Should You Tip Your Movers: A Helpful Guide

Should You Tip Your Movers: A Helpful Guide

A person tipping movers

Last Updated on 12/14/2022

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.

So, where do movers fall on this spectrum?

There are lots of confusing things about moving, especially if you have never moved before, or hired movers. The whirlwind of the move can through off key details like tipping your movers.

If you have lots of questions about tipping movers. UniMovers is here to help!

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Do I Tip My Movers?

First, you should know that tipping your movers is not expected like it is for people in the food service industry. Moving companies charge enough to fairly compensate their movers for the labor required to help you.

However, tipping movers is common. Moving requires a lot of heavy lifting and repetitive tasks. It can be tough work. Movers’ tips can show appreciation for the work that they have done for you and your family.

How Much Do I Tip Movers?

The amount you tip your movers can vary. 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.

As a result, customers also use different metrics to decide how much to tip. Usually, people tip movers around 10% to 25% of the total cost of their move.

Tipping your movers also varies on what you ask your movers to do. If your movers are loading furniture, that may mean a larger tip than packing up small boxes.

You might tip more if the move was extra hard or if the service was exceptionally good. This could be because the movers might be speedy and complete the move much faster than expected.

The environmental conditions surrounding the move might affect the overall tip too. If it’s snowing or really hot on the day of a move, a customer might tip more as well.

Tipping movers is up to you, but all factors should be considered before you hand out your tip.

Other Nice Things to Do For Movers

Mover in Summerville SC

Tipping is not the only courtesy you can choose to provide your movers if you’re feeling extra generous.

Providing snacks and drinks for your moving team can help with morale and energy during a move.

Moving is difficult and backbreaking work. Sometimes showing your team some extra kindness can encourage them to work faster or be more careful with your items.

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. Some good examples could be sandwiches, burgers, or pizza.

If you do plan to buy lunch or 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.

Someone who is hot, thirsty, and angry will be more careless with your items than someone who is well-hydrated and fed.

So, Why Wouldn’t I Tip My Movers?

People who decide not to tip their movers aren’t always just stingy. 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

Your movers may have lost some of your items. This can happen from time to time for a variety of reasons. Things can fall from trucks or get left behind altogether.

For some who lose their items, it’s simply a frustrating situation that requires a replacement. Moves are expensive and an extra charge can cause some more stress.

For others who lose their items, it means that a sentimental piece is now no longer a part of their lives. These can not always be replaced physically. Emotionally, this can cause extra stress or even distress.

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.

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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 careful with 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.

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 for lost or broken items.

Being Rude or Disrespectful

Maybe the movers were rude or insulting. There is no reason for an employee to treat anyone unfairly. Consider contacting the company if this happens.

If the behavior was consistently an issue, it is more than fair to not tip your movers. Moving is already a stressful life event; a rude team member can make things even harder.

To Wrap Things Up

Tipping movers is not required, but it is a common 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.


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Maura De Cicco attends the University of Iowa as a Journalism and Anthropology student. She plans to pursue a strategic communications track when it comes to writing, and an archaeology track when it comes to Anthropology.

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