How Much Should I Tip Movers – and When?

From our collaborators at Move with Brothers.

Whether you are moving to a new house or shifting your office to a new location, moving from one place to another is a stressful activity that is only simplified with the help of professional movers (and free moving concierge!). Being their client, you put a lot of trust and faith in your hired local moving company because they possess a tremendous amount of expertise in securely transferring your valuable belongings to your desired destination.

After negotiating the one-trip charges with the professional packing services, one specific predicament that bothers most of the people is whether when and how much they should tip the movers. You would certainly want to give something to the moving crew as they are not making enough already, and besides, you wouldn’t want to appear unappreciative of their great efforts in making your move successful.

Why Should You Tip Movers?

Working with a specialized moving firm means you have increased your chances of safely packing, loading, transporting, and unloading of your expensive goods. It means that these movers are the best resource you have at making your moving experience as smooth and trouble-free as you might have imagined. Although availing these expert moving services is not always cheap, especially when you have to move to a far-off place but it’s completely worth it as they take care of every aspect of your move, all without you needing to lift a finger.

Now coming towards the real question of whether or not you should tip your movers, the answer is “Yes.” It’s because moving is an intense physical hard work that only pros can handle. These specialists effectively perform difficult actions like lifting heavy objects, packing delicate items, safely transporting your goods, and unloading them without breaking anything. Apart from that, moving companies operate in a service industry, and tipping is a typical way to show your appreciation for their unparalleled efforts.

How Much to Tip Movers?

Treating your movers with extra money at the end of hectic moving activity shouldn’t cost you a lot. For a reasonable travel distance, you can pay each worker with more or less C$25. However, for a more intensive moving task like shifting to a distant place with much luggage should cost you almost double the amount, i.e. C$50 per mover depending upon the satisfaction with the job. Generally speaking, you should tip the staff of your service provider based on their job performance. Tipping movers with indifferent work habits and bad attitude is not worthwhile; nonetheless, thoroughly professional, helpful, and attentive crew members are worth rewarding.

Factors to Consider While Tipping Movers

The amount of tip you provide to your movers generally depends upon the following factors:

  • The complexity of move: How far did you have to travel, and how many packers and movers did it require? How many days did it take to pack and shift your stuff entirely, and how much heavy furniture did you have?
  • Quality of the service provided: How much time did they take to arrive at your house, and how professional were they in their conduct? Did they take an adequate amount of care and caution in packing your delicate items?
  • Conditions of the move: How was the weather outside while your move took place, was it freezing (winter move) or the temperature was too high with increased humidity (for summer)
  • Final moving cost: Did you have to pay for both packing as well as moving services? Did it take one truck to load all your belongings, or an extra one was also required?
  • Did you provide other gratitude? Maybe you supplied your movers with food and beverages throughout their workday, if this is the case perhaps you don’t have to tip as much in cash if you have already spent extra cash keeping your movers’ stomachs full.
  • How many movers there were: If you are moving long distance or even to a new city there is a chance it won’t be the same team who packs your stuff that unpacks it. Does this mean you should tip both teams? If you’re happy with both team’s services then yes.

Payment Methods to use when Tipping your Movers

So how are people tipping movers these days? Does it have to be cash? Nowadays a lot of people don’t have wallets full of money, they have wallets full of cards and some don’t even have wallets! We can pay with our phones and watches!

Should you make a point of grabbing cash for tipping your movers? The answer is yes. There’s an old phrase that says “Cash is King” and it’ll probably be a while before that changes. You may be thinking you are already paying the moving company a small fortune but your actual movers are just going to receive a fraction of that in their salary so by giving them a tip on the day they can spread it out amongst themselves to make sure everyone gets a cut. You could even tip the guys one by one if you want to show your thanks and gratitude personally, this could mean a lot to the movers and it also lets you tip guys who worked extra hard more if you’d like.

What if you don’t have cash or like to record your cash flow like many of us do? More times than not the moving company will allow you to add a tip to your payment bill but the only thing with this is that you don’t know what kind of cut your moving team is getting. If you do like to record your outgoings then you could always pay the team leader with a check with the instructions of making sure every team member gets their fair share of the tip.

When Should I tip Movers?

Movers must keep an intensive effort at helping you until everything is to your entire satisfaction. Most likely, they will assist you until your belongings are safely moved to the new location. You should tip your movers when you are satisfied of the work. In other words, when you are ready to pay the final bill.

Should you Cook or Order Meals for your Movers?

Apart from tipping your movers with money, you can also show your gratitude for their upright services by providing snacks, offering breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a bonus meal, especially if the guys are working a full day. Even thinking of lifting heavy furniture for a full day makes you feel hungry! Cooking or getting meals for the team keeps them going through a long and physical shift!

Something else to think about is that feeding your movers keeps them at the job, they don’t have to go and waste time looking for somewhere to eat and take their break, especially if they don’t know the area. Now you don’t have to break out the steak and lobsters (even though it would probably be greatly appreciated by your team) something like burgers, chicken or pizza is always easy and enjoyed by most! Or even take orders from your team, see what each one says and head out to the nearest fast-food restaurant and pick up something cheap and quick!

Movers have to endure strict routines of packing, loading, transporting, and unloading heavy household objects regularly. It’s a tough job to accomplish that doesn’t pay enough in the end. Hence, tipping them off and showing your appreciation for their hard work with meals at the end of a successful trip won’t be too much of a burden on your wallet, considering you are already paying a hefty fee to the moving company.

Providing Beverages for your Movers

If you’re not going to provide meals or your movers are only going to be an hour or two moving your things, it’s always nice to provide beverages for your moving team! 

You can go with something as simple as bottles or cups of water, that’s perfect no matter the weather! Other beverages you could consider are:

  1. Sports/energy drinks to keep the movers going.
  2. Coffee and hot beverages in the winter months (or early starts to the day)
  3. Decaf for those who prefer
  4. Fruit juice
  5. Small snacks to accompany the beverages is always welcomed

Providing beverages and snacks is easy to do and it keeps the guys going throughout the day whilst on their shift (don’t feed them too well, they might not leave).

No matter the tip, treat your movers well, it’s free!

All of the above things mentioned in this article are free to do. Of course, only tip your movers if you feel the need to but more times than not you do receive excellent service from your movers for an incredibly tough task (let’s be honest, there is a reason we don’t do the job ourselves). By tipping and doing little gestures for your movers you are showing them the appreciation they deserve for the things they do for you, the care and professionalism they take in moving your precious and personal family belongings making sure they are protected from damage.

Moving is by no means an easy task and these fantastic professional teams take a lot of pressure off of your back and relieve you of a lot of stress and time whilst moving home. Not to mention it is a pretty dangerous job. For example, lifting a couch or wardrobe up and down several flights of stairs to and from a bedroom or study isn’t good for anyone. This is why you should also find the best movers in your area as well. So whatever tip or kind gesture you provide for your movers whether it’s cash, a check, coffee or pizza, make sure to thank the guys too, you’ll more than likely get thanks in reply, manners cost nothing and they are often overlooked for their hard work.

Special Mention!

Moving is often synonymous of stress, long administrative tasks and a significant waste of time and money. MovingWaldo helps you solve all these problems in just a few clicks! After some shameless self-promotion, we invite you to discover our free moving tools available to all.

  • Book movers
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We bring together more than 700 organizations across Canada with a single and simplified form.

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