How Much Money Should You Tip Movers?

While there are people you should never tip and those you're expected to, there are others for whom the situation is less certain, such as with movers. When it comes to movers, tipping etiquette isn't as clear-cut as it is with other service professionals, but, in general, people tend to give movers tips. But how much of a tip is appropriate? While this will vary by move, as every move is different, you may want to consider a base of $5 per person per hour, then go up or down, depending on factors such as the complexity of your move and the quality of service.


One reason you might not know how much to tip movers is because it's not every day you need moving services. In many cases, you can move yourself, with the help of family and friends. So, on the rare occasion when you do need to hire a professional moving service, it's understandable you may not be confident in what the exact tipping etiquette may be, starting with much. What's more, movers won't expect a tip — though if offered, it'll be appreciated and taken as a job well done.

Tipping etiquette for moving professionals

As said, a good rule of thumb is to tip $5 per crew member per hour. This means that for a half-day move that takes four hours, each mover will get $20, at least, and perhaps more if you felt they went above and beyond your expectations. Other considerations when it comes to tipping movers include what the movers are moving, such as fragile or heavy items (over 250 pounds); if the movers need to navigate difficult circumstances, such as a flight of stairs; and what the weather conditions are (that is, extreme summer heat, rain, etc.).


An alternative to tipping by the hour is to tip a percentage of the total moving cost, from 5% to 10%; you can then divide this among the moving team. As for when to give movers their tip(s), it's best to wait until the end of the day, then give each crew member their tip individually (rather than give it to the team lead to divide up later). This is especially important if your move takes more than a day, as the same crew may not work each day. As for how to give a tip, giving cash simplifies things, as the company might not be set up to accept anything beyond the final moving cost if paying with a credit card; so make sure you have cash on hand on moving day (in small denominations).

What a tip means to movers

If you fail to give movers a tip, it's not like you automatically will be considered among the worst tippers in America. However, the gesture is appreciated, and as noted, if you don't tip, movers could interpret it as you being dissatisfied with their work ... which may be the case. If you aren't happy with a moving company's services (e.g., they were late, careless, or rude), you can make that clear by not giving a tip. Though tipping isn't expected by movers, forgoing a tip at the end of the day can convey your dissatisfaction with a poor experience.


Why don't movers expect a tip? Unlike other service professionals, movers are paid by the hour ($16.05/hour, per PayScale), and, thus, aren't dependent on tips. However, moving is difficult work (the reason why we hire them, after all), and tipping has become customary — though, still not so well known that someone who's never hired a moving professional would know (like the 15% to 20% guideline for tipping waitstaff). So again, if you hire movers in the future, know that $5 per mover per hour is a good place to start.