Your Guide to Tipping Movers

Good professional movers are a valuable commodity. You entrust all your possessions (and your schedule) to your movers, who are most likely people you’ve never met before. If they do a great job, you want them to know they’re appreciated. Movers are part of the service trade and as such, tipping is appropriate. However, there’s a lot more riding on your movers’ job performance than that of, say, your restaurant server or hair stylist. Your hair will grow back out and your food can be replaced at once – but there’s more at stake when movers are transporting your family heirlooms or moving heavy furniture across a beautiful wood floor. Besides, movers work harder than many people in the service industry. Because your movers are providing a (very important) service, it is correct to offer a tip, whether it’s lunch for the crew, some cash at the completion of the job, or both. 

How much to tip movers

Just as you would with any other service provider, you can base your tip amount on job performance. For example, indifferent work ethics and a negative attitude are hardly worthy of a tip. However, if your moving crew is attentive, professional, and helpful, then it’s up to you to decide what you believe is fair. Your movers won’t expect or demand a tip, but they’ll appreciate the tip you give them. Mostly, your tip is a sign of recognition for a job well done. It may seem like you’re already paying the moving company more than enough, but keep in mind that what trickles down to the movers themselves isn’t that much. 

When you’re trying to determine the right amount to tip your movers, percentages don’t really work as well as they do in restaurants and salons. For instance, a move that costs $2,000 and one that costs $20,000 may have such different price tags because of the distance being moved – not because the movers had to spend more time loading or unloading. For a half-day move, a $10 per person minimum is a good rule of thumb; bump it up to $20 per person for a full day. You may want to add to this amount if you have a lot of heavy furniture, winding stairs, or other complications. Also, give the tip to each mover individually – not in a lump sum to the driver or foreman. This shows your appreciation for each worker and also protects them against potentially unscrupulous foremen. 

Other ways to treat your movers

Think ahead of time about how to treat your movers so that they’ll feel appreciated and be more motivated to do a great job for you. In lieu of a cash tip – or along with one – here are some ideas for showing your movers that you’ve noticed their hard work. 

  • Have cold sodas, sports drinks, or bottles of water on hand
  • Buy the crew lunch. Ask if they have a preference (pizza or subs, for example)
  • Avoid offering beer. Lots of people offer their movers cold beers at the end of the day, but most moving companies have rules against drinking on the job

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to approach tipping your movers – one less thing to worry about. Happy moving day!

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