Similar to restaurant servers or valets, moving is considered a part of the service industry. While not required, and maybe not even expected, tipping your movers for a job well done will be much appreciated. Unlike your waiter or hair dresser though, the final tab may not be the best measure in determining the quantity of your gratuity. Each tip will differ depending on the type of move and how satisfied you are.
As with any service, if you are unhappy with your movers then you do not have to tip them. However, most people are grateful for the help and care their reputable movers provided. It is probably easy to decide if you are pleased and want to thank your movers by tipping. Determining the amount to tip can be a bit more challenging. Most people will tell you between 5-10% of the final bill is an acceptable amount. But this is not a steadfast rule as much as it is a suggestion. You may feel this is too much, especially if you have had an expensive, long-distance move, or that your moving crew deserves more. Tipping is very personal. The distance, time required to move, challenges such as stairs, and how heavy items are should all be considered when deciding how much to tip your mover. You will have to decide what you think is a fair amount and plan accordingly. Since this is a thank you to your actual moving crew, not the moving company, you will want to pay the supervisor or each person individually with cash.
Since moving day is typically a long process, your gratitude can also be expressed with sustenance. Having water or other cold beverages on hand will be greatly appreciated by your movers. If you are making a move in cold weather, water will still be important, but coffee or hot chocolate can also be a nice gesture. Other people like to provide snacks or even a meal if the move cuts into lunch or dinner time. Some people choose to forego a monetary tip and instead provide a meal. This is a great way to say thank you to your movers. They will especially like it if you consult them about what kind of food you can treat them too. If you are feeling extra generous or pleased with the service you’ve received, you can pay them a monetary tip as well.
While it might seem like a good idea, offering beer or other alcohol is not advised. You probably don’t want the people in charge of your valuables drinking while carrying your heavy furniture. Even if it is a gesture made after your move is completed, some companies might have policies prohibiting such behavior and you don’t want to put your movers in an uncomfortable situation. It is better to stick with other forms of appreciation.
So how much should you tip your mover? There is not a set answer to that. As with any other gratuity it is at your discretion to determine what you can afford and how happy you were with the service provided. For most moving crews, any tip will be appreciated and an affirmation that they are helping people with their work.