long distance movers
Posted in Moving Essentials, Moving Tips&Tricks on December 1, 2021
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 After Long-Distance Moving

Tips. The universal way of telling someone: “Hey, thank you for your service.” Before you even start wondering if this applies to relocation workers, the answer is ‘yes.’ They provide a service, do the hard work, so the dilemma are you supposed to tip movers becomes redundant. We’ll tell you all about the most common rules for tipping a relocation company.

Are You Supposed to Tip Movers, and What Are the Best Ways to Do It?

You already know that relocation services should be one of the things on your checklist for moving to another state. How would you otherwise move all the furniture and pack every part of the home? It’s especially useful to contact a relocation company for help with packing services if you’re relocating with a newborn, a few-month-old baby, or even with pets.

If relocating were easy, there’d be no need for companies that specialize in it. Also, if you’ve moved before, you have an idea of what it takes to do the process and how much professional help means in such complex situations. That’s why having some extra cash ready to treat your relocation crew for doing a good job is one of the best ways to show gratitude.

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Do You Tip Movers When They Load or Unload?

Since a relocation team knows how to move efficiently and, more importantly, pack a moving truck, how hard they actually have to work depends on the size of your home. If you’re leaving a big home behind, it may take a while to get everything right and ready. That’s when the efforts of a relocation crew are most noticeable; if you don’t see the day ending soon, you can give a cash bonus to one of the team members and let them divide the spoils.

You can also give bonus compensation for a relocation service by tipping the team afterward. Once loading the truck is finished, and everything’s ready to go, it’s a good idea to treat every crew member individually; that’s a better option than giving money to just one person, as you’ll be sure that the bonus cash was distributed evenly and everyone got what they deserved.

It could happen that the team that unloads the relocation truck is different from the one that loaded it, so waiting until the end of the process is a safe choice. Additionally, if you choose car shipping services, the team that does that part of the move will likely be new, so you’ll have that part to think about, too.

A client and mover shaking hands after a tip exchange
Relocation companies typically have multiple teams that deal with different aspects of the move, so you'll have to think about giving tips to each

Giving Tips Usually Means Showing Appreciation for Someone’s Hard Work, and It Applies to Relocation Workers, Too

We already mentioned that professional relocation workers have the skills and knowledge to pack fragile items and furniture, but that’s essentially their job. They’re trained and paid to do it, so you must be wondering – what’s the deal with giving tips, then? It makes sense to question the very existence of compensation for someone’s hard work, but the service industry simply functions like that.

Just as you couldn’t ask a chef in a restaurant how to cook the meal you just ate, you wouldn’t be able to ask relocation workers for packing advice and expect to achieve the same result. If you think you’d do a better job than the mover crew that just packed your stuff, you’re either feeling smug or being a victim of a relocation scam.

Sure, you could pack on your own, but will your items be protected, covered, and loaded correctly into the truck? The odds may not be in your favor when it comes to that. If you’re curious about the importance of tipping in general, you can inform yourself on it a bit more by watching the video below.

Is It Bad to Not Tip Movers? What to Do If You Cannot Afford Tipping

Not every long-distance moving company will ask you to tip their workers or make it evident that you should. Additionally, people reluctantly choose relocation companies out of fear that they won’t be able to pay for their services fully. Still, if you opt to hire a relocation team on a tight budget, you don’t have to worry about having too much cash on you on the day of the move.

If you simply cannot afford to tip the crew, you can be open about it with them even before relocation. Tell them you’re trying to save on relocation costs and have only a small amount to take out. Besides, there are ways to compensate the workers for their efforts in other ways, like with refreshments during their shift, a great review after the process, or even better, both.

Long-Distance Moving Services Can Be Tipped With Refreshments

While tipping is typically one of the things to do after relocating, people who cannot afford cash bonuses use one of the most common relocation hacksoffering food and drinks for the relocation team. It’s harder than simply giving a tip (unless you order food, which could make it the same, more or less,) but the effort is what matters here.

If you have some fresh food left in the fridge and can’t bring it along, cook a meal for the workers on the morning of relocation. Find some great, easy recipes that Martha Stewart likes to cook, and make sure there’s enough for everyone. Keep some water bottles nearby and, of course, place it all somewhere universally accessible.

There’s more than one way to express gratitude and give thanks to service workers, so if you don’t have enough cash, maybe cooking a hearty meal should be one of the things to consider when relocating.

Leaving Good Reviews Is Another Form of Showing Appreciation

Suppose you’re relocating for the first time and don’t have the slightest idea about what to do or how to behave when packing to move to a new home. In that case, you may also forget or overlook the possibility of a cash bonus entirely. If this happens, the one thing that you could do to redeem yourself is to provide a positive review of the relocation crew and their work.

Companies appreciate the positive feedback, especially on their websites, because that attracts other customers. If you hired a company based on positive reviews from former clients, you understand the importance of having this content on a relocation business’s website. There, you can find advice on what to keep when relocating, how to take advantage of storage services, and, most importantly, whether the service was as high-quality as promised.

Those before you took the time to leave a new comment about their experience, so what’s five minutes of your time to do the same? Those after you, as well as the business owners, will appreciate the deed.

Sometimes, Tipping a Moving Company Isn’t the Right Thing to Do

While you sit and wonder what the standard tip for movers is, you also have to consider whether the job they did was good. Giving out bonus cash could also be a relocation mistake because no mediocre or lousy job should be rewarded. If you worked hard on planning a move to another city just to see your things sitting broken at the new home, you obviously wouldn’t think twice about tipping the people who did that.

We already mentioned relocation scams, which are possible if you don’t have the habit of verifying the companies you hire; if you feel scammed at the end of the day, the help you got was never intended to be of good quality so rewards are out of the question. This means that the best way to decide whether the job was well done is to be fully present on relocation day.

Situations and Examples of When Not to Give Tips to Cross-Country Movers

When we look up things like long-distance movers near me, we expect to get the best results for our search. However, the best doesn’t mean the cheapest or the most expensive. Your anxiety about relocating might crank up a notch when you start researching companies that can help you.

To make sure your money doesn’t go in the wrong hands, here are some typical red flags and bad behaviors:

  • Since everyone’s currently moving during coronavirus, you can watch how the workers behave around the house – are they wearing masks? Did they give you instructions on where to be and what to do while they work? It’s easy to overlook these things, but legitimate companies pay attention to them,
  • If they treat your belongings poorly and without much regard for their condition, you won’t have a reason to reward them with any bonuses; that’s not good behavior, and such an attitude could ruin a client’s day easily,
  • Scammers ask for cash and compensation in advance. If the people coming to your home do the same, they’re either fraudsters or simply rude; it’s a fine line between the two,
  • Being rude and unpleasant towards you and your household members could be behavior that tips the scales. No rulebook states someone’s bad day has to be yours, too,
  • Showing up late could also be a dealbreaker. If you have to wait for people hired to do their job, and they leave you hanging for a while, that’s not a good look. However, you have to make it clear to yourself what late means – ten to fifteen minutes, including traffic, may not be critical. We’d say anything over 30-35 minutes should be considered late.

It matters that you don’t nitpick and find excuses not to give compensation. If you don’t have the money or simply don’t want to give it, it’s your right, but don’t let that be an excuse for rudeness and stinginess.

A man sitting in front of boxes and holding his head in his hands
Some behaviors are unacceptable and don't warrant a cash bonus

Now That You Know Mover Tipping Is a Thing – How Much Should You Reward a Cross-Country Moving Company?

So, what’s an average tip for movers? How can you prepare for a relocation crew without directly asking is $40 a good tip for movers? Maybe you’re relocating to another state alone and don’t have much to spare, so here are some suggestions on how to calculate a cash reward amount:

  • Before relocation day, consider compensation of around 5% to 10% of the total amount; if your move costs $1,000, anywhere between $50 and $100 will be enough,
  • You can also calculate the compensation per mover – if there are 5 of them packing your belongings for four hours, and you offer between $4 – $5 per mover per hour, then one mover might get as much as $20, and your budget will have to be at least $100 for this.

Don’t Worry too Much About Tipping Movers and Packers, Just Ensure They See Your Appreciation

We’ve finally answered the question of do you tip moving companies. If your head’s starting to hurt from all the numbers and neverending lists of tasks, don’t worry. Take a deep breath. Tips are things you forget to do when you move, and that’s nothing new.

We recommend counting the cash bonuses into the already existing relocation costs, or, again, if you don’t have enough, thinking about other ways in which you could express gratitude for the work that’s been done for you.

A simple ‘thank you’ has always been one of the most appreciated phrases, and it’s surprising how many people tend to forget it. If all else fails, just look super grateful, and you’ll likely be fine at the end of the move.

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