How much to tip movers?

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Jackson12
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How much to tip movers?

Post by Jackson12 » Sat May 13, 2017 6:28 am

We are using small independent movers. The cost will be $350 and that is an extremely competitive price.Assuming they do a great job, what is a fair tip?

I know what typical rates are in restaurants, house cleaners, barbers and hairdressers etc. But is there a special guideline for the amount to tip movers? They will be hauling quite a few heavy items.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by DaftInvestor » Sat May 13, 2017 6:32 am

Everytime somone asks a tipping question here the responses range from nothing to a lot so I'm sure you will get the same. I would give each guy $10 or give the lead guy a $30 and ask him to split it with his guys.

Jackson12
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Jackson12 » Sat May 13, 2017 6:39 am

DaftInvestor wrote:Everytime somone asks a tipping question here the responses range from nothing to a lot so I'm sure you will get the same. I would give each guy $10 or give the lead guy a $30 and ask him to split it with his guys.
My insecurity comes from wondering if those doing jobs which require heavy manual labor should get a relatively high tip. Maybe my logic is wrong.

I also think they aren't paid a high hourly wage ( according to an acquaintance who used them but I have no idea if that info is correct ).

I'd contact the acquaintance but she is out of town and I also don't have her cell phome number.

Lars_2013
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Lars_2013 » Sat May 13, 2017 7:41 am

I'd use my judgement once they show up. The last time I had moving help it was such a small operation that it was the company owner and his young adult son who showed up. They did a terrific job in less time than I expected (I was paying by the hour and they got it done in under 1 hour) so I tipped $20 (on a $40 cost), which the older guy redirected to be given to his kid. They seemed surprised to be getting tipped at all, and I was happy to be able to have made the kid's day.

On a $350 job, I'd probably tip $40 at the low end and $60 at the high end (if you're pleased with the service). How that gets divided sort of depends on how many people show up, etc.

marstaton4
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by marstaton4 » Sat May 13, 2017 7:50 am

No clue what to tip but things like drinks, ordering lunch, and treating them kindly also goes a long way and would probably encourage them to go the extra mile if it sounds like it will be a few hours or longer for the move.

stan1
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by stan1 » Sat May 13, 2017 7:51 am

I would give $20/person and be thankful I didn't have to do it myself.

spectec
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by spectec » Sat May 13, 2017 7:53 am

I just moved this week. The cost of the move was $620, performed by 4 guys who worked very hard but took great care in wrapping, unwrapping, protecting everything on the truck, etc. We moved from a multi-story residence to a single-story home, so the hardest part of the work was on the front side. They were congenial and professional, paying attention to some special handling I needed for a couple of items and doing everything exactly as I requested. We also made an interim stop to drop off a couple of large items at a charity enroute to my new home. I bought their lunch and at the end of the move I tipped each guy $80. They were worth every cent.
Last edited by spectec on Sat May 13, 2017 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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AlohaJoe
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sat May 13, 2017 7:55 am

I've never tipped a mover.

I also don't tip my garbage man, the landscaping crew who redid the backyard, or the guys who rebuilt the fence after a storm knocked it down.

Would you have tipped in all of those circumstances?

Achelois
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Achelois » Sat May 13, 2017 7:58 am

I haven't moved recently, but I did buy some new furniture which needed to be taken upstairs. The furniture was pretty heavy and the stairs steep. The two delivery guys were very careful with the furniture and with the walls and did not scratch either. Delivery and set up, together with removal of some old pieces, took about 45 minutes.

I gave them each $50.

runner540
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by runner540 » Sat May 13, 2017 8:24 am

$20 per person, plus provide cold sodas and water and access to the bathroom.

If the owner of the moving service were helping, the general rule is not to tip an owner since they set pricing and receive profits.

If moving for work, don't forget to keep records so you can claim it on taxes.

*edit: this was for a 2-3 hour move of a small apt, not a full day.
Last edited by runner540 on Sat May 13, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wilked
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by wilked » Sat May 13, 2017 8:32 am

For a small job like this, probably only $40 each

Jackson12
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Jackson12 » Sat May 13, 2017 8:40 am

I'm the OP. Thanks. Super helpful answers!

RudyS
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by RudyS » Sat May 13, 2017 8:44 am

Depends a bit on where you live. Cost of living, etc., you know. But $20/person sounds fair without knowing specifics.

Rick Rock
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Rick Rock » Sat May 13, 2017 9:03 am

runner540 wrote:$20 per person, plus provide cold sodas and water and access to the bathroom.

If the owner of the moving service were helping, the general rule is not to tip an owner since they set pricing and receive profits.

I've moved a lot. This is the right answer for us.

lgs88
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by lgs88 » Sat May 13, 2017 1:04 pm

Former mover here.

$40/mover for a day's work would be appreciated.
merely an interested amateur

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slow n steady
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by slow n steady » Sat May 13, 2017 1:45 pm

I moved a few months ago and was charged a similar amount as you. I believe I tipped $50 for each mover. We also bought them lunch and drinks because the move spanned the lunch hour.

I worked as a mover for one summer in college. $50 is a good tip, $20 seemed like an ok tip. Less than that and I was a little disappointed.

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Pajamas
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Pajamas » Sat May 13, 2017 1:46 pm

Be careful if you are not using established, professional movers with a door that you can knock on. Even then, it is best to check to see if they have a license and then check for complaints from the licensing agency, Yelp! and similar, and even the BBB.

If you hire someone based on any kind of advertising alone and they don't have a business license and an office, one of the "man and a van" operators, you are asking for problems. If that is the case, don't give them any money at all until all of your stuff is safely in the new place. If they ask for any payment before the job is over, don't give it to them. Anyone can place ads and rent a U-Haul and move your stuff and most of them are legit but some of those people are crooks. They might do something like get to the new place and ask for payment before they move the stuff into the house. They might leave your stuff on the street if you give them money and threaten to drive off with it if you don't.

squirm
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by squirm » Sat May 13, 2017 2:57 pm

Why would someone not tip movers? It's hard work for little pay. Offer them soda too. You probably tip whoever cuts your hair. Don't understand some people.

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Watty
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Watty » Sat May 13, 2017 4:12 pm

squirm wrote:Why would someone not tip movers? It's hard work for little pay. Offer them soda too. You probably tip whoever cuts your hair. Don't understand some people.
Part of it is that tipping is much more common and expected in the Northeast than in the rest of the country so the local customs are different.

stoptothink
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by stoptothink » Sat May 13, 2017 4:21 pm

squirm wrote:Why would someone not tip movers? It's hard work for little pay. Offer them soda too. You probably tip whoever cuts your hair. Don't understand some people.
The same reason you don't tip everybody who does hard work for little pay.

I easily avoid all of these issues, by doing all of these things myself.

hoops777
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by hoops777 » Sat May 13, 2017 5:34 pm

Tipping is a little bit crazy.I tip all the time but if you really think about it there are a lot of low paying jobs that do not get tips.All the people that you do not see that work hard.
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat May 13, 2017 6:14 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (tip).
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blueman457
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by blueman457 » Sat May 13, 2017 7:13 pm

In NYC (and after talking to a mover who wasn't working for me): $5-10/hr per person is a good tip.

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spectec
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by spectec » Sat May 13, 2017 9:12 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:I've never tipped a mover.

I also don't tip my garbage man, the landscaping crew who redid the backyard, or the guys who rebuilt the fence after a storm knocked it down.

Would you have tipped in all of those circumstances?

Garbage man - no, other than maybe at Christmas
Landscaping Crew - probably (but not the owner)
Fence Guys - probably (but not the owner)
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flyingbison
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by flyingbison » Sat May 13, 2017 9:17 pm

squirm wrote:Why would someone not tip movers? It's hard work for little pay. Offer them soda too. You probably tip whoever cuts your hair. Don't understand some people.
The same reason I do not get tipped. Because they are already getting paid by their employer.

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tainted-meat
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by tainted-meat » Sat May 13, 2017 9:18 pm

I made a small across-town move from an apartment to a house last year. The move took about two hours and ther were 3 movers. They did a great job and I tipped $20 each. This was in Louisville, KY.

PNW1
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by PNW1 » Sat May 13, 2017 11:47 pm

I hate tipping. It's an awful custom. Even so, I always tip people who I hire to help me move.

For my local moves I've had the help of friends and family. I buy them a meal and give them my sincere thanks. When a friend or family member moves, I help them too. Every time I've moved out of area, though, I've hired licensed movers, and I've tipped the guys who show up to do the hard physical work. I make sure that food, cool sodas, juice, and water are available. I make sure that there's a restroom with soap and a hand towel and toilet paper on both ends of the move. Then, at the end, I hand over tips. I forget now whether I gave the guys $50 or $100 each.

I do that work for free for my friends and family, and I put a smile on my face while I'm doing it. But to do it for money? I'd need way more than those guys are getting paid. They deserve every penny and then some.

I'm not a very good capitalist :)

IMO
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by IMO » Sun May 14, 2017 12:07 am

Many of these posts for moving costs seems very low. Work paid for last move as a part of my benefits, but believe it was about $8k. What I've found with that move as well as a number of other work moves is that the DRIVER seems to have to find local movers, perhaps they get a list from the company. They show up in their personal car and meet up with the driver at the house. The moves are never ideal for a number of reasons. But in the end, the bottom line is the movers do have to very work hard bringing heavy items/furniture often up flights of stairs.

I've also always personally helped out because they never seem to hire enough movers to get the job done in the allotted time frame. (Not much you can do when the move is underway and it's getting late).

As such, we'll stock up on drinks (non-alcoholic of course), get a bunch of pizza's for lunch, and then give a total of $50 for each mover, and as the driver is also involved in these big moves, give the driver a $50 tip also.

So the tips aren't cheap when you have 2 sides to a move, but figure if I was one of the mover's, the tip/food/drinks would be an appreciated gesture.

I could see for some high earners on this site, a higher tip could be considered.

A side note, I always wonder, are these local movers actually insured for injury by the work provided moving company? Having a good umbrella policy gives some comfort to that thought.

IMO
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by IMO » Sun May 14, 2017 12:21 am

squirm wrote:Why would someone not tip movers? It's hard work for little pay. Offer them soda too. You probably tip whoever cuts your hair. Don't understand some people.
I get the thought of dislike of tips in general. After waiting 5 minutes, you feel fortunate to get your beer and tip the guy $1 for taking the top off a beer because it's socially expected, etc. No offense to any bartenders, just my example.

I think there are some jobs that the employer pays them very little through no fault of their own which I suspect is true of movers, and the work is back breaking.

So as I posted, I do tip movers. Figure it's got to be worth at least the equivalent of taking off 50 beer caps for the day.

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tennisplyr
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by tennisplyr » Sun May 14, 2017 6:29 am

Just moved last week and also have had a few new furniture deliveries. I gave $20, water and bathroom use for each.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

gouverneur
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by gouverneur » Sun May 14, 2017 8:17 am

stan1 wrote:I would give $20/person and be thankful I didn't have to do it myself.
+1

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bottlecap
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by bottlecap » Sun May 14, 2017 2:06 pm

I don't dislike tips necessarily, but wouldn't feel the need to tip a mover. I would do it happily if the service was exceptional.

One time, they were okay and I bought them lunch and may have given them extra.

The last time they were not great and I didn't give them anything. A piece of furniture fell off the truck when the opened it and one of the guys put his boot on the nice dresser we have to get leverage to pull a drawer out. When my wife scolded him, he told her that he knew what he was doing.

I felt that not giving a tip was better than knocking him out and leaving a $20 on his chest....

JT

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mister_sparkle
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by mister_sparkle » Sun May 14, 2017 3:34 pm

I have a lot of heavy stuff like books, records, CDs, etc., so I error on the side of tipping super generously -- $120 to $150 per guy for a 4-hour move.

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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by mickeyd » Sun May 14, 2017 5:30 pm

I have moved a half-dozen times and don't recall if I ever tipped on any of those moves. I probably have one more move in me. Should I tip before, after or both ends for my next move?
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hoops777
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by hoops777 » Sun May 14, 2017 5:37 pm

It appears bogleheads love to tip.Of course it makes a difference if you have a lot of money in terms of being a big tipper.$150 per mover for 4 hours?That is more than a tip,not sure what to call it :happy
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ralph124cf
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by ralph124cf » Tue May 16, 2017 1:56 am

On my last move, from Los Angeles to Chicago, I had 30,000 pounds of "stuff". It took eleven movers 12 hours to load the van. I overheard them arguing with the moving van owner that they were being underpaid. It seems that the truck owner hires locals to do the actual lifting, they are not moving company employees. This was a company paid move.

I am embarrassed to say that I only tipped them $20 each. I now realize that an appropriate tip would have been more like $50.

I do not tip the moving van driver/owner, who I understand is an independent contractor of the moving company, not an employee.

Ralph

stoptothink
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by stoptothink » Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 am

mister_sparkle wrote:I have a lot of heavy stuff like books, records, CDs, etc., so I error on the side of tipping super generously -- $120 to $150 per guy for a 4-hour move.
That is more than most professionals in this country make total, just in tips, for moving books, records, and CDs? I've moved couches and even pianos up flights of stairs, on several occasions, for free. True story, yesterday I was stopped in my neighborhood by someone I don't know on my walk home from work to help move a refrigerator to a 3rd story condo...I did get a firm handshake. I am a fairly highly paid professional, but please contact me next time you plan to move. I am young, very capable of moving large appliances or furniture (up stairs, often on my own), and $30-$40/hr is less than I make in my day job, but well worth it to me considering as a younger male in my church, I spend quite a bit of time (at least a few hours every month) moving people in and out of my congregation borders and have never received a thing, but maybe a cold glass of water.
Last edited by stoptothink on Tue May 16, 2017 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by wvmtnbkr » Tue May 16, 2017 7:27 am

When we moved to our new house 2 years ago, the local independent "word of mouth" guy charged $500 for 3 three guys to move us, which took about 6 hours. They were very quick/efficient/gentle/professional and did a great job. I tipped each guy $40, and considered it well-worth it.

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lthenderson
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 16, 2017 7:53 am

When I moved to my current home, I had a small independent contractor and he had three helpers. During the negotiations, the lead guy said he didn't expect a tip but if I decided to tip, only tip his extra help and not him as his "extra" was worked into the quote. They moved me on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year at around 106F and those boys that helped him worked their butts off and went well beyond what I expected. I tipped them about $200 on a $500 quoted bill. I had been thinking about $100 for all three before they showed up.

Mountain Fiddle
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Mountain Fiddle » Tue May 16, 2017 10:59 am

lgs88 wrote:Former mover here.

$40/mover for a day's work would be appreciated.
I worked as a mover in college . . . I agree, ~$40/mover would be a decent tip for good solid work for a small job. Where we worked, the cost to the homeowner was based on an hourly rate, meaning that if we worked efficiently, the total cost was less to the customer.

Our wages were close to minimum wage, but the tips made it more worthwhile. Moving is difficult and sometimes even dangerous work, so why not give someone a fair tip for taking good care of your belongings?

wilked
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by wilked » Tue May 16, 2017 11:12 am

ralph124cf wrote:On my last move, from Los Angeles to Chicago, I had 30,000 pounds of "stuff". It took eleven movers 12 hours to load the van. I overheard them arguing with the moving van owner that they were being underpaid. It seems that the truck owner hires locals to do the actual lifting, they are not moving company employees. This was a company paid move.

I am embarrassed to say that I only tipped them $20 each. I now realize that an appropriate tip would have been more like $50.

I do not tip the moving van driver/owner, who I understand is an independent contractor of the moving company, not an employee.

Ralph
how much does it cost to move 15 tons of stuff?

I think I read once that an actual house weighs 50 tons (the house itself). How do you fill a house with 15 tons of stuff?

new2bogle
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by new2bogle » Tue May 16, 2017 1:43 pm

I'm with the little to no tip folks. No one forced them to get this job and this job should (legally) pay at least minimum wage. I tip waiters because they get paid less than minimum wage. I do provide them with drinks though, that's just being nice.

Church Lady
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by Church Lady » Tue May 16, 2017 1:58 pm

I am puzzled by the thought you have to tip movers. I am in the process of setting up a move now. If they agree to load my truck for, say, $75/hour, surely they agree to that because they perceive the rate as fair?

By the way, interesting puzzle. Going rate seems to be $300 to load the truck; $700 to unload. Still haven't figured that one out.
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themesrob
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by themesrob » Tue May 16, 2017 2:10 pm

For a full day's work of moving -- especially if they did a good job -- I'd say $50-75 per person is appropriate. Half day job, $20-40.

bigred77
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by bigred77 » Tue May 16, 2017 2:11 pm

Apparently I am being underpaid.

I always help out friends who move because it's an excuse to drink beer during the day and a good excuse to get some exercise. My compensation is usually $9 worth of Miller Lite and maybe a pizza at the end.

mortfree
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by mortfree » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:25 pm

bump rather than new thread...

moving this week. 2 trucks, 5 movers at 230/hr. estimate 8-9 hours, so it will be right around $2,000. family members have used this company twice before.

house is 4 bedrooms plus 4 rooms (~2500 sq ft). 2 adults and a 4-year old (to get an idea of contents); moving into similar home about 12 miles away.

based on the earlier moving quotes here from others, my quote seems high (and I am in a low cost of living area).

thoughts on the tip for this situation?

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flamesabers
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by flamesabers » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:42 pm

mortfree wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:25 pm
bump rather than new thread...

moving this week. 2 trucks, 5 movers at 230/hr. estimate 8-9 hours, so it will be right around $2,000. family members have used this company twice before.

house is 4 bedrooms plus 4 rooms (~2500 sq ft). 2 adults and a 4-year old (to get an idea of contents); moving into similar home about 12 miles away.

based on the earlier moving quotes here from others, my quote seems high (and I am in a low cost of living area).

thoughts on the tip for this situation?
Since your family members have already hired this company before, why not ask your family how much they tipped as a frame of reference?

Otherwise I would suggest foregoing the tip and just buying them a meal or something as a token of your appreciation.

chevca
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by chevca » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:47 pm

I hired movers twice this year (out of old/into new months apart) and I think it was about $160/hour. But, that was one truck and two guys. That rate is probably about right for the crew you have coming.

I gave them $10 each for lunch. Mainly because we have heavy recliner couch that was/goes upstairs and was a B to get it where it needed to go. Felt for them having to do that. But, that's why we hired them and didn't try it ourselves.

raamakoti
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by raamakoti » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:14 pm

We moved about 6 times in past 8 years. my wife does good job of packing and labeling each box nicely. She knows where each box will go in the new house or apartment. During this time we paid anywhere from 400 to 1200 for a move in these years in NE ohio.

I always gave $100 tip because it is hard for us to imagine what they go through to pull something like that off day in day out.
I see their eyes lit up after receiving and they shake hands and wish good luck. I always give big tip for work that I could not do it myself. My rule was if the tip I give disappoint the movers then its a failure on my part to appreciate their work.

Be generous at giving for honest people who break their backs, don't try to put a price tag. You both will feel happy at the end. $20 bucks here and there is no big deal, unless ofcourse that is a big deal.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How much to tip movers?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:50 pm

Probably $40 each, enough for a nice dinner for all their labor work. We moved a few years back, IIRC the total moving cost was about $500, I tipped $50 each per person and there was 3 guys total.

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