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How Much Do You Tip Movers?

You’ve finally moved into your new place. A team of movers did a fantastic job packing your truck and helping you unload every box and piece of furniture. As you congratulate these professionals on a job well done, should you tip them?

Determining how much to tip movers is one of many overlooked details during the moving process. Review when a tip is expected, the average amount of one, and other strategies to reward moving professionals.

Are You Required To Tip Movers?

man holding 1 US dollar banknote

Tipping can feel uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. Whether it’s your first move or your first time tipping, it can be difficult to know how much to give and when is a good time to give the payment.

The most important thing to remember is that you aren't required to tip movers. It’s customary, however, so it’s a good idea to consider doing so. A tip is a compliment on a job well done. While not mandatory, it is normal to tip service professionals in many roles. Just like a server, barista, barber, or hairstylist, a mover may expect a tip after performing an exceptional job.

When It’s a Good Idea To Tip Movers

Movers work in a challenging industry. Lifting heavy boxes and furniture, organizing contents in a truck, and working to meet strict deadlines can be exhausting. These professionals also have to work in most weather conditions as they remove and relocate all your items.

Tipping should be for movers who provide a quality service. Whether they went above and beyond when loading your truck or completed the task as expected, it’s a good idea to tip these professionals. Here are some examples of times when it’s good to tip a moving team:

  • Timely arrival
  • Polite and professional communication
  • Respectful, careful handling
  • Hard work despite weather conditions, heavy furniture, or several floors of stairs
  • Fitting all of your items into the moving truck or POD even though it once looked impossible
  • Completing the move in a shorter amount of time than originally estimated

Give your tip, preferably in cash, at the end of the move. This is a great opportunity to communicate to each moving professional that you’re grateful for their work.

When You Shouldn’t Feel Obligated To Tip

Remember that you’re never required to offer a tip to moving professionals. While it’s a polite thing to do and most movers deserve a tip, there are some situations where you may not feel like a tip is entirely appropriate. Here are situations where you shouldn’t feel bad skipping the tip:

  • Extremely late arrival
  • Unprofessional attitude
  • Use of inappropriate and/or disrespectful language
  • Intentional damage to your belongings or damage due to carelessness

These situations are extremely rare when you work with a reputable moving team. They can happen, however, and they may be grounds for reducing your tip. Remember that accidents do happen and no one can control the traffic, so movers being slightly delayed or accidentally damaging one of your items isn’t usually grounds for not tipping.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

How Much Should You Tip?

a person counting dollar banknotes

There aren’t any set guidelines on how much money a mover should receive as a tip. There are, however, some typical ranges. The amount that you tip movers can depend on a few factors or you can set a straightforward amount that you’ll pay regardless of the specific situation. Here are some factors that you could use to determine the tip range you’ll pay your movers:

  • Length of time: Some moves take just a few hours while others could require a 12-hour workday or even several days.
  • Amount of boxes: Are you just moving a few boxes across the street or packing up all of your large family’s belongings to move across the state? This affects the amount of work you’re asking for from your moving team.
  • Professionalism: A white-glove service may deserve a better tip than a moving experience that lacks some of the same convenience and professionalism.

Remember to tip each mover. Some managers will share a large tip equally while others may keep all or most of it for themselves.

Typical Size of a Tip

Choose whether you’re going to tip by percentage or by dollar amount. Cash is the preferred way to tip, but some companies allow you to add gratuity to a credit or debit card transaction. Here are some basic guidelines for both types:

  • Percentage of your move: Tip between 5% and 20% of the total moving bill. Smaller moves should be between 5% and 10%, while larger ones deserve 15% to 20%. Divide this percentage between the entire crew.
  • Dollar amount: Consider paying between $20 and $60 per person. Around $20 is great for a half-day project, while extra-long days can deserve up to $60.

This makes the total you should budget for a tip vary considerably. Some projects only require one mover, while many will have several professionals working to help you complete a quick relocation. 

How To Calculate a Fair Rate

Which is more, $40 or a 15% tip? Don’t worry if you’re not handy with quick percentage calculations. Here is a simple way to calculate how much to tip movers based on a percentage of the total bill:

  • Find the total bill amount.
  • Determine the percentage you wish to tip (15%, for example).
  • Multiply the total bill by the percentage as a decimal number (0.15 for 15%, 0.05 for 5%, etc.).
  • Divide the amount by the number of movers.

If that still sounds like too much math, then here’s an example to help you walk through these steps. A team of two movers charges $400 for your move and you wish to tip them 15%. The total bill of $400 multiplied by 0.15 equals $60. This means both movers would receive a tip of $30.

A percentage and a dollar amount tip should be reasonably similar. Compare both rates to determine the easiest way to tip your team. Keep in mind that there aren’t any requirements on a minimum amount, but it is a good idea to give at least some form of gratuity to a professional team.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

Are There Alternatives to Tipping?

brown wooden scrabble blocks on white surface that spell say thank you

Tipping is essentially a way to express your gratitude and make the experience better for everyone involved. If discreetly handing off wads of cash with every handshake isn’t your idea of a creative way to say thanks, then consider these alternative ways to show your gratitude to moving professionals:

  • Professional review: Modern moving companies have websites, social media pages, and other forms of an online presence. Spread the word about the great experience to help them win more work in the future.
  • Referrals: Word-of-mouth referrals are still excellent ways for businesses to grow. Express your gratitude by referring others to your chosen moving team.
  • Refreshments: There’s nothing like a complimentary lunch or a fresh cup of coffee to brighten a day. If you can’t afford a full tip or want to show your gratitude in other ways, then offer food and/or drinks throughout the day. Ask about any food preferences or dietary restrictions before ordering for your moving professionals.
  • Give them your unwanted items: If you are planning to throw away old or unwanted furniture ask the crew if they would like it instead. This saves you time and money and doesn't impact the environment.

These can be alternatives or additions to your standard tip. If you can’t spring for a 20% tip but still had a team that went above and beyond, then offer what you can and add in one or more of these ways of saying thanks.

How Can MovingLabor.com Help You Move?

Prepare for the big day the right way with MovingLabor.com. From advice on how to tip movers to affordable local moving help, find the resources you need with our trusted mover marketplace and resource guides. See how it works today to find reliable moving assistance from MovingLabor.com.

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