Tipping Movers

by Claire Valenty on April 8, 2010

in Tipping

tipping movers etiquette

Everyone hates moving. Don’t believe me? Call up some of your friends or family and tell them you are going to need some help moving in a couple of weeks. Suddenly, everyone will be out of town or have a prior commitment even before you tell them the exact moving date! Some of us are lucky and have enough help moving that we don’t have to hire movers, but, for those that don’t, or want to make it so people don’t avoid their calls once they hear of their impending move, hiring movers is essential.

Tipping movers is expected as they are providing a service. Not only are they doing something for you, but, you are trusting them with literally every treasure you own. Tipping movers show that you appreciate the hard work they are putting forward to keep your items safe from your old place to your new place.

When deciding how much to tip, keep note of the following:

* Did the movers treat you and your neighbors with courtesy and respect? For example, one time I hired movers to get me out of an apartment complex. The manager called me the next day absolutely appalled at the foul language she could hear from my apartment as the movers completed their task.
* Did the movers complete the job in the scheduled time and/or did they perform efficiently and quickly? Most movers get paid by the hour and the moving company will charge you by the hour. If you feel that the job took way longer than it was supposed to, call the company and air your concerns. Usually, they will take an inventory of what you had moved and compare the time your job took with the average. As I usually move every two years (and learned a long time ago that moving companies are more reliable than friends), I have called moving companies twice to complain about movers seeming to take an especially long time to get the job done. I have also called once the praise the speed in which the movers moved me, all the while keeping my possessions safe.
* Did the movers carefully prepare your furniture, boxes and other belongings for the move? Were mirrors, furniture and pictures bound in heavy blankets to prevent damage? Did anything break?

If you can answer no to any of the questions above with “no”, the movers tipping does not apply here. However, if all of the questions above are answered with “yes”, then tipping the movers is definitely called for. But, how much do you tip the movers? The norm for a four hour job is $10 per mover (and give it to each mover individually to recognize them). For an 8 hour job, $20 per mover is appropriate. If the move takes longer than that or if the movers had to move especially large/cumbersome pieces of furniture and did so without grumbling or damaging your furniture, then a tip of $40 per mover would be greatly appreciated – just remember, you should be grateful because YOU did not have to move it! And cold drinks on a hot day are always loved by the movers; just make sure you don’t offer them alcohol! Moving companies have a strict no drinking on the job policy!

Photo: iStock/ftwitty

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