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Should I Tip Movers?

March 19th, 2018 - 8:06 AM

Is tipping movers recommended?​​

It’s completely normal to leave a tip for good service. And if you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant, gotten a haircut, had a pizza delivered or taken a cab, you’re probably pretty familiar with how it works. But if you’re hiring movers for the first time, you may be wondering if you’re supposed to give them extra cash for a job well done. Learn from Dustin Whinery, an experienced mover in Texas, to see what’s typical and what to expect.

how much do you tip movers

To tip or not to tip

Tipping movers is a great way to reward them for exceptional service, but it isn't required (and sometimes isn't possible). Ask the company you’ve hired to help with loading and unloading if they have a tipping policy before you try to give any extra cash to the crew. If they tell you their employees can accept them, it’s totally at your discretion. Dustin explained, “Tips are never expected, but for service that goes above and beyond, it’s always welcomed.”

Like in other industries, service that goes above and beyond may deserve a little extra. However, Dustin advised that customers shouldn’t feel obligated to tip if their expectations aren’t met. Examples of subpar service include:

  • Showing up extremely late without apology or reason
  • Carelessly mistreating items
  • Showing disrespect
  • Ignoring requests

However, if they provided great service and went above standard job duties, it’s fine to show that you noticed. Dustin says, “If you can say that a mover or crew made you feel comfortable during your move, a tip might be a good idea.” Service deserving of a tip might be:

  • Getting the job completed faster than expected
  • Handling items with extra care
  • Showing professionalism
  • Moving large, heavy, bulky or awkward furniture
  • Climbing excessive stairs (like to a third floor apartment)

At the end of the day, there are no guidelines for when or when not to give a tip. Give when you feel it’s deserved, and don’t feel pressured to do so.

How much to tip movers

There’s no set percentage for tipping movers; it’s up to you. While some services have a standard percentage (like how it’s typical to tip 20% at a restaurant), using one for moving labor can quickly add up. Since they don’t expect anything extra, give what you think they deserve for their work.

If the movers can accept tips, a good guideline is $10 per mover for a half day's work (4 hours) and $20 per mover for a full day's work (8 hours). Feel free to give more if they had to work around difficult circumstances like stairs, heavy furniture or bad weather. 

How to give a tip to a mover

You can tip only those who provided the best care, or tip the whole crew if everyone did a great job. It’s best to tip them individually instead of giving the full amount to a supervisor or on the bill for the company to split out. By handing out separate tips, you’re recognizing the hard work of each person. Give tips at the end of the day, once the job is completed.

The easiest way to give is to place money (cash is preferred) in envelopes and give them to each crew member as you thank them. No envelopes on-hand? A handshake and a “thank you” works well, too.

Other ideas for showing appreciation to movers

If you don’t like the idea of giving cash (or the company has a policy against it), there are other ways to recognize the efforts of great loaders and unloaders. Dustin said, “Small gestures don’t go unnoticed. Even just offering water goes a long way.” Here are some ideas:

  • Buy them a meal if they work through lunch — Dustin says it can be tough to go back to work heavy lifting after a meal of pizza, so think outside the pizza box and go with burgers, sub sandwiches or fried chicken.
  • Have snacks and cold drinks on hand. If the cooler is packed and the fridge is defrosted, borrow one from a friend or get a one-time use cooler.
  • Give them a great review on consumer review sites or on their social media pages. This type of public praise helps them get future business. Dustin said, “Nothing is more valuable than a great review. It gives them better business in the future.”
  • Have an area set up for them to take a break. Either somewhere with a fan if it’s hot outside, or somewhere warm during winter. They will appreciate a place to rest between heavy loads.
  • Avoid giving out beer at the end of the day. It may be against policy to accept, and it can also a liability to you.

Need help finding a moving crew?

U-Pack is a “you pack, we drive” company, but we understand that some people want or need assistance. We refer customers to a company with pre-qualified labor available to help load, unload or both. Call a U-Pack consultant at 800-413-4799 to learn more about hiring a moving crew.

What do you think about giving movers a tip?

Do you have any other unique ideas for showing appreciation? Leave those in the comments below. We love to hear how you creatively say thank you for a job well done.