Is It Customary To Tip Movers?

August 2, 2015


Is It Customary To Tip Movers?

A moving day might last up to 8 hours, an entire day, or perhaps well over 24 hrs. depending on where a customer happens to be moving. Providing a reward to a professional mover is an instinctive form of etiquette for many consumers, though some may tip simply to avoid awkwardness, while still others ignore the practice all together. 

A professional mover might appear to be uninterested in receiving a tip; they may perhaps pause and wait in a posture that indicates a demand, or they might even mention being tipped, depending on the company they work for and the mover in question. Tipping definitely seems reasonable when considering the work of a mover who may have carried very large, heavy, and awkwardly shaped objects up several flights of stairs for an extended amount of time, or a mover who has provided the customer with very high quality, courteous, and helpful service. It is certainly valuable and fortuitous to encounter a professional mover who has provided the safe transport of all of one’s belongings without any loss or damage.

According to U.S. & World Report’s “Your Tipping Guide,” experts suggest that movers who haul furniture should be tipped at a rate of 5%, a figure that sounds reasonable - about $25 for a $500 move. The Guide also states that at the very least, movers should be offered water or soda. A survey conducted by Apartment Guide determined that 75% of responders customarily tip their professional movers, however, the standard tipping amount, varied vastly. The appropriate amount of tip for 39% of those surveyed was 10%. 25% of responders felt that 20% tip is customary; 17% of responders elect an hourly tip rate, while one quarter of people who hire professional movers pay each worker a flat per- person rate for the entire move. 

In addition to cash tipping, and as mentioned by USN Money, depending on the weather, it is considered hospitable to offer sports drinks, bottled water, and sodas to movers who are working (and perspiring) in hot temperatures, and perhaps hot tea or coffee to movers working in freezing weather and/or snow. Offering food might be thought of as going the extra mile, but lunch, like a pizza or sandwiches for example, is often offered in place of a cash tip.  

Apartment Guide goes on to say that tipping professional movers is not only customary, but “fair”, and that tipping is actually “protocol.” On the other hand, professional movers that do not provide great service ought to be penalized for any negligent or inconsiderate moving practices. For example, it is rare to see professional movers on television and in films, handling furniture and cherished possessions with a sufficient degree of courtesy and care, especially if it’s is a comedy. This type of behavior could also occur in reality, perhaps with a worker who spends many hours of the day, and however many days of the week, moving things for strangers. After a while, a professional mover could become more concerned about finishing a job quickly as opposed to proficiently.  

The tipping scale alters significantly when it comes to expensive long-distance moves that are a great deal more expensive. According to most moving experts, the large fees that the moving companies require for these larger jobs does not go directly to the laborers, so that customers will want to calculate the tip perhaps not by a percentage amount, but by the hours worked, and includes the related expenses during those hours, such as packing supplies, fuel, and incidentals.     

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