Do You Tip IKEA Delivery and How Much? (4 Order Sizes)

Written by Jim Belt in How Much To Tip

If you're receiving a large package from IKEA, you might wonder if you should tip your drivers, and if so, how much. I've researched what most people do extensively and will share it here.

You are not required to tip IKEA delivery drivers at all. IKEA neither requires nor prohibits drivers from receiving tips. However, most people seem to tip their delivery servicemen between $5 and $20, based on the size and service of the delivery.

Any professional who provides a service will be appreciative of a tip they receive. However, delivery drivers do not typically expect tips when they deliver items. Some items require handling or setup, and you might feel more inclined to tip in these situations, provided that you are satisfied with the experience. Read on to find out more about whether you should tip IKEA delivery drivers and, if so, how much to tip them.

Tipping Customs

Tipping not customary Average: $ 10 $ 5 - $ 20

Should You Tip Your Delivery Driver?

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, IKEA modified several of its delivery terms and conditions in August 2020, specifically deterring drivers from placing furniture inside customers’ rooms. Drivers are now permitted only to deliver shipments onto a customer’s covered porch, garage, or doorstep.

However, where a customer’s delivery was placed used to be a big factor in determining if that customer was satisfied with their delivery. As regulations begin to relax regarding COVID-19, it is possible that IKEA will return to its original delivery practices. Customers also wonder whether their deliveries will arrive within the allotted time frame.

Tipping an IKEA delivery driver is dependent upon several factors:

  • Initial delivery fee
  • Delivery size and weight
  • Shipping address distance from the store
  • Difficulty in maneuvering a customer’s home or business
  • Driver’s overall professionalism
  • Driver’s efficiency

Typically, people take all of these items into consideration when deciding if and how much to tip a delivery driver. Like with all service-based industries, the person providing a service is tipped based on the experience of the customer.

Tipping Amounts for 3 Different Sizes Orders

  • $5 - Items 10 to 50 pounds, such as floor lamps, bar stools, and utility carts
  • $10 - Items 50 to 150 pounds, such as console tables, bookcases, and bed frames
  • $20 - Items 200 pounds or heavier, such as sectionals, sofas, and media centers

You Are Not Required to Tip

However, remember that IKEA delivery drivers are not paid restaurant or bar wages that would make tipping necessary for their survival. IKEA pays its independent delivery drivers between $32,450 and $42,032 per year—a livable wage. Because of this, you do not have to follow the unspoken 20 percent tipping standard as you would in a restaurant.

For example, hourly wages for waiters and waitresses in Arizona are no more than $7.11. Thus, these service professionals make most of their income from their tips. However, the IKEA delivery driver bringing your items to you likely makes at least two-and-one-half times the average waiter’s yearly salary.

Rating Your Delivery Driver

Consider how such factors as delivery difficulty, professionalism, and efficiency can influence the amount you tip your IKEA delivery driver, should you choose to do so. A tip of $5 is a good and acceptable amount to offer initially. If you believe your delivery driver went above and beyond, you might consider an additional $5 on top of that.

Your delivery driver might exceed your expectations in the following ways:

  • They carry themselves in a kind, receptive, and supportive manner.
  • They take care to leave your merchandise and walls damage-free.
  • They go out of their way to perform manually intensive maneuvers in order to reach your room of choice.

From these factors alone, a tip between $5 to $10 is suitable.

However, keep in mind that your delivery driver is not obligated to go out of their way to do extra work for you. Their job is to deliver your items to you and ensure they reach their destination with accuracy and efficiency. Do not assume your delivery driver is undeserving simply because they do not perform more tasks than they are required.

Consider Your Shipment Weight and Complexity

Some shipments are going to be much heavier than others. Others might require more work than a simple drop-off. It is fair to say that your delivery driver will have to work much harder to deliver heavy pieces of furniture to your home and perform setups. In these cases, they would certainly appreciate tips.

IKEA designates specific delivery options for each of their two predefined sizes:

  • Small-item deliveries are shipped to customers via parcel services.
  • Large item deliveries are delivered via IKEA delivery drivers.

IKEA charges a flat $5 shipping rate for small-item shipping. However, the shipping fees can increase if the shipping address is located far from an IKEA warehouse. Small items are not delivered by IKEA-contracted drivers, so you do not have to tip for these. UPS, FedEx, or USPS will likely be delivering these parcels, and they do not accept tips.

On the contrary, large-item delivery utilizes IKEA-approved independent contract delivery drivers. These are the folks who can accept tips and would be handling heavier items.

Large Item Deliveries

The tip amount is proportional to the size and weight of the delivery. Large items are broken down further into three categories based on their weights. Placing large-sized items into three categories will clarify how much of a tip is warranted.

  • Items 10 to 50 pounds, such as floor lamps, bar stools, and utility carts
  • Items 50 to 150 pounds, such as console tables, bookcases, and bed frames
  • Items 200 pounds or heavier, such as sectionals, sofas, and media centers

You could tailor your tip based on the total weight of your delivery since your delivery driver will have to do more work the heavier the delivery is.

For example, a $5 tip for a driver delivering the IKEA NISSAFORS utility cart, which weighs 14.6 pounds, would be appropriate. You could increase your tip to $10 for the LIATORP console table, weighing 53.4 pounds, and again to $15 or $20 for the 288-pound LIDHULT sectional.

As with small deliveries, IKEA charges customers a flat rate shipping fee for large-item deliveries. This rate is $49, but it is also subject to increase based on your distance from the closest IKEA retail store. While this can be confusing, IKEA provides the final delivery charge before you place your order, so there are no surprises.

Do Delivery Fees Go to Drivers?

IKEA utilizes third-party independent delivery service companies rather than having an in-house delivery fleet. By having drivers from an independent agency deliver its merchandise, IKEA cuts its expenses considerably.

  • The company does not have to pay the overhead of an in-house fleet.
  • The company has reduced liability by not having W2 employees making its deliveries.

These elements can make it easier to justify that a tip is not necessary. Yet, drivers are not responsible for these economies of scale. In fact, delivery drivers likely do not see a dollar from the delivery fees. The delivery fees you pay as a customer go straight to IKEA and not to the contracted delivery drivers, so you should not think of them as stand-in tips to the driver.

So, it is still in your best interest to tip your delivery drivers as you would other service professionals if you feel that they have done a good job.

Conclusion

It is up to you whether you tip your IKEA delivery driver or not, but there are a few things to consider when making that choice. If your driver is simply dropping off items and leaving, you do not have to tip. However, if your driver is performing services for you such as furniture set up, maneuvering throughout your home, taking great care to not damage items, etc., a tip would be appropriate.

If you have a particularly good experience with one of IKEA’s contracted delivery drivers, you should tip to show your appreciation. Drivers do not expect tips at every stop, and you are under no obligation to tip. Still, it is always a good idea to offer someone a nice gesture when you can, especially when they have done a good job.

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