Everything to Know About How to Tip Movers

January 26, 2018 / Posted in Moving Basics
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

If you are hiring a relocation company for the first time ever, you’ll be wondering how to tip movers for their service. Or maybe you have moved many times before and never considered rewarding them at all.

woman and professional mover talking
There is a way to figure out how to tip the movers

Remember that the safety of your belongings will be your number one priority during relocation, and your movers will be taking care of that. A professional crew can make the move a smooth process, so there’s no stress for you and your family. This is just one of the reasons why a reliable company is so prized. They will make sure that your belongings are transported in one piece, and that you’re satisfied with the service provided. So, it’s only normal for you to consider tipping the workers for making your relocation a breeze.

Do You Have to Tip Movers?

This is a difficult question, as the relocation business is part of the service industry, where tipping is considered a must. You may also be wondering why you should tip at all, as you’re paying for their business. Besides, rewarding them with money may not be an option in case you are moving on a budget. However, keep in mind that the relocation process is very hard to handle, and making a mistake when relocating can be much more detrimental than a mistake made by a clumsy waiter.

So, remember that you’re putting your beloved belongings in the hands of these trained professionals. Relocation isn’t an easy job, as you will probably know yourself if you’ve ever moved on your own. You aren’t under any obligation to offer extra cash, of course, but if you’re satisfied with the service provided, it will be greatly appreciated. Put yourself in their shoes, after a day of hard work and dedication to the safety of your items.

movers loading the truck
The reward for the hard work is great, loading a truck is not easy.

What to Consider Before You Tip the Movers

You may be in two minds whether or not you should leave a reward. There are some things you can consider before you decide. Overall, you should look at the quality of the service provided and if you’re satisfied with how the crew handled the job.

Was the team acting professional and did they treat your items with care? Did they arrive on schedule, or were the movers late for the job? Did they handle the relocation without wasting any time? Some dishonest companies who are paid by the hour often employ time-wasting tactics, so you should keep this in mind.

It doesn’t hurt to watch how the relocation crew is handling your items. Have they done their best to make sure that your belongings are waiting for you undamaged at your new home? If you think that they did a good job at the end of the day, then consider giving them a reward for their hard work.


How Much and How to Tip Movers?

If you have decided that you want to reward your relocation team because you’re satisfied with their work, then consider the following. There are no rules set in stone when it comes to tipping. You can give the tip to every member of the crew individually once the relocation is over and you have determined your relocation budget.

If you trust the foreman of the group, you can give the tips to this person and let them divide the money, but keep in mind that this might not happen. So if you want to ensure that everyone gets their fair share, it’s more advisable to give the money to each mover individually.

The question of how much to spend on tips is another one that can depend on a number of circumstances. It’s common in the service industry to give between 15 and 20 percent of your bill. However, when it comes to relocating a home or an office, people usually give $20 to $50 per mover, depending on how complicated your relocation was to handle. You should also consider a higher reward in case you are relocating during the holidays and the workers are dealing with your stuff instead of spending time with their families.

If you have already found the easiest way to pack everything up and only needed your items safely shipped, then you may want to go with the lower end of tipping. On the other hand, if you hired the experts forpacking as well as moving services, it will be appreciated if you reward them for adapting to your needs. Maybe you will have a lot of important questions to ask movers and specific demands which they can help you with.

girls sitting on the floor and chatting
Consider how satisfied you are before you make any decisions

Best Ways to Tip Local Movers

You will certainly find different advice on this subject, depending on if it’s a long-distance move or if you’re relocating just down the street. If your new home is just around the corner, then consider tipping $5 per hour per mover. Depending on how much time your relocation takes, this will come up to the standard rate for local relocation experts, which would be around $40 a day. As opposed to tipping based on percentage, which may end up being a much larger number than you’d expect.

How to Tip Long Distance Movers

The same applies if you’re relocating long-distance, for example, if you are moving to another state. Long-distance relocation is much more expensive than a local move, so 15 to 20% of your bill may just be too much for your budget to handle. There’s a good chance that you’ll be working with two different moving crews if you are moving to a new state. This begs the question of do you give tips to the teams on both ends, and the answer lies with your moving company.

Tipping Movers and What’s the Best Time to Do It?

Once you’ve decided that you’d like to show your appreciation, you’ll be wondering when to actually do it. If you’d like to give the workers some encouragement before they get started with the unloading, you can promise them a reward once the work is done. Of course, if you have hired a reliable relocation company to take care of everything for you, they should be dedicated to the move from the get-go. But it won’t hurt if they know that tips will be awaiting them at the end of the day.

pile of dollars
Should you offer a reward before or after the job is done

Should You Leave a Tip Before or After the Move

It’s almost always for the best to give them the money once the job is done, as you can decide how much to give them based on the quality of the work. Like mentioned before, you can tell the workers that they’ll be getting tips when they’re finished. On the other hand, if you’d like to give them some more incentive to make sure that your stuff is safely shipped, you can give them a part of the reward before they even get started. You can give each mover a $10 so that they know that you’ll appreciate a reliable service.

The trouble with ‘after the move’ approach, especially in a cross-country relocation, is that you will probably have one crew loading the truck and another waiting at the destination. Try to find out that information in advance, so you can plan accordingly. All people will tell you that the help of the movers is a great thing, so don’t miss an opportunity to show your appreciation with a tip.

Leave a Review as a Way to Show Your Appreciation

This is a very useful piece of advice if you’d like to show that you’re satisfied with a job well done. It’s not necessarily a replacement for tipping, but it means going the extra mile if you’re trying to save money when moving and just don’t have the means. A positive review can make a big difference for others who are looking for a reliable relocation company. So if you’d like to thank the company, consider making an effort to leave a positive feedback and keep them in business.

girl working on a laptop
Leaving a good feedback means a lot as information and doesn’t take a lot of time, so don’t withhold information from people

With Tipping You Add an Incentive

No matter how professional they are, movers are just human beings. Ordinary people. Cash earned by moving is a hard one, and every extra token of appreciation can help. A good mover who gets a tip will certainly give more than an ordinary professional approach, thus becoming a great mover.

Still, it can’t hurt to contact preferred companies and get information on their policy regarding tips, if they have any. They probably won’t, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So don’t be afraid to tip, and whether you’ll do it when the truck arrives at the starting point, when all the boxes are loaded, or when you reach your destination is entirely up to you.

In case you are still having second thoughts, just ask yourself have you ever filled the cargo hold of a moving truck by yourself and did you have a great time doing it. If the answer is no, then that should clear things up. And if you are not able to give a few bucks, you should at least provide snacks and water. That way you show that you care, and then they will care more, too.

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