There are many philosophies out there on appropriate tipping amounts for movers. What you should tip typically depends on many variables, such as whether it’s a short or long distance move, the number of hours you’ve hired them for, and what the weather outside is like at the time of your move. Having all of these possible variables to consider may make tipping your movers seem more complicated than it should be, especially if this is your first move. But fear not, we’ve compiled a small list of tipping philosophies that should help shed some light on your own moving situation.
The Flat Fee Philosophy: If the moving distance is relatively short (less than 60 miles) then a flat fee will usually suffice. If you already have everything packed and ready to go so that your movers simply need to load and unload boxes, then $20 per mover is more than enough. If it’s a moderate move (somewhere between 60 and 400 miles), then your movers may spend anywhere from 4 to 12 hours moving your things. For this type of move, you might consider paying anywhere from $40 to $60 per mover. If it’s a multiple day move, major moving companies agree that $50 to $200 per mover is the standard.
A Full Day’s Pay: For any move distance of up to 400 miles, you may decide to tip based on an hourly rate (dependent of course on the quality of their work). Typically, you may pay $4 to $5 per hour to each mover. On the other hand, tipping in intervals is also acceptable. You may feel more comfortable tipping $10 to $20 per mover every four hours worked.
The Split-Tip: Decide on an amount beforehand as a percentage of your overall moving company cost. If you’re moving long-distance, and different crews load and unload the truck, divide the overall tip and give half to each crew. This type of tipping method should be planned ahead of time so you’re not stuck calculating how much cash you’ll need to withdrawal from the ATM at the last minute. Often, 5% to 10% gratuity divided between crew members is sufficient when it comes to more expensive moves.
In some instances, you may decrease tips if the movers weren’t careful with your fragile items, scratched your walls, or were extra messy. There are also times when it makes sense to increase tips, such as when the weather is bad, if the movers gave exceptional service, or were forced to overcome architectural obstacles like narrow staircases and steep driveways. Of course, tipping your movers is not mandatory, but often encouraged. Tipping is a way to reward others for a job well done. When it comes to movers, or anybody who handles your own hard-earned possessions, it’s good to give a little extra to those who take extra care.