How much do you tip movers?

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Ours come tomorrow -- long distance (LA to SF), with a full trailer-load.
Any suggestions appreciated.
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I've moved 12 times in the last 15 years and the most I've ever tipped was a gas grill and a twin bed. Never any money. Of course I'm in the military and couldn't afford to tip them anyway.
_____________________ HomeBrewer
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HomeBrewer wrote:

You must be of the "Officer" ilk........ Us enlisted weenies also got our moves paid for by Uncle but that in turn left us enough money to tip which ensured that all our HHG arrived safely at the other end!
Dennis
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Hand them a bible each and start telling them to turn to John 9:13, they will be gone before you can look up!!
Hey you where trying to give them a tip!! LOL
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ignore me, sorry.
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On Tue, 3 Aug 2004 16:19:07 -0700, "PTRAVEL"

look here: http://www.nbc4.com/consumer/3358237/detail.html
I tip movers. Use your judgement too.
Story: The last time I moved a friend insisted on driving the truck. I hired people to load the rental truck. My overbearing friend showed up at the last minute with the truck and then proceded to torment the movers, directing them, interferring, driving all of us crazy the whole time. When the truck was loaded and the guys were leaving, they made some comments about my friend. Not awfully rude, but I knew what they meant and I sympathized. I gave them a very generous tip. They looked at each other and the lead guy said to the other, "I think I'll double-check that load." He then proceeded to add some extra of those big cloth straps that secure things.
I have no doubt that had I not sympathized and tipped them extra, my belongings would have ended up mangled and damaged. What they intended to happen was nasty (*I* would have been the victim, not my friend) and shocking, but I saved myself an awful lot of aggravation and trouble.
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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In my other life before I retired, I was relocated many times, movers always paid by my employer, But, employers negotiate cheap prices, budget, bare bones moving. If you don't tip $50 you can expect some of your stuff will be damaged. It might also go into storage first or be rerouted and on a truck for a month. They have all kinds of tricks. Pay the tip, it's well worth it. Been there, done that. I know.
Bob
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Well...Wouldn't you be handing them the tip AFTER your furniture was ALREADY ion your new house?
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ALREADY
No, you pay on both ends. The people who pick up long distance moves won't necessarily be the same people delivering.
Bob
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says...

I've been moved professionally three times, paid for by my employer. It never even occurred to me to tip them. This is a paid labor service; IMHO a tip is not called for unless they do something outside the job described in the contract.
Similar examples of non-tippable services include lawn service or maid service. In both cases, when the job done matches the agreed upon services, I pay what we agreed, not more. However, if my lawn guy does something extra, or if I think the job turned into more than we agreed to in terms of labor, I'll happily tip up to 20%.
Frankly, I think this "tipping thing" is getting out of hand. There's now a tip jar at the soft serve stand near where I live. What's next? A tip jar at the Burger King cashier?
Apart from restaurants and cabs and a few similar things, a tip is for EXTRA SERVICES. So, if I go to the hotel concierge desk and ask for a restaurant recommendation, and get one, I don't tip. That's the concierge's job. But, if he/she makes an effort to call ahead for me and get a table, that's going an extra mile and a buck or two tip is appropriate (though sometimes turned down with an appreciative smile).
Marc
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trailer-load.
Sure it's getting out of hand, it's extortion, it's wrong, but it's cheaper and easier than filing a claim after the fact. Also, some of your belongings may not be replaceable. If you're into fighting for causes and right and wrong, don't pay them. I always negotiated a salary sufficient to pay the added fees. You gotta figure these movers helpers are making minimum wage and really have no interest in preserving your goods. They are hired locally at each end to load the truck or unload it.
Bob
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Petty much agree. OTOH, having a jug of iced tea or pot of coffee wil get you those extra services or a little extra care. The people unloading are usualy day labor lumpers picked up at a nearby place just for the job. If you happen to be moving a collection of pianos, it may not be a bad idea to hand over a few bucks.

I've seen the tip jar in a few places that, IMO, they should not be. The clerk in the bakery comes to mind, as well as the people behind the window at the ice cream stand. Sure, they don't get paid big bucks, but they don't use a lot of skills either. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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says...

Edwin- Good point! For the record, when I've got "laborers" working, I offer water, sodas, whatever. When the last movers were unloading, I think I offered to buy them subs, as I was heading to the deli myself, but they turned it down in favor of doing their own thing.
Marc
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MAG wrote:

When we moved, we did a lot of research to find movers who had a reputation for taking good care with people's stuff. Then we tipped each of the movers going in, for that extra effort.
From the time I was a kid, I've been through several moves. In each of them before my last, a list of unfortunate occurrences usually included at least one major item, five disconcerting items and ten to twenty little dings or scratches. On this move, we filled a forty-footer, and the sum total of all damage was one scratch on something (I forget what, it was really insignificant) and a small plaster gouge on our ceiling at the new place that took the painter all of fifteen seconds to make disappear. There was zero wasted time; wasted time would have cost us extra money on the final bill.
I gave each guy a nice, crisp fifty and considered it money well spent. I'd say they went that extra mile, in spades.
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(snip)
This whole thread confuses me. How is extra cash handed over <before> work is done considered a tip? I've seen on TV shows how sometimes delivery crews in big city will come up with imaginary 'extra charges' for stairways and such, which is blatant extortion. I have tipped tradesmen at the end of a job, when I saw it was more complex than they (or I ) had originally thought. (Like the tow-truck crew that took me 20+ miles to chase parts, when the after-hours garage they towed me to didn't have a part- think I rounded the $45 tab up to $80, and didn't ask any questions about why they were doing cash jobs w/o paperwork in a company truck.) At most, I might pull the crew leader aside when truck shows up, and tell him there will be a cash bonus for things going quickly and smoothly, but I'd never hand over cash up front. You really think they would give it back after they crush the crate of crystal and drop the baby grand?
Guess I'm lucky- the few things I have that would be <worth> moving long distance would easily fit in a small rental truck, driven by me. Rest would be abandoned to the dumpster divers or Goodwill, depending on condition. Cheaper to replace than to haul more than a few miles.
aem sends...
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crews
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Having moved cross country many times the advance tip sounds like good advice. Much depends on what type of mover you have. Usually the long haul driver pays the guys doing the loading. I have even had the guys working for local movers inform me at the start they they "work for tips".
When to give depends on what you want. If you want a good table at a Las Ve gas show you had better grease the hand of the waiter in advance.
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People who tip - outside of restaurants where it is the long standing custom - just screw it up for us all. Its like feeding the bears. Does your employer tip you? Does Walmart tip you for shipping there? You can keep people honest by voting with your feet and by pursuing your complaint. You just have to screw up your courage and keep the deal you made and hope they do too.

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PTRAVEL wrote:

you dont give them anything.. they get paid from the company that you are paying... the old days when you got someone to do something for just about nothing it was different.. you had to grease the guys doing the work as you did not pay the owner much.. but now days the movers might be making more than you do......
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I moved from Los Angeles to Buffalo NY in January of 2003, and I tipped each of my (3) moving guys $20.00 . They did an excellent job at both ends. I used a United Vanlines affiliate FWIW.
Good luck!
Lesley
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Lesley wrote:

Hmmm, I feed them lunch, provide beverage, and at the end of their job, I give them 6 packs or bottle of booze if they did a good job. Good service is two way street. You treat them well, you get good service in return. Tony
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