Should You Tip Your Movers: A Helpful Guide

Should You Tip Your Movers: A Helpful Guide

Tips spelled out

We answer all of your questions about tipping movers and provide a guide on when, why, how, and how much you should tip your movers.

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Do I Tip My Movers?

Sometimes customers are expected to tip for certain services. For example, when you go to a restaurant, you are expected to tip the waiter or waitress – not doing so is considered rude. Typically, servers are paid below minimum wage because of the expectation that they will also be tipped by every customer. Customers are expected to tip pizza delivery drivers, too. You should also tip delivery drivers for other companies like DoorDash or GoPuff. It is also expected that you tip when you get a haircut or a tattoo. For certain services, it is considered nice to tip but not necessarily required. This often includes people like bartenders and baristas. So, where do movers fall on this spectrum?

There are lots of confusing things about moving, especially if you have never moved before. If it’s your first time, you may not know what to expect. You might have lots of questions about tipping your movers. Like, “How much do I tip my movers?”. Or maybe, “Do I always tip my movers, or just when they do a really good job?”. We’re here to answer your questions.

Is Tipping Movers Required?

First, you should know that tipping movers are not expected like it is for people in the foodservice industry. Moving companies charge enough to fairly compensate their movers for the labor required to help you. It is not a requirement to tip your movers. 

But, tipping movers is very common. Moving requires a lot of heavy lifting and repetitive tasks. It can be tough work. People are often grateful that their movers helped them with the stressful and strenuous parts of moving. These people want to thank their movers for their assistance. To make sure you are happy with your service, you should always try to hire the right kind of movers. 

How Much Do I Tip Movers?

The amount you tip your movers can vary by a lot. Moving companies often use different metrics to decide how much to charge for the move. Some companies charge by the hour, others by distance, and others by the number of belongings/boxes moved. (You can read about how UniMovers charges here) As a result, customers also use different metrics to decide how much to tip, too. But, usually, people tip movers around 10% to 25% percent of the total cost of their move. This is one guide to how much to tip your movers.

Deciding How Much to Tip Movers

How much you tip your movers will depend on your move. It also varies on what you ask your movers to do. For example, someone who expects their movers to painstakingly pack breakable items might tip more than someone who just expects their movers to load light boxes for just a few hours.

People might tip more if their move was extra hard or if their service was exceptionally good. For example, the movers might be speedy and complete the move much faster than expected. Or they could be exceptionally polite and friendly. The environmental conditions surrounding the move might affect the overall tip too. If it’s snowing or really hot the day of a move, a customer might tip more as well.

How Do I Pay My Movers?

Customer deciding how much to tip movers

Typically, people tip with cash. This is true for movers, too. It is easy to divide cash equally among the number of people on your moving team. Cash should usually be the go-to way to tip your moving team.

However, sometimes this might not be possible. For example, your workplace might be paying for your move and you need to record the transaction to be reimbursed. In this instance, paying the person in charge of the movers with a check and asking them to divide it fairly would be acceptable.

Or, maybe you’re using a company credit card. Or even just didn’t have time to run to the ATM. In this instance, there is almost always a spot on the bill to provide a tip of your choosing. This is acceptable too. However, the only way to really ensure that the money is split fairly among the team that helped you move is to pay in cash. Otherwise, you don’t really know if the company divided the money differently than you intended.

Other Nice Things to Do For Movers

Mover in Summerville SC

Tipping isn’t the only courtesy you should provide your movers, especially if your move is long or difficult. You should always try to provide your movers with drinks and snacks. Even if it is something simple like water and pretzels, it is very much appreciated. Moving is difficult and backbreaking work. The people on your team are going to need drinks to keep them going.

On a hot day, your movers might appreciate soft drinks, popsicles, or Gatorade. In the middle of a snowy winter, offering your moving team hot chocolate is a nice gesture. If you’re moving very early in the morning, giving your movers coffee and donuts might be a good idea.

Sometimes, people prefer to buy all their movers a nice lunch instead of tipping them as much. This is considered a normal and acceptable part of the business. Tipping movers is less about the money and more about showing appreciation and thankfulness for their hard labor.

Taking good care of your moving team helps the customer too. For example, if your movers all leave for a lunch break, it could take much longer than if you order everyone pizza and wings and eat together in your home. If you do plan to buy lunch, or even just snacks, for your movers, it’s a good idea to ask them what they like or if they have any dietary restrictions. A mover who is a vegetarian might go hungry if you order just burgers.

If you take care of your movers, they will be much more careful with your items. Someone who is hot, thirsty, and angry will be more careless with your items. Someone who has food, water, and shade will be more cautious with your things.

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So, Why Wouldn’t I Tip My Movers?

People who decide not to tip their movers aren’t always just stingy. There are good reasons people may not want to tip their movers. Tipping rewards movers for a job well done. If movers do a bad job or do not perform to their expectations, it is reasonable for customers to not want to tip them. So, let’s go over a few of the reasons someone may decide not to tip their movers.

Lost Items

First, your movers may have lost some of your items. This is a big pain, as the customer would need to pay to replace the items at best. At worst, the items could have sentimental value, and be unable to replace. When movers lose items, it is because they are careless with them.

Wasting Time

Also, your movers may be disrespectful of your time during the move, like taking lots of extra breaks. This is inconvenient even if you are paying by weight or distance. It is especially untrustworthy if you are paying by the hour. If your movers do this, they might be trying to get more money out of you.

Showing Up at the Wrong Time

Additionally, movers might show up outside of the time slot you signed up for. This can be really inconvenient for you. You might be at work or at an appointment, and not be there to let them in. Or, you just aren’t expecting it and aren’t ready to start the move. This shows that the movers didn’t do what they agreed to and don’t respect your time.

Broken Items

Maybe your movers break items. Accidents do happen. But, movers should be very careful with their belongings because that’s part of their job. If your movers are especially careless with breakable and fragile items, they can destroy your stuff. Nobody wants to pay to replace a box of broken plates. And, just like with lost items, some of these things might be sentimental. You may not be able to replace them at all. Different moving companies have different policies when it comes to lost or broken items. You can read about UniMovers’ liability policy here. 

Being Rude or Disrespectful

Finally, maybe the movers were really rude to you or even insulting. Movers should always be polite. This is so customers have the best experience possible. It is especially important as moving is already a stressful experience for many. If your movers are rude, this shows that they don’t care about their customers. Nobody wants to tip someone that treated them poorly.

How much are people tipping movers?

We decided we would track all of our tip data to find much people are tipping in different areas of the world, here’s what we found:

How much are people tipping movers in Charleston, SC

As you plan your move to Charleston, it is best to add a “tip for movers” line to your moving checklist. After looking at data collected from more than 600 moves completed by our moving company in Charleston, SC, we found that of the clients who left a credit card tip, the average tip was 18.8% and the average tip was $8.03 for every hour worked for each mover. Some 39% of consumers left a cash tip or did not tip at all. 

How much are people tipping movers in Raleigh, NC

From the data we collected from our moving company in Raleigh, NC, we found that people who tipped in Raleigh, NC were those most generous tipping a whopping 21.5% on the total move cost, or an additional $9.72 per hour. Of the 630 moves we looked at, 31% of clients left a cash tip or did not tip at all.

In Conclusion

Tipping movers is not required, but it is a common and expected part of the business. If you are thankful for a job well done, you should tip your movers. A good moving company works hard for you, and it is the right thing to show appreciation for that. But, if your movers do a bad job, tipping is not required. There are other nice things you should do for your movers, like providing drinks and snacks. 

If you do decide to tip your movers, you usually tip around $10-$40 per person or 5% to 20% of the cost of an average move. Here at UniMovers, our average customer tips 18%. This depends on the difficulty of your move as well as the quality of service. The best way to tip your movers is with cash, but you can tip other ways too.

7 thoughts on “Should You Tip Your Movers: A Helpful Guide”

  1. Vancouver movers

    When hiring a professional moving company, there are no hidden fees, packing materials are cheaper, and there are no upfront costs. In the end you will save yourself time without straining your back or your pocketbook!

  2. Pingback: When to Pay Movers | Avoid Moving Scams | UniMovers Blog

  3. I like that you mentioned that moving companies charge enough to fairly compensate their movers. I am moving from one county to another and I am in need of some movers to help. I am hoping to find somewhat will handle my stuff carefully.

  4. I’m glad you explained that tipping movers with cash is preferred since it’s convenient for them. My husband and I want to hire movers to save time and energy when relocating to a larger apartment this summer. Since I haven’t hired a moving service before, the info you shared about tipping is much appreciated!

  5. It’s great that you mentioned that how much you tip your movers will depend on your move. It also varies on what you ask your movers to do. My mom needs help moving to her new home upstate, and I’m helping her find movers to move her big furniture. I’ll share this with her and tell her to make sure the movers are tipped well for help. Thanks.

  6. Great article on the etiquette around tipping movers. I actually didn’t even realize it was a practice to do this! Moving is hard work, so tipping is a great way to show appreciation. And, if you go with a reliable moving company that knows what they’re doing, it saves so much headache!

  7. It’s great that you mentioned that moving companies often use different metrics to decide how much to charge for the move. My sister plans to move to her new home next week and needs movers to help. I’ll share this with her since she could use this information when talking with the movers. Thanks!

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