Tipping Movers: A Definitive Guide


How Much Should You Tip Movers?

Tipping etiquette seems to change not only from country to country, but even city to city. In one area, ten percent could be the norm, while in another, it’s common to tip twenty percent. Who to tip, too, becomes a problem as more and more professions are asking for a gratuity for their services. While tipping a mover is not a new concept, how much to tip can be a little confusing. Do you tip them as you would a waiter or a barista? For many moves, tipping by a percentage might not be realistic because the move costs too much. Still, tipping movers is important, especially if they have done a good job. Generally speaking, you should tip anywhere from $10 to $100. Here are some considerations you’ll need to keep in mind before deciding how much to tip a mover. SEE ALSO: 5 Unexpected Moving Expenses Everyone Needs To Know About

Part 1: The Size Of The Move

How long will your move take? Movers who have worked for four hours don’t expect to be tipped as much as movers who worked for eight hours. Before deciding on an amount to tip, consider how much stuff you have to move and how long it will take. While moving out of a one room apartment might take half a day, moving a family of four or more to a fancy new house will take significantly longer. At the same time, you should only consider the hours that it took for the movers to load and unload the truck, not the time it took them to drive. Something else that should be taken into account is the difficulty of moving the objects in your home. Movers are used to moving boxes, so it’s pretty easy for them to do so (if they aren’t extremely heavy). Moving a baby grand piano, on the other hand, might not be something movers are used to. The effort and care movers put into safely moving something difficult to carry should be rewarded accordingly.

Part 2: The Type Of Service Provided

Did you rent a van and simply had the movers load and unload it, or did they drive their own van? Did the movers help you pack things? Did you use your own packing supplies? All of these things should be taken into consideration when deciding if or when to tip a mover. A mover who helps you pack, loads the van, drives it to your new home, and unloads the van should be tipped more than someone who simply met you at a location to unload your items onto the curb.

Part 3: The Quality Of The Move

As with any service, the deciding factor of how much to tip on a move is how satisfied you were with the service. Ultimately, if your move was a small one, but you were really impressed with the service, you should tip more than you would for mediocre service. On the other hand, if you have a big move and your movers are rough with your belongings and broke heirlooms, you might not want to tip them. The amount you pay in tip should directly reflect how well you believe the movers did. You should not tip simply because you feel obligated to do so.

Generally Acceptable Tips

With all that in mind, here are some basic figures to consider when deciding how much to tip a mover:
  • For four hours of work, you should tip around $10 per mover
  • For eight hours of work, you should tip around $20 per mover
  • For twelve hours of work, you should tip around $40 per mover
Also keep in mind any obstacles that movers will encounter. Taking a sofa upstairs is not an easy feat, nor is doing so on a winding set of stairs as opposed to a straight one. If a mover completed these tasks without damaging furniture or walls, you should consider tipping more. SEE ALSO: 5 Red Flags That Indicate A Moving Scam Deciding whether or not to tip a mover basically comes down to how happy you were with the service. Just like any other consumer, you must vote with your money. Tipping your mover will keep their business alive and well and keep your mover happy.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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