Moving is a stressful, tiring, and long process. Don’t add to your stress by overthinking or not knowing what the protocol for tipping movers is. There are a lot of factors that go into determining what an acceptable amount for a tip is, and what isn’t. No one wants to come across as cheap or unappreciative, but you don’t want to over tip either. So, how do you know how much is appropriate to tip, and how much is too much? At White Glove Moving and Storage, we’ve come up with this guide to help you determine how much to tip your movers so you don’t come across as being unappreciative.
I have to tip my movers?
If you have never used professional movers before, you might be asking yourself, “I have to tip the movers?! They are getting paid hourly, plus I already am paying a lot for their service, now they are expecting a tip?!” Yes, it is true that movers do get paid an hourly wage, but they are considered to be a part of the service industry, and paying a tip is an excellent way to express your gratitude for their service.
There is a reason that most people hire a professional moving company to help with their move, because it is work that they don’t want to do. Moving is hard, back-breaking work, that if done wrong, could result in injury to self or damage to property. Professional movers help move individuals and families into and out of homes and apartments; often times during unfavorable conditions (extreme heat or cold, up and down flights of stairs, etc.). If anyone deserves a tip for all of their hard work, it is your movers, who work hard to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible.
One important thing to keep in mind before you pull out your cash and start tipping everybody, is to check with your moving company and see if they have added on a service charge that covers tips or not. Even though this is an extremely rare occasion, you don’t want to double tip your movers, so be sure to explicitly ask your movers if this charge is included or not.
How Much to Tip?
Now comes the hard part—determining how much you should tip your movers. Just like with any other worker in the service industry, the amount will depend on the total amount you are spending on your move, and the quality of the work performed. Generally, a $35 to 50 or a 10 to 15 percent tip is standard; while this is just a suggestion, some moves may justify a higher tip.
Often times, you’ll have to use your best judgement to determine the appropriate amount to tip. On average, most movers won’t expect anything above 20 percent, but chances are, if you offer them a reasonable amount, they will be grateful.
If you are moving long distance, plan on tipping accordingly. A long-distance move requires more time and will cost you more. Be prepared to tip a higher amount on a long-distance move. Most long-distance moves are generally tipped based on the number of days that the move takes. Most people will argue that a cross-country move, that takes around four or five days deserves a tip upwards of $200. Just remember that when using professional movers on a long-distance move it is conventional to tip on both ends of your move. Be prepared to have cash on hand to tip when your home is packed up, and again when the moving truck is unloaded at your new home.
Other factors to keep in mind when determining how much to tip your movers include, weather conditions, delicate/fragile items transported, heavy loads, and difficulty of the move.
What if I don’t want to tip my movers?
Just as with other workers in the service industry, not every move deserves a tip. Base your decision to tip on the quality of the move, the attitudes of the movers, and how much of your stuff arrived intact to your new home. Based on your overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the move, feel free to tip or not to tip your movers.
If your movers show up late, show little to no respect for your current home or property, and damage your possession during the move, they probably don’t deserve a tip. Other movers that go out of their way to ensure that your belongings are carefully packed and handled with care, will most likely have earned their tip by the end of the day.
Everyone has probably heard horror stories about moving companies that lose or break items, or are rude or disrespectful to your or your belongings. Unfortunately, while there are such companies out there, doing your research prior to hiring a moving company will help to mitigate these horror stories from happening to you.
Who do I need to tip?
Some people assume that they need to tip the head mover more than the rest of the crew, but that isn’t necessarily true. If you notice that one member of the moving team is working harder than the others, tip everyone individually and give that individual a bigger tip. If you decide to give the team a lump sum to split between themselves, be sure to give the cash to one person in front of everyone else, and make it clear that the tip is to be split. If it makes you uncomfortable to hand your tip to only one person, then you can hand tips to each person individually.
Tipping more than just cash?
It is nice and considerate to provide your moving crew with some light refreshments throughout the move. Just like with tipping, providing additional refreshments is not a requirement, but it is a pretty nice gesture. Having bottled water available on hot days will be appreciated. Providing pizza for lunch is another great way to express gratitude to your movers. If you are moving during the cold winter months, grabbing coffee or hot chocolate first thing in the morning will get your move started off on the right foot. All of these are nice gestures that will be appreciated by your movers.
Knowing how much is appropriate for tipping movers can be a daunting problem. With more variables to consider than when determining how much to tip your waiter, the answer isn’t as straight forward as you might think. At White Glove Moving and Storage, we hope that this guide provides valuable information and advice to help you make an informed decision when determining the appropriate amount to tip your professional movers.