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Blog July 9, 2021

How to Tip Movers – A Tipping Guide

Posted in Moving 101
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

If you’ve hired moving services for the first time, you may be wondering how to tip movers when they finish your relocation and what amount is an appropriate sign of gratitude? And if you’re also running on a tight budget, you need to think about how to optimize and avoid last-minute relocation costs, including the tips.

The usual tipping amount in the moving industry is 15% of the total price or more, depending on the quality of the service provided. However, there are no strict rules on how much and when you should reward your movers. It’s up to you to make that decision. Whether it will be before or after the move, whether you will reward them individually or through their foreman, you will have to decide once the moving process begins.

Factors to Consider When Tipping

To estimate the amount of money for the tips, you can rely on your good judgment and observe the initial effort the crew is investing in your relocation. However, the standard tipping amount for a short distance move is around $20. You can pay it all at once or divide it into two parts, one to be delivered after the first stage of packing or loading and the other upon arrival to your new home. That is if you are satisfied with their service. If you are not, you may decide to give them less, or not to reward them at all – if they actually caused some serious damage.

The other factors to consider are the weather conditions and accessibility of the locations. If the crew is working in the heat or snow, if the humidity is high, if they have a long way to carry stuff and they still manage to do an excellent job, then it might be nice to raise the tips.

When relocating for the first time, you need to consider giving a reward to your relocation crew.

How Complicated Your Move Was

There are different scenarios when the workers need to go “the extra mile”:

  • If there are a lot of stairs to overcome
  • If the workers help you with packing without having to do that
  • If they brought proper packing supplies you didn’t buy
  • If you have extra heavy and delicate items, like a piano, pool table, paintings, and similar, to carry out and load into the truck

In those situations, it’s safe to say they deserve a little extra reward for their effort.

Quality of the Service Provided

Not only does the quantity of the services matter, but the quality also. It’s important to preserve your valuable items from damage, so you should take this factor into consideration when deciding on the right tipping amount for any service. If the job was done exceptionally well and you had no losses or damages, reward your workers accordingly.

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What’s the Best Way to Tip Movers for Long-Distance Moves

Long-distance moving is a bit more complicated, as it requires two moving teams. One will load the stuff at your current location, and the other one will unload it at your new destination unless you have agreed otherwise. Obviously, both teams deserve to be tipped if doing the job successfully. However, when determining the tipping amount, you should avoid doing it based on the moving bill percentage as that 20% can cost you quite a bit. Opt for an hour-based reward, which means you calculate the tipping amount for each mover by multiplying the number of working hours with $5.  Or you can just round off the sum to $40 per day for each mover.

There is no right time to reward your movers - it’s up to you to decide.

How Much Money Should You Leave to Movers

Leaving a reward mostly depends on your moving budget, but there are certain standards to stick to if possible.

  • For a half-day work, you can give $10-$20 to each worker
  • For an 8-hour work, you can give them $20-$40 per day each.
  • If the working hours exceed 12 hours, it’s only fair to give them about $50 each.

In case they had to work under extremely difficult circumstances, it’s up to you to show your appreciation by raising the standard tip. Some of those conditions are the number of items to carry, long stairways, or bad weather.

On the other hand, if you did all the packing on your own, and the crew just has to load, transport, and unload your stuff, then $20 per mover will be just fine. Avoid calculating the tip by the moving bill percentage, as it will jump sky-high.

When Should I Tip Movers?

If you want to apply some strategy to your move, observe the effort the workers are investing in keeping your belongings safe. See how they are loading your into the truck and give them half a tip after that phase is done. It will serve as an incentive to boost their enthusiasm for the remainder of the move. If you are not certain about the movers’ effort, wait until the job is done and then reward them individually.

On the other hand, there are times when you should consider tipping less or nothing at all:

  • If the workers were late without proper explanation
  • If they did not follow your requested order of loading and unloading
  • If they caused any damage to your stuff due to negligent behavior and  showed no remorse
  • If they acted disrespectfully in any way

Accidents do happen, but bad behavior is something completely different. Of course, if you hire reputable relocation companies, that is hardly going to be the case.

Even though giving a reward for your workers is great, you are not obligated to leave a tip.

Make Sure You Leave a Tip for Your Movers

You are not obliged to reward your workers as the company is already paid for the job. However, it’s nice to show some appreciation for people involved in the actual moving if the work is done well. After all, they are doing hard work on your behalf and if they protect your belongings while doing it, they have earned some gratitude. Your friends might settle for lunch, but professionals should be awarded accordingly.

Other Ways to Show Your Appreciation

Besides a standard amount for tips, one of the ways to show gratitude for a job well done is to leave a positive review online. It will help them get more engagements.

Providing meals and drinks for the crew doing their work diligently is another way to thank them and motivate them to finish the job in the same manner.

And, finally, a simple “thank you” is a good way to sum it up.

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