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.
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!
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
Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
To his numbed, buttock-shifting listeners, the great sonorous self-regarding
orotund bromidic banality of Senator Kerry and his multitude of nuances is proof
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.
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.
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
You just have to screw up your courage and keep the deal you made and hope
they do too.
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......
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.
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.
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