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Should You Tip Furniture Delivery? Everything You Need to Know About the Tipping Etiquette

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Key Takeaways

  • Tipping furniture delivery workers is appreciated, not mandatory, usually $5-$20 per person.
  • Consider promptness, job difficulty, and care of furniture when deciding to tip.
  • Tip each worker directly in cash after service completion.
  • Offering refreshments can be a kind alternative if unable to tip.

Do You Tip Furniture Delivery People?

Tipping furniture delivery workers is not mandatory but is appreciated for their physically demanding job.

It’s customary to tip at least $5 per person, with the option to tip up to $20 for exceptional service.

Consider factors like promptness, job speed, additional services, job difficulty, worker behavior, and furniture care when deciding whether or not to tip.

I suggest waiting until after the service is complete, not before, and tipping each worker directly in cash.

And if a worker declines the tip due to company policy, a verbal “thank you is sufficient”. In this case, a refreshment or drink/snack of some type can also be offered as a kind gesture.

Why Should You Tip for Furniture Delivery?

Furniture delivery is a physically demanding job. There’s a reason why you hired delivery professionals instead of tackling this project yourself, and the required level of physical effort is certainly a part of it.

It seems only right to provide a tip to the furniture delivery guys for a job well done, but is it something you absolutely have to do?

There are no musts here. If you want to tip for exemplary service or just to be nice, feel free to do so.

However, it’s fine if you forget or don’t realize that you had the option to tip. No one will think less of you if you don’t provide any extra cash.

The delivery people aren’t expecting it since you already paid a delivery fee for their services upfront, but they’ll still be grateful if you offer a tip.

After all, furniture assembly and delivery professionals earn between $25,000 and $42,000 a year. They’re not dependent on tips to pay the bills, per se, but since their yearly wages are below the national average, every little bit counts.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I tip furniture delivery people, but only if they’re friendly and do a good job. Like anything, tips are earned, and should directly correlate with the level of service provided.

There are some cases, however, where things are going wrong for them. In times like this, I tip even more if they’re handling the issues well.

Some common incidents might include their truck getting loaded late – or incorrectly – by the warehouse team, delays due to holdups at another location, or damaged furniture that they didn’t notice until they unloaded it.

When things go wrong, I tend to understand. But what helps me to evaluate my decision on whether or not to tip is how they handle the situation.

If they’re respectful, communicative, and apologetic, they’ll get a big tip. But if they’re entitled or don’t seem to show any type of empathy for the frustration that the mistake caused me, I lower or eliminate my tip altogether.

Factors That May Affect Your Tipping Decision

While tipping furniture delivery drivers and workers is always appreciated, it isn’t always feasible from a financial standpoint. Apart from that, in a few possible scenarios, a tip just isn’t warranted.

Consider these factors when determining whether to provide a tip to a delivery person.

1. Promptness

No one wants to wait forever for furniture delivery service, especially if you’re moving soon. You might offer a tip for furniture delivery if the team shows up on time or slightly earlier than projected (although not too early, as this can cause its own inconveniences if you’re not ready). If they’re late, you might opt not to tip.

2. Job Speed

Speed shouldn’t trump quality, but if the delivery team can work expediently and efficiently, that makes them excellent candidates for a good tip.

3. Additional Services

Any services outside of the norm (like furniture assembly) should inspire you to tip your furniture delivery drivers, as should taking extra good care of your furniture. For example, if they wrap your antique couch in plastic to ensure its safe transport, you should consider tipping them.

4. Difficulty of the Job

Does your home have a winding set of stairs, narrow passageways, and other layout challenges that make delivering furniture more difficult than usual? That’s another reason to provide a tip for an awesome delivery service.

5. Worker Behavior

Ideally, the delivery workers should be amiable. While they’re doing a tough job and you shouldn’t expect them to always have a smile plastered over their faces, they should at least be approachable and agreeable. If your delivery team is rude, you’re not obligated to tip.

6. Furniture Care

Furniture isn’t cheap. You’re counting on the delivery team to transport your new furniture pieces safely from their warehouse to your home. If the furniture arrives scuffed, dinged, chipped, scratched, or otherwise in bad shape, you shouldn’t tip. You also shouldn’t use that delivery service again!

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

I recently helped move a family member to Phoenix, Arizona. The family member packed a truck and headed down, and I flew in to help unload the truck and get everything settled in.

We had quite a bit of stuff to move, and I expected it to take about an entire day, 6-7 hours, of work. The medium-sized truck we rented from U-haul wasn’t huge, but it fit a good amount of stuff.

This family member had ordered some new furniture and scheduled it to get delivered the same day we were unloading the truck. There really wasn’t much – a couch, a few small end tables, and a queen sized bed.

I arrived at the apartment to help unload the full truck at the same time that the furniture delivery arrived. We all started unloading at the same time.

After around 3 hours of moving, I was about halfway done with the truck. But the furniture delivery still wasn’t complete.

The guys were okay – not friendly but not particularly rude either – but they were slow. I could tell they were probably getting paid hourly.

An hour after that, they still weren’t done. I wanted to go to lunch, but we had to wait until they were done to go. At this point, I was getting a bit impatient.

When the delivery was finally complete about an hour later, I walked them to the door and did not offer a tip.

I’ve done quite a bit of moving in my day, and I almost always offer a tip. But this was unreasonable to the point that I was confusing myself in trying to figure out how it could have taken them that long.

How Much Should You Tip a Furniture Delivery Person?

If you’ve decided to tip your furniture delivery people, the next question on your mind is — how much?

At the very least, provide a $5 tip. You can also pay $10, $15, or even $20 if you’re blown away by the furniture delivery workers’ quality of work.

Keep in mind that these tips are made per person. Multiply the sum with the number of people on the delivery team and give each their due.

Doing the basic math, a 10-person team of furniture delivery people would receive $50 total as a tip if you offered $5 per person. If you increased the tip to $10, that would be $100 overall.

You have to tip furniture delivery workers the same across the board, so carefully choose how much you offer.

When Do You Tip Furniture Delivery Workers — Before or After Service?

While you should think ahead and have money set aside when you tip for furniture delivery, you don’t have to tip the drivers before they finish their work.

You should tip them for their service, which means handing over the tip after they conclude the work, but before they leave.

After the delivery service, the team is unlikely to stick around for long, considering you paid for the service in advance. Catch the drivers on their way out, give them a handshake and a hearty thank you, and then hand them the tip.

You don’t have to be overly discreet about it but don’t wax gregarious and be too boastful about it, either.

Frequently Asked Questions

What If the Furniture Delivery Person Turns Down My Tip?

In some cases, delivery workers might refuse a tip. For example, their company policy might forbid them from accepting tips. If that’s the case, don’t press the issue. Thank them verbally instead.

Should I Offer a Cash Tip or a Digital One?

Cash tips are easier to dole out among a delivery team. They’re also faster to distribute, which matters when the delivery team has other appointments to keep up with.

Can I Offer Refreshments Instead of a Cash Tip?

Yes, certainly. Providing snacks and drinks will make the furniture delivery team’s jobs easier, as they’ll feel more energized and ready to work. It makes for a nice gesture, whether it’s in addition to a cash tip or in place of one.

Wrapping Up

Generally, it’s not mandatory to tip furniture delivery drivers and other workers. Still, tips are something that’s heavily appreciated — and considering the physical intensity of the job, usually well-deserved — especially when given for exceptional service.

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