by Ethan Greenfieldon Aug 19, 2021.
So, it’s Moving day and you’re waiting for your chosen movers to appear and take your belongings to your new home. You’re probably nervous (and rightfully so – it’s the climax of your relocation endeavor) and flooded with worrisome questions – Will the movers arrive on time? What can I expect from them? Will they do a good job? Should I tip my movers?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to answer most of these questions ahead of time – even if you’ve done your homework right and hired licensed and experienced professionals to help you relocate, something may go wrong and your move may not turn out to be as smooth as you hoped. Or things may go like clockwork and you may have a very successful relocation experience.
Either way, if your movers work hard, handle your possessions with care, and behave politely, they deserve appreciation for their efforts – and the best way to show your appreciation is to tip the movers for their services.
So, are you supposed to tip movers, then? And if yes, what’s a proper amount to tip movers?
Read on to find out:
Is it customary to tip movers?
Tipping is a standard way to express satisfaction with services and recognition for a job well done – so, according to the tipping etiquette for movers, it is customary to tip movers when they have performed well. You’re, however, under no obligation to tip your moving helpers – especially if they did a poor job.
You may wonder why you should tip movers at all when you’re already paying so much money to the moving company – the workers get paid by the company, so spending even more of your hard-earned money for extra tips may seem excessive.
As expensive as moving may be though, keep in mind that the people actually handling your items see little of your money. And it’s them who do all the hard work – they carry your heavy furniture and bulky appliances around, take your stuff up or down stairs, take care of your fragile items, and try to accommodate your preferences. It’s them who get sore from the strenuous work, risk personal injuries, and bear all the responsibility. It’s them who need to come up with a solution if a problem occurs.
At the end of the day, the success of your move depends on your movers’ skills, knowledge, experience, and attitude. So, if they do a good job and ensure your safe and smooth relocation, they should be properly rewarded.
If, on the other hand, your movers behave rudely or disrespectfully, take too many breaks, or break something because of carelessness (tossing around boxes labeled as “FRAGILE”, not securing items on the moving dolly, not taking measures to prevent property damage, etc.), then tipping is, of course, out of the question. In such cases, you should bring up your dissatisfaction with the foreman and, if nobody pays heed to your requests, contact the moving company at once and make a complaint.
So, to put it all in a nutshell:
- Should you tip movers? As with any other services, you should tip movers if you’re happy with their performance.
- Do you have to tip movers? No, you’re not obliged to tip movers. If your professional moving helpers did a great job, though, tipping them would be a good way to show your gratitude.
- Is it rude not to tip movers? No, it isn’t. If your movers didn’t do their job well, they do not deserve – and will not expect – a reward.
See also: Do you really have to tip movers
How much to tip movers?
If you think that your movers deserve a tip, you have to decide how much to tip them. It’s not easy – you don’t want to appear cheap or ungrateful, but you don’t want to overspend on your move either (after all, every dollar counts).
Logic dictates that the happier you’re with your movers’ services, the bigger tips you should give. But how big exactly? What is an appropriate tip for movers?
It is generally said that 10% of the final moving cost is a good amount to tip movers. Yet, that may not always be the case – how much you should tip movers depends on the complexity of the job and your level of satisfaction.
How much to tip local movers
In the event of a local move, the moving truck (and its driver) will spend just a couple of hours on the road and the same moving crew will load and unload your belongings.
So, when moving short distance, it is a good idea to tip your movers based on the time required to complete the job. The average tip for local moves varies from $20 per person for smaller moves (that take up to 4 hours) to $40 per person for bigger jobs.
If the movers did an outstanding job (handled your items with utmost care, finished your move ahead of schedule, or went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your possessions will be delivered intact) or had to overcome multiple difficulties (long flights of stairs, narrow doors and hallways, extremely large and heavy items, etc.), you may want to reward their remarkable efforts with bigger tips – $7-8 per hour per mover.
How much to tip cross country movers
When moving long distance, you will get two different sets of movers – one crew will load your belongings at your old home and another crew will unload your possessions upon delivery. What are you supposed to do, then? Do you tip movers on both ends?
The answer is usually “yes” – you should tip both the movers who pick up your items and the movers who unload your shipment at your new home (provided that you’re happy with their services, of course). The standard tip for cross country moves is $5 per hour per person, but you may want to increase the amount if the job was very difficult or the movers performed extremely well (as discussed above).
Good to know: Do you tip moving company drivers? Long distance drivers are usually tipped according to the number of days spent on the road – typically about $150 for three to four days of travel. However, if the weather conditions are horrible and your goods are safely delivered nonetheless, you may want to give the driver a little more.
Now that you know how much to tip house movers, it’s time to find out the best way to tip movers.
How to tip movers
As simple as tipping house movers may be, there are some specifics – and some clever tactics – to keep in mind when showing your gratitude to your moving helpers.
Here is the proper way to tip movers:
1) Give your movers an incentive – It is a good strategic decision to inform your movers in advance that if they do a good job, you will give them good tips. You may be surprised how efficient this tactic is – it has proven to greatly boost the speed, productivity, and “carefulness” of professional movers, thus increasing the chances of a safe and smooth relocation.
2) Tip your movers after the job is done – This may seem like a non-brainer, but some people think that a verbal assurance is not enough and giving some money to the movers beforehand will motivate them to work harder and more carefully. There may be some truth to that, but the answer to the bothersome question “Do you tip movers before or after?” is “after the job is completed”. If you tip your movers beforehand and they don’t really do a good job, you can’t get your money back, you know. You should only tip your moving helpers after they have completed all the requested services – and only if you’re satisfied with their work.
3) Tip each mover individually – There are a couple of reasons why you should not just give the entire sum to the foreman:
- Tipping your movers individually will allow you to show your appreciation for their individual efforts. Besides, you may think that some of the movers worked harder than others or did more to ensure your successful relocation experience – and tipping everyone individually will allow you to give these people more;
- If you give all the tipping money to one person, they may “forget” to share with the other and keep everything for themselves.
4) Treat your movers with respect and be considerate of their needs – Small gestures of kindness can be more valuable than money. It will be nice of you to:
- Be home to meet your movers at the agreed time on Moving day and provide all the information they may need (any specific requirements, possible obstacles, etc.);
- Ensure easy access to a bathroom equipped with liquid soap and disposable paper towels;
- Provide bottled water and refreshing drinks according to the season;
- Offer your moving helpers healthy snacks if the job is going to take many hours to complete (it will be thoughtful of you to ask them what they would like instead of just ordering pizza like everybody else). 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.
Bonus tip: Take the time to write a moving review when your move is over – if you’re happy with the moving services you just received, be sure to recommend the moving company and to mention the names of the movers who did an outstanding job. It will be highly appreciated.
See also: How to thank your movers
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