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What Should I Know About Tipping Movers?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Tipping movers is a matter of some controversy. In involves the issue of whether people should tip movers. Another question that many people have is how much to tip a mover, especially when the price of a move is extremely expensive.

People employed as movers may suggest it's fair to tip movers about 5% of the total cost of a move. Not all movers agree and especially those that move people across a country do not expect a tip. Some believe that tipping movers should be based on whether the service provided by movers did not damage property and helped the move go more smoothly.

For a short move, it isn’t unreasonable to give movers a small tip, especially when they were very helpful. If they weren’t, people are not under obligation to tip. Movers do make an hourly salary and don’t tend to rely on tips as needed income, as do people like wait staff at restaurants.

It’s still fairly customary to give movers a monetary tip. Yet more than a few people wonder how to handle tipping movers when several movers are involved. It’s not always the case that tipping a foreman results in the money being passed to other employees. Instead, most suggestions are that movers ought to be tipped individually.

This doesn’t mean that a person must give 5% of the total cost of the move to each mover. Instead customers can do the math and split a 5% tip into a disbursement for each mover. It’s also okay to give one mover that was particularly helpful a slightly larger tip than the other movers, but this should be done quietly so as not to create any disputes between employees.

Some recommend that all that is required in tipping movers is to provide plenty of cold drinks when movers arrive at a destination, or possibly some food. Movers do caution that they should not be given alcohol as a tip because many of them legally cannot carry it in commercial vehicles. Moreover many movers have other jobs to do on the same day and shouldn’t be encouraged to drink alcohol while still working, and especially when they still to need to drive.

The expense of long moves that can involve several days of driving usually makes a 5% tip prohibitive. Tipping movers is usually not expected or necessary for very long trips. A small tip is usually welcomed, but most movers are compensated more when they make exceptionally long trips and won’t be waiting for tips when they finish a lengthy and expensive move.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
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Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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