Updated On

December 31, 2023

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    Tipping service professionals, while customary, is not required, and the amount is at your discretion. So what’s the industry standard for how much you should tip your movers?

    In this article, I’ll provide the three best options for calculating and distributing your movers’ tips along with standard rates and ranges for each option. I’ll help you determine when and how to tip your movers and explain the factors you should consider when deciding on your desired rate: the length and difficulty of your move, the distance your movers travel with your belongings, and your level of satisfaction with their services.

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    How Do You Calculate a Tip for Movers?

    There are three common ways of calculating your movers’ gratuity: a percentage of your final bill, an hourly amount, or a daily amount.

    Percentage Method

    You can tip your movers 10% to 20% of your total bill. If you have the same moving crew for the duration of your move, choose your desired percentage, multiply it by your total move bill, and divide the result evenly between crew members. If you can’t keep track of your moving team but have one head mover, you can give the head mover one lump sum and ask that they distribute the tip at the end of the job.

    If you prefer not to give a cash tip or need all your moving expenses included in your bill, check with your moving company about adding a gratuity with your credit card on your final invoice and having the company distribute the tip to its staff. Tipping a percentage may be the most straightforward option if your move takes place over more than one day and the team changes daily. However, there may be better options than tipping a percentage of your total move if you’re on a specific budget.

    Hourly Method

    You can tip each mover an hourly rate of $5 to $10 per hour per day each day of the move. An hourly tip rate is a good option if you want to tip each mover in person and aren’t comfortable having the head mover or the moving company distribute your tip.

    Daily Amount Method

    You can tip each mover a daily rate of $20 to $50 at the end of each day. The lower end of the range works for a half-day of labor, increasing up to $50 for a full day of work. If your move takes place over several days, use the same model, and tip each mover at your chosen rate at the end of every day. Tipping a daily rate can be a good option if you’d like to tip each mover in person and prefer to avoid doing any math. It’s also simple to get cash in the twenties and fifties to have on hand for your move.

    Tipping your movers hourly or daily rates works well if you want to adjust the tip amount for any moving crew members based on the quality of services. If someone on the team impressed you or went above and beyond, give them an especially good tip. If you were disappointed with the services provided by one team member, you should adjust their gratuity accordingly.

    What Are General Guidelines for Tipping Movers?

    How much you decide to tip within the standard ranges listed above should represent your overall satisfaction with the level of service you receive. You should also consider the duration of your move and the distance your movers will travel and be responsible for your belongings.

    As a general rule, your move falls into one of two categories: a local move (up to 100 miles) or a long-distance move (over 100 miles). Allocating your movers’ tips should be aligned with the difficulty of the move, the steps required to complete it, and the level of communication necessary — so typically, you give a larger tip for long-distance movers.

    You should also consider additional factors that might make your move more complicated and make the labor for the movers more intensive. Some circumstances that may make labor more demanding are inclement weather, moving heavy furniture, working overtime (more than eight hours in one day), and disassembling or reassembling pieces of furniture.

    Now let’s use the average moving costs in California and create two hypothetical moving situations to demonstrate calculating a tip for movers with each method.

    Local California move: Let’s say your local move took six hours, you had four movers, and the total cost of your move was $1,000. The move was relatively simple, and you would like to tip at the lower end of the standard range.

    • Percentage method: $1,000 (.12%) = $120 total tip/4 movers = $30 per mover
    • Hourly method: $6 per hour (7 hours) = $42 per mover x 4 movers = $168 total tip
    • Daily rate: $20 per mover x 4 movers = $80 total tip

    Long-distance California move: This example is a little more complicated. Let’s say your long-distance move took four full days with six movers each day, and your total moving cost was $7,000. The move was complex and involved moving bulky furniture up and down multiple flights of stairs in hot weather. Your movers did a great job, and you want to tip them at the highest end of the standard range.

    • Percentage method: $7,000 total cost (.20%) = $1400 total tip/6 movers = $234 per mover (if same movers for the duration) or divide by four days = $58 per mover per day
    • Hourly method:  $10 per hour (8 hours) = $80 per mover per day x 6 movers = $480 per day (4 days) = $1920 total tip
    • Daily rate: $50 per mover per day x 6 movers = $300 x 4 days = $1, 200 total tip

    Tips on How and When to Tip Movers

    We typically tip at the end of a service one person performs based on our satisfaction. However, your move may take place over several days, and in the case of long-distance moves, you may have packers and different crews that perform various services during your move, so tipping at the end of your move may not make sense.

    Using your total move cost to calculate your movers’ tips may be simple in the case of local moves. With a local move, you will likely know the total cost of your services on moving day and have the same team who will load the moving truck, transport your items, and deliver them across town.

    However, with long-distance moves, you may not receive your final bill until after the move ends, making it impossible to calculate tips for your movers. One team of movers may pack your items, and another group will load the truck and unload your belongings at your new home. A standard hourly rate for calculating your movers’ tips may be best in such situations, tipping one crew when they load your items and the second crew when they drop them off.

    You can tip your movers with cash, a check, or with a common banking app if possible. But regardless of how you tip your movers, you should get some information beforehand. To get an idea of how much money you need to tip your desired rate, you should be able to reference your estimate or ask your moving company to provide the size of your moving team so you can plan accordingly.

    In addition to tipping your movers, you can show your appreciation by having cold beverages and refreshments available for them where possible.

    What Are Examples of When You Should Tip More or Less?

    Now that you have a baseline for how much to tip your movers based on local or long-distance moves, you should also use your judgment when tipping your movers within the standard range. Consider your level of satisfaction, how seamlessly everything was executed, how communicative your moving professionals were throughout the experience, and if they provided any additional services. Any extra or elevated services your movers offer along the way should also increase your movers’ tips.

    Questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to tip more are:

    • Did your movers provide good service and arrive on time daily?
    • Did they handle fragile items with extra care?
    • Was there a lot of heavy lifting involved?
    • Did your movers have to go up several flights of stairs?
    • Did your movers adjust each piece of furniture inch by inch until they had it exactly where you wanted it in your new home?
    • Did your movers have a good attitude? Were they kind and respectful to you and your belongings throughout the move?

    Considerations when deciding whether to tip less are:

    • Did your movers neglect to cover your home’s floors to protect them from dirt, debris, or scratches?
    • Did your movers handle your belongings without care, and did furniture or other objects get damaged along the way?
    • Are you paying per mover per hour, and your movers’ pace was slower than necessary?
    • Did your movers ignore your instructions for furniture placement or do a sloppy job in your new home?

    So, How Much Should You Tip Your Movers?

    While tipping your movers may be more complex than tipping for other services, if you are happy with your movers, especially if they offer affordable moving services, especially if they exceeded your expectations, you should show appreciation by giving them a tip. Not only are they entrusted with your belongings, but handling furniture and heavy boxes all day is hard work, and they deserve recognition and appreciation. Good options for tipping are 10% to 20% of your final bill, $5 to $10 per hour per mover, or $20 to $50 per mover per day. Remember that your movers’ gratuity is at your discretion so consider the above recommendations and adjust accordingly based on your personal experience and preferences.

    Now that you’re clear on how much to tip your movers, be sure to get several quotes for moving services from reputable moving companies when planning your upcoming move.

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    Provides moves in all 50 states

    Offers air & ocean freighting

    VISIT SITE
    Most Transparent Pricing

    4.0

    Flat rate pricing for all moves

    Offers price matching

    Expedited moves between big cities

    VISIT SITE
    Best Cost Estimation Tools

    4.2

    Top-notch packing services

    Nationwide partner network

    Comprehensive moving calculator

    VISIT SITE
    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Phinnie Zahareas

    Phinnie Zahareas

    Phinnie Zahareas is a project manager and professional organizer for a 15-year-old moving company in the Southern U.S. She's managed dozens of moving jobs, from tiny houses to enormous office buildings, and she seeks to demystify the moving process and other stressful experiences for homeowners today. In addition to her work in the moving industry, she brings over 10 years of writing experience and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of New Orleans.

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    photo of Roxanne Downer

    Roxanne Downer

    Editor

    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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