When moving to a new home or apartment for the first time, some of us have little or no experience dealing with movers. It can be stressful to try to select the right company and take care of all the details. But one largely overlooked aspect of dealing with professional movers is the matter of tipping movers. People either do not know about their obligation to tip movers, or they don’t know how much they should be tipping.

This brief Moving Tipping Guide will answer all your questions and put any doubts to rest. Here's what you find out:

  • Why you should tip the movers

  • How much do people usually tip their movers

  • What factors should you consider when tipping movers

  • And some basic FAQs that most people have

After you are through with this guide, you will know exactly what makes a good moving tip and how much you should be tipping your movers.

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Should you tip your movers?

Today, people move to a new place for work, school, or family reasons. These changes can be stressful for both the movers and the people who are moving. Movers have to deal with heavy boxes and furniture while dealing with tight schedules.

  • They understand the importance of your personal belongings—not just their dollar value but also their sentimental value.

  • They understand that some of these items may even hold glorious memories of your past. Your movers ensure that all your belongings are packed carefully so that nothing is damaged during the move.

  • In the end, your movers end up doing a hard job. They help you get settled into the new place quickly and make it easier for you when you arrive at your destination.

  • Think of it as a form of gratitude for the hard work that they put in with all the heavy lifting they do and all the flights of stairs they traverse multiple times.

If you would rather not tip them, that is fine. Moving tips are not mandatory, and your movers are certainly not going to hold it against you. But tipping is a good way of saying, “Thanks for the hard work and good service.”

If you are happy with how your movers have handled the process and how they have conducted themselves professionally, why not tip them to show your appreciation?

How Much Do People Usually Tip Movers?

How much should I tip my movers?” is one of the common questions we get. The answer to this question is not as simple as you might think. There are many factors that go into deciding how much to tip a mover, such as quality of service, moving complexity, the difficulty of the move, etc.

There is no flat rate for moving tips. But a good rule of thumb is to tip each of the movers $4 to $5 per hour. If the moving process took 5 hours, it’s appropriate to tip each mover $20 to $25 for their service. But for a day-long move that takes eight hours, tipping a maximum of $40 to each mover is appropriate.

You can also set aside a certain percentage of the total moving cost for moving tips. For instance, if your total moving cost is $1,500, you can set aside 15 to 20% more for moving tips and divide them equally among the tippers.

Factors You Should Consider While Tipping Your Movers

Tipping is always an individual decision, and every person has different thresholds for tipping. The following are some factors you should consider while tipping your movers:

Complexity of your move

The complexity of the move influences your choice of tipping amount for the movers. The more complex the moving process, the higher your tipping amount should be.

If you are hiring movers for your big move, it is best to tip them according to how much they will earn in an hour. If you are hiring movers for an hourly rate, it is best to tip them according to how long they will work on your move.

In general, the complexity of the move involves the following two aspects:

  • The distance to move: The greater distance you have to travel for your move, the higher your tipping amount should be.

  • Whether the move is physically difficult or physically easy: If the move is physically difficult, then you should tip higher.

  • Number of people involved in the process: If you have more people involved in your move, then you should tip higher.

  • Is it a cross-country move or local: For a cross-country move, it’s appropriate to tip your movers extra when compared to moves that are local or for shorter distances.

While each of the above factors makes the moving process complex, the complexity of the move increases multifold if all these factors come into play.

Quality of The Service and Cordiality of Your Movers

The quality of the service and cordiality of your movers are other vital factors to consider when choosing the tipping amount. A professional moving company ensures that their movers deliver both.

When your movers deliver a high-quality service, they will be careful with your belongings. They will handle all your items—furniture and electrical appliances as if they were their own and take the utmost care in packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking them.

If they bring a positive attitude and friendly behavior into the moving process, it turns moving into a delightful process for both parties.

Number of Hours They Spent

Moving can take a toll on both the home and the family. It’s important to keep your moving budget in mind while planning your move. In addition, you should also consider the time it takes to move and how much time it will take for movers to complete your relocation.

A typical move for a 3-bedroom home could take 7 to 10 hours. If your movers can finish the moving process during that time or sooner, giving them a higher tip is always a good idea. 

Moving is a tough job, and you are nice to your movers by rewarding them with extra cash if they make the process much shorter than expected.

It's not necessary to leave a tip if the movers' slowness or tardiness caused the relocation to take longer than expected. However, if they’re working hard and putting in more hours than expected, a tip could be really appreciated.

Whether They Load and Unload for You

Movers often load and unload your belongings for you. A good moving service always uses the right packing supply to secure the items during transit. Your choice of tipping amount should consider the kind of packing material they use. You should also take into account whether they will be available at any time during the day or night and how long they can stay in your home before leaving.

Moving professionals regularly have to work long hours, often with no access to their homes or families. You should consider tipping these individuals according to their availability, the length of time they will be able to stay with you, and any additional costs that may arise.

Did They Pack Items and Disassemble/Reassemble Your Furniture?

Movers ensure that you don’t have to worry about how to disassemble, reassemble, or pack for move. Movers are the people who help you move your belongings from one place to another. The last thing you want is for a moving company to come in, take your furniture apart, and then put it back together incorrectly. If the answer is no, then it is not a good idea to tip them. If they did, then it is worth tipping them.

Whether They’re Moving Items Upstairs/Downstairs

Not all of your appliances are going to fit in the service elevator. This won’t pose much of an issue if you live in a single home or on the ground floor. But as a rule of thumb, wherever flights of stairs are involved, you have to consider how many flights of stairs your movers will be taking and how many times they will be taking them.

Tipping Based on Length of The Move

The length of the move is an important factor that determines a fair tipping amount for movers. This can be determined by considering factors such as distance, type of service, and items involved.

How much to tip movers for local moves

A move is typically considered local when the length of the move is 100 miles or fewer. A full-day move is considered to be around 8 hours, and a half-day move is around 4 hours.

  • For a half-day move — $15-20 per mover.

  • For a full-day move — $30-40 per mover.

How much to tip movers for long-distance moves

Professional movers handle long distance moving with on-time and on-budget delivery. Anything more than 100 miles is considered a long-distance move, and you should tip your movers based on the speed with which they deliver and the amount of care with which they do it.

  • Around 8 hours — $30-40 per mover

  • Around 12 hours or more — $50-60 per mover

Tipping based on the size of the move

Depending on the nature of your relocation, it may be appropriate to offer different tips to your movers. Both the experience and cost of a local relocation can vary greatly from those of a long-distance relocation.

The size of your home or the length of your move can impact how much you should tip. For example, if you have a two-bedroom apartment and it takes 3 hours to pack up, then tipping 15% would be appropriate. If you have a five-bedroom house with 4 hours to pack up, then tipping 20% would be appropriate.

Tipping a percentage can quickly add up, especially if you're moving across the country and already have high moving costs. It could make sense to tip the drivers and movers who are overseeing the process a flat rate in this case. Your moving company should be able to give you a moving quote for the number of people who will be helping you move.

FAQS

Should You Tip Movers Before or After Your Move?

Tipping movers before or after your move is a controversial topic. The truth is that tipping movers before or after your move should be determined by your personal preference and the amount of money you are willing to spend on the service.

Most tipping occurs after the job has been finished. It's fine to tip the movers before the move is over. This may motivate them to work faster and better.

Should You Tip Movers Separately?

Some people may be tempted to tip their movers collectively, but this is not recommended as it will lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. You should always tip your movers separately in order to avoid any confusion or miscommunication.

Payment Methods You Can Choose

You can tip your movers in a variety of ways, including with cash and mobile payment apps like Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, and others. Checks are not a usual method of payment.

Other Ways to Show Your Appreciation

Tipping your movers is a great way to show your appreciation at the end of a long moving day. But there are other methods of expressing your gratitude to them, such as giving them snacks, beverages, and gift cards. You can also express your gratitude by leaving a glowing review on social media platforms.

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