In our culture, there is a certain stigma about talking in depth about money matters and announcing one’s personal income. Nobody wants to be labelled “cheap” or “broke” but nobody wants to grossly overpay for something either. However service industries can be a tricky place to navigate, especially as tips are quietly expected.
Contrary to popular urban myth, the word “tips” does not mean “Tips Insure Prompt Service” or anything of the like for that matter. (Which totally makes sense, for how could you insure prompt service unless you pay tips ahead of time?) Although it has many connotations, both as a verb and as a noun, the use of the term as it applies to monetary rewards to servants and dates back to the 1700’s in Europe. It first appeared in this context as a verb (“Then I, Sir, tips me the Verger with half a Crown” from the 1706 George Farquhar play The Beaux Stratagem) and was first recorded as a noun in 1755. Today, we tend to follow suit with this long-standing habit of monetarily rewarding those who provide a service.
A common question we are asked, day in and day out, is: “How much do I tip my movers?” Generally, at restaurants, a good waiter or waitress can be appropriately rewarded for a 5-star job with at least a 20% tip. However, moving is a bit more expensive than just your Grand Slam at Denny’s…and we realize this. According to Lauri Ward at Redecorate.com, “I prefer a flat fee over a percentage when tipping movers,” she begins. “As a minimum, the crew usually gets $20-$30 per mover. For more complex moves, tip $40 per mover. The foreman usually receives $50 for less complicated moves and $75-$100 for bigger jobs.”
While everyone’s budget does vary greatly, especially in the Los Angeles Metro Area, even just a few dollars tipped to help your movers buy a meal-on-the-go is greatly appreciated.