Are You Supposed to Tip Movers?

Blog hero section image

If we could select the most asked questions that local movers are getting, those would be you supposed to tip movers and how much to tip movers. This is a question that most people are concerned about because there is no strict answer. When thinking of how much to tip movers, you are never sure if the amount you have in mind is too low or too high. That is why we prepared some useful tips to answer the question: are you supposed to tip movers, and if so, tips on how to decide how much to tip movers. 

Do I need to tip movers? 

Let’s start with the most important question, are you supposed to tip movers? Before you answer this question, you have to analyze the moving situation and your professional movers. You shouldn’t tip the movers just because you feel pressured or just because you think that is something that needs to be done. Firstly, you should know that local movers and professional movers are having their salaries with the company they are working with. Why should you tip your movers when they already get paid by the moving company they work for? What an interesting question! Well, that’s true, but then again – why do you bother tipping waiters or waitresses, cab drivers, plumbers, restaurant or hotel valets, or bellhops who happen to provide a good service? Isn’t tipping a good way to show whoever is employed in the service industry that they are doing a great job and should continue to do so? However, tipping became a part of our culture, that is the fact, so it is a nice gesture to tip someone who just did hard work for you. That is why we created a basic checklist you should see if you want to tip your professional movers. 

Did local movers arrive on time? 

Start from the very beginning, did your professional movers arrive on time. This doesn’t have to be crucial, so for example if your local movers are being late due to some good reason, and they politely let you know ahead of time about the matter, you shouldn’t decide to tip your professional movers. Being late is something that can happen to everyone, not only local movers, so don’t take it as something that will be the minus point for them. On the other hand, what is super important is that your local movers are courteous, follow your requests, advise on the best way to perform your move, and of course, answer any questions you might have during the process. 

Did everything arrive safely at your new location? 

The most important thing is that nothing should show up to your new home damaged or missing. This will be the breaking point to answer the question: are you supposed to tip your movers. Of course, accidents are something that can happen, but if you see that your professional movers are pretending as nothing happened, this is a sign that they are not even professional, not to say that you shouldn’t leave that tip. If your local movers provide you with the guidance of what it can be done, that deserves a tip. Most of the local movers will tell you to reach back to the office and start the claim process, and that is a good sign that they are taking their business seriously and take care of their clients as they should. Remember, you are paying for the whole service, including the way your movers treat you. At the end of the day, moving is the service industry. 

Also, think of:

Are there any stairs to be handled for the move? 

This should change the moving situation a lot. If you think that moving takes too long, think of the staircase situation. When moving has a lot of stairs involved, that means that your local movers will have to make extra effort to handle every piece of your furniture safely. If so, this deserves a tip. 

Is there just one stop or more? 

Of course, tipping your local movers depends on the stops they had to make during the move. If you had them driving around for over 100 miles, and having multiple loads or unloads, you should consider this when making the final decision if you are supposed to tip the movers. 

Are there any heavy pieces? 

If some items require special handling by local movers, and they manage to move you safely, you should appreciate that effort with some good tips provided to your professionals. It is super valuable when you have professional movers who actually know what they are doing when it comes to fragile and heavy items. 

Have your professional movers done what is necessary to avoid property damage?

Have your hired professionals worked hard from start to finish, or have they tried, on numerous occasions, to deliberately extend the time they need to finish the job through frequent cigarette or bathroom breaks, or by using other dishonest and disrespectful time-wasting tricks? This is especially true for local moves where you get charged by the hour. In case something like this happens, not only you shouldn’t be thinking, you should tip the movers, but you should reach back to the office to let them know that the time is an issue with your local movers. 

Did your local movers help you with packing as well? 

If you hired both, packers and movers, you should prepare a bigger tip for them. When having someone pack your home for you, the process requires more time, more energy, and more focus on what you are doing. Therefore if they managed to pack up your home and move it safely, your professional movers deserve a bigger tip too. 

How to tip movers

There are many ways to tip your movers. The usual one is to tip local movers after the move is done by paying extra with your credit or debit card, or cash, whatever works the best for you. 

Tip with a credit card: Using a credit card is the best way to document to the IRS that tips were part of your moving costs when it comes time to deduct moving costs on your tax return. Large cash tips without documentation would be disallowed if you were to ever get audited by the IRS.

Tip with a check: If you’re trying to document moving expenses, you can also tip with a check. If you go the check route, it is acceptable to write one check and let the crew foreman distribute the tip among the crew.

Tip with cash: Cash is usually a welcome method of tipping, but you may want to verify with the company or crew foreman in advance that this tipping method aligns with the company policy.

Some less usual ways are to tip movers with something that is not money. Providing refreshments for your local movers should be mandatory, no matter if you are tipping or not, because they will be performing hard physical work and they should have some cool drinks, such as water, lemonade, or coffee and tea, depending on the weather temperature. Now, let’s move on to some unusual ways to tip your movers if you are on a budget.

Tipping with food

If your move crosses over the lunch hour or if it takes all day, offer your crew lunch. Ask your local movers what they’d like to eat, rather than just ordering pizza. You can imagine how much pizza they get a month. Snacks like apples, oranges, chips, or cookies are great for half-day moves of four hours.

Always have water available. Keep a jug of water and paper or plastic cups on hand. A lot of people ask about tipping with beer. Beer is a nice gesture, but a good, professional moving company won’t allow employees to drink on the job. You could consider gifting your moving team with a six-pack to go, but it’s probably best to stick with nonalcoholic beverages and treats.

How much to tip professional movers? 

How much you should tip movers is a delicate matter: on one hand, you don’t want to look cheap or unappreciative of the hard work your movers did, but then you would not want to over-tip your hired workers either because for you, just like millions of fellow countrymen who move house each year, every dollar counts. Of course, your local movers wouldn’t really mind getting bigger tips than usual, but it is your hard-earned money and you should try to think of it ahead of time. 

If you type on Google How much to tip the movers, you will get multiple answers, from flat rates to percentages. So we have decided to help you out with this decision. 

Moving companies don’t automatically include a gratuity in their pricing, so tipping is always a nice gesture. As a guideline, you should tip your local movers between 15% to 20% of the total cost of the move for large or long-distance moves and 5% to 10% for smaller, cross-town moves. For example, if your move costs $2,000, a $100 to $200 (5% to 10%) tip is appropriate for a move across town. This lump sum is then split among the movers on the crew, so if you tip for that $100 to $200 tip with two movers, each mover would receive $50 to $100. The more professional movers you have hired, the bigger tip you should provide. 

Plan to tip your movers 15% to 20% for a large move and 5% to 10% percent for a small move

Always consider things like the difficulty of the move and the level of care the movers put into transporting your belongings. These factors should play into how much you tip. If your movers really go above and beyond, you should consider a tip towards the upper percentage range of 10% or 20% of the total moving cost.

Some people say you should tip a flat fee as opposed to a percentage. This is also an option, especially if you have a huge move to plan and perform. In that case, this relocation can end up with the cost of thousands of dollars, and the percentage might be too high. Some researchers say it’s perfectly acceptable to give each moving crew member $20 to $30 for smaller moves and up to $60 for complex, large moves. Tip each individual crew member directly instead of handing it all to the crew foreman to divvy up.

Here’s the best answer to the question that might have been bothering you for some time: how much to tip your professional movers should be based entirely on their job performance, your level of satisfaction, and your budget. In other words, use your best judgment under the presented circumstances to come up with the proper amount to tip local movers.

How much to tip your professional movers depends on your moving budget as well, so take that into consideration.

The formula for tipping the movers

Here’s a universal tipping formula that will help you know how much to tip movers when you’re moving short distance:

If your local movers do a satisfactory job, consider tipping them $4-$5/hour per mover. For instance, if a team of 3 local movers works 8 hours to complete your short distance move, then you will end up tipping each mover $40/day which is a decent, appropriate, and pretty standard tip for movers.

If your movers do an outstanding job and you’re very happy with the way they handled your move, then you may be willing to reward their efforts in the range of $6-$7/hour per mover, or even $8/hour per mover. Again, use your best judgment to determine how much the tip for your professional movers should be. 

Pro tip: Don’t forget to prepare to tip money in $10 and $20 so you can tip them individually. 

And in case you need some professional movers to help you with your relocation, reach out to La Habra Movers. We are looking forward to helping you with any type of local move that you might need. Our moving company is specialized in providing all sorts of local moves, and we are proud to say that we are licensed and insured local movers as well. If you are looking for a high-quality move, you are in the right place.