How Much Should You Tip Movers?

Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
September 25, 2022
4 min read

At a glance

Tipping movers is standard practice in the moving industry, but there are differing opinions on how much to tip. You can play it safe and tip each worker $5 per hour. Similarly, if the moving company wows you with its customer service, you can apply the same 15% tip that’s standard in the service industry. Tipping can dent your moving budget, so it’s important to realize that moving tips aren’t always a small expense. We’ll walk you through how much to tip the workers from your moving company.


Do I need to tip my movers?

Tipping movers is standard practice. However, it’s also voluntary. That means you shouldn’t feel any pressure to tip rude or careless movers. On the other hand, if your movers do a good job, you should plan on budgeting some cash as part of your moving expenses.

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When is the best time to tip movers?

The best time to tip your movers is after you sign your moving paperwork. We recommend tipping each worker rather than giving the moving team supervisor a lump sum gratuity.


How much are you supposed to tip movers?

Moving tips depend on your move type and the professionalism of your moving team. We recommend $5 per hour for each worker. You can also give a larger tip worth 15% of your total moving costs if you’ve had the same long-distance moving crew since Day One (and they wow you with their good service and professionalism).

You’ll see tip recommendations all over the place on the web. In the end, the total amount really boils down to what you can afford and are comfortable with. We’ll lay out some sample gratuity amounts so that you can get an idea of your options.

Recommended amounts for tipping movers

Time
Hourly tip amount per worker
Hourly tip amount per crew of four
Percentage tip amount per crew of four
2 hours$10$40$450
4 hours$20$80$450
6 hours$30$120$450
8 hours$40$160$450

Percentage tip based on a sample total moving cost of $3,000, and a 15% tip.


When do I tip movers?

The timing of your tip depends on what kind of movers you have. For example, you tip local movers at the beginning and end of your move. So, if a team of four workers spends eight hours moving you out and moving you in, you’d pay them around $320.

On the other hand, you typically tip long-distance movers only once—at the end of your move. That’s one reason why long-distance tips often seem more costly than local movers (you tip for both halves at once).


What else should I consider when tipping movers?

Tips may be customary—but they aren’t mandatory. For example, don’t tip movers just for showing up. Instead, look to reward those who treat you and your belongings with TLC.

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How much should you tip car shippers?

The best car shipping companies don’t require tips. For example, Sherpa Auto Transport has all-inclusive pricing and warns against tipping greedy drivers who ask for more.

When should I not tip movers?

Consider tipping less (or not tipping at all) if the movers do any of the following:

  • Show up very late.
  • Damage items and don’t notify you.
  • Act rude or unprofessional.
  • Take much longer than expected with no explanation.
  • Don’t apologize for damage, delay, or poor service.

When should I give movers a bigger tip?

Consider giving movers up to $10 per hour if they show signs of being top-notch professionals:

  • Show up on time.
  • Treat your belongings with care.
  • Pay extra attention to heavy furniture and fragile items
  • Work hard.
  • Act professionally.
  • Make you feel like you got a white glove moving service.
Info Box
Which moving company gets the best customer reviews?

JK Moving Services routinely gets outstanding praise from customers. Its moving teams specialize in high-quality moving services, including climate-controlled storage and international moving.


How else can I thank my movers?

Tipping isn’t just about the almighty dollar. If you’re short on cash, there are other ways to thank your movers. Here are a few of our favorite ideas:

  • Provide snacks. Provide bagels and coffee in the morning or sandwiches if it’s later in the day. Better yet, ask your movers what they’d like to eat.
  • Keep them hydrated. It’s nice to have bottled water on hand. On a hot day, cold lemonade is refreshing too.
  • Write a review. Immediately after your move, write a positive online review and mention your movers by name to ensure they’re recognized for a job well done.
  • Be kind and gracious. Thank your movers for their time and hard work. Show that you appreciate their effort.
Money
How to pay for your move

Tipping makes up a small portion of your overall moving expenses, but budgeting for it is still worth considering. If you’re looking for ways to pay for your move, we recommend a few different options like taking out a personal loan. Consider using Fiona (formerly Even Financial), an online tool that gives you recommendations on top lenders. The tool allows you to submit a single application, see loan offers in under a minute, and access funds to pay for your move as soon as the next business day.


Recap

The amount you tip your worker depends on their quality of service—and your ability to pay. In most cases, we recommend giving each worker $5 per hour. For example, if four workers spent four hours moving you in, you should plan on a total moving tip of approximately $80. You can also tip based on percentages (similar to a restaurant). Just be aware that 15% of a long-distance move can easily exceed several hundred dollars, so it’s essential to include the expense in your moving budget. You can also show gratitude by providing snacks, leaving a positive moving review, and saying thank you.


Tip mover FAQ

What percentage should you tip movers?

Recommend amounts vary, but those who tip movers by percentage often chip in 15% of total costs—similar to what you might pay at a restaurant.

Do you give each mover a separate tip?

We recommend giving each mover a separate tip. Of course, you can pay the moving crew leader for everyone involved, but distributing the tips ensures everyone receives the cash. 

Are you supposed to help movers move?

You could lose your ability to file a damage claim if you help movers bring your belongings in or out of your home. Ironically, the best way to help is to stay out of their way.

Do you tip movers when they load or unload?

You tip local movers when they load and unload. On the other hand, you typically give long-distance movers a gratuity only at the end of your move.

What is a fair tip for movers?

A fair tip for movers is $5 per hour. You can double the amount if they provide excellent service. Similarly, if you’ve had the same long-distance moving team the entire time, you may want to consider a 15% tip.


Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.