How Much Should You Tip Movers

One of the most common questions moving companies get, surprisingly, is whether it is appropriate to tip the workers, and How much to tip them if so. Moving is tough work, which is why most homeowners choose to hire experienced help. A single move can take up to 12 hours to accomplish, and there’s a lot of lifting and carrying going on, and possibly packing and unpacking as well. In short, there are good reasons to tip the workers, but exercise a little forethought before doing so.

How much should you tip movers?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? Again, moving is not a light expense for most households, so setting aside extra for tipping can feel a bit excessive. Here’s the thing, no reputable moving company should ever presume tips from the client, and a reputable moving company will always accept, with a smile, whatever tip a client is willing to give. But assuming a client wants to provide a tip, here are a few guidelines to tipping in a way that works for both the client and the workers:

1. If tipping with cash, consider the effort involved – A cash tip is always welcome, of course, and any amount is appreciated. And in truth, the tip amount is totally up to the client. If the client tips $10 a mover or $100 a mover, that will be received well. If the client is looking for some tipping standards (every industry has them), then consider a $10 tip per worker for a half day move, a $20 tip per worker for a full day move and a $40 tip per worker for a move that extends well past the 8-hour mark.

If the movers go above and beyond, then consider tipping a little extra. For example, a home that is packed with tight spaces or a home with a spiral staircase adds an extra degree of difficulty. Moving a lot of stuff out of the basement or attic is another tough obstacle that workers frequently encounter, and something that may warrant a little extra.

If the movers are well organized, show up early and complete the move earlier than expected, then consider a bit more. That is, of course, if the extra speed doesn’t come at the cost of safety or protecting everything from damage. If a moving crew beats the clock, that means they are working extra hard.

2. Don’t use a percentage-based approach to tipping movers – In most industries where tipping is common, using a percentage of the bill is the standard approach to calculating a tip. But in the moving industry, where a single moving bill can vary quite a bit, a percentage-based method doesn’t make much sense. Further, when a move costs considerably more money, it’s almost always because of travel distance, and that’s something that the moving crew doesn’t have much to do with. Sticking with a flat-tip-per-worker option is the better method.

3. Give the tips personally to the workers – There are a couple reasons for this. For one, giving a tip to each worker is a sign of appreciation that communicates to every individual that their efforts were noticed. Everyone likes to know when they’ve done a job well, and a personal tip to each worker is an easy way to say thanks for the work provided.

Also, and this isn’t a problem with reputable movers, but it still bears mentioning – giving all the tips to the driver or foreman may seem like an easy way to tip everyone at once, but there are some unscrupulous people out there that will pocket the tips for themselves. Again, reputable movers do their best to avoid hiring people who would do something like that, but tipping everyone personally ensures it’s not even a possibility.

4. There are other ways to tip – If cash is tight, and it often is, there are other ways to show the workers some appreciation. Moving takes a lot of energy and a lot of fluid, so why not offer some cold bottles of water or Gatorade? It’s hungry work, too, so a meal is something that workers will often accept with gratitude.

But before buying a meal, ask around to see what the workers would like. It may sound a bit presumptuous for the workers to offer food preferences, but think about how much pizza these guys get offered throughout the year. The easy, go-to meal options are the ones that the movers get the most often, and no offense, but eating pizza four times a week isn’t something that even the most ardent pizza lovers would seriously consider. Just remember that this is completely optional and not something the moving crew expects. Reputable movers know to bring refreshments and snacks with them to make it through the day, so don’t feel obligated.

5. Don’t offer alcohol – Yes, it seems like every beer commercial has people bonding over a tough day’s work, but in a professional setting, beer is not an option. For one, reputable moving companies do not permit drinking on the job, for obvious reasons, and it’s not something that workers will be allowed to accept. And for two, if workers are drinking on the job, that creates all kinds of liability issues for the worker and for the company. Offering beer will only put the worker in a tough spot, as they will have to refuse.

6. Tip what you can – Don’t pick a cheap mover so you can tip more on the backend. If tipping is just unrealistic financially, don’t do it. That’s a far better option than choosing a substandard mover and paying for it, literally, in other ways.

Moving is strenuous, unforgiving work, and the people who put their backs on the line deserve some attention now and again. The best way to show that attention is with a tip, as every worker will appreciate it, no matter what form it comes in.

Three Steps For Moving Computers Or Gaming Systems

There are three important steps for moving computers or gaming systems that every gamer should keep in mind. Moving is an adventure and may even provide a fresh start, but failing to take precautions with sensitive gaming equipment can quickly turn this exciting time into a virtual nightmare.

Problems and Solutions

Moving is considered a hassle by many, causing disruption, provoking stress, and, if done haphazardly, it can even be dangerous. A poorly planned and executed move can be a disaster. Precious possessions may go missing, beloved keepsakes may break along the way, and expensive electronics can easily become damaged in transit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By thinking ahead, doing a little research, and making the plans necessary to safeguard one’s possessions, moving becomes a smooth process and everything arrives in one piece. Planning ahead can make all the difference in getting acclimated as soon as possible without stressing about the condition of the household goods and electronics.

Some of the most prized and expensive possessions people own are their electronics and gaming systems. Electronic devices play an integral and even central part in everyday life, both for work and for play. So, carefully considering the safest way to move these items is very important. The following are steps that will avoid costly mishaps when moving electronics and gaming consoles.

Three Simple and Easy Steps

There are three primary steps for moving computers or gaming systems safely. The include backing up irreplaceable data, dismantling, organizing, and packing gear and related components safely, and moving electronics with safety and great care in mind.

1. Backup All Irreplaceable Data: The first step for any move is to make sure that all personal data is safely backed up. In the off chance that something does go wrong despite one’s best efforts, this ensures that important data can always be retrieved. This is a step that should not be overlooked. While electronics can be replaced, chances are that the photos and other important data the equipment contains can’t be.

For personal computers, this means backing up data with thumb drives and external drives or non-rewritable media, such as discs. Cloud storage is also useful in this regard as it requires no physical device and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. Cloud storage’s disadvantage is that it may require a subscription fee to maintain and access over time. Consider the best option for your individual data needs.

No matter how irreplaceable data is stored, it not only acts as insurance in case of the unexpected, but it also provides peace of mind. If using a storage device for backup, put this in a separate, safe space until the move is complete.

2. Dismantle, Organize, and Pack Gear and Components: Once backups have been made for all irreplaceable data, it’s time to start preparing the electronics for the move. The second of the three primary steps for moving computers or gaming systems is to dismantle, organize and pack up all gear and associated components. This ensures that equipment will not be lost or misplaced and minimizes the possibility of damage during the move.

Computers and gaming consoles vary in size and shape, but the most common computers used today are laptops and units consisting of a monitor and processor, usually in the form of a tower. Eject all media that these devices may contain, such as discs, and place them in their original containers. Remove all cables attached to these devices. Coil cables firmly (but not tightly) and tie them off before placing them in a plastic bag.

Perform the same tasks for gaming systems. It’s also a good idea to gather and bag any associated cables or peripheral items that came with the computer or gaming system for easier retrieval later. It’s also an excellent idea to label cables at this point, especially if manuals have been discarded. Labeling can be done easily with masking tape and a marker.

Once cables and peripherals have been removed from the devices and bagged, retrieve the original packaging in which the computer or game system came in, if you still have the box. The original packaging typically has spacers of either cardboard or Styrofoam that keep the electronics from moving around inside. If the original packaging is not available, choose a box that will allow room for filler or cushioning for further protection. It’s important to be sure that the devices won’t move around or scrape against one another while in transit.

After the boxes are taped up, secure, and their contents are firmly in place, use a marker to label any boxes for easy identification. It’s also important that boxes containing electronics such as computers or gaming systems are handled with care. To reduce chances of rough handling, mark which side of the box should face up and consider adding highly visible FRAGILE notifications on all sides of the box.

3. Move Electronics with Safety and Care: Now comes the final of the three steps for moving computers and gaming systems, moving the packaged devices. During this stage, as with all others, personal safety should be a primary concern. Some computer systems can be surprisingly heavy, especially older models. In these cases, get assistance when lifting the boxes to avoid dropping the components.

When packing the moving truck, make sure that heavy objects aren’t placed on top of boxes containing electronics. In addition, make sure that boxes are snuggly placed together so the boxes containing electronics will not shift, move, or become crushed during transit. Another thing to keep in mind is not to expose electronics to very cold or very hot conditions (consult a device’s documentation for precise temperatures). Be mindful of humid conditions as well.

By following these three easy steps, you should be able to find and set up your computer or gaming console with little effort and get back to the fun as quickly as possible!

Comparing The 3 Different Types Of Movers Quotes

Figuring out a moving estimate can be tricky, and yet it’s something a homeowner will need to be capable of before committing to a moving company. Moving estimates are an essential part of the process, and include all of the relevant financial information regarding a client’s move. In addition to the total estimate itself, it should also include a fee breakdown and any special provisions that may affect the final price. For obvious reasons, a homeowner should seek out an estimate that is as detailed and precise as possible.

In the moving industry, two services can produce two estimates that vary by several hundred, or even thousands of dollars. Knowing what a reputable estimate looks like is therefore extremely important.

The Three Types of Moving Estimates

Moving companies will offer one of three types of moving estimates, including non-binding, binding and binding not-to-exceed estimates. Above all else, a client must know which type of estimate they are working with, because with some estimates, what a client sees isn’t necessarily what they will get. What does that mean, exactly? Consider the benefits and concerns with each estimate type:

Binding Not-To-Exceed Estimates

In general, binding not-to-exceed estimates are the best option for consumers, as they provide a chance to save money with no increase in risk. This is how a binding not-to-exceed estimate works:

  • The moving company will provide an estimate of the job’s cost, including a detailed fee breakdown and the expected weight of the client’s goods.
  • The moving company will weigh the client’s goods on the truck once everything is loaded. This is done at an approved facility and should be done while the client is present so they can verify the weigh-in results.
  • What makes a binding not-to-exceed estimate such a powerful option for clients is that the client always gets the lower price between the estimate and the weigh-in. Even when the client’s goods weigh more than the estimate, they will get the lower estimated price. It is effectively a no-lose situation for a homeowner.
  • With a binding not-to-exceed estimate, a homeowner knows what they will pay at the maximum, so they can plan ahead better and with less stress. And if the weigh-in comes in lower, then it’s a bonus for the client.
  • A binding not-to-exceed estimate is always given after a company representative has had a chance to survey the property prior to the move. It is always to the client’s benefit to have the company survey the property, as this will ensure the crew shows up prepared and with any equipment they need for the job. It also ensures the most accurate estimate possible.
  • After all, it is to the company’s benefit to be extremely accurate in this case, because if they are off, it’s the company that takes the hit, not the client.
  • The only problem with binding not-to-exceed estimates is that they are difficult to secure. The vast majority of moving services will not offer them, but if a client is insistent, they may be able to convince the company to agree to one.

For homeowners worried about being taken advantage of during the moving process, a binding not-to-exceed estimate offers the best peace of mind, and usually signals that the company is a reputable one. That being said, it is still important that a homeowner be present at the weigh-in and that they inquire about any fees they are unsure of that are listed on the estimate.

Binding Estimates

A binding estimate also offers stability during the moving process, as it guarantees a price beforehand. In short, the cost listed on a binding estimate is immovable, no matter what the goods actually weigh. Here are some things to keep in mind about a binding estimate:

  • Moving services will hold firm to what the estimate says, so clients that want to do some negotiating will have to do so early on, because they won’t have an opportunity to do so once the goods are weighed.
  • It is enormously important that a client only agree to a binding estimate if the company has actually visited the property and if the estimate details all fees. The weight of the client’s goods is not something that should be guessed at. When moving services guess at fees and pricing, it is almost always to the client’s disadvantage.
  • This means that homeowners should not accept phone or e-mail estimates. Moving services that rely on such estimates will charge fees that purposely overshoot the weight of the client’s goods. In short, the homeowner pays more for no reason.
  • The nature of binding estimates is such that a client may try to game the system. For example, a homeowner may hide items from the estimator while they are at the property, only to pack them up in boxes prior to the move. The idea is that the client overloads the truck without paying more. The problem with this approach is that items are insured by weight, so if a client sneaks in additional weight and items are damaged, there may be no insurance available for reimbursement purposes.
  • A binding estimate, like a binding not-to-exceed estimate, provides some certainty from a budgeting standpoint, allowing clients to organize their finances accordingly. Binding estimates are also easier to secure than binding not-to-exceed estimates, so they are a practical choice for many.

While binding estimates aren’t as favorable to the client, they can still be a perfectly acceptable option, as long as the estimate is provided following a thorough inspection of the client’s property.

Non-Binding Estimates

Non-binding estimates are popular among moving services as they generally favor the company over the consumer. They are also organized in a way that makes them easy to deliver over the phone or over e-mail, so it’s less effort on the company’s part to put one together. This added convenience can be attractive to clients too, but it comes with a lot of uncertainty regarding fees. Here’s a rough look at non-binding estimates:

  • It’s best to think of a non-binding estimate as merely an approximation, and one that will almost definitely change once everything is weighed-in. No matter what a client is quoted at the time of the estimate, they will pay the cost associated with the actual weight of the goods.
  • Because the client doesn’t get an exact price until everything is loaded on a trailer and taken to the company’s facility, this is the type of estimate that is most associated with bait and switch scams. Once everything is loaded on the trailer, the moving service has all the leverage.
  • If a client is only moving a modest amount of goods and is moving on short notice, a non-binding estimate can work, as long as the homeowner is certain they are working with a reputable company.
  • Non-binding estimates are usually given over the phone or over e-mail, which means the estimate will naturally be inaccurate.
  • Non-binding estimates rarely feature detailed fee schedules, so if the client has any particularly heavy or bulky items, like a piano or large sculptures, they will likely have to pay much more than the estimate, as these items require additional equipment and additional fees.
  • If the actual cost is higher than the estimated cost, the moving service may collect 10 percent of the difference prior to the move. However, at this point, they are obligated to transport the client’s goods to their destination. The mover will be able to bill a client for the remaining amount within a month of completing the job.

Non-binding estimates should be a last resort option for most clients, especially if the estimate is not offered in person. In fact, most oversight agencies, like the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration and Better Business Bureau, recommend homeowners only consider moving services that offer in-person estimates. Such estimates allow homeowners to review all of the related paperwork, including inventories and contracts, and this will protect the client from any unscrupulous behavior on the mover’s part.

A Few Final Thoughts on Estimates

While it is of paramount importance that a homeowner know the type of estimate they are working with, there are additional things to look for. They include:

  • All estimates should be calculated using weight values, and not volume. This is especially true when the move involves interstate travel. Weight is strongly preferred because it’s an extremely difficult value to alter, and therefore it is harder to scam a client using weight. Volume, though, is easy to alter and moving companies can wring an extra few hundred dollars out of a client by just moving the goods around on the trailer.
  • Clients should not expect to pay a deposit on a move that involves interstate travel.
  • Motor carriers are only required to maintain 60 cents of insurance per pound of cargo, which is usually a paltry amount compared to the actual value of the goods. If purchasing additional insurance, make sure this is reflected on any fee schedule.

Moving estimates are an all-important reference document for clients during the moving process, and should be regarded with care. Clients should expect their estimates to be thorough, detailed and transparent. If there is any doubt present about an estimate’s accuracy, trust that doubt and avoid wasting hundreds of dollars needlessly.