How Much to Tip Your Movers

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated July 29, 2022
Lesbian couple moving in new home
Photo: South_agency / iStock / Getty Images


  • While tipping your movers isn’t required, they will appreciate the polite gesture.

  • There are some situations where you might not want to tip, such as if your movers are consistently late or disrespectful. 

  • Some tipping factors to consider are moving complications, weather, and service quality.

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Let’s face it: Moving is stressful and hectic, but hiring a moving company can alleviate your nerves and help your move-in process go smoothly. If your professional movers go above and beyond to complete your move without a hitch, it’s customary to provide a tip for their services. Knowing how much to tip movers is a little tricky, but generally, it’s good practice to tip $4 to $10 per hour.

But when should you tip, and do you tip more for long-distance moves? Let’s take a closer look at some guidance for tipping when you decide to hire a moving team.

Are You Required to Tip Movers?

While tipping your movers isn’t required, it’s a polite gesture. Unless you had an issue with your moving service, you should tip your movers to show your appreciation and gratitude for their effort.

How Should You Determine the Tip Amount?

A worker unloading boxes from van
Photo: Tara Moore / DigitalVision / Getty Images

When working with local movers, a good rule of thumb for tipping is roughly $4 to $10 per hour, but there’s no true standard. Ahead of moving day, determine whether you’ll tip based on a percentage of the total cost or provide a flat rate for each mover. If you tip by percentage, 10% to 20% of your total bill is the customary or average tip for movers.

You should also decide whether to tip each mover individually or distribute the tip evenly among the team. You may choose to tip each worker individually if you spend a lot of time working closely with several movers. 

How Much Should You Tip Long-Distance Movers?

If you’re moving out of state, it may seem tough to calculate the appropriate amount to tip your moving team. Luckily, you can use the same tipping formula for a local move and plan on a flat rate per hour or a certain percentage of the entire move’s cost. 

If you believe your moving job is too big or too small to tip by a percentage, consider giving each worker a flat-rate tip. Along with that, if there are separate moving teams for load-in and load-out, tip each set of movers separately. As with short-distance moving, think about the amount of heavy lifting required and boost tips accordingly.

Factors to Consider When Tipping Movers

Take some time to think about the provided service and the following factors that should influence your tip amount. 

Weather Conditions

When movers work in extreme conditions—such as sweltering heat or chilly winds—it’s a nice gesture to recognize the extra effort they put in by increasing your tip. Because, really, who wants to work in the hail? 

Time Spent on Tasks

If your move takes longer than anticipated, you should consider upping your tip. Your movers have other clients to service, and moving delays may disrupt their plans. If the delays are out of the movers’ control, consider showing your thankfulness for their patience and hard work with bonus cash.

Heavy Items

Moving heavy items undoubtedly takes additional labor and effort, so if this is the case, your movers will value a little extra acknowledgment for their work. If the movers carry heavy items you didn’t disclose beforehand, you should increase their tip even further.

Moving Complications

Did your moving crew endure complications or unexpected difficulties during the move? If so, you can factor that experience into the final tip. For instance, if they move furniture through many narrow stairways or carry boxes up steep hills, tipping is one way to show that you acknowledge their extra effort. 

High-Quality Service

Service quality can help you decide how much to tip your movers. If the movers went above and beyond all of your expectations (maybe they stayed late to ensure everything made it inside), a larger tip is a great way to show your appreciation. For example, if your movers provide helpful knowledge beyond their duties, such as advising you on the correct packing boxes to use, you should consider increasing their tip.

Is Tipping or Gratuity Included in Moving Contracts?

It's becoming increasingly common for service-based businesses, including moving companies, to include a set gratuity in the final bill. As you round up bids from different companies, ask for a full cost breakdown in the estimate. If you find a separate fee for gratuity, be sure to factor that in when comparing costs with companies that don’t include a tip. Lower bids without a tip included might end up costing more.

When to Consider Not Tipping Movers

Unfortunately, not every moving experience is picture-perfect. Since tipping isn’t mandatory—it’s a way to thank your movers for their hard work—you may consider withholding a tip in some extreme circumstances. 

There are some scenarios where your movers’ actions may warrant not tipping, including:  

  • Consistently showing up late without explanation

  • Damaging your items or parts of your home

  • Not following the predetermined schedule or directions

  • Acting disrespectful to you, your family, or your home 

However, it’s important to remember that accidents happen and often it’s out of the movers’ control. For instance, if something fragile breaks on their watch, it may have been unavoidable or out of their control.

In that type of situation, you should consider how they reacted to the accident and whether or not they were sincerely apologetic. If the movers quickly notify you about any incidents and communicate about complications, you should consider tipping them the full amount to show your appreciation for their professionalism and honesty.

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