How Much to Tip Movers?
The generally accepted amount to tip movers is $5 per hour per mover (don’t forget the driver too!), and then you can adjust that number slightly up or down depending on your specific situation and how happy you are with the service.
Everyone likes to be rewarded for a job well-done, and the amount you tip your movers is at your discretion based on how difficult and complicated the job was and the level of service you received.
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?
It makes the most sense to tip the movers at the end of the move as that 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, it’s preferable to give each mover their own tip in cash along with a personal thank you. Even if you are giving each the same amount, most movers will appreciate getting individual tips instead of you giving one lump sum to the lead mover to then divide among the group. If you do choose to go the lump sum route, there is no guarantee that the full amount will make it to each mover.
Make sure 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.
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.