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Are You Supposed to Tip Movers – And How Much?

Posted in Planning the Move on December 6, 2021

Many people who have decided to let professionals help them move are curious to find out are you supposed to tip movers. It’s not an unusual dilemma if you keep in mind the not-so-cheap cost of relocating interstate. However, we can help you learn the ropes and find out all there is to know about tipping etiquette when it comes to cross-country movers.

Do You Tip Moving Companies and Why?

Relocation is not only about deciding where to live, packing your belongings, and leaving. When organizing a move, you need to complete a multitude of tasks, from preparing your home for a sale to creating a realistic relocation budget. All the work ahead can become challenging or even unbearable, especially if you’re moving out for the first time. All of that can lead to a decision about hiring professional assistance.

When people go to a coffee shop, for example, and are met with exceptional service, one of the ways they usually show appreciation is via tips. The same mindset should exist when you’re getting cross-country moving services. Even more, if you consider how physically demanding the actual long-distance relocation process is. Even when opting only for a basic service, remember that all boxes and furniture must go over the crew’s back (literally) before and after the transport.

So, is tipping a moving company mandatory? Ultimately, it’s up to you whether the workers will be provided with tips for the job well done. However, if the team has helped you move efficiently and has provided stress-free moving so far, gratuity should be on a list of things to consider when moving to a new state. When the people working on your move have not only met but surpassed expectations and did the job right, try your best to show appreciation accordingly.

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How Can You Decide If the Crew Has Earned a Gratuity?

Even though the rule about when and how much money you should provide doesn’t exist, there are a few indicators of amazing service that should be rewarded. How can you know that the team has gone a few extra miles so that everything ends without a problem? Here are some of the pointers of their good work:

  • You can witness the high level of organization – they arrive right on schedule, have excellent time management skills, and have good communication with each other.
  • They are kind, friendly, and ready to listen to your requests (if there are any) and prepared to act according to them.
  • If you’re relocating during coronavirus, they strictly follow all the measures regarding COVID-19 and wear protective masks so that everyone remains safe during the move.
  • They are cautious with all items on your household inventory list.
  • If you decide to use the company’s packing services, they show vast knowledge and experience in tasks like packing fragile items and other delicate objects.
  • They are careful not to damage the property in any way.
  • They answer all of the questions you have gladly.

Consider the Level Of Difficulty of a Long-Distance Move to Another Home

Not one move is the same as the other, so it should be reflected on the tips, too. The harder the move is, the more you should think about rewards. It should go without saying that relocating large furniture from or to an apartment building with no elevator is challenging, and so is relocating in winter or in the rain. Next, in some cases, relocation workers must secure the equipment and come up with a way to safely get a heavy and bulky item to a truck – just think about relocating the piano.

Of course, don’t forget about all the extra work the crew would have if they must park the truck far away from your entry. Those are all the cases where the team must show more knowledge, experience, and care than in the usual relocation circumstances. Ensure to show appreciation for all that added effort.

Long-distance movers relocating a large box
Complexity of the long-distance move should be one of the factors in deciding about the gratuity

Are You Supposed to Tip Movers When They Are Lacking in Their Job?

Is it bad to not tip movers? The word tip is an acronym for “To Insure Promptitude,” so the connection between the quality job and gratuity has always existed. However, even in day-to-day life, people tend to give money no matter the quality of service because they fear they will seem cheap. Don’t be like them. The whole point of tipping is in expressing gratitude because you are content with the services provided. What if the crew members are being late or taking breaks every few minutes? And what if they don’t know how to organize packing and don’t care if packing glasses and other breakables will end up a disaster?

Do not feel obliged to provide the gratuity for a job that could have been done better, especially if you worked hard to save money to move. Not only will you show lousy workers that there are no consequences for their lack of care, but you will encourage them to continue with that kind of behavior. If you thought that everything would be better if you just learned some packing tips, packed on your own, and rented a relocation truck, don’t waste money. Professional relocation workers suppose to provide help during relocation, not make it any harder than it already is. Keep that in mind when the time comes to make a decision about gratuity.

If you’re interested in finding out more about which cases you should provide a gratuity (in general), take a look at the video below.

What Is A Standard Tip For Movers?

Let’s say that people working on your move have really proven themselves, and you decided to show appreciation. The next logical question is what an average tip for movers is? After all, when planning a move to a new city, you must calculate this sum in the relocation budget. (Un)fortunately, a precise answer to this question doesn’t exist. All you are left with is looking at our suggestions, estimating options, and going with your gut.

The expected tipping amount is between 15% and 20% of the final bill for most services. It still can be a reasonable amount when it comes to a local move. However, if you plan on moving across the country, following this kind of etiquette can be a big hit on your budget. So, it’s time to come up with a different tactic. Consider a flat-rate solution based on the number of hours the crew has spent working.

With that in mind, know that questions like Is $40 a good tip for movers can’t be adequately answered. In some cases, that’s more than enough, in others less, and sometimes it is just the right amount, depending on the work that needs to be done. Think about rewarding each mover with $10 to $20 for half-day work and between $20 and $40 for full-day. Of course, if the long-distance relocation proves to be extremely difficult and lasts for 10 hours or more, count on an even bigger gratuity (about $60 or higher).

Do You Tip Movers When They Load or Unload?

Moving cross country to a new state implies that the team that packs and loads the truck is not the same one that will be unloading your belongings. What does it mean for the gratuity distribution? It would be best to contact the company’s representatives and ask how many workers will be responsible for your move in both cities, current and future one. After you get the needed information, decide about the amounts and ensure that members from both crews get their rewards.

Is There a Person That Should Be in Charge of the Tips?

Every relocation team should have a foreman responsible for the organization and keeping the members in check. When relocating to a new city, some people opt for handing the money to them. However, that might not be the best solution because you lose all of the control over how or even if the money will be properly distributed.

It is possible that you’ll do business with dishonest foremen that want to keep the money for themselves. They can also prefer some members over others which can reflect on their unfair distribution. It’s always better to give the gratuity by yourself to every worker individually. Moreover, giving the compensation to each member separately provides you with the possibility of giving the amount of money each of them deserves. If someone went above and beyond to so you can move to a new home without a problem, they shouldn’t be equally rewarded as a mover who hasn’t put any effort at all.

Find Out About Different Ways of Tipping Movers and Packers When Moving

If you’re interested in which way you can provide the crew with gratuity except in the form of cash, it’s always better to contact the relocation company. Some companies have the possibility of adding tips to the bill. It is especially important if you have an office move to a new state and need this kind of payment recorded.

You can also opt for paying via checks, but the check must be written to one person only, that can be the boss, the foremen, or somebody else. However, in both of these ways, you lose control over what happens with the money and won’t know if they paid out as you intended. Therefore, don’t let going to the ATM and securing you have enough cash be one of the things you forget to do when you move to another home.

Long-distance movers lifting a sofa
Find the payment method that works the best for you, but ensure that everyone gets what they deserve

Aside From Tipping, You Can Show Appreciation in Many Other Ways

It is true that the relocation team and many other service workers rely on the gratuities, but don’t let it be the only way you are showing gratitude. Being a good host and showing good manners will not only demonstrate your appreciation but can positively affect the people’s work. Therefore, when relocating to a new home, ensure to:

  • Prepare enough snacks and beverages that will last through the whole relocation day,
  • Order takeout and invite them to take a break, eat and recharge,
  • Be there when you’re needed but don’t stand in the way when you’re not,
  • Be kind and friendly, and not act like you’re above others,
  • Prepare enough clean towels, napkins, and soap,
  • Express your contentment with words,
  • Leave a review about their exceptional service.

Most Reliable And Reputable Companies Have the Best Relocation Crews, so Ensure to Find Them

Do you want to find amazing relocation professionals that will do everything within their power so that your long-distance relocation ends up as a complete success? Then it is time to start looking for a trustworthy relocation company as soon as you decide to move to a new state. Learn everything about how to choose a moving company so you can end up with the best relocation crew there is. And when their job is done, don’t forget to reward them for their exceptional help.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

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