How Much Should You Tip Movers?

At a glance

To tip or not to tip—that is the question. When it comes to moving, knowing who to tip and how much can be a complicated matter.

While tipping your movers is never required, we recommend it if they did a great job. Much like you’d tip a barista or a hairstylist who provides excellent service, it’s customary to tip your movers to show gratitude for caring for your belongings.

To keep it simple, tip 15%–20% of your total bill for large moves (divided among the crew) and 5%–10% for smaller moves.

If percentages are too tricky to determine, a basic dollar recommendation is $20 per person for half-day moves, $40 per person for full-day moves, and $50–$60 per person for 12 hours or more.

Need more direction? Use our detailed guide to demystify moving day tipping to ensure you’re being fair—but not getting ripped off.

Get money

DO THE MATH

DO THE MATH

Percentages got you down? Whip out your phone’s calculator! For a 15% tip, multiply 0.15 x your total bill. To tip 20%, multiply 0.20 x your total bill. Then divide by the total number of movers to figure out how much to pay each individual.

You can also use an online tip calculator or download a calculator app—handy for all your tipping needs!

Do you have to tip your movers?

Short answer: no, you don’t have to tip your movers. But when your movers provide great service, we recommend you tip as a way of saying thanks.

Always tip each mover individually according to their performance and attitude during the move. Don’t give the entire tip to the foreman to distribute, as they may not share the funds with the entire crew.

How much should you tip movers?

At a restaurant, you likely know that tipping 15%–20% on the bill is standard, but when it comes to moving, what amount is appropriate? You don’t want to undertip and appear rude or ungrateful, but you also should avoid overtipping and blowing your moving budget.

For local moves, 5%–10% is a good tipping guideline. For long-distance moves (especially with lots of heavy loading), 15%–20% of the total move cost is appropriate.

Of course, percentages can be tricky to calculate if you don’t have your final bill available on moving day. Thankfully, there are a few other ways to determine tip amounts. To tip correctly and avoid awkward situations, use our handy tipping guide:

Mover tipping guidelines

Length of moveTip amount
Half day (4 hours or less)$20 per person
Full day (8 hours)$40 per person
Overtime (12 hours or more)$50–$60 per person
Length of move
Half day (4 hours or less)
Full day (8 hours)
Overtime (12 hours or more)
Tip amount
$20 per person
$40 per person
$50–$60 per person

Not a fan of flat fees? Use the hourly guideline of $4–$5 per hour, per mover to calculate your tip amount. Consider bumping this amount up to $6–$7 per hour for excellent service.

How should you tip your movers?

Some moving companies have a tip line on the bill for you to tip with a credit card, but we recommend you always tip in cash to ensure each person on the moving crew gets their fair share.

However, if you want to take a tax deduction, you’ll want to use a credit card instead of cash.

Are moving tips tax deductible?

If you’re relocating for work, your moving tips (and other moving expenses) may be tax deductible. The regulations of this deduction are strict, so you’ll want to check with your accountant before applying for this deduction and including tips.

If you plan to deduct tips, use a credit card or check to document the amount for the IRS. Cash tips would not count as a documented deductible expense in this case. If you go the check route, let the foreman distribute the total among the crew.

Fun Fact Badge

TIPPING ‘ROUND THE WORLD

TIPPING ‘ROUND THE WORLD

Did you know that not all countries tip? Tipping is not customary in places like Switzerland and Japan. Folks in Ireland and the UK do tip, but in much smaller amounts than in America—think 5%–10% (or whatever change you have with you).

Should you ever not tip movers?

Tipping movers is customary, but it is not a requirement. Giving a tip is a way to say thank you for providing great service. If your movers show up late, act careless or rude, damage your belongings, or don’t follow your requests, don’t feel obligated to tip.

To receive a great tip, movers should do the following:

  • Show up on time.
  • Treat your stuff with care.
  • Work safely and efficiently to move your belongings.
  • Act professionally.
  • Work hard.

If they do these things, tips are well earned and deserved. Of course, accidents do happen, and if a mover takes responsibility for damage and mistakes, don’t write off tipping them at all because something was broken.

That said, consider skipping the tip or tipping less if movers do any of the following:

  • Show up very late.
  • Damage items in the move (and don’t notify you).
  • Offend or upset you with poor or unprofessional service.
  • Take much longer than expected with no explanation.
  • Don’t apologize for damage, lateness, or poor service.

Other ways to thank your 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. Moving an entire home can take all day, and your movers are bound to be hungry and thirsty. 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. You can imagine they tire of eating pizza day after day.

Keep them hydrated. Bottled water is great to have available since your water glasses are likely being packed. 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—and even if you can’t afford a full tip, at least offer a small amount of cash.

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About Jenny Willden

Jenny Willden
Jenny’s been writing stories since she first picked up a pencil and is lucky to call it her profession. She’s lived in five U.S. states (and counting) and uses her mishaps to help you master your next move.