How to Tip Movers | How-to | Cross Country Movers Group

Why, When, and How to Tip Movers Working on Your Relocation

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Tipping has become a part of American culture and, in some ways, an unspoken rule. That is why, before relocation day comes, one of the questions people ask themselves is in which circumstances and how to tip movers. If you want a cross-country movers group to come and help during the move, you’re probably wondering the same. Well, wonder no more – we prepared the answer to all possible tipping-related questions.

Are You Obligated to Tip Movers?

Let’s face it – relocation is expensive as it is. People look left and right trying to save money on moving costs during the move, so the added expenses when hiring movers are not always welcome. That has led people to wonder if tipping workers is mandatory or just a sign of good manners. So which is it? The answer is that tipping the moving crew is optional. It is not considered a rule but a gesture that shows appreciation for the job well done.

Deciding Not to Tip Is Fine if You Are Not Satisfied With the Moving Services

The moving company is there to provide you with as much of a stress-free move as possible, and it is the number one reason people opt for getting moving services. But when you’re stuck with bad workers, the relocation stress can even intensify. So if you’re discontent with the provided service, feel no obligation to add gratuity to the final bill. Unprofessional behavior and lousy work ethic should not be encouraged, and tips should be omitted in that case. Awarding workers should be off the table when they:

  • Are considerably late on the big day,
  • Take breaks too often and more than necessary,
  • Are not careful with your belongings,
  • Cause damage to your items or property,
  • Show rude and disrespectful behavior.

However, keep in mind that accidents do happen. More than the consequence of those accidents, you should pay attention to the crew’s reaction to them. For example, if they are late, they will either try to apologize and explain the reason or act like they did nothing wrong. If something gets broken, they will shift the blame or own their mistake. Their behavior should, in the end, help you decide on the tips.

Why Is Tipping Expected in the Moving Industry?

Keep in mind that the moving service is still a service. Are you ready to pay extra for the good job of the wait staff, bartenders, and delivery drivers? When relocating to a new city, remember that relocation workers fall under the same category. In addition to that, packing, disassembling, loading and unloading are all physically exhausting. And when someone goes above and beyond to do it right, they deserve some kind of compensation for it. After all, think about how much effort and knowledge you must put into relocating a piano, or, for example, moving a fish tank without a fault.

In Which Cases Should You Tip the Team?

Not all moves are alike – some are simply more difficult than others. It’s not the same if you need to relocate large items from a single-story home or if there will be a lot of stairs making this task even harder. If you need to load more stuff from the storage unit or anywhere else, it implies more stops than simply driving from point A to point B. The harder movers need to work during the move, the more you should consider awarding them accordingly.

Of course, tips should also depend on the level of experience, knowledge, and care the relocation team shows during the move. But how can you know that a crew is putting in the extra effort so that everything goes without a hitch? Here are some of the pointers:

  • They act professionally – from punctuality and organization to the way they behave toward you and your family.
  • They have all storage and packing materials ready and know how to protect items both during the transport and in storage units.
  • They are ready to answer all of your questions and follow your requests.
  • They are very careful when handling delicate objects – if you opt for getting packing services, look at how workers handle packing pictures or how they pack glassware.
  • They can do the job efficiently even under bad weather conditions – an already difficult move is even more challenging if you’re moving in winter or in rain.
  • They help with debris and the cleaning of your home.
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How to Tip Movers Depending on the Length of the Move?

So, you determined that relocation workers should be tipped. But how to decide what to tip movers? Although the final sum is entirely up to you, we can provide some helpful guidelines.

First things first – you must decide whether you will award workers based on hours worked, relocation costs, or come up with a flat-rate solution. Some people say that the total sum you give should be a percentage of the total cost of relocation, between 5% and 20%. The more challenging the move, the higher the rate should be.

This is a great solution for short local moves, but not so much for a cross-country move. If your reasons to move are taking you to a new state, your moving expenses are bound to be much higher. Another 20% on top of that amount can be a small fortune for some, so it’s better to find a more suitable tactic.

How much do movers cost? The answer depends on the inventory, mileage, whether you hire packers, use storage services, and the like. According to Forbes, the average cost of a long-distance move is between $2,200 and $5,700. That means that you would give almost $1200 as gratuity if you followed the 20% rule. Does that sound like too much? That’s because it is. That is why people who move interstate often opt to base the amount on the time worked. That means you should pay about:

  • $10 – $20 per mover for a half-day (4 hours)
  • $20 – $40 per mover for a full day (8 to 10 hours)
  • $60 per mover for 12 hours (or more)

Those numbers are, of course, just a suggestion, and they don’t have to apply to each worker equally. If an individual mover was exceptional, feel free to provide them with a better tip, and vice versa. Don’t let the lousy mover profit from the hard work of others. If you want to be righteous, it is important to keep an eye on the crew.

Possible Ways of Tipping

If you decide to treat workers for good service, you must know how to do it. Will you use cash or some other payment method? It is always best to contact the company and get information about the possibilities. Some companies offer the option of including tips in the final bill. If you need reimbursement for a job-related move, for example, having this on record on the bill can make your life easier.

One other way of paying is through checks, but it is usually written to only one person, and you just can’t be sure if they’ll be honest enough to distribute the money evenly. That is why it is always best to have cash by your side when preparing for a move.

Choose Wisely to Whom You Give Tips

If possible, it is better to pay each mover individually. Some people opt for handing the money to the foreman (crew’s supervisor). Sadly, it is not always the right solution. Like with checks, it’s always possible that they will keep all or at least a part of that money solely for themselves. So you don’t lose any sleep over it, divide your cash into smaller banknotes and ensure that every person gets what they deserve.

Think of Other Ways of Treating the Crew

Getting cash shouldn’t be the only thing on your relocating to another state checklist. Remember all that hard work we talked about earlier? It requires plenty of energy, so ensure to have food, snacks, and drinks prepared for the relocation day. Just remember not to serve alcohol – not only do many companies have strict rules against drinking on the job, but you don’t want an intoxicated crew handling your belongings. Also, at the very beginning, point the crew to the bathroom they can use and provide enough soap and clean towels.

Consider leaving a review if you’re content with the provided service. That will help others choose a relocation company, but it can also have a positive effect on the crew. Ask the most devoted ones for their names and leave some praise about them in the review. They may end up getting a bonus for their effort from the company.

A Smile and Kind Words Are Free Ways of Showing Appreciation

With all that anxiety and stress about relocation, one of the things people forget to do is to stop for a second and be kind to others. After all, you can’t expect the crew to be friendly if you’re not. So when the time for relocation to a new home comes, greet the crew, ask them how they are doing, and be there for any question they might have. Show them that their effort is appreciated and, in return, they will try hard to meet your expectations.

Make Your Move a Positive Experience for Everyone

The relocation crew is there to help you move efficiently. The more successful they are at it, the bigger the reasons to add gratuity to the final bill. If your finances allow it, don’t be a Scrooge! Don’t hesitate to acknowledge the effort of the crew and provide them with appropriate compensation. After all, nobody wants the three ghosts to pay them a visit.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

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