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Question DetailsAsked on 6/19/2011

Does anyone really tip their movers?

We're moving soon, and in reading the reviews on Angie's List I came across references to tipping. I was appalled, since they charge so much to begin with and it really is unskilled labor. Googling the subject revealed that some people feel that 20% of the TOTAL cost of the move is about right. And for what? For doing their jobs? The justification offered was that they are paid a relatively low wage (sometimes $100 a day) because they factor in the average tip. I don't consider $100 a day to be a low wage for unskilled labor, and I've worked for less than that at a lot of jobs. Then I was reading horror stories about what happens if you don't give them a tip, which I thought about and found to be not credible because they don't know until it's all over whether you're going to tip them. There were also references to buying them lunch. Who has experience with this? Who else thinks it's an absurd idea?

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18 Answers

Voted Best Answer
3
Votes

Don't think of it as necessary because movers are paid low wages. Tipping is always optional. Some service industry's normally see tips, such as food service and moving. Others such as plumbing and painting do not. Why? I don't know.

Generally, our movers are tipped and the prospect of a tip I believe keeps them moving with "a sense of urgency".

If you feel that the movers are already getting paid, and they are... you don't have to tip. Some people that receive a service like to recognize service that is above normal with a tip.

Either way we hope your move went well.

Bryan Bloom
Priority Moving, Inc. - San Diego Movers


Source: http://www.prioritymoving.com

Answered 6 years ago by Priority Moving

1
Vote

I've never hired professional movers before, but I understand your dilemma with tipping. It's a one time service and it's already expensive, so why should you have to tip? Obviously, if they do a horrible job, you shouldn't tip them at all. I'm not sure if movers even expect tips. I guess some things to consider are how big is the move and how good of a job did they do? If it's a big job, you may consider tipping. If it's a relatively simple move, it might be a kind gesture to offer them lunch or at least some drinks while they're moving your stuff. If there is no standard for tipping movers - it's really up to you

Answered 6 years ago by Austin

1
Vote

I've never heard that you have to offer movers a tip and/or meals. A casual friend of mine is a mover and he's commented that some people do offer him extra money, meals, and drinks, etc. and that some don't. His opinion is that if it is offered, he'll accept it, but that if nothing is offered, he certainly doesn't take it out on your sofa. I think he's just happy he has a job that doesn't involve being in an office 9-5.

I think a lot of people out there just want to harp on the horror stories because it's more entertaining to dwell on the bad than to praise the good. It's their job to not break your great Aunt Martha's Waterford vase, so when they take extreme care to ensure it's not broken, they're doing their job they're supposed to do in the first place. But when they misplace a box of ratty old college t-shirts that are better off being turned into rags, well Whoa, Nelly, let's scream, moan, and complain about how terrible they were.

Never one to not express my opinion (golly, that's why I love this site) I agree that tipping 20% is a little extreme, but I don't see that offering them water or tea or snacks would be totally out of line, especially if it's a really hot day out. I'm not saying you gotta give them caviar and wine, but generic bottled water and a few apples..... But that's just me.

I'd love to hear what you decide and how it goes.


Answered 6 years ago by Chastity1053

0
Votes

Thanks for your input. You make some good points. Of course I'd offer them beverages and a snack, just as I would anyone who was at my home. I always ask workers what I can get for them, and sometimes I just bring them a tray.

This will be our first move that we pay for ourselves. All other moves, including one from England to the States that went perfectly, were paid for by employers. Since we're choosing to move this time, we're paying for it.

I'm getting two quotes next Wednesday from movers I found on the List. We'll see how it goes. At least with this depressed housing market they don't need a lot of lead time! (Too bad for us we still have a house to sell. . .)

Answered 6 years ago by Commonsense

-1
Votes

It never occured to me to tip movers. If they were handling my possesions carefully, I offered non alcoholic beverages same as to any workman in my home.. Nor do I tip the garbage man or USPS/UPS delivery personnel. who make a good salary & beneifits. I do gift regulars with homemade berry jam at Christmastime and my lawn guy gets a bonus at year end.

If restaurant servers are exceptional, they recieve 20%; if only OK, usually 15%; it's a sliding scale! Occasionaly I've tipped the busboy and intentionally forgot to tip a server, but never because my entre was lousy. Personaly, I think employers should offer a decent wage and tipping should be 86d

Answered 6 years ago by tessa89

-1
Votes

"Personaly, I think employers should offer a decent wage and tipping should be 86d "

I'm with you on that. I'm going to assume from now on that no sane person would take a job that paid less than they needed to survive. If that isn't true then oh well [:#]

Answered 6 years ago by Commonsense

0
Votes

Are you serious?

Answered 6 years ago by Rebecca

0
Votes

Commonsense,

Surely your responses were tongue in cheek sarcasm....

Answered 6 years ago by tessa89

0
Votes

Not sure what's causing the reaction here. People are often forced to take low-paying jobs due to one circumstance or other, but by definition no one could take a job that paid less than they needed to survive, because then they would die. Anyone who did something that was sure to cause their death would not be sane. I'm not the enemy here. . . .

Answered 6 years ago by Commonsense

0
Votes

Yes they do. This also depends on the serivce and the care and respect you receive durint the move process. Ihave found that also if you have a light snack and beverages to keep them hydrated well during the day the performance is better. I have moved 12 times and always have taken care of the help workign hard to move me out and in.

Source: http://www.movingscam.com

Answered 6 years ago by Movinghelper

0
Votes

Be nice to them offer them drinks and food from the get go , make them like you . Make them not want to break your things.

Source: http://westtennesseehomeimprovements.com

Answered 6 years ago by gary clemons

2
Votes

I own a small moving company in central Arkansas. We provide great service at half the price of most our competitors. Many of our clients need help with more than just moving (hanging pictures, furniture placement, hauloffs, ect). These services are not expected of or offered by most companies. We receive tips on around 25% of our jobs varying anywhere from 5-50% of the total bill. You should think about tipping if your expectations are blown away by any service you receive. Knowing the customer is 100% satisfied is rewarding of its self but a monetary thanks is greatly appreciated. Never tip if you are disappointed with any service. PROFESSIONAL movers are paid very well and are anything but "unskilled labor". It is unfortunate that many companies use day labor workers that have no skills or experience but it is very common. Check with friends, family, BBB, Angie's List, or Facebook to see who has used movers that are truely professionals.

Answered 6 years ago by Elite Movers Inc

0
Votes

I think that if you have ask that question you should probably move yourself! The men that are movers by trade do back breaking work and deserve a tip if they do a good job. you also said that moving is sn unskilled trade, sorry, you are sadly mistaken!! Movers are skilled at making decisions on how to pack your most treasured items. They also have to load their truck in a manner that not only protects delicate items but also fit everything in the given space. My husband is a Class a driver for a moving company and most people chose to move on weekends when their off of work, that means these men are away from their families. My husband has missed our children's football games, baseball games and other occasions that kids would love their dad to attend. Your an ungrateful person to think these men don't deserve a tip for their hard work, the company charges a lot for the service but that doesn't go into the movers pocket it goes to the company that pays the men, gas, matinence on the trucks and other expenses that come with owning a company.

Answered 2 years ago by Denicem

1
Vote

We moved across country and we did provide lunch and tipped the drivers and loaders/unloaders. In prior moves across country, we got pizza for the driver/workers but in the last move we got sandwiches. The driver said that was wonderful as they usually get pizza so it was a nice change.


It was the middle of the summer and our departure city was really hot and humid and our arrival cities (we had two houses to drop off things) were really really hot. They even had to climb outdoor stairs to our 2nd story condo at our destination in 115 degrees. We were unsure of how much to tip. With tipping at both ends, it probably ended up being about 8% of the cost of the move. Tips were to both the driver and the loaders/unloaders.


As far as the comment by the original poster of $100 a day, remember these guys are generally not getting a whole lot if any in benefits and don't always have steady work. You can call it unskilled work but remember it is highly physical work and they are being held accountable for your precious items. The drivers for a cross country move are often their own contractor and even though it has the name of the moving van company, it is their truck. They work really hard as well helping to load and unload and managing the loaders/unloaders. They also are trying to keep the customer calm in a stressful situation.


We later moved across town with two men and a truck. Those guys were great and worked very quickly and came under the estimate. We tipped them about 10% of the cost. We also provided lunch. Sounds like the lunch benefit is far less common than for a cross country move.


Moving is part of the service industry and as such are not that highly paid. My philosophy is that if you get good service, you should give at least a small tip based on what you can afford. Now, if they are dropping things all over the place and/or you notice damage, then you probably don't owe them a thing.

Answered 2 years ago by JosieM

0
Votes

I've moved several times by professionals and by friends willing to help.


YES, I tip--just like anyone else, I wait until the service is complete. My tip is based on their performance: knowledge (care in handling my personal items) and effort.


I've had some professionals that are a bit lazy, and they got what they deserved. But, most (95%) of my help have gotten a tip from me (in addition to cold drinks and reasonable resting breaks). Consider this: moving heavy items day in and day out is quite taxing physically. Good customer service in the presence of fatigue is an effort that I reward.

Answered 2 years ago by Guest_91449121

1
Vote

I have been a mover for the past 4 years now. There is a lot of expenses in a moving business. It does not bother me when I don't get tipped. The most rewarding part about the job is when you can do the whole move without breaking anything. I do appreciate the drinks and lunches. However, at the end of the day when the homeowner and the crew is all talking together it is nice to let us know if we did a good job. I have gotten anywhere from $10 tips to $120 tips. At the end of the day I will remember you more if a tip was received but it does not affect me that much at all.

Answered 2 years ago by huskerfreak2143

0
Votes

A Tip is an expression of appreciate for a job done well. The workers are paid from the total paid to the company. I don't think what a persons wages are should really be considered when deciding if you should tip a worker. Graciousness is still a quality that is appreciated and I think passed along


Answered 6 months ago by jmgiovanni64

0
Votes

I find your implication that "unskilled labor" is undeserving of a tip to be rather odd. Most jobs that customarily receive tips are unskilled labor. A waitress jotting down an order and carrying plates to your table certainly isn't any more skilled than the guys carrying your furniture. And the guys carrying your furniture work a hell of a lot harder! As someone who has done moving work myself, to say there's no skill involved in safely packing, transporting and unloading your furniture and other items into your home is a bit offensive. You'll definitely notice the difference between a good moving service and a bad one.


Part of the reason you should tip movers is because no two moves are the same. Some are easy and some are nightmarish. If yours tends toward the latter you should definitely consider a gratuity to show your appreciation. Factors to consider are whether the movers are required to navigate stairs or tight turns with heavy or bulky items, walking distance from the moving truck to the residence, and whether the movers are also doing setup/installation work. I've never expected to be provided with food, but cold bottled water is always greatly appreciated.


But hey, if you don't want to tip, then just don't tip. You certainly won't be the first.

Answered 3 months ago by Dunter

0
Votes

I'm a mover and if u think it's unskilled labor your wrong it's a very hard job lumping heavy furniture all day and to do it without damaging anything tips are appreciated but there not mandatory if they do good and your happy usually 40$ is a good tip 20$ is average if u got alot money and you were very happy sometimes we even get a 100$ it's all really up to you but I can tell u movers are not rich the company makes most of the money it's a very physical job and lunch and a tip comes usually with it but sometimes not we never know I moved big house today 2 full trucks load and deliver we did great job got 15$ tip and yeah I was kinda xxxx it was so low but u still get the job done either way so...

Answered 2 days ago by rayman23456




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