Tipping Movers 101 (How Much To Tip Movers & Why)

How Much to Tip Movers (& Why)

Too little, too much, just right…

Learn how much to tip movers for a local or long-distance move.

 

When it comes to tipping waiters, most people add 20% to the bill without batting an eye, but when it comes to tipping movers, they’re a little more hesitant.

But think about it: your moving crew works much harder than other professionals in the service industry. (Isn’t that why you decided to hire someone in the first place?)

man moving boxes on hand truck

Between the careful packing and unpacking of your items, professional movers have to do things like take inventory, negotiate narrow stairways and tight corners, wrap furniture so it doesn’t damage the walls, maneuver around your pets, and deal with rush-hour traffic.

A tip for all that hard work—while not required—is a token of appreciation and good etiquette.

Whether you’re curious about how much to tip movers or still grappling with the question of whether to tip your movers at all, this guide will give you a better idea of the industry standard.

 

Tipping Your Movers

So how much do you tip movers after a long day of lifting boxes and heavy furniture?

Naturally, every move (and every city) is different, so there’s no formula we can give you to calculate your exact tip amount. But there are some good starting points so you can figure out how much to tip movers who went above and beyond.

How Much to Tip Movers

Most moving experts suggest a range of $10-20 per mover for a standard, one-day move. For moves that take longer than eight hours, $30-40 is considered appropriate. Long distance movers (if they do a great job, that is) might earn up to $50 per person.

man's hand holding out four 20 dollar bills

Note that these estimates are based on the time it takes to move or how hard the crew works. Most experts in the industry (including us!) agree that you shouldn’t base tips off of your total moving cost, because it might have been based on things like fuel or mileage.

Tipping your movers a percentage of the total amount could become very costly. Instead, your tips should reflect the quality of service you received from the moving team.

Other Factors to Consider

Once you have an amount to start from, here are some other factors to consider.

  • Time – How long did the move take from start to finish? A long-distance move that took place over multiple days would typically net a bigger tip than a one-day local move.
  • Performance – How was the quality of their work? Movers that showed up on time, took care of your things, and finished the job in a timely and efficient manner should earn a bigger tip than careless ones.
  • Attitude – Were they courteous and respectful?
  • Conditions – Did the movers have to navigate multiple flights of stairs? Was it excessively hot or unseasonably cold? Was it raining?
  • Extras – Did the crew go the extra mile? Did they help you in any way they weren’t contractually obligated to?

Hand over the tips at the end of the day, so you can take some time to evaluate how well the move went.

Tip the moving crew individually rather than including the tip amount in your final check. This is your way of showing appreciation to the individual movers for their hard labor, not the moving company.

 

Is It Okay Not to Tip Movers?

Again, tipping movers is always optional. After all, unlike your average restaurant server, they are getting paid a living wage and don’t rely on tips to pay their bills.

But there are some situations when you absolutely shouldn’t tip your mover:

  • They arrived late, without an apology or explanation.
  • They were rude or disrespectful.
  • They caused avoidable damage or showed a general lack of care with your things.
  • The moving cost included tips.

Remember, you are never obligated or expected to tip professional movers. Tipping movers is meant to show appreciation for a great job. You should never tip movers that failed to perform their jobs well.

If you feel that any members of your moving crew are behaving rudely or inappropriately, bring it up to the main office as soon as possible so they can address it.

 

Other Ways to Show Your Appreciation

Luckily, there are other ways to acknowledge a job well done without using cash.

  • Meals – Serving a meal during the move is not only a great way to say “thank you” to the moving crew, it’s also the best way to keep things moving. (Otherwise, they’ll have to stop working to go out to eat.) If you haven’t already determined what meals will be, ask the movers if they have a preference. It’s likely they’ve had pizza multiple times in the past week.
  • Drinks – Regardless of job performance, providing cold drinks on a hot day is just common courtesy (especially here in Orlando during the summer!). Have a cooler of bottled water and sports drinks available on a hot day and tea, coffee, or hot chocolate if you’re moving during the winter. Just don’t offer any beer; it’s not professional and could lead to more damage if anyone—including you!—overindulges.
  • Snacks – Moving day will likely be a full-day event, so have some snacks available between meals. Shelf-stable options like fruit, granola bars, and trail mix will be filling without the risk of sugar crash. Make sure the moving crew understands that they are welcome to any snacks, drinks, or meals you provide.
  • A genuine “thank you” – Your mom was right. A simple, heartfelt “thank you” is enough to make anyone feel appreciated.
  • A good review – After you’ve shown your appreciation for the crew, give them (and the company they work for) a shout-out online with a great review. Many moving companies rely on good online reviews for continued business and they’d love to see a positive one.

graphic of hand placing five stars on blue background

Conclusion

While tipping movers for a job well done is appreciated, it’s always optional.

Use your personal discretion when deciding if and how much to tip movers and only offer them cash if they did their job well.

And if cash is an issue, don’t forget that there are other ways to show your appreciation. Your movers worked hard to get you into your new place, and they love knowing that you were pleased with their hard work!

Of course, if you’re researching an upcoming move, get a quote from Cento Moving & Storage. Our clients are considered part of the “Cento Family” and our movers will treat you that way.

We have experience moving throughout the entire country and can handle your local, long-distance, residential, or corporate move in no time.

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