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How Much To Tip Movers (2024 Guide)

Do you really need to tip movers? As a general rule, yes. Here’s how to calculate your tip.

Default Author Icon Written by Shane Sentelle Updated 04/19/2024

We all know to tip at a sit-down restaurant, but did you know you’re also supposed to tip movers? If you get friends and family to help you move, you may offer free pizza and beer as an incentive. But it can be hard to figure out when and how much to tip professional movers.

Although the best moving companies do not technically require you to tip, it’s still a nice gesture—especially if your move involves stairs, heavy furniture, or other complications. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how much to tip movers.


How Much Should I Tip My Movers?

As with most services, how much to tip your movers will ultimately depend on the quality of service. Assuming your movers do a good job, here are a few simple formulas you can use to calculate your tip:
By percentage: Multiply your total moving costs by 0.05 or 0.10 to calculate a 5% or 10% tip. Split that amount among the individual crew members. Moving bills are much higher than restaurant bills, hence the lower percentage than restaurants.
Per hour: Start with a base rate of $5 per hour per mover, then adjust the total for each worker up or down depending on how happy you are with their service.
Flat rate: Tip a flat rate of $25 per person for a four-hour move or $40 per person for an eight-hour move.

Remember, these are just a few starting points. You can always tip more or less depending on the specifics of your move and your level of satisfaction.


Is Tipping Movers Required?

Technically, no—like in other industries, tipping movers is not required. However, it is customary and a great way to show appreciation for your moving team’s time and labor. The exception would be if you received exceptionally poor service.

Most moving companies recommend that you tip the workers who handle your move. Local and long-distance moving companies often address whether and how much to tip your movers on their official blogs or the FAQ sections of their websites.


Several factors can and should affect how much you tip your movers. Here are a few things to consider:

Weather

The weather on your moving day is something neither you nor your movers can control. However, you might still factor it into your tip amount. After all, a particularly hot, humid, cold, rainy, or snowy day can make the movers’ jobs much harder. Increasing your tip to show appreciation for a job well done under less-than-ideal conditions makes sense.

Difficulty Level

Your home might have steep stairs, tight doorways, sharp corners, or a long driveway that the movers must navigate. You may need them to move several fragile items, such as artwork or antiques, or something extra heavy, such as a safe or a piano. Anything that makes a move more challenging should be reflected in your tip.

Timeliness

Note when the movers arrive and how quickly they finish. Showing up on time or communicating if an unforeseen event delays their arrival is a point in their favor—as is completing the job faster than anticipated. Arriving late without any explanation or prior notice and working inefficiently could be reasons to decrease the tip amount.

Size of the Job

Consider how much work the movers had to do and how long it took them. Was it a half-day job, or did it take a full day? How many rooms did they have to pack up? All of the tipping formulas we mentioned above factor into the size of the job, whether in terms of hours or total moving costs. Thus, you will end up tipping much more for a long-distance relocation that spans several days than a crosstown move.

Service

Last but not least, evaluate the level of service you received, including the attitude and work ethic displayed by the movers. Remember that you don’t have to tip each mover the same amount. You can take note of individuals who seem particularly careful or careless and adjust their tips accordingly.


How To Tip Movers

Just as you tip at the end of your meal, you should tip at the end of your move. If you’re moving locally and the same team handles the whole job, you can hold onto the tip until they unload all your belongings from the moving truck. However, interstate moves may involve two crews: one at your old house and one at your new home. In that case, you would need to tip each team separately after they’ve finished their part of the job.

Most moving companies recommend tipping in cash. Unlike other service industry providers, movers rarely give you the opportunity to add a tip when you pay your total bill. As a result, tipping via credit or debit card may not be an option—though you may be able to use Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, or another money transfer app to tip movers. Ultimately, we recommend asking the moving company the best way to tip its movers.

QUICK Tip
In addition to a tip, you might consider buying lunch or providing refreshments for the moving crew. It could be as simple as ordering a few pizzas and having plenty of bottled water. You could also do a coffee run, order subs, or pay for catering from a fast-food restaurant.

How To Factor Tipping Into Your Moving Budget

It’s best to factor tips into your moving budget from the very beginning. You might not know up-front how many movers will be on the crew or how many hours it will take them, but you can estimate your tips using the percentage method. To be safe, set aside an amount equal to 10%–15% of the total projected cost of your move.


Our Conclusion

Although tipping your movers is not mandatory, it‘s a common way to express gratitude for good service and all the heavy lifting these professionals do. Tipping each mover individually in cash is generally the best way to go. This allows you to customize the amount and show that you appreciate each person’s effort.

At the end of the day, if movers are worth it for you, a generous tip should be factored into your overall moving budget. Depending on the number of movers and how many hours they work, tipping might add anywhere from 5% to 20% to the total cost of your move.


FAQ About How Much To Tip Movers

Do you tip each mover separately?

Yes, you should tip each mover separately. Although you can give the lead mover a lump sum, tipping each mover separately is the best way to ensure everyone receives the proper amount.

How much do you tip for a $2,000 move?

For a $2,000 move, you can tip a percentage of the total cost or per worker per hour. Generally, expect to pay $25 to $40 per mover depending on whether your move takes a full or half day.

Do you tip movers when they load or unload?

You should tip movers when they finish their work, which typically means tipping when they unload. The same people will likely handle the loading and unloading for local moves. In that case, you could tip the movers when they unload. If you are moving cross-country, two different teams may be involved. In that case, you would tip the first team when they load and the second when they unload.

Is it customary to tip movers?

Yes. Movers are part of the service industry, in which tipping is customary.


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