Time For Another Reminder

If you are new to Panama, you may not know this. I didn’t when I moved here and now I always watch to see how many others are aware or who may not be aware.

The bag boys in all of the supermarkets and in PriceSmart do not get paid. They work only on tips. The money, many of them make a day, helps put food on their family’s table.

Many times in the supermarkets, I will see them bag up the groceries and then the customer just takes the bags and carries them to their car. In those cases, the bag boy got nothing. Many people that come from the states might consider tipping if bags are taken to the car, but I have seen some that think that is just a service of the supermarket. It is not a service in Panama.

TIP the bag boys. I have gotten to the point I try to always tip even if I only buy a small amount. Fifty cents to one of these young lads means a lot to them.

The next time you are going through the line get ready to have some fun. Load your face up with a smile and say to the bag boy as you give him some change, “Que tenga un buen dia.”

I will guarantee he will flash you back a smile and say, “Igualmente.”

You just made a friend and you will feel good about it.

12 thoughts on “Time For Another Reminder

  1. Don …….I have been an avid follower of your website for years now, even before we made our permanent move here. As always you offer great information! My husband and I have always tipped these boys simply for their wonderful smiles and eagerness to please. They always bag very wisely and always handing me my pack of gum to put in my purse. I truly had no idea they weren’t paid by the stores for this service. Again, you are doing all of us a great service to inform us of what isn’t a given knowledge. Many thanks!!

  2. And let’s not forget to give a big smile and say Gracias to the cashiers who work equally hard for minimum pay.

  3. Don Ray:
    As I mentioned before, that is the reason the shopping carts do not make it thru the cashier line on some grocery stores, so the “paqueteros” can bag and carry things out.

  4. I am so glad to get this information. I did not tip on a regular when my husband an I were there together and took our own groceries out, but shopping on my own, I welcomed the assistance these baggers gave and made a habit of tipping. Now I am doubly glad I did as I did not know they did not get paid. thank-you for that information.


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