Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

A forum for questions and information about packing, loading and other helpful tips (not related to researching or selecting moving companies).
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Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby MusicMom » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:42 pm

Some compiled comments (more can be found by searching on "tipping" and browsing through):
I recently had two estimates on a move done and asked both estimators what their feeling on tips was. They had two different takes:

One said:
"Assuming a job well done, calculate 15% and give it to the foreman to split between the guys." That this was their policy. I don't like this as it removes the tip incentive.

The other said:
"Start the day off with a small tip to each mover (he said $20 each) and tell them that you will tip again based on a job well done at the end of the move."

This is interesting. It lets the movers know you are aware of tipping but also lets them know that you will be controlling the tip for the right reasons.
Tips are not required. Tip only if you are so inclined and only for work that was good to excellent. A simple guideline would be $3.00 to $5.00 per hour per man. For example, if you had a job requiring 3 men 5 hours to load and 5 hours to unload, a generous tip would be $90.00 to $150.00, total. But completely at your discretion. Good drivers and their crews appreciate tips, but should never insinuate they are expecting one. Those that do are the ones to keep an eye on. -
I would tend to give each guy who helps load around $20 after the truck is loaded assuming that you have a fairly small amount of stuff. Or, you could give each one $10 on arrival and tell them there will be another $10 at the end if they do a good job. If you have a whole houseful I would double these amounts. Then I would also give each guy who helps unload $20. You might want to give the driver somewhat more--maybe $50 or so--if the move goes well.
Tips should be paid in cash. Also, have cold bottled water and Gatorade, and perhaps light snacks if the job will take a few hours. For loads that take all day, offer light snacks and lunch, like a sandwich platter. Fried chicken, burger, and pizza don't go well with heavy lifting.
Last edited by MusicMom on Wed May 30, 2007 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby MusicMom » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:46 pm

I hired three guys to unload 8 linear feet of a Broadway Express trailer (about 5,000 pounds). They did it all, into the correct rooms of a two-level house, in just over a half-hour. I gave them each a $20 tip and they seemed very pleased.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby pataya6 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:36 pm

It's best to tip them at first, but not too much, maybe $10 each or so. And give the rest at the end of the move.

Don't EVER give them beer during the move since the might do some damage on your furniture.

Beer after is fine but be carefull not to offer them too many, I've sometimes had crews that can become belligerent and even a little flirtatious with female customers..!

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby MusicMom » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:22 pm

I think beer in general to professionals on the job is a bad idea, because who knows who's job they're going to after yours? Give them water, Gatorade, soda, anything non-alcoholic.

Now, if you're bribing friends to help you unload a UHaul, beer is OK, as long as it's in the evening and everyone has a way to get home. :wink:

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby tonypitt » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:26 am

I wish it were easier to figure out how much to tip in general. I know what's typical in a restaurant and for baggage handling at airports, but beyond that I feel clueless.

We had a 2 man crew load our belongings this week. They were here from 10:30 a.m. until around 6:30 p.m. We didn't think the load would take that long, but it was because there were just 2 of them. We fed them lunch and made drinks available throughout the day. They had lunch leftovers for dinner. They wiped out about a case of Dasani and other drinks. At the end of the day I tipped each of them $40. (I figured $5/hour seemed reasonable.) (I had also thought we might have a crew of 3 or 4 and had planned to tip each of them $20, so I really just dispersed the planned tip among the 2 of them.)

These same guys will be doing the delivery. I figure I'll give the same tip on the delivery end. That will be a total of a $160 tip on a $3700 move.

(The day after the movers left I had a painting crew come in to paint several rooms in our house. The crew of 3 were here about 8 hours, painted 4 very large rooms and ceilings, and did a great job. The charge for the whole job was around $600. I tipped the crew chief $50 and asked him to divide it up as he saw fit. I think he was amazed. He literally said "Wow! You must have really liked the job we did! That's great!" (And he wasn't being sarcastic.) I felt good about the tip, but I wonder if I was being more generous than I should have.

My main concern in tipping (as is as would guess most people's) is I don't want to inadvertently insult someone with the tip.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby markymark » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:03 pm

I tend to be more generous than most people but I like doing it if the movers are good. Don't be afraid to tip well.

So my last move cost me $400 (within the city a few miles) and I tipped the 2 guys (who were quite fabulous and fast and nothing scratched) $100. They were like WOW. Nice to make someone's day :>)

An extra 20 or 30 bux to help these guys out doing backbreaking work really goes a long way. (just have one less beer the next few nights you go out and you BOTH benefit)


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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby Bob21 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:37 pm

1). So for a $400, 4 hour 2 man crew pro move, does $20 each man sound right?

Better all $20 each at the end, or better $10 each upfront + $10 each at the end?

I'm leaning towards saying please take good care & we will tip (without saying how much), & then give the entire tip at the end because $10 upfront might lead them to feel the final incentive is only $10 more?

2) I'll also have 2 college students moving boxes & loose stuff in advance @ $10 p/hr cash & I anticipate 1.5 hours. I'm thinking to tip each $10 even if it's only 1 hour work, or $15 tip if it's 2 hours since their rate is so very reasonable?


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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:49 pm

Never ever provide any one entering your home to provide a service any type of alcoholic beverage.

If they consume it, even after the job is done, and have an accident on their way home or to another job, guess who can be named liable?

You got it.

Remeber in the summer heat, keep the guys with plenty of hydration. Natural... water, gatorade, other replenishers, but not beer.

There is no set amount for tipping. If you have expensive furniture, and the movers moved it as if it were treasures, then obviously you'd tip them more than the guys who came in and acted like they would rather be fly casting at the lake, and were in a hurry to get there.

Another thing to consider is if you move locally more than once, and you were satisfied with the crew, request them on your next move.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby TheTruthHurts » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:59 am

When I moved back from Crystal Lake I have a cooler full over gatorade and Meatball sandwiches from subway. They did an amazing job. Nothing of mine was damaged except my wallet. Feding 3 hungry guys is insane but atleast it was a great move

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby lisa1120 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:43 am

I asked my moving company their recommendation on tipping. I was told that a tip is nice but not expected. If the guys who come out to do the loading hint at all that they're expecting to receive a tip, I should call and let the company know.

I like the idea of tipping a slight amount up front to hopefully ensure better service. I'll probably try this if I can figure out how to do it without having a really awkward encounter.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby CaliforniaJasper » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:26 pm

I have been in the moving industry for over 25 years, I started as a helper, than a class a driver, than sales and now retired from the business and I would hear they crews talking about TIPS and how a customer wouldnt even offer them a bottle of water...I say tuff you know what, the company I worked for told their crews bring your own water and lunches. The owners didnt want their movers driving around for breaks looking for sodas because a 15 minute break turns into 30 minutes and guess who they charge for breaks..consumer. Lunches are usually always deducted but the same scenario applies. If I were to use a mover I would have water and sodas, and buy them lunch if they didnt bring themselves lunch. I had customers tell me that movers had told them that if they are tipped up front they will get better service, I cant believe the nerve of some of these guys.

I wouldnt even mention a cash tip..just show them the ice chest and tell them you will be buying taco bell for lunch. That would have been nice when I worked the trucks.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby NHMS-1 » Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:12 pm

We never accept beer on a job. We don't want the possibility that a piece of furniture would be damaged or someone would mis step and get hurt. Its not worth a damage claim or a workers comp claim. If you want to give it to the movers wait till their done with your unload and give it to them to take home and drink it.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby johnckret » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:44 pm

Moving furniture is a tough way to earn a living and generally the guys doing the work don't make a fortune. The only job I know of that is more physically demanding is being a mason's helper. If the crew is hardworking, friendly, pleasant and accommodating and you've got a house full of fine furniture that they take good care of then tipping is entirely appropriate; maybe even an obligation. Now that may raise some eyebrows but you don't hesitate to tip the waiter that brings you food and drinks do you? If the guys aren't worth their salt then don't tip them at all (believe me, they are probably used to it). I've seen guys get $20 each for a three day local move and I've seen them get $100 each for a small apartment. Sometimes they perform like superstars and don't get a dime. That, I don't understand. I tip the barber for a 10 minute haircut. If someone moves all of my worldly possessions and does a first class job and makes me feel comfortable with their skill and work ethic, that deserves recognition. You can pay homage but that doesn't get the baby fed. Look out for the guys that do a great job for you to whatever degree you can.

I had a crew come back from a move once where the old guy they moved gave them $3 each. They said he appeared flat broke and they were genuinely touched by his generosity given his apparent limited means. Let your heart and your wallet guide you.

Finally, I wouldn't give them a dime up front. Either they are good at what they do or they are not. Either they care or they don't. If a guy is no good and you give him $10 you've still got a guy that's no good and he's got your $10. I can't imagine that you can possibly "guilt" or coerce them into working harder or caring more by giving them money at the front end.

Use the money you would have wasted on losers to tip the real pro's very well!
Sometimes its expensive to be cheap!

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby decro » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:19 pm

Our "tip" if you want to call it that has always been to feed the packers as well as have soft drinks, coffee and tea available at all times. Some of our moves have turned into feeding them lunch as well as dinner as they have worked late into the evenings - even some breakfast burritos or hot rolls for breakfast for a morning break to eat with their coffee.

The other way we "tip" them is by giving them our leftover booze and any other items that can't be packed/shipped, including candles, fluids, and gas cans from the lawnmower and such. Also offer them the leftover canned goods and frozen items from the freezer. Another thing we have always done is offer them the items we were going to donate to Goodwill and let them have first choice. Some of them can really use the items for their own homes, or some spend time on the weekends selling things at flea markets and it gives them a little extra income with items we didn't want to mess with trying to sell.

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Re: Tipping Your Loaders/Full-Service Movers

Postby aquateen » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:07 am

How about $3500 for a 3000 mile road trip? How much do I tip both ways?

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