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Tipping piano movers? #136241 04/15/08 07:52 PM
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NE_Geek_Girl Offline OP
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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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Re: Tipping piano movers? #136242 04/15/08 08:01 PM
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U S A P T Offline
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$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.


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Re: Tipping piano movers? #136243 04/16/08 05:56 AM
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Rich Galassini Offline
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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.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
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Re: Tipping piano movers? #136244 04/16/08 10:49 AM
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We had recently a grand piano move out of heck - nice people but - no tips!!

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

Norbert wink


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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Re: Tipping piano movers? #136245 04/16/08 12:28 PM
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lilylady Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Norbert:
We had recently a grand piano move out of heck - nice people but - no tips!!

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

Norbert wink
Why not just 'pay them more'? confused

----

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."
Re: Tipping piano movers? #136246 04/16/08 12:58 PM
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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? thumb

Re: Tipping piano movers? #136247 04/16/08 01:02 PM
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stevedavis1776 Offline
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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.

Re: Tipping piano movers? #136248 04/16/08 05:30 PM
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NE_Geek_Girl Offline OP
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Our guys (there were four) did a great job and were just very nice as well. They all got a nice fat tip.

Re: Tipping piano movers? #136249 04/16/08 05:41 PM
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Bear 1 Offline
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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)
Re: Tipping piano movers? #136250 04/16/08 08:13 PM
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Bob in WA Offline
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When our new Fandrich arrived, the guys did such a superb job I tipped them $50 AND lunch.

Bob

Re: Tipping piano movers? #136251 04/16/08 09:53 PM
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dv Offline
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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!

Re: Tipping piano movers? #136252 04/16/08 10:51 PM
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Deerwood Dad Offline
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DV -- Where can I find one of those "talking pianos"? wink


Mason & Hamlin A (2006); Yamaha P140
Re: Tipping piano movers? #136253 04/17/08 09:21 AM
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Jen Smith Offline
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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
Aaaah!!! Stole my joke.

Re: Tipping piano movers? #136254 04/25/08 11:10 AM
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PianoPro Offline
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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!"
Re: Tipping piano movers? #136255 04/25/08 08:00 PM
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Rich Galassini Offline
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Quote
I've just recently stopped tipping cows.


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.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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Re: Tipping piano movers? #136256 04/25/08 08:36 PM
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Bear 1 Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Rich Galassini:
Quote
[b]I've just recently stopped tipping cows.


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 smile

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)
Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl] #2161950 10/04/13 10:57 PM
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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.

Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl] #2161954 10/04/13 11:12 PM
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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.



"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: NE_Geek_Girl] #2161970 10/05/13 01:20 AM
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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.

Last edited by thorn_was_taken; 10/05/13 01:26 AM.

thorn

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

1920's Mason & Hamlin A
Re: Tipping piano movers? [Re: U S A P T] #2161976 10/05/13 01:52 AM
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rXd Offline
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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?





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


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