Are You Supposed to Tip Movers? A Guide to Tipping for Moving Services

Posted Moving Tips&Tricks / November 26, 2021
Kaitlyn Bradley

Born in the US, Kaitlyn Bradley is an expert in all things packing and moving. She loves spending time with her family and writing engaging content.

Moving is a difficult job, and tipping is usually expected. However, no matter how laborious this work is, there are situations when the provided service is not satisfying. This is the moment when you might ask yourself: Are you supposed to tip movers? To resolve all your dilemmas, we’ve prepared the ultimate guide on whether you have to provide tips for cross-country movers.

Let Real Professionals Handle Your Relocation, and You Won’t Have Any Doubts When It Comes to Tipping

No matter if you’re relocating to another state alone or with family, having professional guidance through the whole process will be the best way to save yourself from a nerve-wracking experience. However, choosing a relocation company is a process in itself, so make sure not to rush with decisions.

Check if a relocation company is legitimate, compare all the company’s details before confirming the quote, and book all long-distance moving services on time. If a quote is too low compared to others, this is a certain sign you’ve bumped into a relocation scam and should avoid them.


Are You Supposed to Tip Movers if Gratuity Is Already Included in the Quote?

The majority of relocation companies do not include tips in the quotes and leave it for the customers to decide on the spot whether or not to provide tips for the crew. However, there can be exceptions, and this expense could be a part of the contract. Do you tip moving companies if this is the case? In short, no – you’re not obliged to give extra cash to relocation specialists. That’s why you should ask the long-distance moving company about their policy and understand clearly what the contract implies.

How Much Should You Tip the Moving Crew?

In general, there is no predetermined amount of gratuity, but there are many factors you can consider in order to estimate the sum. For starters, is it a local or a long-distance move? What is the size of your household? How many bulky items did the crew have to disassemble and carry? Were there stairs or narrow hallways they had to work their way around? How many hours did they spend on the relocation?

All these factors combined, followed by the quality of the service provided, should help you define the amount of gratuity to include in your relocation expenses checklist. Here are some other frequently asked questions when it comes to mover tipping.

Is $20 Enough to Tip Movers?

Like we’ve already mentioned, the size of your move will affect the duration of the relocation itself and the tips. If the relocation took half a day to complete, or more precisely, up to four hours, then the amount of $20 per mover (which is considered a standard tip for movers for this duration) will be enough to show appreciation for their effort and hard work.

Is $40 a Good Tip for Movers for a Full-Day Move?

If the relocation specialists needed between four and eight hours to manage your relocation, then $40 per mover will be enough to set aside for tips. All things considered, the formula for calculating the average tip for movers would be around $5 per mover per hour spent at your old place working on the move. So make sure that every additional hour after those eight hours of working is awarded $5 extra.

Do You Tip Movers When They Load or Unload?

The relocation crew consists of several members, and all of them should be tipped (unless some individuals did a bad job). However, when relocating cross-country, the team that loads the stuff on the truck will not be the same as the one that unloads it at your new address, and this means you should reward both teams. Still, the crew that unloads the stuff will likely be much faster because there won’t be any packing to do (only unpacking and reassembling), so the tips will be also lower.

Is It Bad to Not Tip Movers?

Tipping movers and packers is always welcome when they provide top-notch quality of service. If this is the case, then avoiding to reward their hard work is certainly something no one would want to brag about. However, if they’re late, don’t seem to be working efficiently, or they damaged some of your stuff, you are within your rights to decide not to give them any extra cash.

What Is the Best Way to Provide Gratuity?

The most convenient way for relocation experts to accept tips is in cash or a check. That’s why the customer should be prepared for this situation and have cash or write checks in advance.

Which Situations Call for Tipping?

Organizing the relocation is undeniably a complex task, and it requires a lot of effort. Here are all situations that should be an indicator of if and how much to set aside for the professionals who will help you move efficiently to your new home address.

Are You Moving Long-Distance During Covid-19?

Relocating during coronavirus implies many changes to procedures that make the whole experience even harder. A limited number of relocation experts in charge of your relocation, numerous safety procedures both customers and the team have to follow, rules that change every day – all this combined inevitably negatively the stress levels of everyone involved.

Still, keep in mind that no matter how hard this experience is for you, it’s even harder for relocators, who are essential workers and exposed to a higher risk of catching the virus. Simply said, they’re making your cross-country move come true, even if the relocation is taking place at very risky times. So ensure to prepare for relocators properly in terms of safety conditions in your home, and remember to reward the effort they’ve given to move you to the new home.

Was the Long-distance Moving Crew Tasked With Moving Large and Heavy Pieces?

Relocating furniture like sofas, armchairs, or packing a china cabinet is one of the most demanding tasks during the relocation process. However, when the pros who know all the relocation hacks are by your side, there is no need to worry about any detail.

Not only will they disassemble and reassemble all the furniture pieces, but they’ll use all protective packing materials that will prevent your belongings from getting damaged. No matter if you want to move a refrigerator, mirror, a massive sculpture, or move a piano, they will do it for you and properly protect your items in storage units.

However, keep in mind that this is the hardest part of the job, especially if you’re relocating into a flat that is on a higher floor. Those bulky items can’t just be shoved in an elevator due to their weight, which means that the relocation specialists will have to carry them. That’s just another reason they definitely deserve some gratuity. Don’t forget that a piano can weigh as much as 1,400 lbs and although there is additional equipment that will ease the process, it’s still a difficult and potentially dangerous task.

Winter Relocations Are More Complex and Risky

Relocating in winter will definitely cost you less, but will be more complex to organize since the weather conditions will be an additional factor to affect the relocation process. Just imagine packing a relocation truck while it’s snowing, with your driveway covered in ice and your fingers frozen. Sound terrible, we know.

Snowy and icy pathways, snowstorms, freezing temperatures – all this combined will make the whole process even harder for everyone involved, and this is exactly why their work deserves to be rewarded.

Are There Any Other Aggravating Factors That Could Affect How the Relocation Has to Be Organized?

Stairs, narrow passageways, pieces that fit through the door… All this has to be managed properly and requires special attention, although it tremendously slows down the process. However, staying away from any potential relocation mistakes is the top priority in this case, and this is exactly what the pros will help you do, even if this is a last-minute move.

In Which Situations Are You Not Expected to Provide Gratuity?

Although the possibility of your team not deserving to be tipped is considerably low, there are still exceptions. Here are the situations you need to know about because only top-quality service deserves to be rewarded. If you notice any of these practices during the relocation, you’re definitely not expected to be overly generous:

  • If the relocation team showed up late,
  • If they packed stuff without order, which caused many of them to be delivered damaged to your new home address,
  • If they damaged any walls or furniture because they were trying to speed up the whole process,
  • If they spent too much time on breaks which affected the duration of the move – frequent breaks are necessary, but not every thirty minutes.

Now You Know the Best Ways to Show Appreciation

Now that you have all the necessary information, evaluating the provided assistance and defining the amount of gratuity to give the crew you hired will be much easier. Although top-quality service is the standard to follow when it comes to rewards, keep in mind that the whole job is done by ordinary people. Mistakes and accidents can happen without it being anyone’s fault, and in the majority of cases, they’re unintentional. So don’t be too strict when it comes to evaluating the relocation team, and show gratitude for all the effort they put into relocating your household items safely to the new home.

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