift; a card describes your thoughts, and the person might even keep it as a memento.
posted by Simon Barclay at 7:37 PM on March 5, 2009


I seem to recall reading a story once where someone found a wallet, then called the owner up wanting a sum of cash. They were, in a sense, holding the cards and stuff hostage. Basically they were asking for just enough cash that it would have been worth it to just give them the cash, rather than going to all the trouble to get new things. So they paid it.

Look, my advice is similar to everyone else's - get an envelope and card, stuff fifty in it and hand it over to them when you get the wallet. Speaking as someone who once found a wallet and got no reward from the recipient - people always want a reward, even if they say no.
posted by Sully at 7:40 PM on March 5, 2009


Bring $150. Offer him $100. When he refuses, give him fifty.

Is that some change-raising scam I'm not following? Why do you need more than $100 to cover those two options?

Anyway, I'd give him all the cash in the wallet, whatever it happened to be. But since I never have cash in my wallet... I'd buy him lunch.
posted by rokusan at 8:23 PM on March 5, 2009


With the help of AskMeFi I managed to hopefully return a lost iPhone, I wanted nothing but to know that it got back to it's owner (I shut it down while boarding a plane and couldn't unlock it afterwards).
posted by zengargoyle at 9:13 PM on March 5, 2009


I don't think you have to offer him anything except sincere thanks but it is a nice gesture to give him something. I'd probably go for a $20 gas card. It's something anyone with a car uses and it's not just a reward for being honest since he probably is going to use up some gas to meet up with you. If he doesn't want it, you can still use it yourself. To me, this seems less awkward than cash.
posted by stray thoughts at 9:28 PM on March 5, 2009


Given the extra effort he took to get in touch with you, I might suggest $40 or even $50 if you're fairly well off. He'll likely refuse, but just counter it by persuading him to give some or all of it to charity, or buy a gift for a loved one. That way, if he's just too modest to take a reward he could actually use, that option's there for him. You'll never know what he does with it anyway.

You're complete strangers, so if he's expecting a reward, he won't be offended that you offered cash instead of homemade brownies.

I haven't worked for tips before, but when I've been offered them, I'd refuse, and if they still insisted, I wouldn't have wanted to seem like a jerk so I'd just graciously (and happily, on the inside) take it. He'll probably end up feeling the same way. Ultimately, you'll feel better that you get to show your appreciation, and his knowing that he did the right thing won't be sullied at all because he accepted your money.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:28 PM on March 5, 2009


A fascinating thread.

I really can't say what's *right*, especially as what's right in this case would seem to depend on consensus, and that is clearly absent.

I *can* say that if I were to return a wallet, I would not accept a reward. I just couldn't do it and be at peace with myself. Doing the right thing is its own reward, and I would honestly feel somewhat insulted at the offer (though I of course would endeavor not to show it, and try to refuse politely). To me, it's as if the doing of the right thing exists in a completely separate universe as getting compensation; like orthogonal concepts. One has nothing to do with the other, and to otherwise cheapens us.

Perhaps I'm hypocritical, but I would probably accept the money if it was extremely hard to refuse: i.e. it was mailed later or something. I mean, I do appreciate the gesture, and I can certainly use it. But the only way I'm accepting it is if the rudeness of turning it down becomes too great to justify doing so.

By all means, express your thanks in the most effusive way possible--in person, a letter, whatever. This is what I would do if I were to regain my wallet, and if I were to return a wallet I'd appreciate knowing what it meant to them far more than a wad of cash.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:31 AM on March 6, 2009


If it were me, A card with $20 and a decent bottle of wine -- it's hard not to accept a gift when given, as opposed to trying to hand him cash. And, if he's not into the vino, he can regift.

Given the circumstances, I'd do this too, but would switch the cash with a couple of movie passes instead. Hard not to accept a bottle of wine and a thank you card. Depending on how things go at the meetup, maybe give him my business card, offer lunch or a drink someplace.
posted by lmm at 1:07 AM on March 6, 2009


Not a lost wallet, but a lost cat. There was a sign posted up in th neighbourhood--lost cat, $100 reward--and when I got home, guess who's in the backyard? So I call up the number on the poster, they come and get their cat. I refused the reward, all I did was call. However, it was nice to be able to be given the option to refuse. The cat owner did, however, send me a nice note thanking me, and included a gift card to a local restaurant for $50. So, how about not giving cash, but a prepaid gift card?
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 4:38 AM on March 6, 2009


$40-50 dollars. Take the wallet from him, thank him and have a little conversation about how much you appreciate it. Right as you are leaving, hold out your hand to shake his, press the money, folded up into his palm. Thank him for the good deed, and then press the money into his hand and explain that the cash is for the time he saved you.

I did this with a guy who stopped on the side of the road and took 40 minutes helping me. I held out the money and he wanted no part of it. But as we shook hands I made it clear that it wasn't for him stopping to help me (he was apparently very religious which is why he didn't want the money) but it was for the 40 minute lesson in tire changing (you need to hold down the brake in my car to take off a wheel, who knew). He seemed more receptive after that.
posted by syntheticfaith at 5:09 AM on March 6, 2009


Okay so answers are all over the map, which I guess I sort of expected as there really isn't a right answer but I was hoping for a bit more consensus about what's expected. I don't think I'll be making any homemade treats for him. Not because he wouldn't enjoy my awesome baking skills but as other advised, I have no idea what he likes. Wine seems weird and presumptuous. I like the idea of cash in an envelope, to make it less transactional or maybe a gift card of some sort, probably sticking with my idea of $20 maybe upping it to $40. Don't think I'll be having lunch or a drink with the guy as I don't think he'll want to hang out with me and my 9-month old daughter at the Starbucks. And I don't even know his name - just his phone number but I might be able to find it out. Anyway thanks for the ideas!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 8:47 AM on March 6, 2009


Maybe this is a cultural thing, but I'd be pretty embarassed to be offered cash. It seems so, tacky/greedy, but then I'm in New Zealand, and we probably have quite different thoughts on things. Personally I'd do bottle of wine or buy him dinner, and a thank you card.
posted by girlgeeknz at 3:15 PM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've returned cell phones and stuff. I've never expected anything in return, but I definitely would have liked it if they offered something, even if I knew I wouldn't take it.

That said, I think a gift card is the way to go. It's not as impersonal as cash, but it's something that they're likely to accept. As for how much to put in, I have no idea.
posted by carpyful at 11:15 PM on March 7, 2009


No cash. Just a small token, like a gift card or some chocolate.
posted by Timen at 11:54 PM on March 7, 2009


Okay for those of you following along at home, I got my wallet back. Fully intact, including the $18 cash that I lost it with. I handed him $40 in cash, no card, nothing else, and he seemed happy to accept it. He's a driver on his route so I met up with him along his way but it was super nice of him to do it and my faith in humanity is restored.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:36 PM on March 12, 2009


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