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Do I Need to Tip My Movers? Yes, Here’s How Much

It’s standard practice to tip service providers around 15%, but does that hold true for movers as well? Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation, but what happens if you aren’t happy with your movers - do you still need to tip?
How much to tip movers - Moving APT

In this article

Yes, you should tip your movers. The recommended amount varies, but a common guideline is to tip $5 to $10 per mover per hour of service. However, you can adjust the amount based on factors like the complexity of the move, the quality of service, and your budget.

When to Tip and When Not to

As with many other services, it is common practice to tip movers in order to show your gratitude and appreciation for a job well done, but if you are completely unsatisfied with the service they provided you are, of course, free to choose not to tip.

Should Tip Movers

Judging the success of your move is fairly subjective, but some of the factors that should make you lean towards tipping movers include:

  • Movers that showed up on time or communicated appropriately if they were running late
  • A job that was completed faster than expected
  • Unpacking boxes and assembling the furniture (especially if this wasn’t part of the plan)
  • Extreme care with your breakables and no damage to any belongings during the move
  • Having to navigate several flights of stairs and/or tight alleyways and doorways
  • Friendly movers with a strong and impressive work ethic

Don’t Have to Tip Movers

Some red flags that would justify a smaller tip or possibly even no tip at all would include:

  • Movers that arrived late without any prior notice or explanation
  • Unfriendly movers with a bad attitude and little to no work ethic
  • Disregard for fragile items and ignoring packing and other instructions
  • Damage caused to belongings (please note that in some cases even the most careful and respectful movers might accidentally break something, but the decision to tip or not might depend on their attitude and handling of the situation)
  • An outright demand for a certain amount of cash tip

What’s the Best Way to Tip Movers?

When it comes to showing your appreciation for the hard work of your moving team, timing is key. The best time to tip your movers is at the end of the move. This is when you’ll have the best sense of how well the job was done and how much (or how little) you would like to tip.

If possible, consider giving each member of your moving crew their own tip in cash, along with a personal thank you. Even if you decide to give each of them the same amount, most movers will appreciate receiving individual tips. It shows that you recognize their individual efforts and contributions. Instead of giving one lump sum to the lead mover to distribute among the crew, opt for individual tips when you can. It’s a gesture that can make a difference.

However, if you do choose to go the lump sum route, keep in mind that there’s no guarantee the full amount will be evenly distributed among the movers. This is something to consider, especially if your move involves a larger team, such as cross country movers.

Lastly, ensure you have enough cash on hand for the tip, as you’re unlikely to be able to put it on a credit card.

Alternatives to Cash Tips

While cash is definitely the most appreciated tip for movers, If you can’t afford to tip in cash or want to go above and beyond and show your appreciation in other ways, you can also offer some non-cash treats and perks. Some ideas include:

  • Providing cold drinks and snacks throughout the move
  • Offering to do a coffee run
  • Treating the whole team to lunch or dinner (depending on the time of your move)
  • Offering the movers to take furniture or other items that you are not keeping

It can also be a nice touch to provide a glowing recommendation on the moving company’s Google, Facebook or Yelp profiles. Mentioning your specific movers by name is a nice touch, especially if they were extra helpful and friendly.

FAQ

Do you tip each mover separately?

If possible, you should tip each mover separately, while also offering a few words of thanks. It’s generally accepted to tip each mover the same amount, but if you feel that some team members worked especially harder than others, you can always offer them a little bit more. 

Some people may prefer to give cash to the supervisor or lead mover and ask him/her to distribute tips to the rest of the team. This is less preferable as it’s nicer to thank each mover individually, and you also could end up with a lead mover who does not divide up the tip fairly. 

How much to tip movers for long-distance moves?

Tipping movers for long-distance moves can be tricky, especially if you end up dealing with two different crews. There may be one team who packs and loads the truck and then another that unloads at the other end. 

If that’s the case, you should make sure you have cash on hand to tip the first crew when they are done loading and the second crew when they are done unloading. You can follow the same suggestion of around $5 per team member per hour

How much to tip movers for a local move?

Plan to tip local movers $5 per hour for each team member. You can increase or decrease the amount based on the level of service you get. Tipping a little extra for a job extremely well done is always appreciated. 

Do you tip long-distance movers on both ends?

If the movers are the same crew for the entire move, you do not really need to tip them until they have finished unloading at the final destination. Often, however, long-distance moves use one team of movers to pack up and load the old home and a new team who shows up at the new home to unload. 

If you are dealing with two sets of movers, it makes sense to give each their tip at the end of their part of the job. 

Do you tip movers when they load or unload?

If you are moving locally and the same team will be doing both the loading and the unloading, you should tip when they have finished unloading the truck at your new home. 

If you are moving long-distance and have two separate teams, you should tip the loading team after everything is on the truck and tip the unloading team once they have put everything in your new home.

Top Tips for Tipping

There’s no law that says you must offer your movers a tip, but it’s a generally accepted practice to acknowledge the hard work that goes into a move by providing some extra cash to the team.

It can’t hurt to also provide cold drinks and other snacks and treats during the day to keep the team motivated and taking good care of your belongings.

Emily Kirschenbaum

Emily Kirschenbaum

Emily is an experienced writer covering a variety of topics. Having moved many times, she has become an expert on all things moving-related, both local and long-distance. When she's not still unpacking boxes from her last move, Emily is sharing her knowledge to help make other people's moves as stress-free as possible.
Green Group

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