When you decide to hire professional movers to bring all your belongings from your old apartment to your new home, there is a certain etiquette you should be aware of. From having all the items on your moving checklist packed up and ready to go by the door to providing a tip at the end of the move, these rules will make your move more seamless.
But one issue many people run into is how much you should tip movers. Tipping is a great way to show your appreciation, but only if done properly. To help, we have a guide on how much to tip movers and the factors that will impact the amount you give them.
Tipping movers is up to you. While it’s common etiquette to tip some amount, if your movers aren’t doing an adequate job you can choose to withhold a tip. If they have done a good job, it’s best practice to tip $4–$5 per mover per hour or 5–10 percent of the total moving cost.
We took a look at what the average American is tipping their movers. A survey by Apartment Guide found that 71 percent of respondents reported tipping their movers.
While a majority of those moving tip their movers, the amount differed. Thirty-nine percent indicated they tip 10 percent of the moving cost while 22 percent of respondents tipped 20 percent. Seventeen percent prefer an hourly tip rate, but one quarter said they tip a flat per-person rate for each mover.
As you can tell, the amount people are willing to tip varies. To decide the right fee for your situation, you’ll need to consider the general rules on tipping as well as any factors that might make you increase or decrease your tip.
Though tipping amounts and philosophies vary, tipping seems to be considered a fair gesture to extend to professional movers for their service.
One of the most common ways to tip movers is with a flat fee. This is an easy way to calculate a tip without having to do much math.
How much to tip movers using a flat tip:
If you really enjoy their service, you could tip $6–$8 per mover per hour.
Another option is to tip movers a percentage of their original fee. This percentage doesn’t need to be as much as you would tip a waiter in a restaurant. The typical range of a percentage tip for movers is 5–10 percent of your total cost.
The percentage tip isn’t suggested for long-distance moves. Long-distance moves usually have a very high cost so taking a percentage of it can leave you with a huge tip amount. Instead, stick to a flat hourly rate for long-distance moves.
If you are still unsure about the amount you should tip, you may want to inquire about the moving company’s tipping policy and protocol. Its website or staff will tell you the suggested amount to tip and the preferred method of tipping.
You can also add other refreshing perks for your professional movers. These should not completely replace a tip, but instead should be an added benefit. Added incentives could be rewarded to movers who are especially efficient or are working a long, full-day move.
Some additional offerings include:
While these items are welcomed, you should not provide beer or alcohol of any kind. It is likely forbidden by their moving company for them to drink on the job, and it's not a smart idea to get the people carrying your prized possessions tipsy.
There are aspects of your move that might raise or lower the amount of your tip. If your movers somehow went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your belongings got to your new apartment safely you may want to tip more.
Some situations where you would want to increase your tip include:
On the other hand, there are some situations where you will want to decrease your tip or choose not to tip at all. While it’s polite to tip, it’s not required.
Some situations where you would want to decrease your tip include:
Tips are typically given at the end of the job. This way you can base your tip on how well they did moving your items.
Some people choose to tip at the beginning to ensure their movers are extra careful. However, this can backfire if it’s not enough or the movers feel like they don’t have to try as hard because they’ve already received a tip. It’s better to tip at the end of the move after your belongings are safely placed in your new home.
It’s easiest to tip in cash. This way the money can be divided evenly and is guaranteed to get to who you are giving it to. Some moving companies have a place to tip when you pay the final price. If it’s a credible moving company, this is also an option.
When giving the tip, be sure you hand the amount to each mover and thank them for their work. If you hand a lump sum to one worker, there’s a chance they will pocket the whole amount. It’s also suggested to give smaller bills you can divide easily. If you hand them a hundred dollar bill, it will be hard for them to divide.
Tipping movers is a personal choice. Tip your professional movers an amount with which you feel comfortable in the situation. Tipping is, after all, an act of kindness meant to show your appreciation for the assistance provided.
Another way to show your appreciation is to leave a review of their services. Be sure to identify them by name so they get the credit and are likely to be booked by those moving to a new apartment.
The survey was conducted among 1,000 adults in the U.S. The interviews were conducted online by RedShift Research in March 2013 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total populations aged 18 and older. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level is, plus or minus, 3.1 percentage points.