A Complete Guide to Tipping Movers: When, How Much and More
It’s moving day! You’re all packed up and ready to go. You’ve got your boxes labeled and a team of helpful professional movers on hand to get you relocated to your new place.
If your moving team makes life easier and gets you comfortably relocated, you may wonder whether it’s okay to show your appreciation with a tip for your movers. After all, they may have done everything from handling fragile dishware to lifting heavy entertainment centers to making sure that big screen TV makes it through the move unscathed.
Is it appropriate to give a tip to movers who do a great job? Absolutely. Tipping during a move is not required, but if you’re working with a professional moving team and they make the moving process a little less stressful, acknowledging their efforts with a tip can be greatly appreciated.
How Much to Tip Movers?
It’s common to tip at restaurants or hair salons. Because people dine out or get their hair done regularly, they usually have a rule of thumb for tipping in these situations, like giving their server 15 to 20 percent of the total bill.
For most people, moving happens far less frequently than ordering from a restaurant or getting a new hairstyle. Because it’s a less common occurrence, you may not be sure whether you need to tip your movers or how much to tip them.
Because tips are not mandatory during the moving process, it’s up to you to decide the right amount. You may choose to tip your movers a flat rate or to give them a percentage of the total moving cost.
A general rule of thumb is to tip $4 to $5 per hour per mover or to tip between 5 and 10% of the total move cost. For example, if you are planning to spend $1,000 on your move, you might tip between $50 and $100 and divide it evenly between the team helping with your move.
What Factors Should I Consider When Deciding How Much To Tip My Movers?
People may choose to tip movers differently depending on several factors related to the move, including:
- How organized you are prior to their arrival. If you have all your boxes easily sorted and labeled for them, you’ll be very appreciated by your movers. If you have boxes that aren’t labeled and the movers take the extra time to coordinate with you and get them in the right rooms, you might consider tipping them a little extra for their efforts. (Need some help getting your move organized? Use our printable moving checklist.)
- Weather conditions. Who likes moving when it’s swelteringly hot, when it’s raining or when the ground is icy? When your movers do a great job under these challenging conditions, you may want to consider giving them a tip.
- Whether they pack items for you. Some moving companies provide packing services along with their traditional moving services. You may remember to tip the movers, but don’t forget about the packers who are making sure your collectible coffee mugs arrive safely and that your LEGO Millennium Falcon is bubble-wrapped to perfection.
- How many hours they’re working on-site with you. An average move for a 3-bedroom house might take between 7 and 10 hours. Did your move take longer than anticipated? Are your movers still on-site at dinner time when they thought they’d be home by mid-afternoon? If the delays in the move are because they’re moving slowly, you’re not obligated to tip. However, if they’re working hard and putting in more hours than expected, a tip could be really appreciated.
- Whether they’re moving items upstairs/downstairs. Moving a sectional couch to an upstairs game room requires some serious muscle and maneuvering. If your movers are making multiple trips up and down stairs, they’re saving you long hours of relocating items on your own. You might consider tipping a little more because of the extra time and energy expended with all those flights of stairs.
- How many oversized items are included in the move. According to Zillow, the contents of an average 1,000 square foot apartment weigh more than 5,000 pounds. That’s a lot of heavy lifting! If you’re moving two antique china cabinets, a dozen boxes of books and a grand piano – that’s a lot of heavy stuff! Consider what you’d have to do to get those oversized items moved and in place on your own and how much additional time and work you’re saving.
You may also choose to tip movers based on intangibles – things like whether they’re especially kind and friendly to your family, or if they do special things to make the move easier on your kids.
Should I Tip My Movers More Based on the Size of My Home/Length of My Move?
Tips for your movers might vary depending on the type of move you’re doing. An in-town move can be a big difference – in both experience and price – than a cross-country one.
If you live in a very large home or one that’s multiple stories, you may tip more because you’re asking the movers to climb more stairs and cover more ground. It may make sense to tip a percentage of the total move cost in this situation.
If you’re doing a cross-country move, you’re probably spending more on your move overall, and tipping a percentage could become very expensive very quickly. In this case, it might make sense to tip a flat rate to the movers and drivers managing the process. You can consult with your moving company to figure out how many people will be involved in your moving process and plan accordingly.
When Should I Give the Movers Their Tip?
When you tip your movers may depend on the type of move you’ve requested.
Tipping When Moving Cross-Country
If you’re moving cross-country, the people packing your items for the move may be different than the people driving all your worldly goods to your new home. And, you may also have a different crew unloading at your new place.
In this situation, it may make sense to tip your movers a set amount to each different team handling your items, rather than waiting to tip only the final crew.
Tipping On an In-Town Move
If you’re planning a local move, you can tip at any time during the process. Many people want to wait until the end of the day to ensure the move is completed to their satisfaction, while others tip at the beginning of the day as a way to provide additional motivation.
Some people also choose to do different non-cash tips during the process of the day to keep everyone’s spirits up. For example, providing water or sports drinks and meals or snacks can keep everyone moving forward – literally!
Our movers like to start the day out on the right foot with their clients as well, so they’ll often bring their own special treats to start the move on a positive note.
Can I Tip Movers Using a Credit Card?
If you’re happy with your movers and want to tip them, then reach for your wallet and find you don’t have any cash available, what should you do? Because it’s becoming less common for people to carry cash and more common to use credit cards, you may be wondering whether you can actually tip your movers with a credit card.
If you work with a moving company, you may be able to contact the local office and ask for details about their credit card policies. For example, you might be able to give a tip by asking your moving company to complete a separate transaction specifically to reward your movers. If your move is being paid for as a corporate relocation expense or if you’re hoping to list it as a business expense, it may actually be helpful to document the tip via your credit card transaction.
Moving can be a stressful process, but a great moving team can alleviate some of that stress and make your relocation a little easier. When you have a great team helping you move, they’ll be appreciative of any way you choose to show your gratitude.
Having snacks on-hand and giving cash tips for moving are both great ways to reward movers who do an exceptional job. And, if your You Move Me movers provide great service, the best possible compliment you can provide is a recommendation to your friends and family members. You can share our free estimate form with them and help them get their own moves started on the right foot.