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Am I Supposed to Tip Movers?

Published on 2020-04-13

There is not a set guideline for tipping moving crews who transport and unload your belongings. When you move things on your own with the help of friends, you may offer to buy them dinner or a 12-pack, these probably aren’t appropriate responses to tipping people you just met.

tip jar
Think of moving crew personnel as any other person who is providing a service. You tip waitresses, hairdressers, etc. Why shouldn’t you tip the person who just moved all of your home into another one?

General Tipping Guidelines For Movers

Your moving company will not automatically add in a tip for the movers assigned to your belongings. It is not something that they expect to get, but it is a nice gesture to give them a tip. The amount you give as a gratuity should differ depending on your move size. You aren’t going to give a mover who just moved a seven-bedroom mansion the same tip you would if it were a studio apartment.

Unspoken Gratuity Rules

Always base your gratuity on a few factors. The size of the move is one thing that will be the bulk of the tip. For a move that is considered a more substantial move, 15 to 20% of the total moving cost is appropriate for a tip.

For example, if your entire move was $3000, the gratuity would be $600 when calculated at 20%. Most moving companies will assign four specialists to a move this size. That would mean that each man in the crew will get a gratuity of $150. This is appropriate given the amount of items that were just moved and possibly unpacked.

For smaller moves, up to 10% of the moving cost is reasonable enough. Smaller crews generally handle these, and less is moved. If your move was $1500, your gratuity at 10% would be $150. This would give each person on a two-person team $75.

Additional Consideration

The complexity of the move should also be taken into consideration when you are tipping the workers. If you have a piano that had to be carried up three flights of stairs to a studio apartment, you may want to throw in a little extra.

If they took extra care by wrapping and packaging the grandfather clock that you love more than words, their attention could be rewarded with a token of how much you appreciate the care they took with your belongings.

Can I Tip A Flat-Rate?

There is no rule book for tipping your movers. You are in charge of tipping if you feel comfortable doing so. If you want to designate an amount you wish to pay each mover, do it that way.

One recommendation, if you choose to give the movers a tip, is to hand it to each of them directly. Don’t just assume that if you provide the job foreman with the gratuity that it will be evenly split among the workers.

Think of it in terms of leaving a tip at the restaurant. You intend for the waitress to get it, but what if the busboy isn’t your waitress. They will be the one to pocket the tip, especially if they don’t tell the waitress about it.

What About Food and Drinks As a Gesture of Appreciation?

Offering to provide drinks to your movers is just a courteous thing to do, regardless of tip status. Much like when you have house guests, offering drinks is just customary. Make sure that when you provide these drinks, they are weather appropriate. For moves in the cool morning hours, offer something like coffee or tea. If it is hotter outside, water or lemonade is often looked kindly upon.

The go-to food option for most people to offer movers is pizza. If you are moving during a time that will overlap with lunch or dinner, it would be a nice gesture to ask the movers if they would like something to eat. Giving them options might make them feel more appreciated than assuming that they want pizza.

Thanks to cinematic movers, beer is often thought of as the tip of choice for moving specialists. First, they aren’t allowed to drink on the job. Second, you could offer the crew a 12-pack to go, but not everyone drinks. This gesture could be considered more offensive than gratuitous.

Am I Obligated To Tip?

You are under no obligation to tip your movers. It is not a requirement of anything that you signed when you contracted them to move your stuff. So don’t feel like you HAVE to tip them.

Things to keep in mind when pondering this question are:

  • Were they on time?
  • Did they move your items with the utmost care and efficiency?
  • Were they organized?
  • Was your moving experience good with the movers?
  • Were they respectful and courteous?

If the answers are no, then you have no reason to feel bad if you do not give them a tip. However, if you believe that they gave you the best service that you could have gotten, it is a nice gesture to leave them a tip. The tip will in no way affect their performance.

What Are The Best Ways To Tip?

A lot of moving companies will supply a tip line on your invoice so that you can leave a tip with your card. If you leave a large tip, you are going to want to keep a record of it for tax purposes. You could get into trouble for not adding it to your taxes if you were audited.

If you don’t want to put it on your credit card and want to give a tip to the individual workers, it is recommended that you write them a check. You can keep a record of the transaction, and it feels more personal, giving the individual mover a tip.

No Tip Required

Three Movers aren’t moving you stuff hoping that you will give our crew a tip. We move your belongings as if we were moving our own. We know that you chose our company based on our merit, and we will continue to be courteous, efficient, and on-time for your move without the expectation of a gratuity.

When you need to move, and you want the best rates and friendly faces, choose Three Movers. Our moving specialists use the utmost care and consideration, moving your belongings to your new home.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

Customer Reviews

I just wanted to say thank you so much for the great help with our move. We have so much stuff and I was really worried about being able to take the time off work to pack and get everything moved and unpacked. Three Movers saved the day! Your men showed up and had our house and garage packed fast and even put everything in the precise room at the new house. You saved me a great deal of time and saved my family a lot of money! Thanks so much!

Annette P.

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