What is the Proper Tip for Your Mover?

When moving, the question of whether to tip or not is often an issue which needs clarification. Within the moving industry, tipping is actually considered optional (yes, we know many people don’t realize this.) Although, tipping is not required per se, tipping is seen as a customary thank you in appreciation of the arduous labor that was involved in transporting your belongings. Not to mention, all moving companies invest time and money in training their operators, so they will want to know that they are receiving a good return on their investment and your feedback will provide them with this important information. Like any business, moving is a professional service and moving staff should be well paid if the moving company plans to keep them happy and fully employed. Treat the moving team with dignity and see if their response reciprocates this. Here’s what to consider when approaching the tricky question of properly tipping movers.

Consider food and drinks. Since movers will be handling your belongings (and most likely all day) consider offering them food such as pizza or sandwiches and cold drinks. Having breaks is what is going to keep your movers motivated and energized.

Analyze the moving experience. Carefully analyze every aspect of your move and grade the moving company accordingly. You will develop a “feel good factor” in terms of how well your move is going and how hard the move was (awkward or numerous stairs, heavy boxes, etc...). Evaluate if the mover assisted you with other areas of the move such as with packing or went the extra mile to make sure your belongings were well protected. Of course, this could go the other way – where something goes wrong and you will have to evaluate how they handled the situation and reacted under stress. Keep a score sheet of each aspect of your move and rate the mover at every step according to a scale ranging from 1 – 5 (with 1 being not acceptable and 5 being exemplary). Add up your scores to see how the mover has performed.

It’s your choice. At the end of the day, it is your call and your right to decide if something was exceptionally well handled and should be rewarded, or simply considered par for the course. Avoid promises or hints of tipping at all costs as you may be creating an expectation in terms of other jobs your mover will be doing in the future. Ask yourself: “Has your moving team gone the extra mile in terms of handling your move or have they simply done what was reasonably expected of them”?

Let’s talk numbers. If you are satisfied with your movers and your experience, you should generally tip between $40-60 (to split amongst two). If there is more than one mover, tip $20 per person and give all the money to the supervisor so they can divide it up later. If you received absolutely amazing service, tips can reach up to $100, but again, that is at your discretion.

At the successful conclusion of any move most moving companies will seek your feedback and should react in terms of following up with you, be your comments good or bad. The ultimate reward for any professional moving service will be to know that they have provided you with excellent service and a faultless move. They know too that the best form of advertising is by way of onward referrals to friends and family. This is also the sort of tip a good mover deserves.