The average cost of a move in the US is $1,400. And if you're like most people preparing your budget for a big move, you're probably wondering, “How much do you tip movers?” After all, they are helping you relocate your entire life!
While there is no set standard, there are a few good rules of thumb to follow.
The amount you end up tipping your movers will depend on the quality of services provided and how far the move was. Likewise, if you have a particularly difficult move, or if any damage occurs during transport, it's always appropriate to give a little more.
However, we’ll go over all of that and more in this complete guide to tipping your movers. Read on to find out all about tipping etiquette for moving services.
Are You Required to Tip Movers?
Ah, a common question we hear all the time. Is tipping movers a requirement? The short answer is no, but it is always appreciated.
Like any job, being a mover is physically demanding work and a tip can go a long way in showing your appreciation for their hard labor. However, whether or not you choose to tip is ultimately up to you.
Ultimately, if you were happy with their performance and want to show your gratitude, tipping is a nice gesture. However, if they did not meet your expectations or there were issues during the move, it might be better to forego the tip or discuss your concerns with their employer instead.
In the end, it's entirely up to personal discretion in terms of whether to tip movers and what to tip movers. No one can force you to tip movers, but it's always appreciated when someone does.
How to Prepare a Tipping Budget
Moving can be a stressful and expensive process, but creating a budget beforehand can help make sure you stay on track financially. Start by listing out all potential expenses, such as:
- Paying for a moving truck
- Hiring movers
- Purchasing packing supplies
- Renting storage units
Then estimate the cost for each item and add them to your total budget. Don't forget about potential additional expenses like pet transport or changing your address. In this step of the planning process, it’s helpful to create a contingency budget.
A contingency budget is essentially a backup plan for financial expenses. It allows room for those unforeseen expenses so you don't end up overspending or risking running out of money. We always recommend including a contingency budget in your overall moving budget.
This is also a great place to factor in how much to tip movers. Set aside at least 10% to 20% of your moving costs for tipping so that it’s there if you need it and end up wanting to tip your movers.
Ultimately, whether or not you tip the movers will depend on whether the move was successful or not. Let’s explore what might constitute a successful move and what’s indicative of an unsuccessful move.
Factors That Indicate a Successful Move
When it comes to tipping movers (and how much), you’ll want to ensure that the move was successful first. How do you know if you had a successful move, though?
One thing to consider is whether all of your belongings arrived at your new home in good condition. Did the movers use proper packaging and handle your items with care? If so, that's a good sign that they did their job well.
Another factor to think about is the overall efficiency of the move. Did the moving company arrive on time and work quickly, minimizing any potential stress or inconvenience for you? Did they offer additional services such as handyman services?
And finally, it's important to assess how smoothly everything went on the actual moving day. Was there clear communication between you and the movers, and were any issues or conflicts resolved promptly?
If you can answer yes to these questions, chances are you had a successful move with your professional moving company. In this case, it might be time to answer the question “How much should I top movers?”
Factors That Indicate an Unsuccessful Move
We also receive a lot of questions that sound a lot like “How much should I tip movers if I don’t feel they did a good job?” Just as there are especially smooth, successful moves, there are also moving companies that provide clients with a less than satisfactory experience.
How do you know if your move was unsuccessful?
One major indicator is the condition of your possessions upon arrival at your new home. Broken furniture or damaged belongings typically signal a lack of care and attention during the move.
Another red flag is communication and responsiveness from the company. Did they arrive on time? Were they easily reachable throughout the entire process? These are important factors to consider when determining whether or not your move was successful.
Other indicators of a reliable moving company providing you with excellent service include:
- Respectful communication
- Navigating flights of stairs
- Helping you unpack
- Finishing the move early
- A great attitude and work ethic
Finally, though, don't skip out on reading reviews or checking references before hiring a moving company. Taking these extra steps can save you from potential headaches in the long run. Understanding the experience others had cna help you make sense of if yours was unusual.
Other red flags of poor service include:
- Bad attitudes
- Using profanities around children or family members
- Excessive noise
- Demanding a tip
Overall, trust your instincts. If something feels off about the way your move was handled, likely, it wasn't successful. Don't hesitate to raise any concerns with the company and ask for a proper resolution.
After all, you should have peace of mind in knowing that your possessions were taken care of during such an important transition in life.
How Much Do You Tip Movers?
So, how much do you tip a mover? As a general rule of thumb, you should be prepared to tip 20% of the total move value for large or long-distance moves. You can tip between 15% to 20% for a smaller or medium-sized move.
However, you might also see other tipping amounts online. Some people say that a general rule of thumb is to give $50 per mover for a small, local move. This increases to $100 per mover for a long-distance move.
However, if they went above and beyond or had to deal with difficult obstacles, feel free to increase that amount. At the end of the day, what matters most is showing your gratitude for their help in making your move as smooth as possible.
While the amount helps cover additional costs and their excellent service, it is about showing them how grateful you are for their care in delivering your belongings safely.
How to Politely Tip Your Movers
We know that tipping can be awkward in any situation, but we receive a lot of questions about the etiquette when it comes to a tip for movers.
It's always best to thank them in person and hand over the cash or envelope directly to each mover, rather than leaving it with a supervisor or as an anonymous "thank you" note on the dining room table.
In addition to showing appreciation for their labor, passing tips directly to the movers helps ensure that they are receiving the monetary thanks they deserve. If you provide the tip to their supervisor or lead mover in a lump sum, they might not each get what they deserve.
Common Courtesy: Other Offerings That Aren’t Tips
Aside from learning about how much to tip your movers, it's helpful to understand a few other common courtesy items.
Moving can be a stressful experience for them just as much as it is for you and providing some small comforts to your movers can go a long way. For example, if they have an early start or if it’s a cold day, providing them with hot coffee or tea in the morning shows a lot of respect.
If you’re moving during the warm summer months, consider offering cold water or soda throughout the day. Providing snacks such as fruit or granola bars is also a nice touch if the move is taking a while. However, it’s in no way necessary.
You aren’t required to provide food to your movers. Giving them time to take an adequate lunch break is necessary, though. Respect their time to rest and make sure there is a clean bathroom for them to use, and offer towels if they need to freshen up during their breaks.
These simple gestures will show your appreciation for all their hard work and make the moving process smoother for everyone involved.
Get a Moving Quote
So, how much do you tip movers? It’s up to you, but most people find that anywhere between 15% to 20% is a polite tip for movers who went above and beyond for you and your family. Not sure what the total cost of your move would be?
Get in touch today for a free, no-obligation quote!