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When you hire movers, you’ll be given a price estimate that includes things like man hours, gas and transportation charges and material pricing. Whether you are choosing from the best moving companies or hoping to snag a cheap moving service, it’s important to know what to tip.
What likely won’t be included in the estimate? A tip. If gratuity hasn’t been added to the bill from your moving company, you may be unclear about how much to tip movers and whether or not it’s required. We’ll clear that up for you here.
Are You Required to Tip Movers?
In short, no. There is no industry standard for tipping. “Tipping is not required, but greatly appreciated by the movers,” says Hilary Reynolds with All My Sons Moving and Storage. But of course, the fact that it’s not required doesn’t mean you should brush it off without a second thought.
The average hourly salary for movers is only about $16. That’s not a lot considering all of the hard work that they do. “Movers are required to have strength, endurance and skills for the difficult pieces and planning involved,” says Thomas Trainor, founder of Relocation Concierge, a company that provides moving assessments and professional concierge services for relocations.
How Much Should You Tip Movers?
Each move is different, and as such, there are many factors at play when deciding how much to tip movers. If you’re moving across the street using a 2-person crew that takes only a few hours, your tip amount should be less than someone moving a five-bedroom house across the country.
However, Trainor suggests following a $6 to $12 per hour per mover rule of thumb, including the driver. Below, we’ve created a table to show what this might look like for your move, in case you’re wondering how much to tip movers.
Tip Amount for Each Mover
When to Tip and When Not To
No one wants to break the bank tipping movers (moving is expensive enough already), especially when they feel a good job wasn’t done or their movers weren’t overly agreeable. After all, tipping is a way to show your gratitude for a job well done. Here are a few situations where you might want to tip a little extra, or perhaps deduct a bit of money from your planned tip amount.
When to tip more:
- When your movers have to handle oversized or particularly fragile items
- When your movers are personable and kind
- When your movers work quickly
- When movers go above and beyond to help you set up and assemble certain items
When to tip less:
- When your movers show up late or bring the wrong sized vehicle
- When your movers seem to work deliberately slow, like overwrapping materials or moving inefficiently
- When you have to do the brunt of the work yourself
- When your movers mistreat or break your items
How to Tip Movers
So you know you’d like to tip your moving crew. How do you go about doing so? You have a few choices here, and it’s really up to you how you’d like to handle it. You could tip each mover, or you could simply hand your tip to the lead mover. (This is likely the person whom you’ve communicated with the most)
Trainor recommends tipping each mover individually at the end of each day to avoid the possibility of a dishonest lead mover. And for a multi-day move, Trainor says, “tipping only at the end could be complicated to split fairly” since you may have a slightly different moving crew each day. If you tip only at the end, a mover who isn’t working on the last day might be left out of the tip.
No matter how you decide to split it up, it’s crucial to have cash on hand when it comes to tipping. Unless your moving company includes gratuity on the bill they hand you, there’s no way to split up a tip that’s put on a credit card.
Should You Provide Food to Movers?
Moving often takes several hours, and there’s a good chance you will need to eat at some point during the process. But what about your movers? When thinking about how much to tip movers to show appreciation, another way to make them very happy is by feeding them.
While most moving crews will bring enough food and water to provide for themselves, providing food for them can only make things go that much more smoothly. “Movers appreciate it when a customer takes the time to offer them refreshments or snacks,” says Reynolds.
Pizza and subs are easy options, since it’s relatively inexpensive and most people enjoy it. As an alternative, you can simply offer your crew a few local options, or even provide a small cash stipend so they can find their own food.
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