Tipping Movers: Yes or No

Posted on in Moving

Deciding whether tipping movers is necessary and how much is appropriate will ultimately depend on your individual situation. However, it is generally agreed that movers should be tipped, so be prepared on moving day. Here are a few guidelines to help you negotiate the gratuity gauntlet.

Tipping Movers to Reward hard work

When people think of tipping service industry employees, they usually think of their waitress, barber, or babysitter, but forget to include their move. However, professional movers are absolutely considered part of the service industry and, as such, should be given a tip for a job well done. It is completely reasonable to tip movers based on how well they perform the job. As long as the crew behaves professionally and treats your home with respect, a tip is in order. If they’re rude, inattentive, or careless with your possessions, don’t feel obligated to cough up extra cash.tipping movers

How much to tip your mover

Deciding how much to tip a mover can be tricky. Unlike a tab at a restaurant, it often doesn’t make sense to tip movers based on a percentage of your total bill. This is because the distance your stuff will be moved often accounts for a bigger portion of the bill than the amount of stuff you have. In other words, the total price charged by the moving company may not be an accurate reflection of the amount of work done by the crew. Instead, shoot for a flat rate based on the amount of time the crew spends at your house and the complexity of the move. If the crew spends half a day at your house and the work isn’t particularly labor intensive, $10 per mover may be a sufficient tip. A move that takes a full day (8 hours or longer) would warrant a tip of $20 to $30 per mover. Complicating factors, such as lots of steps, a high volume of stuff, or lots of oversized items, may indicate the need to tip as much as $40 per mover. When the crew is finished, don’t just hand a lump sum to the foreman. Although it’s tempting to assume the leader will be honest, it’s always possible that the cash won’t trickle down to the rest of the crew. Instead, tip each member of the crew individually and let them know you appreciate their efforts.

Other options

Some people may find themselves a little short on cash on moving day. If so, there are things you can do other than tip movers in order to express your appreciation. You can also do these things in addition to providing a cash tip, if you would like to be elevated to “favorite customer” status. For instance, instead of providing a tip, many customers opt to buy the crew lunch or dinner. Before you order, it’s polite to ask what the crew wants instead of just going for the obvious choice of pizza. Also, make sure you have cold water, sports drinks, and some snacks on hand for the crew throughout moving day. One thing you probably shouldn’t do is tip the movers with beer or alcohol. Drinking on the job is probably against the rules of the moving company and creates all sorts of issues relating to liability and substance abuse.

Professional movers certainly will appreciate a tip for their hard work. As long as the moving company doesn’t include a gratuity charge on your bill, tipping movers is good practice. Base your tip on the performance of the movers, the amount of time they spend in your home, and the overall difficulty of the move.

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