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When it comes time to settle the bill with your movers, is there a policy on whether to tip your movers? It may have given you some pause, but because hiring movers is such a rare thing for people, you might not know if there’s some etiquette behind the final transaction like there is in a restaurant. 

The first thing you should know is that there’s no pressure to tip just because! But there are situations where tipping is more than welcome, and there are some nice alternatives you can use to tell your movers you’ve appreciated their hard work.

When Should You Consider Tipping?

When considering whether to tip your movers, think about why you hired the movers: all that heavy lifting, getting your stuff from point A to point B without damage, and the expertise to drive the truck safely. If they’ve done a good job, tipping is an excellent way to say “hey, thanks for doing this job I didn’t want to do myself.”

However, if your experience is anything less than exceptional, you definitely shouldn’t feel obligated to hand over more cash. If you received service that wasn’t up to par, they didn’t show up on time, or they didn’t treat your stuff with the care it really needed, don’t feel required to go above and beyond yourself.


When Tipping Is Appropriate

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Certain situations might make a tip feel more warranted; for example, if your mover…

  • helped pack up your things and did so with gentleness and efficiency
  • had to move heavy objects up or down a lot of stairs, or the stairways were awkward
  • finished the job sooner than expected 
  • did their work in extremely hot weather
  • were very professional in every interaction

… then they probably earned a tip! However, if the movers did some damage, acted in a very unprofessional manner, or showed up much later than expected, don’t feel any pressure to add more to the payment – and maybe fill out a comment card.


How Much Should You Tip Your Movers?

If you feel that the movers have earned a little something extra, it’s common to tip your movers 5-10% of the fee. You can decide how much to give based on the number of crewmembers, and the amount should be able to split evenly between them. 

There’s also the question of how to give the tip. It can be a bit awkward to just approach a mover and palm them a bill or two. If you want to interact with just one person, give the tip to the head crew member so they can split it evenly with the team. Put it in an envelope if you don’t want to flash the cash.


Other Ways To Show Appreciation

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Like we said, tipping isn’t an obligation. The move may have emptied your wallet, especially if you’re a student or a pensioner on a strict budget. However, you can always “tip” your movers in other ways they are certain to appreciate. 

Cold refreshments are a nice gesture because you know they’ll be sweating with all that heavy lifting. If you’ve planned the move early, providing the crew with coffee, fruit, or donuts is a great way to get them started on the right foot. If your move runs over their lunch or dinner break, you could provide food that is both inexpensive and universally beloved, like pizza.

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