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How Much to Tip Movers

Puja Lalwani Mar 12, 2019
How much to tip movers has always been a big question, as people don't move that often to know the appropriate tipping etiquette. Let us see the answer to this question based on several factors.
Moving from one house to another, or one city to another, can be a very stressful task in itself. To ensure that everything has been packed properly and that it reaches safely in the same condition to the next place, and to then adhere to the rest of your moving checklist, is pretty taxing.
Though you may have hired packers and movers for the purpose, you will find yourself constantly stressing about whether they are handling all your things properly, and how much will come out the way it was packed.
But what if it is a job well done? What if you find everything in your new house exactly the way it was packed? What if your movers made all the necessary effort to ensure that your worries turned out to be unnecessary? You ought to reward them for a job well done, apart from the bill that you are paying the company, by tipping them.
Since it is a job that is done very rarely, the proper etiquette for it is not clearly established. Here, we tell you how much you should tip movers, based on the kind of work they have done.

Why Should You Tip?

A lot of people suggest that since they are paying the bill to the company, there is no need to separately tip the people who are doing the job. However, you should consider several things when it comes to tipping them.
For one, moving heavy furniture, boxes, and other material is physically a very demanding task. Further, if the place you are relocating to has a lot of stairs, you can imagine how much effort it must take them to ensure that your things reach up there safely.
Tipping them is just a way of showing your appreciation for the effort they have taken. Also, movers are not highly paid, and the tips from various customers is what really keeps them going. As such, tipping them is just a polite gesture, a form of sticking to etiquette.
Now, there may be several times when you didn't find your stuff the way it was packed. The movers dragged your furniture around, they broke your prized artifact, and you found a corner of your favorite coffee table chipped.
They also spoke to you rudely and did not follow your instructions. What should you do then? How much should you give them? Should you give them anything at all, just for the sake of following tipping etiquette?

How Much Should You Tip?

From moving experts themselves, it has been suggested that if there are a minimum of three movers involved, they should be paid nothing less than USD 20 for their effort if it is a full day job. This is the minimum amount, but if there was a lot of furniture and a lot of stairs involved in the moving process, you can even go up to USD 50.
Some people even pay USD 100, but that is if there is just one mover involved in the whole process. In the end, it really is your call. If there are more than three people involved in the work, you may tip them a minimum of USD 5-10 each. This is also the amount you should tip movers for a job that involved only half a day.
Further, along with tipping, at least offer them water or a soda, as it's simply polite to do so. Do not offer beer, as they are not allowed to drink on the job, or carry it with them while on the job. Instead of tipping, it is suggested that you can treat them to a pizza, or a couple of burgers, and some cold drinks (if there are more than three movers).
It is a physically challenging job, so the meal and drinks would be welcome instead of the tip. Moving experts also suggest that you may tip movers beforehand, particularly if you are unable to be around when they are moving your things. This is to ensure that they do a good job even in your absence.
When you are tipping movers and packers, ensure that you tip each person individually. Do not give a lump sum to the driver or supervisor, as there are times when they keep the entire amount to themselves, or divide the money as they think is suitable.
Further, there are times when you may have noticed some movers working harder than the rest. You are free to give them a bigger tip to appreciate their work. Just be subtle about it, as it may turn out to be a cause of conflict among all the other movers.
If you think the movers did not do a great job, or did a terrible job, you may avoid the tip altogether. However, just offer them some drinks or water for doing the job. If you think you should tip anyway, give them USD 5 each.
Finally, if you still aren't sure about how much you should tip them, experts suggest calling the company itself and learning about their tipping policies.
Usually, many moving companies give you an idea about how much each individual should be tipped to make your task simpler. Again, tipping is not mandatory, but it is indeed a highly appreciated gesture. Do it only if you are genuinely happy with their job and appreciate it well enough.