July 5, 2022 Posted in Moving Essentials
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

Are You Supposed to Tip Movers – A Guide to Recognizing High-Quality Service

Moving is complex and can be frustrating, challenging, and downright anxiety-inducing, so your best choice would be to hire a relocation team. But when you hire them, are you supposed to tip movers? Learn how to recognize exemplary service and when you’re free to opt-out of bonus compensation.

Girl counting money after cross country moving to Texas overlay
Do you tip moving companies? If that sounds new to you, here's how to compensate relocation pros for a job well done

Whether moving to a smaller home or anticipating a move in the rain, it is best to hire cross-country moving services. Don’t forget that the time they take to get you on the way to a new home should be compensated. You should give tips to the professionals that help you move.

Are You Supposed to Tip Movers? Assessing the Bonus for Your Long-Distance Moving Services

One of the most common relocation mistakes is not asking yourself do you tip movers. The answer is, in short, yes. They work in the service industry, and just like a waiter or chef in a restaurant, they invest effort in making relocation possible and easy.

They don’t just pack stuff and move it from A to B. They can make you understand how car shipping works and deliver your vehicle with professional car shipping services. They take time to study your household inventory list and provide an estimate and suggest other options. Overall, relocation services aren’t a walk in the park for those doing the work, and their effort and time require compensation.

You know how long it takes to pack a house but may not know how to deal with relocation stress. Pros can ease your mind and help with whatever you need. Learn what’s considered reasonable financial compensation and if a sum like that is within your budget and possibilities. The workers will appreciate it greatly.

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Firstly, Let’s See Is It OK Not to Tip Movers and In Which Situations

Tipping movers and packers isn’t always mandatory. While it is recommended, you don’t have to do it no matter what. Many people give tips even when their orders are mistaken or the work done for them hasn’t been done correctly, potentially out of fear of being disliked.

We’re not here to tell you cash compensation is mandatory. In fact, there are situations and circumstances when it shouldn’t be given at all. Instead of giving in and compensating terrible workers for what they did to your stuff, we’ll teach you how to tell a bad service from an excellent one.

If the Crew of Your Long-Distance Moving Company of Choice Doesn’t Show Up On Time

One of the major transgressions a relocation team could make is to be late to your home on the day of the move. Being punctual and correct is one of the most important relocation essentials a company must follow.

Of course, if you arrange the move for 10 am, anything later than 10:15 am should be considered late and inconsiderate. Even those fifteen minutes might be someone’s pet peeve, which is why professionals know not to risk things that way and be punctual (or even early) no matter what.

If you’re relocating with kids or potentially even relocating with pets (or both,) the schedule should be followed even more closely; kids and pets are tough to watch during those busy and challenging days. Even asking someone to watch them can’t last forever – that’s why punctuality is vital both from your and the movers’ side.

If they are late, that will delay the entire process. In that case, they don’t deserve any form of bonus compensation. It is only fair because they didn’t fulfill their promise.

Deciding Not to Tip When You Feel Disrespected Is Perfectly Fine

If the workers don’t come to your home to estimate the value of household goods, suggest different packing and relocation plans, and even recommend storage services for some items, they are likely scammers.

Granted, they might not be scammers but just lazy and unprofessional, or new to the business and don’t know the industry that well. It doesn’t mean they’ll trick you immediately, but it might be better to stay away from them if you have a lot of valuable belongings or need to haul your household items across the country. You can still look for the cheapest time of the year to move, but don’t fall for the cheapest offer.

If you feel disrespected during the first stages of communication with a relocation company, you’re free to give up and go another route. It isn’t their job to be upset with you but to provide legal, safe, and reliable services. If they can’t give you that, they’re not worth the trouble.

The video below shows a recreation of a move intended to discover relocation scams. Despite being set in Toronto, Canada, it is a good lesson to determine if your relocation crew is truthful about their experience and expertise.

When Giving Tips to Your Cross-Country Movers, Work With the Circumstances

We’ve seen when compensation isn’t going to cut it, but what about the times when it does? Recognizing a great service is sometimes harder but always more important than recognizing a bad one.

Here’s how to recognize excellent and professional relocation services that warrant bonus cash:

  • The workers are punctual and professional,
  • They start their job immediately (and know where to begin),
  • They’ve done a household inventory estimate before relocation day,
  • Their prices are transparent, and there are no extra fees (as there shouldn’t be),
  • The workers know which items go first into the relocation truck,
  • The crew members respect you, your family, and each other,
  • Since you started planning the move, they’ve been open to questions,
  • They don’t mind giving you answers and explaining some processes or expenses,
  • They’re available throughout the relocation process (from the moment you booked them until the day of your move),
  • They’re not bothered by the weather conditions and are prepared for any circumstances,
  • Being easygoing is one of the essential qualities in a relocation crew, but you cannot bother them without consequences; as long as you respect them, they’ll respect you. That’s an essential part of communicating with any professional team, and while they must be professional and good at their job, it wouldn’t hurt if you acted accordingly.

Learn What the Average Tip for Movers Is Before Doing It

Understandably, you probably have a lot of anxiety about relocating to another state at this point in life. Now that you’ve learned that mover tipping is a thing, it’s probably even harder to focus on what’s truly important. However, you don’t have to worry about it too much, as it is easier than you think.

Our tips for relocation day are to investigate general bonus amounts for relocation crews and their work; ask about it on forums such as Reddit or social media platforms like Facebook. Someone in your friend group or favorite forum thread must have some relocation experience that could help in the long run.

Your relocation budget will also heavily influence the amount of money you give your relocation team for their help. It is reasonable to assume that if you don’t have a lot and are relocating alone, you’ll look into the cheapest way to move out.

The pros you hire won’t be able to sue you or bother you for not tipping them, although a lot depends on the type of people they are. Generally, workers don’t beg for bonus cash but do rely on the good will and common sense of their customers to add a bit of extra on the side for good effort.

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Giving bonus compensation to relocation workers is nothing new, but you don't need to overdo it

The Right Tipping Amounts For Relocation Crews, In Short

The most common questions about tipping relocation teams include specific amounts of money, like if $20, $50, or $100 are good enough sums to pay workers of a cross-country moving company. You should look at the overall price and hours invested before making any decisions.

Essentially, the distance and size of your move and the amount of cargo and extra services will determine the amount of money to add as a bonus for the movers’ work.

Is $20 Enough to Tip Movers?

$20 is the standard tip for movers, especially if you give each mover $20. Essentially, it’s either that or $4 – $5 per hour, which comes down to the same amount of money in the end. Moving cross country is hard work and requires a lot of physical effort from the workers. If you can spare it, $20 to each mover will be the ideal bonus for their packing service and others.

Is $100 a Good Tip for Movers?

$100 is a fairly generous bonus for your relocation team, especially if you consider giving $100 per mover. If there are ten workers in the crew, it’ll come down to all of them sharing $10 of bonus at the end of the day, and that’s OK if that’s all you can spare. However, if you can give more, consider calculating $4 to $5 per hour per person and see if that works.

Is 10% A Good Tip for Movers?

If your move is $1,000, then 10% of that would be $100. If you want every worker to get a 10% bonus, that will be extra generous but also a bit unnecessary. We support tipping and appreciate everyone who does it, as it shows appreciation for a crew’s hard work and efforts; however if you can’t afford it, don’t sweat about your tips being a specific percentage.

You can combine tipping with other forms of gratitude, from refreshments to whatever else you can think of. It’s nice to get paid, but it’s even nicer to have a good and problem-free move, and relocation workers need a safe environment to make that happen.

Give the Relocation Crew Tips After They Provide the Necessary Help

You might have more questions in mind: “Do you tip movers on both ends?” and “Do you tip movers when they load or unload?” These are excellent questions, and the best answer to both is to give the workers cash after they pack for and unpack after a move. You should provide bonuses on both ends, as they’re likely to be different people.

If separate workers take and transport your car across the country, they should be compensated; however, they’ll likely be the same people, so you can just give them their bonus after delivering the vehicle.

Local or Long-Distance Movers, Tipping Them Will Be Important

Tipping a moving company isn’t so complex in the end. Longer distances require higher bonuses, and despite your relocation company’s hourly rate, it will be generous to provide at least something as a thank you for the effort.

That goes without saying if you organize a last-minute move, for example. If the date of your move is closer than recommended, professional relocation crews will need higher incentives for helping you, and that goes for even the shortest of distances. Some things are just common sense, but if you can’t spare some extra cash, you can find another way to show appreciation.

Thank Your Relocation Team In Other Ways Besides Cash Tips

If you cannot give your relocation workers a cash bonus, there are ways to thank them for doing a good job during the process. You could prepare refreshments (which is especially vital during hot weather,) prepare lunch or some sort of nourishment, or, most importantly, leave a positive review of their services after the move is over.

Reviews cost nothing but mean everything to relocation companies. Even if you’re relocating on a tight budget, a short and positive review of the company’s work will only cost five to ten minutes of your time. While you settle in your new home, try doing that.


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