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#136241 - 04/15/08 08:52 PM Tipping piano movers?
NE_Geek_Girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Boston Suburbs
The new piano arrives tomorrow! (Yeah!) The movers are also moving the old piano into another room for us. The dealer is paying them. Should I tip them? How much?

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#136242 - 04/15/08 09:01 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
$40 apiece? $20 apiece MINIMUM (assuming two).

They aren't overpaid I can assure you. Make sure you give the tip to each individual mover.

People who tip well get good karma and may get a free return trip if you decide to put the piano at another angle or something.
_________________________
Full-Time Music/Entrepreneurship Major: (Why not compose music AND businesses?)
Former Piano Industry Professional
************
Steinway M
Roland Atelier AT90R
************
All Posts are Snarky Unless Otherwise Noted
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#136243 - 04/16/08 06:56 AM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Rich Galassini Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8974
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Tipping a piano mover is totally optional, but many people do it in the Philly area for our movers.

(But then, our movers are truly outstanding!)

$20. to $40. per man is not uncommon.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#136244 - 04/16/08 11:49 AM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13963
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
We had recently a grand piano move out of hell - nice people but - no tips!!

Luckily we have a slash fund in the office.....

Norbert ;\)
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www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#136245 - 04/16/08 01:28 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
 Quote:
Originally posted by Norbert:
We had recently a grand piano move out of hell - nice people but - no tips!!

Luckily we have a slash fund in the office.....

Norbert ;\) [/b]
Why not just 'pay them more'?

----

Getting my MH AA in here was not easy for two men (plus store mgr). It weighs a ton! But I had forewarned that I had bumpy granite stepping stones for a walkway, AND the two granite steps.

However, they showed up with only 2 men, no lift on the truck, no plywood or boards to help with them move across the 20 ft of house front and 10 to the side door - and I felt just terrible with what they had to do. The piano moving board kept getting stuck on the uneven granite stones, so they had to heft it. The Poor Guys.

But, I felt that I had done what I could from this end to let them know. Maybe there was a communication problem somewhere. ???

I had their $20 each tip ready, but really felt badly that it turned out harder for them without the equipment needed.

In the landscape business (mine), someone always has plywood boards to get across lawns with heavy carts/trees/shrubs/etc. I just cannot imagine that it is not part of the standard equipment for piano movers.

Might I suggest that movers keep plywood or heavy boards available on their trucks - just in case?

I also loved the thread about that stair climber that is automatic. I forgot what it is called.
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#136246 - 04/16/08 01:58 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
birchy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 323
Loc: Vancouver
My SP178 weighs something like 800 lbs. and the two guys who moved it in had to take it up a flight of stairs to my upstairs living room.

There was a miscommunication with their dispatcher I guess - they are always supposed to have three people (sometimes four) for a move like that. The look on their faces when they realized what was ahead of them told the whole story. I offered to add some muscle but one of them looked at me with the world-weary eye of a pro and advised me that the opportunity for me to be injured was higher than the likelihood that my efforts would really help them. I also said it was okay with me if they needed to come back another day. Instead they started planning and strategizing each step of the move, and with no small amount of brute effort, they got it in place, no damage to piano or themselves.

It took about 120 agonizing seconds to move that vertical ten feet, after which the two of them were perspiring heavily and flushed. I gave them each a glass of water, and they seemed surprised at this small consideration (are most customers not so empathetic?).

After they finished meticulously setting up the piano, including positioning it just as prescribed, I dug into my pocket and gave them all the bills I had (about $50). The move was free with the piano but their willingness to go beyond the ordinary had ensured my piano arrived the day promised, and their super-human effort was pretty darn inspiring to an office worker like me.

On their way out, I asked if they were done for the day (it was 5 PM), and was told no, they had one more piano to deliver - their EIGHTH delivery of the day.

Who wouldn't tip pros like that?

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#136247 - 04/16/08 02:02 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
stevedavis1776 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/08
Posts: 66
I would never in my life tip a piano mover. They set their price. It cost 900 dollars to get a piano here from Maryland. They did their job professionally, and they were nice guys. I assume professionalism and courtesy were already part of the 900 bucks.

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#136248 - 04/16/08 06:30 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
NE_Geek_Girl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Boston Suburbs
Our guys (there were four) did a great job and were just very nice as well. They all got a nice fat tip.

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#136249 - 04/16/08 06:41 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 1348
Loc: Hillsboro Beach South Florida
I believe tipping movers is the right thing to do.

I've just recently stopped tipping cows. :rolleyes:

Bear
_________________________
Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)

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#136250 - 04/16/08 09:13 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Bob in WA Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/07
Posts: 15
Loc: Walla Walla, WA
When our new Fandrich arrived, the guys did such a superb job I tipped them $50 AND lunch.

Bob

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#136251 - 04/16/08 10:53 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
dv Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 4
Loc: Ohio
Here in the midwest, $20-40 per guy seems excessive; I usually pony up at least $10 per man. These guys are NOT overpaid, and generally love talking pianos!

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#136252 - 04/16/08 11:51 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Deerwood Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 478
Loc: Minneapolis
DV -- Where can I find one of those "talking pianos"? ;\)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A (2006); Yamaha P140

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#136253 - 04/17/08 10:21 AM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Jen Smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 22
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bear 1:
I believe tipping movers is the right thing to do.

I've just recently stopped tipping cows. :rolleyes:

Bear [/b]
Aaaah!!! Stole my joke.

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#136254 - 04/25/08 12:10 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
PianoPro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 314
Loc: Iowa
I still tip cows. It's just soooo funny!

Just kidding. Tip good workers. I have no idea what the region of the country has to do with it. Most moves are done with 2 man crews. $40-$50 for both should be sufficient.
_________________________
Dennis C.
Piano Store Operator,
Former District Manager,
20 Year Industry Experience

"Tell the truth, honor God, and make money!"

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#136255 - 04/25/08 09:00 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Rich Galassini Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8974
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
 Quote:
I've just recently stopped tipping cows.
[/b]

Bear - thats cute.

It reminds of the young man that decided to make his living as a Mohel.

The pay was terrible, but he always got a tip.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Get Cunningham Piano Email Updates

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#136256 - 04/25/08 09:36 PM Re: Tipping piano movers?
Bear 1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 1348
Loc: Hillsboro Beach South Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Galassini:
 Quote:
I've just recently stopped tipping cows.
[/b]

Bear - thats cute.

It reminds of the young man that decided to make his living as a Mohel.

The pay was terrible, but he always got a tip. [/b]
Rich,

That's priceless. "He always got a tip." LOL \:\)

Bear
_________________________
Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)

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#2161950 - 10/04/13 11:57 PM Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
E. Christensen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/13
Posts: 38
I would suggest tipping in most cases, at least $20-40. If they are movers working for a company they are obviously not getting the full $900 quoted above but rather an hourly or per job wage just like a waitress at a restaurant is not getting paid based on the cost of your meal.

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#2161954 - 10/05/13 12:12 AM Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
Retsacnal Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 317
Loc: Northern Virgina
D&E Movers brought my piano just a couple days ago. I was wondering the same. I offered them each a Coke or Sprite, and all three accepted one. They moved the piano into the place I asked. Pulled the keyboard out because something had shifted during the move and was blocking the fallboard. But when the work was done, they left in a flash--I couldn't have tipped them if I wanted to. It's like they vanished. I literally chased the last guy out through the garage. They leapt in their truck and bolted.
_________________________
1950 Baldwin M

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#2161970 - 10/05/13 02:20 AM Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
thorn_was_taken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 95
Tip commensurate with your experience. Be ready in case it's great -- but have small bills in case it's not?

I was poorly prepared. My piano movers were not just brilliant and perfect -- it was apparent that the lead guy knew his stuff. He was a person of few words, but the ones he used counted. He likes my manufacturer, and gave me some super interesting facts. So I asked him whether I should wait to play it, and how long I should wait to have it tuned. I'm glad I did. I started right in playing it, and scheduled the tune for 3+ weeks out. For a tip I only had ten bucks in my bag -- which I gave him wholeheartedly; but I was embarrassed to have had so little cash on hand for the purpose. The lead guy was extremely gracious, and even said it had been their easiest move of the day -- but if I'd planned better I would have tipped the 3-guy crew twenty bucks apiece. Seriously. At that moment I was turning over in my head how far to the nearest ATM,and even now I cringe a little to think about it.

We have like 3 steps, and there was no schlep through the house, bitey dog, or breakables to navigate through -- I had spiked the location of the piano with tape on the floor. But h0ly cr@p. My piano weighs >800 lbs.

I would recommend my movers to anyone in the Chicagoland area needing a piano moved. Message me if you'd like their info. They're licensed, bonded, etc., and as I said, they know what they're doing. Timing-wise they *are* a bit like the appliance repair people -- you schedule and hope, then the day before the event they tell you the real time. (For pickup, my guys arrived @ 'real time' On. The. Dot.) "Real time" might be nothing like the 'scheduled' time; but coordinating a bunch of mutually unfamiliar people -- and traffic, and road construction -- is tricky around here. It was one day; the instrument will be mine for years and years and years. Just take the day off work and don't look back. I did. No regrets.

My new tech is coming Monday. Time has crawled. I've drunk adult beverages, read stupid literature, binge-watched TV series episodes, & applied for a job, just to bludgeon time. I am grateful for this topic, because it reminds me that I should report my positive experience to my tech so he knows that my movers still live up to their reputation.

Disclaimer: I'm a librarian. No affiliation, no stake -- plain old customer.


Edited by thorn_was_taken (10/05/13 02:26 AM)
_________________________
thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A

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#2161976 - 10/05/13 02:52 AM Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: U S A P T]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: U S A P T
$40 apiece? $20 apiece MINIMUM (assuming two).

They aren't overpaid I can assure you. Make sure you give the tip to each individual mover.

People who tip well get good karma and may get a free return trip if you decide to put the piano at another angle or something.



While I agree with a healthy tip, at the slightest trace of the thought that you might get something for free in return, karma goes right out the window.
If, out of their gratitude (not to be confused with karma), they all turn up for a free visit, do you tip them again?



_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2162240 - 10/05/13 06:13 PM Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
In A Silent Way Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 75
When we moved last time, the piano movers also took care of our 25 cubic meters, half of that books and paper. The price was right, they handled everything well so I rounded the fee on the cheque and tipped them individually.

A few days after that I started thinking we had spent quite a fortune for something we could have done by renting a truck by ourselves. And then I thought that was maybe the best souvenir one could have about a moving, the price paid you think high for such an event you feel no pain in the back and the shoulders : I had simply forgotten the work (well) done!

If possible I will never consider moving again the hard way, you know, when you are so tired and baked by the ingrate hurry to pack that your eyes look apart each from the other without your consent at the end of the day. And now I even think I never so happily gave away some cash than for the tipping that day!

So I recommend absolutely the use of piano movers services, and to give them tips!

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#2162244 - 10/05/13 06:20 PM Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl]
Andy K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/15/13
Posts: 21
I just tipped the three guys who moved a 9 foot concert grand $150- I'd have given them another50- but I was out of cash.
Andy

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