We all know how much to tip at a sit-down restaurant, but it can be hard to figure out when and how much to tip for other services, such as moving. If you get friends and family to help you move, you may offer free pizza and beer as an incentive. But what about when you hire 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 at the This OId House Reviews Team walk you through everything you need to know about tipping 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.
- 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—just like in other industries, tipping movers is not required. However, it is customary, and it’s 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.
Factors To Consider When Tipping Movers
Several factors can and should affect how much you tip your movers. Here are a few things to consider:
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. It makes sense to increase your tip a little to show appreciation for a job well done under less-than-ideal conditions.
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.
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 in 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.
Last but not least, evaluate the level of service you received, including the attitude and work ethic displayed by the movers. Remember that you do not have to tip each mover the same amount. You can take note of individuals who seemed particularly careful or careless and adjust their tips accordingly.
How To Tip Movers
Just as you tip at the end of your meal, it makes sense to 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 of your belongings from the moving truck. However, interstate moves may involve two different crews: one at your old house and one at your new home. In that case, you would need to tip each team separately.
Most moving companies recommend tipping in cash. Unlike other providers in the service industry, movers rarely give you the opportunity to add a tip when you pay your total bill. As a result, paying via credit or debit card may not be an option—though you may be able to get around that by using Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, or another money transfer app. Ultimately, we recommend asking the moving company about the best way to tip its movers.
In addition to a tip, you might consider buying lunch or providing refreshments for the moving crew. This can be as simple as ordering a few pizzas and having plenty of bottled water on hand. 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 15%–20% of the total projected cost of your move.
Although tipping your movers is not mandatory, it is 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, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Much To Tip Movers
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through the company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling, trailer and container options, additional benefits, and reputation to arrive at a final score out of 100.
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