How Much Do I Need To Tip My Local Movers?

If you are among the millions of people who will move this year, you will inevitably face the question: Do you tip? Also, how much do you tip?

Moving is not an easy job. If you ever moved you know how hard it is to organize everything and to find friends that can help you pack and carry all of your belongings. Especially if you are moving with all of your appliances  and other heavy items. You will need help moving those bulky items and it is not something that you can do yourself. Whether you will hire movers or ask your friends or family to do it, it is a hard job for either one of them.

For that reason, it is a common courtesy to tip the movers. If they do the job right and your belongings are not damaged, you will be very satisfied and happy to reward them for it.

If your friends are helping you with your move, the usual pay for them is a pizza delivery and a pack of beers. But, of course, you can pay them as well, or do the same favor for them, when they need help moving in the future.

one dollar

What is included in the price of the moving?

When you hire movers to help you move, you will be given a price estimate of your move. Most likely this will be an hourly rate with some hours of a minimum charge

  • This price usually includes man hours, a truck, travel time fee (to cover the expenses of gas) and some additional fees such as heavy item handling fee. None of this includes the tip for the moving crew.

If your move is a large move, you may already be thinking that you are paying a fortune for it, so tipping the movers may not even cross your mind. Of course, you are not obligated to tip them, but if you are extremely satisfied with how they handled your valuable belongings, tipping the movers might be one good way to show your gratitude.

man with tablet

Moving involves so much more than putting things into different places in your new home.

A mover will come into your home and wrap up all the items in your household and safely deliver them to your new location. The job of a full-service mover doesn’t stop there. 

When it comes to packing, if you hire professional packers and movers, they will also provide packing services, but also unpacking of your belongings. They will disassemble and reassemble all of your furniture back so much faster than you doing it yourself. 

  • It can be easy to forget about the need to dismantle your furniture for the move. Professional movers will take care of this for you before your furniture gets removed from your old home and placed in the truck.

Your movers will handle all the loading and unloading of the moving truck. This means that all of the heavy items you own will be moved onto the truck without you having to lift a finger.

For all these reasons, providing your hardworking movers with a tip at the end of a long moving day is a great way of showing how grateful you are.

How to decide how much to tip?

Tipping movers is encouraged because movers do a ton of manual labor.

A good rule of thumb is 15 to 20 percent of the total relocation bill for both typical long-distance and local relocations. For example, if you move the contents of a four-bedroom house over long distances with a total relocation cost of $ 3,000, you should give the movers $ 450 to $ 600 to split between the number of people helping you move.

Obviously, before giving a tip, you should feel that you have received a good service, but there are other considerations that could affect how big tips you want to give.


The complexity of your move

Some moves are easier than others, including moves that don’t involve several flights of stairs or transporting heavy items, such as piano, gym equipment, french door fridge, etc…

How big was your home and how much stuff did you have moved? How much did you pack and move alone and how many movers and packers have you hired because you did need help moving? Are there any flights of stairs at your home or at the drop off location? How much bulky, heavy or awkward furniture do you have, how many days did it take to start the whole move to the end?

fragile items in box

 If the answers to these questions meant that the move was particularly challenging, plan to tip at the higher end of the range.

Obviously, if they had to carry all of your belongings to the fourth floor with no elevator, you can imagine how much strength they needed and how careful they must have been in order to move everything without any damages.

Quality of service

local movers

Did they show up on time? Were they careful? Have they handled your items carefully, making sure to wrap fragile items? If you are very satisfied with the quality of your move, show it with generous tips.

If the crew must take on extremely labor-intensive work, consider providing an extra tip for each of them. Always consider factors like the difficulty of the move and the level of care the movers put into transporting your belongings. Most importantly, nothing should show up to your new home damaged or missing.

Final moving cost

Have you paid for packing services in addition to moving services? Did all your belongings fit in one truck or was an extra one needed? 

These costs are included in your final relocation costs and should be included in the amount that tipped the movers, which should be a percentage of the relocation company’s total bill.


Other ways to show gratitude 

In addition to giving tips to your movers, you can show movers that you value their service in other ways as well. Give bottled water, soda, coffee and snacks to your movers and make them sandwiches or buy them lunch, ordering pizza is a good default option for feeding the crowd.

Some movers will bring their own food, but if you let them know that they will have free food and snacks on the job, that will put them in a much better mood to begin with.

eating pizza

When you should not tip the movers

As in any other service providing industry, when you are not satisfied with the service you will not tip them or you may even not pay for the service at all. Of course if many items are broken or damaged you should even make a claim to get compensated for the damage.

Accidents do happen in the moving industry, so if something happens by accident, you should see how the movers will handle it and how they will react. If you see that they are really sorry and that it is not their fault, you should consider leaving them a tip, but maybe tip at a reduced rate. However, if your movers damage your furniture because they were reckless and careless it may be appropriate to skip tipping.

Are you obligated to tip the movers?

Tipping is a usual way to show your gratitude for the job well done. Guys in the moving industry are doing really hard jobs, as explained above.

 It is not easy to carry all of that heavy furniture, they need to be skilled and have a lot of strength to do it properly. They do not expect a tip, but when they get one, they appreciate it, as anyone would.

How to tip the movers?

wallet with money

When you need help moving you will hire professional movers to help you. They will do everything that you could not do alone, or it would take too long for you to do it yourself. So you will want to tip them because they did a very good job and you would want to tip them equally. 

To avoid unequal sharing of your tip, you could tip each mover individually.

However, if you only have large bills and you do not have change for each mover, you can give the whole tip to the foreman so he would split it among the team. Make sure that the other movers see that you gave the tip to him.

Check with the moving company if it is possible to tip the movers with your credit card!

After a long day, your move might take longer than expected so your bill is higher, but you are overall satisfied with the service. You paid your move in cash so you have nothing left to tip the movers. You can call the company and ask to leave a tip with your card or even write a check for the movers.

At the end of an exhausting and hectic day

couple moving

Finally, the best way to show gratitude is to simply thank every person who helped you with your move. Never underestimate the power of words, smiles and sincere thanks. It also encourages people to report a job well done, naming certain people who have taken special care to help make their relocation go smoothly, with a supervisor or relocating company. Complimenting a worker or an employer is one of the best ways to reward them for a job well done, besides giving them a tip.

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