Dedicate movers deserve good tip. About 35 million people pack up their household goods and relocate every year in the U.S. as reported by the United States Census Bureau. Only a few people consider tipping their movers. And, if they want to do, they might be confused about the amount to tip.
So, what is the amount you should tip your movers (understand that they just moved your couch, bed, dresser, and all your belongings across many flights of stairs)?
Tipping has often been a controversial discussion, and especially when you are dealing with professional movers. Sure, their company is paying them for their service, but a lot of people feel that appreciating them with an additional reward for doing a great job is ideal. However, that brings the question of what amount do you tip movers?
Can you go with pizza and beer instead? If you decide to tip your movers (since this is completely optional but customary to do), below are some ideas on the standard practice, and little distinctions between the amount to tip local movers and movers that work with long-distance moving companies.
Should you Tip the Moving Crew?
You are not by any means required to tip your moving crew. Movers should be on schedule, handle your items like their own and be well organized. They should be polite, courteous, and stick to your requests and answer any questions regarding your move. Most importantly, none of your belongings should get to your new home damaged or missing.
If an accident, however, happens, your moving crew should take responsibility for any item they damage and help you in filing a claim with the company. Don’t forget that movers are working in the service industry.
The tip you give is for excellent service and based on their performance on the job. When deciding if you want to tip your moving crew, you must ask yourself these questions:
- Were there excess stairs or several levels involved in your move?
- Did the moving crew have to stop more than once, like to your home as well as an offsite storage facility?
- Was there much oddly shaped or heavy furniture?
- Did they take additional special care of your antique, sentimental, or any specialty item?
- Did they take enough time to apply additional padding on delicate items or stick to special instructions with care?
- Were they polite to be around, efficient and courteous?
How much do you Tip Moving Crew?
Moving companies don’t add a gratuity in their pricing automatically, so tipping is often an appreciated gesture. To serve as a guideline, you should tip your moving crew between 15% to 20% of the overall cost of your move for large or interstate moves and 5% – 10% for smaller, town-to-town moves.
For instance, if your overall moving costs is $2,000, the right tip to give is $100 – $200 (5% – 10%) for a cross-town move. This lump is then shared among the moving crew, so if you tip two movers that $100 – $200, each mover would take home $50 – $100. Always look into things like the hardship of the move and the amount of care the moving crew put into place when hauling your goods. These factors should dictate the amount you tip.
If your movers truly go more than their comfort zone, you should try to tip them a higher percentage between 10% or 20% of the overall moving cost. Some people suggest that you should tip a flat fee rather than a percentage. The flat-rate method of tipping is promoted by Lauri Ward of Redecorate.com.
She says it is highly acceptable to give every member of the team $20 to $30 for smaller relocation and up to $40 for difficult, large moves. Tip every member of the crew directly and not hand it over to the foreman of the team to divide.
How Much Should You Tip Your Long-Distance Movers?
Long-distance moves may require different crews, one at your former home and one at the destination home. The only common individual may be the truck driver. In these situations, tipping each crew member at the rates provided above acceptable. If you want to tip your moving crew using a percentage of the overall bill, the tip for a long-distance move may cost a fortune.
Moving costs can range between $4,000 and $5,000 for a long-distance move. It is likely best to go with an hourly tip depending on the size of the moving crew at each location of your move. Major moving companies suggest that the standard tip for a several-day move is normally between $50 and $200 per mover on the crew, no matter the overall cost of the move (don’t forget that a big, long-distance move can cost up to $10,000, and you should tip the movers in proportion).
That provides you more flexibility to express your appreciation for a job nicely done, and for a personable moving team. You never can tell, as they are packing all your goods, you might just develop friendship or more from there. One thing to look out for and consider: Ensure that your moving company doesn’t include a service charge to your bill, which is taken as a ‘gratuity included’ type of situation.
Cost Saving Tips
You want to reward your moving crew for their sincere effort but you also don’t want to tip twice. Check the contract and, if you are still not sure, you can go ahead and ask the moving company whether they will add a service fee to the final bill. When you use a service like Moving APT, you will get a guaranteed rate and save yourself the stress of wondering.
How Much Should You Tip The Local Moving Crew?
Even during a local move, movers are responsible for taking care of your household items, and they handle most of the tedious physical job so that you don’t have to. If you are satisfied with your moving crew and you want to tip them for their excellent service (which you must know: is not required, but a customary practice), there is no given rule.
The acceptable median tip amount for a local move is 1%, although some suggest that for the number of hours’ movers work, 15% or 20% is a standard. In any case, ensure you divide the tip between the crew equally.
However, this is only a guideline and should be modified depending on the quality of service they provide. Tipping moving crew can also be done by sharing some homemade cookies, cold lemonade, or other treats to give them a better day. They are working so hard to ensure your life gets easier, after all!
However, if they are transporting a significant number of moving boxes and furniture, just giving them refreshments only may be considered being stingy.
Cost Saving Tips
If you are working with multiple movers, don’t give the tip to the driver or foreman. Instead, tip each worker directly. This doesn’t only reveal your appreciation for their nice and excellent job, but there also can be some immoral foremen or drivers who are famous to keep the whole amount to themselves. And you also can opt to reward the movers who have been extra careful and more polite for a bigger tip, although we suggest you do this privately, so as not to cause ill feelings between workers.
When to Tip Movers ?
Not all movers are made equally. If the service you received is below satisfactory, you certainly shouldn’t feel the need to tip them more cash. But if your moving crew has done more than your expectation, it is a nice idea to tip them for their hard work.
Tipping your movers is right if:
- They arrived on time
- They completed your move in a shorter timeline than planned
- They had to go through several flights of stairs
- They helped you pack your possessions
- No item was damaged in the move, or
They amaze you with their professionalism and customer service
When not to Tip Your Moving Crew
Before a mover can be worthy of your tip, they should arrive on time, handle your belongings with respect, and be properly organized. They should willingly follow your requests and attend to any questions that you have regarding the move politely. If any item ends up missing at the new home, the movers have to guide you on retrieving the lost item. They should take responsibility for any item that they break and should walk you through the insurance coverage process.
No item should be damaged or broken when it gets to your new address, but there can be accidents, and how the movers handle the situation will determine whether to tip or not. If your experience with the movers is bad, then you should not feel the need to offer them any kind of tip. You can instead adjust the amount to tip your moving crew or not tipping if they:
- Arrive late
- Ding your new home’s walls with your dresser
- Put the moving boxes labeled “upstairs bedroom” in the living room downstairs.
Spend much time taking breaks and not much time working.
How to Tip Mover?
Large long-distance moving companies often add a tip as a line item on your moving bill, which means you can pay for the tip with other moving costs. A smaller moving company may not include this option. In case there is no line item, you can tip your movers cash or request to add a tip to the overall amount charged to your credit card or another payment method from the foreman.
Tip with a credit card:
With the use of a credit card to tip, you can easily document to the IRS that tips were part of your relocation costs when the time comes for deducting moving costs on your tax return. Large cash tips that have no documentation would not be allowed if you were to be audited by the IRS.
Tip with a check:
If you are trying to record moving expenses, tipping with a check is also possible. If you choose this method, you should write one check and allow the crew foreman to share the tip among the team.
Tip with cash:
Cash is often an acceptable method of tipping, but you may want to confirm that this method of tipping is by the company policy with the crew foreman or company.
Refreshments and food:
Whether you later tip or not, it is usually great to make cold bottled water, coffee, sports drinks, or soda available for your moving crew. Don’t forget that these movers are tackling the tedious, physical work for you, and offering cold beverages would be a nice gesture.
If the move goes beyond lunch and/or dinner, you can buy them one of the two meals or the two. Some people will buy a meal instead of tipping, while others will provide the meal and tip together. Any approach you choose is acceptable. If you choose to go with meal provision, you are to decide the choice of the menu. Pizza is usually the first thing you can think of since you can easily order it.
However, there is a possibility that these movers eat so many pizzas for lunch. They will possibly appreciate it when asked what they want from numerous options you are willing to provide. If you are not relocating during the lunch or dinner hour, you can go with snacks like chips, cookies, apples, or pretzels.
It is important to not offer beer or any alcoholic drinks to movers at the end of the move. The majority of legitimate companies have strict policies against drinking while working; serving beer can expose you to liability issues. Leave the cold ones for yourself, after your movers’ departure
Leave a review for your moving crew:
Being a final tip for movers, if you enjoyed the service and you deem it worthy of praise, try to leave a review for them online. Positive online reviews can do a lot for people looking to hire movers and it is a highly appreciated means to express your appreciation for great service.
Regardless of the size of your move, it is a brilliant idea to tip your movers. Look into the complexity associated with the move: the distance you are moving and the number of items you own. Ask yourself: how was my moving experience? Did the mover do their best and more? How much heavy lifting did they handle? Would you recommend their service to your friends? If your moving crew has done a great job for you, motivate them with something extra immediately after your items are unloaded from the moving truck.