A Complete Guide To Tipping Your Movers

It’s no secret that moving can be costly. This is especially true if you’re moving a long distance or if you have a lot of belongings to transport from point A to point B. For many people who are planning a move, however, hiring a team of professional movers can be some of the best money spent. When you hire movers, you can enjoy the convenience and peace of mind that comes with having experienced professionals handling your furniture, boxes, and other heavy items. Meanwhile, you don’t need to lift a finger on moving day!

Of course, hiring movers and home cleaning services can also be expensive. With many moving companies charging by the hour, it’s not uncommon to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on professional moving services. This, combined with all the other costs that come along with moving, may have you wondering whether you need to tip your movers—and if so, how large of a tip you should leave them.

Should You Tip Your Movers?

In general, you should plan to tip your movers. However, there are some (less common) circumstances where this may not be the case. When you receive an estimate from your moving company, check to see if a gratuity has already been included with your quote. Some moving companies will default to include a 20% tip. If this is the case, then you will not be expected to offer any additional gratuity to your moving team on the day of your move.

Some moving companies may include a tip with your quote but may not be as obvious about it. Specifically, look for a “service charge” on your estimate. If you see one, contact the moving company directly to find out what this charge covers. In many cases, it will cover gratuity and you will not be expected to tip anything additional.

Finally, if you’re hiring a small moving company to handle your relocation, you may not need to tip if the people coming out to handle your move are also the owners of the company. In these cases, it is generally expected that the owner would quote you a price that would include a gratuity.

Unless any of these uncommon circumstances apply to your move, however, you should expect to tip your movers. Even though most moving companies pay their workers an hourly wage, these professionals still rely pretty heavily on tips. And when you think about all the back-breaking work they’re saving you from doing, it’s only fair to throw a few extra dollars their way for a job well done.

Of course, if you receive especially poor service on your moving day or if your movers are careless enough to damage any of your items during the move, you may want to reconsider whether you wish to leave a gratuity. So long as you take the time to research moving companies and choose a reputable one with good reviews, however, this shouldn’t be an issue.

How Much Should You Tip Your Movers?

Now that it’s established that you’ll almost always want to tip your movers, the next question is, “how much should you tip them?” This can be difficult to decide and will really depend on the specific circumstances of your move. In general, however, you should expect to tip at least 10% of your total bill. This means if you’re spending $500 on your moving service, you should expect to leave about a $50 tip.

Of course, the complexity of your move and the quality of the service received should also be taken into consideration when deciding how much to tip your movers. If you had a relatively simple move across town from a small apartment into another relatively small apartment, then you probably don’t need to tip much more than the industry standard unless you received some really outstanding service.

On the other hand, if your moving team expertly handled a long-distance move or successfully moved you out of your four-bedroom house into another large home, you may want to throw some extra gratuity their way. The same applies if they handled any especially large, awkward, or difficult items without damaging them.

And since many moving companies charge by the hour, be sure to consider how efficiently your movers were when determining how much to tip them. If they seemed to be working hard non-stop for the entire time you hired them, they probably saved you a bit of money with their efficiency and may thus deserve a little extra gratuity.

When Should You Tip Your Movers?

While some moving companies include a gratuity with your quote, it is generally best to wait until after your move is complete to distribute any tips. After all, you should be tipping based on the quality of the service received. If your movers already know they’re going to receive a decent tip before they even get to work, one of two things could happen. They could be happy with the tip they’re anticipating and provide excellent service as a token of gratitude, or they could slack a little in their service with the knowledge that they’re going to be tipped the same amount no matter what.

With this in mind, it’s generally best to wait until after the move to tip your moving crew. If you’ve hired a moving company that has included a tip with your quote, don’t hesitate to ask them to remove the gratuity; let them know that you’ll tip your moving team at the end of the day based on the quality of service provided. Any reputable moving company should be happy to accommodate this request.

How Should Tips Be Distributed?

Another potentially confusing aspect of tipping professional movers is how to distribute the tips themselves. If you have a team of several movers, for example, you may be unsure as to whether you should tip them individually or provide a large tip to the supervisor to distribute at the end of the day.

The answer to this question can vary, but always be sure to use your best judgment. The best way to ensure that everybody on the moving team receives the tip amount you intended is to personally tip each individual mover. This can also be recommended if you noticed that one mover seemed to be going above and beyond; in this case, you might want to tip him or her directly and slip a few extra dollars to him or her.

Another idea to keep in mind is to tip your movers a little at the start of the day and offer an additional tip when the move is complete. This can provide them with some incentive to work hard and provide you with the best service possible.

Other Tipping Considerations

Each move is unique, so there is really no universal answer to the question of how much you should tip your moving team. As you reflect on the service you received from your moving team, there are some considerations to keep in mind that may help you decide on an appropriate tip amount. Check our Postmates tipping and maid service tipping guides to get a better idea about tipping considerations.

For starters, did the workers arrive to your agreed-upon located on time? Were they professional and friendly? You’ll also want to take note of how much care they exercise when handling and loading up your items. For example, if they took the time to lay down flooring protectors or wrapped your furniture to protect it from scratches, this might be considered going above and beyond and thus may warrant an additional tip.

If you’re paying by-the-hour for your move, did your moving team seem respectful of your time? For example, did they have you sign off on their lunch break to ensure that you weren’t charged for time when they weren’t working? Did they seem to be working diligently or did they seem to be taking their time?

Other Moving-Day Etiquette

In addition to providing a fair tip to your moving team, there are some other etiquette tips to keep in mind as your moving day approaches.

Start by making sure that you’re prepared for your move so you’re not wasting your moving team’s time (and your hard-earned money). This means you shouldn’t still be packing boxes when your moving team arrives. You should also make sure your movers have a clear and safe pathway to and from the door where they’ll be loading your belongings.

If your team has worked especially hard, you can also show them your appreciation by offering some light refreshments and/or snacks. This shouldn’t be done in lieu of a tip, but in addition to any gratuity. Even a few bottles of water will be very much appreciated by your movers on a hot day.

Make Your Next Move a Breeze

In addition to hiring professional movers, you can also streamline your upcoming New York City move by turning to Maid Sailors for your move-in/move-out cleaning services. Contact us today to request a quote or book your service online in as little as 60 seconds!


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