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Should I Tip for Appliance Delivery?




Showing your appreciation after the delivery of a big appliance like a television, refrigerator, or stove.  


We contacted several appliance stores, including a local Sears and a smaller owner-operated kitchen appliance store and the consistent answer is no, you do not need to tip a delivery person for your newest tv, refrigerator, stove or oven. But even thought tipping is not standard, we've heard the case made that the work is difficult and even a small tip could make a big difference (see post below).

Most stores already charge a fee, often around $50-$70, for delivery and $0-$20 for the removal of old appliances, and this fee already pays for the delivery. Some stores will only drop off the item, but most stores will unpack the item and plug it in. For a gas stove, for example, they would even connect the stove to an existing gas line.

"No tip, you don't have to tip," one store manager told us. "You've already paid for delivery."

A manager of a small, independent appliance store told us that employees were permitted to accept gratuities if the customer wanted to tip, but it is not expected, and it is not the norm.

Like to contribute your own two cents?  Contribute your advice.

One of our readers, who delivers appliances, writes:

Comments:   Delivering applicance is a very tough job.  Appliances are very heavy; 350 lbs for most refrigerators and about the same weight for the new, high-end washing machines like the G.E. HE4.  Do that  for 18 stops a day and you'll have aches and pains. I have 3 swollen fingers and 2 band-aids on 2 seperate fingers. My lower back has a minor ache and my left knew hurts when i lift weight on it.  Every night Ii come home I'm exhausted...

It's a necessity to continuously hustle just to get the job done. Every minute is spent doing something for the current customer or preparing appliances for the next customer while your partner is assisting the current customer. And yes, we install the appliances and test each one for function, water leaks and stability. The pay and hours is defiantly not worth the task. Every tip we get is appreciated.

It doesn't make sense to me why  contacts Sears managers and askes them if the delivery person should get tipped.  I doubt they even know how much service and hard work is needed to get the job done.  This job is a service job. I  understand the cost of appliances is big money and some people either cant afford to tip, or feel like they already spent enough money and choose not to tip the delivery person. Or maybe it's because it's not the norm for appliance delivery persons to get tipped.  Everybody knows a paperboy and a waiter should get tipped, but who hears of the appliance delivery person getting tipped.  It's hard work, and if only every customer tipped me and my partner just a mere $5 for the both of us,  that would be $45 each a day ($5 x 18 deliveries = $90 divided by 2 = $45 each).  WOW.

Come on people, tip your appliance delivery persons just $5 (as long as your service is good).  It's not often you'll buy a refrigerator, oven, washer,
dryer, treadmill, table saw, lawn tractor, mattresses.  It's hard work and
we'll need the money later in life when our backs give out on us. =)

One of our readers, replies:

The delivery person who describes delivering 18 major appliances a day must be somehow mistaken.

Consider a major appliance (washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher,etc.) delivery: Even if the delivery persons start with a loaded truck, they must drive to each delivery location, find parking if it's in an urban area, unload the heavy appliance, unbox it (either before or after they), tote it into your home, unhook the existing appliance, replace with the new appliance, test the new appliance and perhaps briefly demonstrate major functions, haul the old appliance out of your home (either into your driveway or onto the delivery truck for removal), gather trash from unboxing the new appliance and put it in a trash container or the truck, spend a couple of minutes on paperwork for you to sign AND THEN REPEAT 17 MORE TIMES IN A DAY???? Right...

Even if they're working 16 hour days, they simply could not accomplish this except in the most unusual of circumstances (e.g. - 18 deliveries, but all in one or two apartment complexes).

I tip well over (25-35%) expected rates and often tip those who do not usually expect to be tipped. HOWEVER, when someone apparently lies about what they do, in order to establish an expectation that they should be tipped, it makes me much less generous - unfortunately, not only to the unknown individual, but to those in the same occupation. I'd rather give the money to charity than to a liar.

Another one of our readers replies:

Comments  I am in the appliance delivery business.  The person questioning the integrity of the delivery man that does 18 stops a day is flat wrong.  I work directly with Sears and I can guarantee you that they do, in fact, route drivers in for 18 stops a day and not in the same building.  I don't think the average consumer has any idea what kind of hard work these guys do day-in and day-out.  Sears is starting to require 7-day a week delivery from it's drivers.  Imagine, doing your trade, making a MODEST living, then being told to keep your job you must work 7 days a week.

I'd say a tip is the least that can be done for these guys.  They appreciate anything - a pop or a small tip.  Know that it does not go unappreciated - most days if my guys come in with a tip, they tell everyone - feeling good about the job they did.  Tipping a waitress $5 to carry a few plates to a table is standard, (I have waited tables) but carrying a 300 lb appliance isn't?  It doesn't make sense to me at all.  Get in a set of delivery straps one time (I have) and just get a refrigerator off the ground, let alone walk up stairs.  I guarantee you'll feel differently.

One of our readers adds:

Comments        The gentleman is right, do not ask a store manager if you should tip or not. They often time have no idea what is involved with delivering appliances or furniture for that matter. When you are out on that truck your are not just a delivery driver. You are quality control,a plumber,an electrician,a customer service rep for whoever you are delivering for. The manager is going to say no because they feel it is rude or they feel that you are getting paid for a delivery. But lets break down the cost of that. You pay 50 to 75 on a delivery and usually you get it at a time that works for you. But if you were to rent a truck from say that will run you probably around 40 dollars. I know you can get a truck at lowes for 19.99 for an hour. Good luck on that hour if you never delivered an appliance before. Then you have to rent the dolly. We will go cheap. 15 dollars. Now lets look at what your time and your buddies time is worth,lets say 15 dollars an hour for each minimum 2 hours so there is 60 dollars. I know alot of you make more than that or at least that is what you tell the delivery driver when he is running behind. So just being cheap you are looking around 115 dollars for those of you who do not have a pick up. Say you do then it only cost you 75 great. But wait lets remember that now you have the appliance at he house. What do you damage when you take it in. It should fit right? I mean you took one our you should be able to get this bigger one in. Opps you just scratched your floor, dinged your wall and now the water is leaking on the icemaker connection. Yeah you have deductable but how much did your homeowners insurance go up now. FOOD for thought next time a delivery driver does a good job for you. If he is bad then do not tip. Also 18 stops is not impossible. We do it on a daily basis. So you should apologize to that person you called a liar. Be nice people

Another reader replies:

Comments       To the gentleman that called the delivery man a liar .You obviously dont have a clue what we do in a day.15 -20 stops is normal.oh yes 12-18 hour days are normal to.if you dont believe me you are more then welcome to come on a truck for a day. The delivery person you called a liar probably works for Sears since the items he mentioned are specific to that store. There isn't a truck that goes out of melrose park with less then 14 stops per day. It always made me laugh that you tip a pizza guy that shows up 15 minutes late with a 12 dollar pizzaand you never have a problem with giving him a 3-5 dollar tip,but a delivery person shows up and brings you a fridge or sofa worth a couple of thousand dollars and you don't hand him anything.that is humor at its finest. Maybe we should stop tipping everyone. No more pizza guy trying to pay for college, no more pretty waitress trying to make it to the big screen, and oh yeah lets not forget the delivery man trying to feed his kids.

One of our readers writes:

 Pool table assembly: I tipped $20 each to 2 guys who spent 4 hours assembling a large pool table (and did a great job).

One of our readers writes:

I admire people who take pride in their work, and it shows when they are pleasant to their customers and do what they are paid to do.  That being said, I have no problem tipping a person delivering something like a large appliance, and I usually tip about $5 (only less if I happen to only have less).  At minimum it shows an appreciation for their efforts, and allows them to treat themselves to a little food and drink to replenish the energy they expended doing something that I probably don't have the patience for.  Thanks Guys!  (PS: I NEVER tip for poor service, whether the tip is expected or not.)

One of our readers writes:

Thanks to the delivery man for his response...and shame on the person who thinks it is OK to post answers (as if they are absolute truth) when they know nothing about the subject. Take a minute, shut your mouth, and listen for a change.

I admit I don't know the answer - this is why I came here for advice - but, even I can figure out that some of those delivery stops might be for installation of more than one appliance. Some people will buy a washer and a dryer, or all new kitchen appliances at once.

Thanks to those who offered the sound advice. I'll be tipping today.




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