Should I Tip Movers?

Moving day tipping etiquette

U-Pack is a do-it-yourself long-distance moving service that refers customers to local loading and unloading crews. We can help with anything you need to know about moving your stuff from point A to point B, but we aren’t the ones doing the heavy lifting. Good news, though! We interact with the labor crews who load and unload daily, and they’ve shared some advice.

So, here’s the answer to the question, “Should I tip the movers?” In the moving industry, there’s no expectation to tip, but like anything, when it’s a job well done, it’s always appreciated. Certainly, don’t feel obligated, but it’s a good idea to have cash on-hand to acknowledge a crew that goes above and beyond.

Woman counting money to pay movers, determining their tip.


5 reasons to tip the moving crew

Since tipping isn’t expected (and it’s not built into your moving cost), use these guidelines to help determine whether you should give a gratuity to the movers:

  1. The job was completed faster than expected
  2. They showed professionalism, handling items with extra care
  3. They had to maneuver a lot of large, heavy, bulky or awkward furniture
  4. Your home or apartment had excessive stairs
  5. They skipped a meal because of the timing of the move

Of course, if your expectations were not met, don’t feel pressure.

How much should you tip movers?

A good guideline for tipping movers is $10 per mover for a half day’s work (4 hours) and $20 per mover for a full day’s work (8 hours). You could tip more if the moving crew had to work around difficult circumstances like bad weather.

Other ways to show your appreciation

If you’re not comfortable handing out cash, there are other ways to say “thanks.”

  • Snacks and drinks. On moving day, have things like water, energy drinks and snacks on-hand. If you’ve already packed the cooler, borrow one from a neighbor or get a one-time use cooler.
  • Meals. If they’re working through lunch, consider something easy to grab like pizza, burgers, sub sandwiches or fried chicken.
  • Set up a break area. Provide a place to take a quick break between heavy loads. Set up a fan or heater (depending on the weather) and let them know they can stop and take a breather there.
  • Leave positive reviews. Write your positive feedback on consumer review sites to help them get future business. If you’re not sure where to leave a review, you can ask!

Best method for tipping movers

We know it can be awkward to show your appreciation, but don’t stress over it. At the end of the job, put cash in envelopes and hand one to each crew member — they’ll appreciate the gesture! You could tip only those who provided excellent service or tip the whole crew for a standout job. Unless they tell you otherwise, avoid giving the foreman the entire amount or adding a tip to the bill for the company to split, since it could take a while to process the payment and divide the money among the workers.

To tip or not to tip — it's up to you

You should have high expectations that any moving labor service you hire will take care of your belongings with upmost care. And ultimately, whether to tip them is up to you. So, do what feels right based on your experience. If you have any other questions about planning for your move, leave a comment below. We’re happy to help you prepare for moving day!