How Much Should You Tip a Furniture Delivery Crew?
When you eat out at a restaurant, it’s common knowledge that you tip your server. Likewise, when you get a haircut or ask a valet to park your car, you typically give them a tip. But what about the people who deliver your furniture; do you tip them?
Tipping for furniture delivery is often not expected, but highly appreciated. The average tip is $10 to $30 per person, depending on the difficulty of the delivery. For example, delivering a sofa up several flights of stairs is a difficult task, and should be rewarded accordingly. Likewise, you should tip more if you find the service to be exceptional.
Furniture delivery is one of those murky areas where it’s not the standard to tip. However, service is still being provided to you. Therefore, it’s wise to have some cash on hand in case you feel a tip is in order.
Tipping For Furniture Delivery: Truck Delivery
If you purchase your furniture from a store like Rooms-to-Go or Furniture Mart, these places use their delivery trucks and drivers. Most of the time, this type of delivery involves bringing the furniture into your residence.
The workers will unwrap the items, allowing you time to examine goods to sign off on their condition. In a situation like this, use your best judgment. Tipping for your delivery is good practice, but you should base the amount on the level and quality of service.
The minimum amount for a successful delivery should be $5 per person. However, you should consider giving more if the service is exceptional or there are any extenuating circumstances. For example, if the piece is huge and heavy or a unique item like a piano.
Things To Consider When Tipping
There are a few things you will want to consider when you are deciding the amount to tip per person. Here are just a few examples of what should determine your tip amount:
- Are the people delivering your furniture taking their time?
- Do the workers allow you to examine the furniture and ask questions?
- Are the workers patient?
- Do the workers clean up any debris from the delivery, such as packaging and protective wrapping?
- Are the workers careful and courteous?
If the answer to all of these questions is yes, you should consider tipping more money per person. Anywhere from $10 up to $20 is good, especially for overly large items.
Some companies only deliver the items, leaving the unwrapping and setup to you. In some cases, you may need to be home to accept the delivery.
Or, you might be able to have items left on your porch (although you’ll likely need to give prior written permission).
If this situation applies to you, you have a few options. Of course, if the driver is simply leaving an item on your porch, he probably doesn’t expect a tip. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t leave one for him in a marked envelope.
If you decide to do this, you could write something like “For Rooms-to-Go Driver” or something similar. Usually, you will know the timeframe of your expected delivery. You could place this envelope on your porch as close to the delivery time as possible.
This tipping method comes with some risks. The driver may not see the envelope, or someone else might help themself to your money. You need to trust in the “honor system” if you tip this way.
On the other hand, if you need to sign for your delivery, you can simply hand the cash to the driver. Since there is no set-up involved, you can go with the recommended $5 per person. Or, if the items are small, the driver will likely appreciate a few bucks for his drop-off-and-go delivery.
Furniture Delivery and Assembly
If your furniture delivery involves any type of setup beyond unwrapping or unpackaging items, expect to tip more. For example, some furniture delivery comes with installation and assembly services.
Even if you’ve paid an extra fee for this service, tipping is appreciated. Granted, the workers will likely get a cut of that fee, but it might not be much.
Assess how long and difficult the setup takes. Then, plan to tip based on the amount of time and effort spent on the process. This is where the tip amount will likely reach closer to the $15 to $25 per person range.
Tipping For Furniture Delivery From Shipping Companies
Many furniture companies don’t have their delivery fleet. These companies will use third-party companies or big shipping companies like UPS and FedEx.
Also, if you order from online furniture retailers like Wayfair or West Elm, your items arrive via FedEx or UPS.
You likely get packages from these companies all of the time and never think about tipping. Likewise, drivers usually don’t expect tips every time they make a delivery.
Delivery Workers Make Decent Money
Unlike servers who make very little per hour and rely heavily on tips, delivery workers typically make good money. Amazon’s drivers start at a minimum of $15/hour with the opportunity to grow.
FedEx and UPS drivers earn anywhere from $17 to over $30 an hour, with some average annual salaries approaching $60,000 to $70,000. Plus, many of these employees also receive good benefits.
Tip When You Feel It Is Appropriate
Many people will tip their UPS and FedEx drivers with cash or a gift during the holidays. Plus, anytime you think someone is going above and beyond their regular duties is a welcome tipping opportunity.
Likewise, if the driver is handling a large piece of furniture for you, it is a nice gesture to give a tip. When it comes to tipping in these cases, you can follow the same rules as above for company deliveries.
Can You Tip A Delivery Driver?
You most certainly can tip UPS, Amazon, and FedEx drivers. Just because tipping is not expected doesn’t mean it isn’t permissible or against the policy, but there are some restrictions.
These drivers are allowed to accept tips, although UPS prefers their drivers to get gifts instead. FedEx maxes out the amount a driver can receive for a tip or gift at $75.
Amazon has specific services that involve grocery and household items that allow you to tip via their app. However, when it comes to furniture, the driver will likely leave the items on your porch like a regular delivery. You can attempt to leave an envelope as mentioned above, or try to catch the driver in action.
Tips On Tipping For Furniture Delivery
Furniture delivery is not a service where tipping is considered to be typical or standard. However, that doesn’t mean a tip isn’t welcome, especially when it is well-deserved.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use cash.
- If there are multiple workers, give a tip to each worker. Don’t just hand a large total to one person and expect him to divide it accordingly.
- If you are unable to tip for some reason, kind gestures are always welcome. Offer the workers some water or a cold glass of lemonade.
- If the delivery crew declines your tip due to company policy, don’t push the issue. Instead, ask if you can offer them any refreshments. If you’re impressed with their service, you could also write a note of praise and send it to their supervisor.
Extra Considerations When Tipping For Furniture Delivery
When you think about it, furniture delivery is often hard work. It can be physically challenging, exhausting, and time-consuming, depending on the number of pieces and any special needs.
If you get a pizza delivered, you most likely tip the driver, and that’s just a pizza! When you look at it from this perspective, why wouldn’t you tip the guy unloading your large sectional or flatscreen?
In addition to some of the factors already mentioned, there are a few other things worth considering. For example, is the crew dealing with crazy weather during your delivery?
Consider Tipping For Complex Situations
If it’s raining, extremely cold, or sweltering outside, these conditions should play a part in determining your tip amount. Also, think about your home about the weather. For example, if it’s 100 degrees out and your A/C is busted, it is even tougher for the delivery crew.
Or, perhaps you have a piece that needs to be brought up three or four flights of stairs. You might have an entire room full of furniture being delivered. Or, maybe it’s a moving company that is delivering the furniture for your entire home!
Tipping Furniture Movers
This delivery scenario begs for its very own section because this is a tremendous job! If you hire a moving company to relocate all of your belongings to a new home, tipping is encouraged.
Plus, in this case, budget tips of between $30 and $40 per person into your moving expenses. The movers are bringing in all of your furniture and likely placing it in the correct rooms. Plus, they are probably also carrying boxes and other items into your house for you.
Not to mention these workers also likely loaded all of your furniture into the truck from your old residence. That means this crew has done double-duty and should be tipped accordingly for good service.
What if an item is damaged; should you still tip?
If the people delivering your furniture provide excellent service, but the item is damaged, don’t immediately assume you won’t tip. Unless you witnessed the workers damage your item, that defect could have happened anywhere. It’s not fair to deny the workers a tip if they are doing a great job. Remember, someone else might have damaged your furniture, or it was a complete accident. If your item is damaged, you can contact the retailer to arrange for a replacement.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
More by Stacy Randall