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Old 28.07.2014, 10:46
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Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

Aside from keeping a good supply of gipfli, coffee and cold drinks on hand for my movers, I wonder what the etiquette is in Switzerland regarding tipping?

We're going to have 5 guys doing an all-day move which will probably take them the better part of 10-11 hours. In August. In the heat.

It's a local move, so the same crew will do the load-and-unload.

Are movers traditionally tipped in Switzerland, and if so, what's the going rate? Does the tip for the entire crew get handed to the supervisor to divide as he sees fit, or do I tip each member of the crew individually?

My initial thought was CHF50 per man, in CHF50 notes, handed to the crew foreman. Is that about right?
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Old 28.07.2014, 10:50
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

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Aside from keeping a good supply of gipfli, coffee and cold drinks on hand for my movers, I wonder what the etiquette is in Switzerland regarding tipping?

We're going to have 5 guys doing an all-day move which will probably take them the better part of 10-11 hours. In August. In the heat.

It's a local move, so the same crew will do the load-and-unload.

Are movers traditionally tipped in Switzerland, and if so, what's the going rate? Does the tip for the entire crew get handed to the supervisor to divide as he sees fit, or do I tip each member of the crew individually?

My initial thought was CHF50 per man, in CHF50 notes, handed to the crew foreman. Is that about right?
I suspect they will be very surprised, & will have not seen this strange foreigner behavior before.
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Old 28.07.2014, 10:53
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

+1 for what fmf said. However, I am sure they'd appreciate it. Only tip if you feel they did a good job, and I would hand to each one directly (but discreetly) so you can make it clear it's per person, not all for the foreman.

Oh, and slightly OT but make sure you get the price in writing, including travel time, in advance. 5 guys for 10-11 hours + travel time sounds pricey and like something that could spiral out of control! Good luck with the move!
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Old 28.07.2014, 10:53
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

You do not need to tip here and even if you did 50CHF per person would be considered very generous. The supply of cold drinks, food, ice creams and perhaps an alcoholic beverage at the end of the day should be enough and appreciated.
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Old 28.07.2014, 10:55
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

We tipped our movers - they did an awesome job and it was horrid weather. Gave enough for a couple of beers each (20-25 CHF each I think?) in an envelope to main guy while saying thank you to everyone at the end. They seemed very pleased (and exhausted... it had been a long day). HTH
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Old 28.07.2014, 11:03
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

The workers are employed by the day and are not well paid, and Fr 100 isn't going to bankrupt you. I would give them each Fr 20,-- "For a meal on the way home"
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Old 28.07.2014, 11:13
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

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+1 for what fmf said. However, I am sure they'd appreciate it. Only tip if you feel they did a good job, and I would hand to each one directly (but discreetly) so you can make it clear it's per person, not all for the foreman.
Traditionally, it's handed to the foreman in sight of the others. This way, the foreman can decide how to divide it (in case someone's worked harder than the rest, for example -- maybe coming in to cover someone else at short notice, whatever). But evenly divided, straight into the guys' hands, is fine for me too.

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Oh, and slightly OT but make sure you get the price in writing, including travel time, in advance. 5 guys for 10-11 hours + travel time sounds pricey and like something that could spiral out of control! Good luck with the move!
We've got a fixed-price contract for the move. They've estimated 5 men x 11 hours (and priced on that basis), but they bear the risk if they exceed that. Friends of our used the same firm and had a good experience -- even though they went (way) over the estimated hours, they finished the job at 11pm and didn't charge a penny extra for the overage.

In circumstances like that, however, I think a tip is obligatory!
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Old 28.07.2014, 11:51
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

Tipping is not expected here. But providing food (of course nothing fancy, sandwiches will do) and beverages is. That being said, they won't hate you for tipping them, though 50 per person is really a lot. I therefore second/third the 20 per person and would hand it out to every person individually.
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Old 28.07.2014, 11:52
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

We tipped the removal men involved in each of our swiss moves (three in total if you include the big one from Geneva to France), and if I remember correctly the last time we gave them 50chf each.
That was about ten years ago, and they did a lot of extra lifting because of the house being on three levels.

The cash was given to the foreman in and envelope; 50 francs notes and he distributed it to the men straight away.

We provided drinks and snacks (water, fruit juice, coffee, cake) but they went off at lunchtime and bought their own food in the village. We had asked the boss beforehand about things like that and he insisted that their buying their own lunch was normal. Also was asked not to have beer as it presented the wrong image for his company and they weren't allowed to smoke, even if on a break, for the same reason.
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Old 28.07.2014, 12:03
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

We did a local move about 4-5 months back. We asked the moving company if they'd like that we provide food and drinks or if cash in lieu of that was enough. They said we could check with the guys who came over. They were happy with cash so we paid 50 chf per person for the food & drinks, which we paid as soon as they came in. The move took only 5 hours as against the quote of 9 hrs, so the guys helped us with some assembling of furniture that was not included in the moving contract. Again we asked them at the end if they'd like some wine or the like or some cash for the help and they chose cash. we gave 100 chf each since they were quite helpful and not fussy at all.
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Old 28.07.2014, 12:25
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

I don't agree with the posters above.

A tip is expected and a relatively generous one by CH standards - 50-100 CHF per person depending on the number of people and the amount of work.

In addition to the tip, coffee and gipfli you are also expected to provide lunch. This should not be deducted from the tip.

Based on 3 moves around Basel.
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Old 28.07.2014, 12:32
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

Did 2 moves (one local, one between Cantons) in the last 2 years and in both moves, they only wanted the occasional coffee - I had bought croissants, petit pain etc and they politely nibbled at a bit but we were left with a mountain of them at the end of the day. The first lot we tipped 50chf each and it was quite clear that they were very taken aback and if anything a little embarrassed - we got the message that it was ALOT. The second move, we tipped 200chf in an envelope for 6 men (5 most of the day and one came for the last couple of horus) and gave it (in view of the rest of the crew when they were all standing around at the end to shake hands to wish us well in the new house) so a little less per person - but they still seemed surprised and when they had opened the envelope back in the van, all trooped back inside the house to thank us again and say how unexpected it was.


Luckily we do not intend to move again but my feeling is that anything over 20chf is really unexepected ..
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Old 28.07.2014, 23:45
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

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You do not need to tip here and even if you did 50CHF per person would be considered very generous. The supply of cold drinks, food, ice creams and perhaps an alcoholic beverage at the end of the day should be enough and appreciated.
Do not give alcoholic beverages. Until the crew arrive back at the depot they are working, and the consumption of alcohol is likely not permitted.

Most of the crew will bring their own beverages but having cold drinks on hand is always appreciated.
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Old 28.07.2014, 23:53
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Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

For our last move we got a good price and the movers did a great job so I tipped pretty much like Village Idiot suggested.
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Old 28.07.2014, 23:55
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

Just buy them as much beer as budget allows
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Old 29.07.2014, 00:07
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

50chf! can i help you move?

20 max directly to each mover and cold beer/water.

i give 5 chf coins to each furniture delivery person who carried my couch.
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Old 29.07.2014, 00:26
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

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I don't agree with the posters above.

A tip is expected and a relatively generous one by CH standards - 50-100 CHF per person depending on the number of people and the amount of work.

In addition to the tip, coffee and gipfli you are also expected to provide lunch. This should not be deducted from the tip.

Based on 3 moves around Basel.
Nonsense. On what planet were those moves made?
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Old 29.07.2014, 00:40
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

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Nonsense. On what planet were those moves made?
If it was in Basel then it explains it all
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Old 29.07.2014, 00:56
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

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Aside from keeping a good supply of gipfli, coffee and cold drinks on hand for my movers, I wonder what the etiquette is in Switzerland regarding tipping?

We're going to have 5 guys doing an all-day move which will probably take them the better part of 10-11 hours. In August. In the heat.

It's a local move, so the same crew will do the load-and-unload.
I like that idea, gipfli, coffee & cold drinks.

I think it very important to keep the workpeople supplied with cold drinks (obviously non alcoholic) throughout the work day. They are doing hard manual work and maybe consuming some dust along the way. Some areas where they do that kind of work, there is no where for them to get it handy. Gipfli & coffee that also great, again maybe in an area they have no idea where to get a snack.

When you are moving locally & it will take 5 people 11 hours, seems like you have a lot of stuff to move &/or difficult to locate premises either one side or the other. i.e. maybe up to 3rd floor no lift, difficult park close etc

Tipping: in my experience in life, there are those who tip and those who do not. It does not have to do with how much money they have, it takes all sort, some are not used to sharing.

I think this thread of answers has given you the guide for you to decide on the day how happy or not you are with the service & then make your final decision.

Hope the move goes well.
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Old 29.07.2014, 10:41
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Re: Do movers get tipped in Switzerland?

So we moved last month in a deal that sounds quite similar - 5 guys for 10 hours. They worked hard, efficiently and were a friendly crew.

We gave them a Migros Pizza each for lunch, water during the day and I tipped 30Chf each. At least I hope so, I gave the 150Chf to the foreman whilst the others were packing up the van, so I'm now a bit worried he might just have gone on a big night out...
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