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Should I Tip Movers?

May 31st, 2016 - 12:43 PM

Tipping for Movers

Tipping for good service is not unusual. You probably do it pretty often when eating out, getting a haircut, having pizza delivered or catching a cab ride. But what about tipping when you hire movers?

Tipping movers can be tricky, especially since you’re already paying them for moving your stuff. You probably don’t move as often as you eat out, so you may not be familiar with how to reward movers for good service. We talked with Justin Deegan, an experienced mover out of Texas, to get some answers.

how much do you tip movers

Should you tip movers?​

When you hire labor to help with loading and unloading, contact the company ahead of time and ask about their guidelines for tipping. They may say it’s against policy or they may say their movers accept tips if offered. Each company is different. Be sure to check with the company before offering gifts they can’t accept.  

Like other services, only tip for great work. Tips for movers aren’t expected or required, so don’t feel obligated if the crew didn’t meet expectations. However, if the movers provided great personal service and you feel they went above and beyond their standard job duties, it’s appropriate to thank them with a bonus. Justin explained, “We don’t expect tips, but it can go a long way to show your appreciation if we did a good job. We are taking care of your stuff and it means a lot when someone shows their appreciation in return.”

Good service deserving of a tip includes:

  • Getting the job done sooner than expected
  • Handling all items with extra care
  • Showing professionalism
  • Moving large quantities of heavy, bulky or awkward furniture
  • Climbing excessive stairs (third floor apartments or higher)

On the opposite end, don’t feel obligated to tip movers who have delivered subpar service. Here are scenarios when you shouldn’t tip:

  • If movers show up extremely late and don’t provide apologies or good reasoning
  • If they mistreat items and don’t load them securely
  • If they show disrespect in their communication
  • If movers don’t follow your specific requests
  • If they unnecessarily take more time than you scheduled

The general rule of thumb is to give what makes you feel comfortable and what you believe the movers deserve. If you need some help, the following section provides general guidelines on the amount to tip movers.

How much do you tip movers?

Follow these guidelines for tipping movers:

  • Give $10 per person for a half day’s work
  • Give $20 per person for a full day’s work
  • Tip more if the movers have worked around difficult circumstances like stairs or heavy furniture
  • Tip only those who provided the best care and service (but tip the whole crew if everyone did a great job)

Remember: there is no set percentage or amount when tipping movers; it’s completely up to you. While other services have a standard percentage, a fixed percentage on large moves could mean paying hundreds of extra dollars. Since movers don’t expect anything extra, tip what you think they deserve for the service they provide.

How do you tip movers?

Handing out tips could be uncomfortable if everyone is receiving different amounts. The easiest way to avoid this is to place the money (cash is preferred) in envelopes and give them to each member of the crew separately. It’s recommended that you tip movers individually instead of giving a set amount to the supervisor to split evenly. By handing out specific tips to each mover, you recognize their individual work.

Also, don’t include the tip into the total bill amount, if you do, the movers may not receive it for a while. “When you tip on the total bill, it has to go through accounting and be processed in our office,” Justin said. “It could actually take up to three months before a mover receives their tip when it happens this way.”

Be sure and wait to tip at the end of the day to make sure you’re tipping the amount deserved. When the time comes, shake their hand, tell them thank you for their hard work and give them the envelope.

Additional ways to show appreciation

If you’d like to do something for the movers besides cash bonuses (or if they don’t accept monetary tips), there are plenty of other ways to recognize their efforts:

  • Buy them a meal if they work through lunch — consider thinking outside the pizza box and picking up sub sandwiches, burgers or fried chicken.
  • Have snacks and cold bottled water or sports drinks available. If you’ve packed your cooler and unplugged your fridge, borrow a cooler from a neighbor for the day. Justin said, “The number one thing, no matter if it’s cold or hot outside, is to be offered a drink. Even just a case of water shows your appreciation.” If it’s cold outside, have hot chocolate or coffee to warm them up.
  • Give them a great rating on consumer review sites. This is vital to help them gain business in the future, so making your praise public is important.
  • Write a great recommendation and share it on your social media profile or their social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.). Word of mouth can be the best advertising for movers
  • Have a cool (or warm depending on the season) area for them to enjoy during breaks. Set up fans or heaters in an empty room or set up a space outside. They will appreciate a place to rest between loads.

One tip to keep in mind that you might not think about: avoid giving out beer at the end of the day. It may be against policy to accept beer, and it’s also a liability for you.

Justin said, “When you’re kind to the movers, it makes it a little easier to do the heavy lifting. It means more than you know to get a cold bottle of water or a tip at the end of the day.”

How can you find reliable movers?

U-Pack® can help! We’re a “you pack, we drive” moving company, but because  we only do the driving, we refer our customers to a dependable company with pre-qualified moving labor. Call a U-Pack consultant at 800-413-4799 for more information on hiring a moving crew.

What are your thoughts about tipping movers?

We hope this information is helpful and answers your questions about tips for movers. Share your unique ideas for tipping movers in the comment section below!