How Much Should You Tip Your Movers?
Are you wondering if you are supposed to tip movers? If so, you are also probably looking to find out how much is appropriate to tip a mover. When moving for the first time, it’s not unusual to have questions such as these.
If your home is under contract and you’re preparing for the final steps of your move, it’s essential to get a handle on your expected costs. Understanding how much to tip a mover is certainly one of them.
You probably already have your moving estimate, so you’ll want to factor this into your moving expenses, as it won’t be in your moving quote.
Let’s face it moving is hard work. Relocating is challenging enough as it is.
That’s probably the biggest reason you hired movers in the first place – you want someone else to do all the heavy lifting. Moving day will be the conclusion of your labor and planning.
But what about tipping your movers? What is the correct gratuity to give them?
There is no hard and fast rule about tipping professional movers, but there are guidelines you can consider when going through your move. A professional moving company will be your greatest ally in getting your stuff from point A to point B safely.
Unlike getting service from a server or bartender, there are fewer expectations about tipping movers. You don’t need to think that you are obligated to give movers a tip if you don’t want to. They do not necessarily expect a gratuity from the client.
Everyone is getting a standard hourly rate, and you may pay a significant sum to hire movers – particularly if you are moving a long distance. But you should know that movers – like most others who are part of the service industry – love being tipped.
Long-Distance Moving is Hard Work
Nothing makes a hard day of physical labor more rewarding than a nice gratuity at the end. Long-distance moves, in particular, can be tough on a mover.
If you think about it, your average server or bartender doesn’t work as hard as your mover does. Granted, the server or bartender may make a lot less an hour depending on the situation, but it is still worth contemplating.
As you watch your moving crew, you will notice that they are doing a lot of serious work on your behalf. A tip might make a lot of sense, considering the situation.
Another thing to consider – your movers are handling one of the most significant situations in your life. They are helping you move your valuable possessions from one home to another. If they do a good job, the help they give you may be hard even to measure.
While your ultimate desire may be to save money moving, giving a cash tip should be considered when the service is outstanding.
Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the considerations of how much to tip a mover.
The Going Rate For Tipping Movers
There are some differing opinions on how much to tip a moving company. Tipping movers is a little different from providing gratuities to other service people like hotel valets or taxi drivers, for example.
Instead of going with a percentage of the move’s cost, it is usually better to use a more defined set of rules.
If you go with a percentage, you could wind up paying way too much in your tip because the total cost of a move – especially a long-distance move – can be really high. Using a percentage would likely force you to pay way more in the moving tip than you should or would want to. Your total bill would skyrocket. A good rule of thumb would be following the advice below.
Currently, the common rate for tipping movers is:
- A half-day move of four hours or less – $20-25 per mover
- Full-move of 8 hours – $40-50 per mover
- 12-hour moving or more – $60 per mover
- Hourly tip rate – Approximately $5 an hour per mover
Just because you don’t use a percentage system to calculate how much to tip your movers does not mean you have to use the above figures exactly. There can be a lot of variation in the quality of service movers deliver, and it’s ok for your tip to reflect that. These figures are considered an average tip that a lot of people would follow.
You may be delighted with the service they provide, or you may be less than pleased. You also have to consider the type of work the moving team is providing. There is a big difference in the effort involved in hauling a sofa bed up four flights of stairs and unloading a bedroom’s worth of boxes into a ranch-style home. The tip amount you decide to give may reflect that.
If they are doing extra difficult work, it will make sense to tip them more. A larger tip could be justified, especially if it is a grueling hot day. Keep in mind that a cash tip will be preferred. It is the best way to compensate an individual mover.
Long Distance Movers vs. Local Movers
You may be wondering if there is any difference in how much to tip a moving company based on whether you are moving local or long distance. The short answer is not really. A standard tip will be similar under both circumstances, especially when it is full-service moving.
What you really want to do is focus on the moving services provided. Will the mover be working a full day or a couple of hours? The number of hours and the difficulty of the move will be more vital factors to consider. Obviously, a full-day move will be more work. Large moves are also harder on movers than smaller moves.
The quality of the service you receive should always weigh heavily in your decision to tip. If you are stress-free, that might be worth a little something extra.
Watch The Video on Dividing Moving Gratuities
The video provides excellent advice on how much to tip a mover and divide the crew’s moving tips. Lots of folks recommend giving a tip directly to each worker and not the foreman. If you see someone working extra hard, you may also want to give them a little extra cash as a token of appreciation.
If you give a lump sum to the head crew member, the tip may not be divided as you feel it should. The whole crew might not deserve the same amount.
Some people don’t want to take the extra time to do this. If you’re following into this category, you might want to come up with a flat rate so you can plan the total cost of the move.
Generally, the three factors you want to consider when calculating a moving tip are:
- The time it takes. Some moves take more time than others. If your relocation is short and the movers do not have to focus on your needs for an extended period, paying them a smaller moving tip makes sense. If they have to devote a full workday or even longer to your move, it would be a good idea to tip them more.
- Moving difficulty. Some moving tasks are much more demanding than others. It is more difficult and riskier to perform certain moving tasks, like taking heavy objects upstairs, than performing other tasks. If they are working harder on more difficult tasks, it is advisable to tip them more than if they are not doing challenging tasks.
- Assemble or disassemble furniture. A mover going out of their way to help assemble or dismantle furniture or some other item is fantastic. You may not have even asked, and they just volunteered. The same can be said if they provided some packing services. Going above and beyond is always worth providing a moving tip to show your gratification. A great job should be rewarded!
People also often wonder if they should tip on both ends of a move. The answer is yes, but again, it is at your discretion on how much. At the end of the day, much of what you decide to tip a moving company will be at your discretion. Like other industries, good tips are earned based on job performance.
When Should You Tip Your Movers?
Tipping in the service industry is ideally supposed to thank your service provider for a job well done. Most movers want to do a good job and ensure that their customers have the best possible experience.
When they succeed at these goals, it makes sense to reward them with a moving tip.
There are multiple reasons why you might want to tip your moving company well, including:
- Carefully handling your fragile items. Some items are obviously delicate, and some need to be pointed out as vulnerable. Movers are supposed to take note of all fragile items and be extra careful with them. If your movers noticeably handle your fragile items with care, they are doing their job right. This would include careful packing of your items.
- They are keeping a steady pace. If the move goes long enough, they will need a break from time to time, but hopefully, they will maintain a strong, steady pace and get your move done promptly. If they seem to be trying to get the job done with sustained effort, a higher tip might make sense. Making an extra effort should certainly be appreciated.
- They are helping with the little things. Some tasks are definitely part of the moving agreement and must be done by the movers, but others may not be. Little things like helping you take the legs off of your couch or assembling a piece of furniture that’s going in your new home or local storage unit make your life a lot easier. If they help with the little things and seem to be doing more than the norm, a higher tip would show your gratitude.
- They’re are moving heavy items. The heavier the items, the harder they generally are to move. Heavier items are also more dangerous to move. If something goes wrong, the movers could get hurt. If they put themselves in extra danger for your move, you should probably tip them for the added risk. Doing extra grueling work should have some impact on how much to tip a mover. Moving a lot of heavy furniture and bulky items can be back-breaking.
- Moving in compromising positions. The best example of this is moving large, heavy objects like sofas up multiple flights of stairs. If there is no better way to get the couch up and requires twisting, turning, lifting, holding, and climbing stairs, those doing the moving are putting themselves in risky situations. The sofa could fall, they could slip, and so on. A bigger tip would make sense when they are putting their safety on the line.
- They deliver outstanding customer service. How much to tip movers could certainly be influenced by the level of service and how well they perform. When movers are courteous, friendly, hard-working, and eager to help with whatever you need, they are providing the best kind of customer service. They should be rewarded for it.
Proper etiquette would be tipping the movers when the moving is completed and the final bill is presented. The end of the move is appropriate so you can better gauge the performance. The moving industry expects this is when you would provide a tip.
When Should You Not Tip Movers?
Are there times when you should not tip a mover? YES, there are a few instances where tipping a mover might not be justified, including:
- Showing up late to your home. Your schedule is important, and your time is valuable.
- They are disrespectful to your property. Have you ever been involved in a move where one of the movers could care less they just put a ding in your wall with the couch they were moving? Everyone makes mistakes, but did they give you a sincere apology? If not, it is an excellent reason not to tip them.
- Misplaces something important. If the mover loses a box that says “don’t pack,” I am sure you won’t be happy about it. Some personal belongings are more vital than others.
- Being rude and unfriendly. You are paying them to do a job for you. The least they could do is be polite. Having a bad attitude isn’t part of great service.
- They are doing the bare minimum. If you see them standing around more than moving, they are wasting your time and your money.
- Taking extended breaks. Watching the moving crew standing around in your backyard, chatting, and smoking a cigarette is probably not what you had in mind.
One of the most stressful parts of selling a home is the actual move. Avoiding moving problems is something you’ll want to strive for.
Other Things You Can Do For Your Movers
Are you in the position that money is tight, and you would love to tip the movers, but it’s financially difficult to do so? If so, you might want to consider some other things besides monetary tips, including:
- Buying the movers lunch or dinner. Do you think the movers would appreciate a pizza or sandwiches? I bet they would.
- Providing beverages such as ice-cold water, lemonade, sports drinks, or even coffee.
- Any kind of snack.
- Chipping in and giving some help, even if it is holding a door open.
- Leave them an excellent review. By leaving a positive review, you’ll be increasing the odds that someone else will use their services. It is just another way of saying thank you for good service.
Anything you can do will make your mover feel more appreciated. Doing something will be better than not providing a moving tip. Let’s face it; moving is hard work.
All of these things will be a nice gesture that is appreciated for good service. They are a good way of going the extra mile for someone doing the same for you.
What Are Other Alternatives For Moving Things?
If you are moving because you just sold your home, there is the distinct possibility you’re bringing stuff with you that isn’t necessary. Some of us have that pack-rat mentality and just can’t let go.
Other times the move wasn’t thought through well enough, and you are forced to bring stuff along you don’t really need or want.
One excellent alternative is to hire a company to take the stuff from your home you don’t want. Many people do not realize that there are charities that will pick up your things for FREE! I’ve written about this in the past, as donating is an excellent way to declutter your home before putting it on the market.
You get to help a family in need while also improving the appearance of your home – A real win-win!
What you can do in this instance is have the company pick up your donations at your new residence.
Final Thoughts on Tipping Movers
Hopefully, you have a much better understanding of how much to tip a mover at this point. The bottom line is you should do what makes you feel most comfortable.
While these are some general tipping guidelines, in the end, you should do what feels right. The level of service should be the most significant factor.
A good tip for moving will always remain at your discretion. Best of luck with your upcoming move!
Other Valuable Moving Advice
More helpful advice to get you through your next move without a hitch.
- Car shipping – see what you need to know about moving your car across the country or from one state to another. Learn who are the best car shipping companies.
- Who to let know when you move – when you are moving, one of the most vital tasks is to notify everyone. There are a whole host of people and organizations that should be told. See who they are in this helpful checklist. Knowing who should be notified of an address change is one of the most vital things to know when moving.
- Comparing storage containers to moving trucks – see a detailed comparison between hiring a moving company vs. going with a storage container. There are pros and cons to both. The trick will be understanding which option better suits your moving needs. Do you mind packing and unpacking? If so, a moving service may be a better option.
- How to choose a storage unit – learn valuable advice on how to go about picking a storage unit. You will love the tips on comparing storage facilities. When doing local moving, a storage unit can be a godsend in helping home moving.
- U-Haul rental prices – see how much it is to rent a moving truck, storage unit, and other accessories for your move at U-Haul. This U-Haul pricing guide is one of the most comprehensive you will find online.
Use these additional helpful resources to make excellent decisions when you are moving. You can add this information to your moving checklist. It will be a great way to ensure things go smoothly.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on how much I should tip movers was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 34+ years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.