How much should I tip movers?

So, your moving endeavor has reached its climax – after all the careful planning, thorough researches, hectic preparations, and laborious tasks you have taken care of, Moving day has arrived at your doorstep. While you are waiting for the moving crew to appear and take your belongings to your new home, one simple question may suddenly cross your mind – should you tip your movers?

Is it customary to tip movers?

A standard tipping etiquette is accepted within the service industry to express satisfaction and recognition for a job well done. Although movers don’t usually expect a tip, they highly appreciate it – tipping movers is regarded as a sign that you are happy with their performance and find their efforts worthy.

You probably believe that you are paying a real fortune to the moving company, so any extra expenses put quite a strain on your budget. However, have in mind that the people actually lugging your household items see very little of your money. It’s them who do all the labor – they risk injury, get sore from the strenuous work, carry heavy items around in freezing cold or scorching heat, etc. Even if you have accomplished all the arduous moving-related tasks so far by yourself, the chances are you will leave all the hard work to the professionals on Moving day. And you will be right to do so, as hauling heavy furniture and bulky appliances around without a scratch, handling fragile items so that they remain intact, fitting all your earthly possessions into the moving truck in a safe and efficient manner and accommodating your preferences is quite an art. Extensive experience, professional attitude, a lot of energy, alert mind, and adequate equipment are required to accomplish such demanding and tricky tasks. Professional movers have all the resources (physical, mental, and technological) to achieve a smooth and trouble-free moving process. So, if they provide quality services, they should be properly rewarded, of course.

As with any other services, you should determine whether or not to tip your movers depending on their actual performance – a bad attitude and lousy work are not likely to be rewarded, while attentive, helpful and professional approach deserves your gratitude.

How much to tip movers?

Once you have decided that your movers have done an outstanding job and deserve a tip, you have to decide how much to tip them. This is not rocket science but you have to take several factors into account in order not to over-tip or under-tip your moving crew. Calculating how much to tip movers should be based on the number of people involved in the process, the final moving cost and, above all, the quality of the move.

How much should you tip house movers in the event of local move?

The only difference between a local move and cross country move is the distance that the moving truck will travel to your new home. All the packing, lifting, carrying, loading, etc., involved in the two types of residential moves, remain a constant. The same amount of time and efforts will be required for disassembling your furniture, taking your heavy belongings down the stairs and along narrow corridors and sharp turns, arranging and securing your household items in the moving truck, preventing property damage, etc. However, there are two major differences – the driver will spend just a couple of hours on the road (or even less when moving across town) and the same crew will unload your belongings at your new home. So, it is a good idea to tip the movers depending on the time required to complete the job, not on the final moving charges. The average tip for local moves varies from $10-$20 per person for smaller moves (that take up to 4 hours) to $30-$40 or more if you are moving a larger house or apartment.

How much should you tip cross-country movers?

As already discussed, when it comes to long distance moves, you should take into account the fact that a different crew will unload your items, so you will have to tip both the movers who will load your belongings at your old property and the ones who will handle your possessions at your new home. Generally, about $20 per person is considered fair. Long distance drivers are usually tipped according to the number of days spent on the road. Many suggest that a cross-country move of three to four days deserves a tip of about $150 – $200. However, if the weather conditions are horrible and your goods are safely delivered nonetheless, you may want to give the driver a little more.

Factors that may alter your tip

Apart from the weather, the actual time spent on the job, and the distance, there are a couple of other significant aspects of your specific move that might raise or lower the amount of your tip. If your relocation involves several flights of steep or winding stairs, difficult navigational maneuvers to take your household items out of your old property or into your new one, lugging very heavy or awkward pieces, hoisting, or any other remarkable efforts, it is a good idea to increase the amount of the tip. You may also want to tip your movers more if they had an extraordinarily careful and professional attitude when handling your belongings, finished your move ahead of schedule, or went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your possessions will be delivered intact.

On the other hand, poor service, rude, or careless attitude will, of course, make you think twice before tipping the movers. If your movers are late, show no respect for your property, use profanity in front of your kids, break something because they were tossing around boxes labeled as “FRAGILE”, take a lot of cigarette breaks, etc., then they deserve no tip. In such situations you should bring up your dissatisfaction with the foreman and, if nobody pays heed to your requests, contact the moving company at once and explain what is happening.

How to tip movers?

It may be a good strategic decision to inform the moving crew in advance that if they do a good job, you will give them good tips. You may be surprised how efficient this tactic often proves to be. When the work is over and you are really happy with your movers because they provided you with invaluable assistance and perfectly managed the logistics of your move, it’s time to show your gratitude and open up your wallet. However, it will be wise of you to hand over each member of the moving crew their tip. There are a couple of reasons to do so:

  • You will show your appreciation to their individual efforts. Besides, you may think that one particular person worked much harder than the rest or helped you out with tasks beyond his/her duties. Tipping everyone individually will allow you to give the helpful worker more;
  • If you give the entire amount to one person, all the money may easily end up only in one pocket. If you prefer to do so, make sure to hand the money to the foreman in front of the others and state clearly that it is to be evenly split.

How to treat your movers?

Small gestures of kindness are often more valuable than money. So, treat your movers with respect, make them feel welcome, be considerate of their needs, and communicate openly with them:

  • be home to meet the moving crew at the agreed time on Moving day;
  • provide all the relevant information your movers may need (any specific requirements, possible obstacles, etc.);
  • offer bottled water and refreshing drinks according to the season;
  • allow easy access to a bathroom equipped with liquid soap and disposable paper towels;
  • get the movers some healthy snacks to eat (it will be thoughtful of you to ask them what they would like instead of just ordering pizza like everybody else) to replenish their energy and raise their spirits. Do not substitute tips for lunch though – your movers won’t have the time to enjoy the food, so just offer them a bite on the go and give them some cash in return for their quality services.

There are no set standards about tipping movers and you can do whatever you are comfortable with. The tipping practices show that an average of 10 to 20 % of the total moving costs is considered an appropriate tip for movers, but it all depends on your level of satisfaction with each particular person involved in the moving process.

 

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