How Much to Tip Movers?

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How Much to Tip Movers - Moving Feedback

Moving is a long process. Having gone through stressful chores of packing and hunting reliable moving company to handle your move, you are now ready to move. As your moving day is imminent and everything is set to move to a new home, you should be ready to receive the moving team in high expectation to receiving top-notch service from your movers. However, you should also prepare your mind to face some common attitudes from moving teams.

Remember they may not directly be the owners of the company but only working for the companies to earn a living. But you can always turn thing around on the D-day. The question is how do you turn things around and receive quality service from your moving team?

Series of research have shown that tipping a worker motivates him or her to do better than usual. According to the American Moving and Storage Association’s spokesperson, Mike Keaton, “moving crew usually expects consumers to tip them; hence, they do put more efforts in carrying out the job.”

It is not a bad idea to tip your movers, and everyone should feel good about doing so. Don’t forget these are people you are entrusting all your belongings to. They will lift all your heavy boxes and furniture, and as well as ensuring all your possessions arrive safely at your new location. If you observe that the crew does a fantastic job, tipping them is a way to appreciation a job well is done – says Keaton. The next question is how much should you tip your movers?

If you are among numerous people planning to move very soon, this post will help you in getting the best out your movers on a moving day. We will be discussing everything related to tipping your movers on your moving day. How much to tip them? When to tip them? How to tip them? These and other tips will be shared for more understanding. First and foremost, we will look at the factors to consider to tip your movers. Read on to discover more.

Consideration Factors for Tipping your Movers

While some moves require mere appreciation, some involve big incentive. The main point is that all moving are not created equally. The more impressed you are with your movers, the more appreciation you should show to them. If they are not impressed in any way, there is no point of handing over more cash to them. At least, everyone wants to pay for results. However, if the moving crew displays a sense of nice gesture and hardworking and goes beyond your expectations, tipping them to do more next time is an ideal approach to encourage such people.

Apart from this, there are other factors to consider to help you prepare your mind towards how much to tip your movers on the D-day. Consider the below factors as related to your move:

  • Complexity/technicality of your move: Some moves are easier than others. For example, the proximity to your property may subject movers to more stress especially if the movers have to climb stairs to carry your stuff. Also, ask yourself some questions such as how big is your home? What is the volume of the contents therein? How much is awkward or heavy pieces of furniture involved in the move? How many loaders are involved? These questions will help you determine how much to tip them.
  • Quality of service of the moving crew: This is the overall attitudes of the movers in discharging their duties. Did they arrive on time as scheduled? How did they handle your belongings during loading? Were they ready to offer additional services outside of their scope of work? These are also determinant factors.
  • Total moving cost: The overall cost of moving also contributes to how much you should tip your movers. Were you over-charged before? Did you pay for a comprehensive moving service including packing services? Did you use an extra truck as against the calculated one? If you feel that the service rendered is more than what you paid for, you should know how much to tip your movers.

In summary, you should tip your movers if:

  • They showed up earlier enough,
  • They deliver in a shorter time as against scheduled timeline,
  • They provide additional services such as packing, wrapping of fragile items, and much more,
  • They passed through stress by navigating staircase, or maneuvering items through awkward paths,
  • No record of damage to items throughout the move, or
  • They deliver top-notch service with excellent communication skills during the moving.

However, if your movers did otherwise such as arrive late, acted unprofessionally, damage or loss your things, keep your cash.

How Much to Tip Your Movers?

Tip your Movers - Moving Feedback

Having discussed what to consider in knowing how much to tip your movers, the unwritten rule of thumb states that you should tip your mover 5% to 10 % of the overall cost of the move, and this is shared among the team members appropriately. This implies that if your total cost of a move is $2,500, you are expected to tip your moving crew $250 to be shared among the crew. However, we are not saying it is compulsory to give the suggested percent.

You can give as it comes from your mind. Some people can afford to tip their movers even up to a thousand dollars; hence, there is no limit to what you can give. No amount is too small or big.

The motive behind tipping your movers is to show appreciation for a job well done. It is worthy of mentioning that when you are tipping more than one mover, it is not advisable to hand over the lump sum to the foreman or driver. Alternatively, you can hand over each of them their tips. However, there have been some cases of some immoral foremen or drivers who kept some cash without sharing others in the team.

Other Means of Tipping your Movers

Tipping is not always about money. You can tip your movers something else apart from offering cash to them. There are other ways to show appreciation to your movers. Averagely, most people do some other things in addition to cash tipping. Moving activities are stressful works, and those movers are not robots. They will also get tired, feel hungry, feel thirty, and as well as have a feeling of fatigue at a point in time. The point is that tipping movers are not always about cash. There are other good ways you encourage your mover to do more next time.

As a good host, you can be hospitable to the moving crew because they are your guests and apart from being your guests, they are doing a wonderful job by handling your household items with care. Just put them in your shoes and feel the same way they would feel – tired, losing strength, and making more effort to keep the work going. There are other ways to appreciate them rather than or in addition to monetary tips you may want to offer them at the end of the whole process.

Below are other ways you can tip your movers rather than monetary tips:

  • Foods: Like it was mentioned above, there are some factors to consider when tipping your movers. If your move takes more extended hours, it is not a bad idea to offer the crew sandwiches, snacks, or even pizza for their lunch. You can as well ask them their favorites for lunch.
  • Drinks: Beverages, cold soda or water are good offers during the summer period. Likewise, hot chocolate, coffee or teas are good offers to your movers during the winter period. However, alcoholic drinks should be avoided as much as possible, as most professional movers frown at moving crews drinking alcohol at any stage of the job.
  • Freshen up: Preparing your bathroom for your mover with disposable paper towels and liquid soap to take a bath at the end of each day is another way to show appreciation for their efforts and outstanding service.
  • Positive reviews: Another way that movers cherish so much is when you leave a positive review about their professionalism and commitment. If you observe the moving team handle your move excellently well, you can go to top moving review websites such as Moving Feedback, Moving reviews, and other related platforms and leave a positive and comprehensive review about their services. I bet you, they will appreciate it even more than cash tips. You may be thinking that the reviews are for the benefits of the company owner, but remember you are telling the management of the company that their workers did a perfect job; hence, the affected moving crew will receive commendation from the employer.

What is the Best Time to Tip your Movers?

The answers to this question may depend on a number of factors. Obviously, most people do tip their moving crew at the end of the exercise. However, this is not a rule of thumb, as you can tip your movers even before the move. Just as it was mentioned above, mover tips can come in different ways. There are cases where customers tip each member of the crew $15 or $20 before the commencement of the work – saying “guys, please, handle my stuff gently.” The crew gladly accepted the offer and was motivated to deliver top-notch service beyond the customers’ expectation. If this is your style, it is great. Trust me; your movers will appreciate the idea of being tipped right before work.

This is not a bribe, but a tip. There is a quite difference between bribe and tip. This is the scenario. You hire a moving company, and the management sends a moving team to you. Always accept the fact that the employees are working for their wages or salaries; hence, a tip from customers is an additional and a way to boost their morale towards the work. Everyone loves motivation – stretching a hand of gesture to your movers is not a bad idea. However, we are not saying tipping your movers is a must for you. It is optional and based on the individual. If at all you don’t want to hand over cash to your movers, you can explore any other means of tipping your movers as suggested above – foods, drinking, enabling the environment to freshen up, and much more.

Who to Tip to your Movers?

When it comes to whom to hand over the tip, many consumers are in the habit of handing over the cash to only one person known as foreman. Most of the time, this foreman happens to be the truck driver, and he is in control. Unless you understand how things work, give the entire tip package to the driver or foreman may be wrong. Everyone understands he is the person every individual meets when something goes wrong, but that doesn’t mean is the one doing the work.

Based on a general or unofficial movers’ tipping etiquette, tipping each mover individually based on their attitudes towards work, level of professionalism and general performance is the most advisable. It is a mistake to give the entire tipping sum to the driver or the foreman; hence, don’t make such blunder.

One of the reasons is that not all foremen or drivers are honest. There have been cases where the foremen or drivers pocket the entire sum without sharing the team members. Some drivers or foremen think the tip is for themselves alone and not for the team. It is good for each person to enjoy the fruit of their efforts putting towards the success of the move. While some team members put on nonchalant attitudes during the move, some put in their best with a high level of professionalism. Hence, each person needs to be tipped according to their efforts.

Things to consider when tipping Movers

When it comes to factors to consider when tipping your moving company crew, there are a different approaches to it. Many think it is the right thing to do, while some people think it is unnecessary. However, everyone understands that it is good to show appreciation to anyone that impresses us. Hence, movers are not different.

Below are four questions you should ask to find out if you should tip them after the completion of your move:

  • Were the movers on time?
  • How efficient were they?
  • Did they handle your items carefully?
  • Were the movers polite?

If your answer to all of these is “Yes”, then your moving teams are professionals. Movers do not expect a tip based on percentage, unlike waiters. The tip should rather correspond to the number of hours they spent on your work.

Each moving expert we contacted gave us a tipping range, so how do you figure out the amount to tip your movers? Generally, you should have the feeling that the service you’ve received is a good one; however, there are other factors that might affect how much to tip movers:  

  • The complexity of your move: The size of your home, the items, the distance of your move, the number of movers, packers required, as well as the number of stairs or levels in your home will determine how much to tip your movers. Determinant factors include the number of large, bulky, or heavy furniture you have, and the number of days it takes to start and finish the entire move, all have great significant impacts on the amount you tip your movers. 
  • Quality of service: How early did they arrive? How considerate were days? How careful were they with your fragile belongings? These are the ways to determine the quality of service for tipping consideration.
  • Final moving cost: Were you charged for packing services aside moving services? Did one moving truck contain all your belongings, or you required an additional truck? These are also added to your overall moving cost and should be considered when deciding the amount to tip your movers.  

How much can I tip Long-Distance Movers?

A long-distance move will cost you about $4,000 on average. You will discover if the total amount you are paying your long-distance movers is too expensive when you based your decision to tip them on a certain percentage of the overall price. Not all homeowners have the financial capability to tip movers 15 to 20% of their final bill.

We suggest you use a similar tipping method for long-distance movers as used with others, which are to base your tipping on $4 to $5 per mover per hour. Or just pay $40 if the move took an entire day. 

How much can I tip Local Movers?

Follow the same rule as tipping long-distance movers when tipping local movers. Prepare for a $40 per mover per day if the movers have offered a brilliant service. Or just tip them $4 per mover per hour. You can as well increase your tip if you believe your movers deserve more from the just concluded job.

If you consider a $7 per mover per hour, then you have done a great job, which will be very much appreciated by your moving teams as it is a big sum in the moving industry.

Pro Tip

For a more general method, always know that movers can be paid in 2 ways: 1. By the hour, just like HireAHelper movers. 2. By the job, normally charged by long-distance movers. Hourly payment means that your movers will automatically receive their payment based on the time it takes to agree on those additional stairs and move all your belongings through your sloped driveway to your entry door and, lastly, into your new home. By-the-job payment means they won’t. Just understand this.

How to tip your Movers?

Now that you can identify professional movers that deserve a tip for a job well-done, let us discuss the best way to tip movers. Although there is nothing difficult in tipping movers as it is a straightforward thing, there are few certain things you need to know to appreciate your movers the right way.

  • Give a little of an incentive to your movers 

In the best case, your professional movers and packers who have arrived to your home to do their job will earn tips by doing a quick, safe, and efficient job from the beginning to the end. However, regardless of how hardworking your moving crew is, you can still motivate them by informing them well in advance that they will go home with good tips at the job completion if done as expected.

This will enable them to put more than their best effort into completing the job for you. As a matter of fact, these effective tactics have been proven very well to increase the productivity and efficiency of movers for the reasons we all know. Certainly, you have to fulfil your promise to reward their good job when your hired men do their respective job as expected.  

  • Timing is important

It is very important to get accurate timing if you plan to tip your movers. As said earlier, you may decide to motivate your moving crew to put in more effort by promising incentives at the completion of the move, provided they delivered the best service. You could go further to give a $10 bill each to your movers to show them how serious you are about tipping them. They certainly will also work harder to receive the promised tip. 

However, if you are not satisfied with the previous tipping, then just go with the tipping rules that say that you should only tip your moving crew after they’ve completed the task. This means that when they delivered your belongings and move them inside your new home. If you included unpacking service as an add-on, then the tip should be handed to them after unpacking your items.

Firstly, make sure there is none missing of your belongings, and ensure they are in good condition. Then, sign your final document, and that is when you should hand out tips to reward your movers in person.   

  • Avoid awkward moments

The foreman is that one person that always supervises the crew of movers and packers. In most cases, that person happens to be the driver to the moving truck you should meet in case there is any problem or anything that arises when moving your house.

If you are satisfied with the way your movers take care of the entire moving job, then it is very fair to consider tipping only your movers. As stated by the unofficial and unwritten tipping rule for movers, it is expected of you to individually tip each mover based on their level of service, professionalism, and overall performance.

Be sure to arrange for additional tipping money in advance as it shows how much you appreciate their individual efforts. 

However, avoid giving the entire sum to the driver or the foreman. If you don’t understand why that could be a great mistake, then note that some foremen are not honest and might just forget to share the tip among the moving crew and just keep it to themselves.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to tip my moving company?

Let’s clear this: although tipping movers is very popular, you should not feel obligated to it. Rather, we would say you should decide for yourself if you should and the amount to tip your house movers.

Below are some points to guide you on whether you should tip your moving crewmembers or not:  

  • How many belongings remain intact or broken at the end of the move?
  • Their professionalism of service, including their communication
  • The total quality of your moving experience and your movers’ attitude
  • How earlier did your movers and packers show up?
  • Have your movers been friendly, sociable, nice and polite, or maybe disrespectful, rude or cold?
  • Have your hired movers acted professionally immediately they get to your home?
  • Have your professional movers and packers carefully treated your belongings? Even while watching how your movers are doing their work and handling your belongings from a distance, you can discover a lot about the quality of service you are paying for. 
  • Have your movers put in place measures to avoid property damage?
  • Have your professional movers worked efficiently from the beginning to the end, or have they just tried? On many scenarios, movers often take bathroom or cigarette breaks to intentionally extend the working time to complete the job, or just use other dishonest time-wasting methods. This is mostly done by local movers where your charge is based on an hourly rate. 

How much should you tip movers?

The post has said a lot on this question, but we will answer it generally again. This will guide you on the amount to tip movers:

  • $20 per mover for a half-day move which takes 4 hours or less.
  • $40 per mover for a full 8-hour day. 
  • $50 – $60 per mover for 12 hours or more. 
  • Option: Give an hourly tip figure for each mover starting from $4 to $5 per hour per mover 

Generally, your tip should show the level of service and the number of challenges involved. Take the number of items being moved, the number of oversized belongings, and the availability of stairs into consideration. Try and add to your tipping amount if there are other factors that further complicate the move. Usually, the size of the moving project also determines the size of the tip. However, we always appreciate any tips.

Below are things to do on each type of move.  

  • Long-distance move drivers can get between $20 and $100 based on where they serviced (both locations or not). Movers can get $20 to $50.
  • A small or local move would collect $20 to $40, while a larger movement with multiple days or multiple moving trucks could take $20 to $50 daily.
  • For example, Boston movers typically have a standard rate of $40, but mostly within the range of $50 to $100. New York City, Chicago, and other cities start their tip from $100 to $250. 
  • Some movers report that they usually receive $20 to $40 tip for short jobs. They also usually receive about $30 for just packing, and sometimes the client makes lunch for the moving team. 
  • Piano movers are tipped a minimum of $20 and starting from $30 to $50 if the piano is carried upstairs. 

What if something went wrong on the move?

Nice question. Accidents may happen. Just understand that your movers are also human regardless of how professional or careful they are. The major thing here is how they handle what goes wrong and not what if something goes wrong.

Just consider yourself breaking your back at work for five hours and was thereafter invalidated after a small incident. Also, remember the tip is going to the movers and not the moving company that employed them. 

Your moving crew is different from the office staff, sales reps, or customer service representatives. Knowing this, if things went south is very useful and appropriate. Even if something went wrong with your move, if you feel your moving crew did a wonderful job, try to hand the last tip to your movers, such as a positive review.

Yes, review is one of the best tips movers appreciate – both crew and moving company. A job that doesn’t take anything from you than a few minutes of your time can greatly help movers who worked themselves up for you to gain more customers’ attention and get more work. And that should be enough for you to put more cash in their respective purses. 

Is an offence not to tip my movers?

No. Majority of movers understand the quality of their job, and thus often know if they will be receiving a nice tip, generous tip, or no tip. You will definitely be in perfect condition if you concluded at a good tipping plan. 

What if you observed one or two of your movers perform outstandingly to others? Can I give them extra?

Yes. Individual performance is one of the factors to consider when looking at tipping movers. Should you do it openly or secretly? That is one trickier question. A customer once whispered he has tipped a mover an extra tip and not to tell the other guy the amount given to him. In honesty, we believed the other guy and he worked efficiently, so going home in the moving truck was kind of making him uncomfortable.

He said it would have been just fine if the customer has given him cigarettes and pee breaks. If you feel one or more of your movers deserve more for their significantly good job, then do it. Just say a line like this: “I appreciate the additional effort” as you give them their tip, which will let them know their extra effort was being rewarded.    

Final Words

When you pay a professional moving company to handle your move, everyone assumes you had paid your due and what is left is to see them delivered on their promises as contained in the agreement. However, appreciating moving crew for showing up on time or for handling your stuff carefully or delivered a top-notch service as directed is not a bad idea. It is even recommended to do so.

The actual amount to tip your movers cannot be ascertained but the rule of thumb says 5 – 10 percent of the entire moving cost. This post has discussed in-depth on this and even went further to suggest other ways to tip your movers besides offering cash. The key point here is that – tipping your movers is a win-win situation; you get your job done professionally, and your guests are happy for appreciating their efforts. Stay tuned for more informative posts from this page!

David Cohen
David Cohen
He has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. David is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.
David Cohen
David Cohen
He has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. David is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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