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Posted in How-to, Moving Preparation on November 25, 2021
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

How to Tip Movers – And Should You Do It at All

The greatest benefit of using long-distance moving services is not only that they’ll provide you with all the assistance you need, but will also give you a guaranteed price. However, once the quality service is provided, many people ask how to tip movers and if they should do it at all. Here is the definitive guide that will resolve all your dilemmas when it comes to tipping.

First, Pick a Legitimate and Reliable Long-Distance Moving Company

Whether you’re relocating with a newborn, alone, or with a whole family, and regardless of your reasons to move, having professional support will make the whole thing easier. With this type of help, your to-do list will get significantly shorter, and this is exactly why you should consider hiring them.

Going through the whole process with proper guidance will lift a huge weight off your back. And quality service definitely deserves to be rewarded. However, if you bump into relocation scams, the experience you expected to be pleasant and organized could turn into a real nightmare. Here is how to avoid it!

How to Be Sure That the Relocation Company Is Reliable?

Checking if a moving company is legitimate is the first step when looking for a professional crew. Here are all the details to consider when doing so:

  • USDOT and MC number check,
  • Licenses and certificates,
  • Customer reviews (websites, social media networks, third-party websites),
  • Always ask for a detailed quote and contract,
  • Avoid companies that have significantly cheaper prices than the competition,
  • Always compare a few quotes.

Once you’ve picked the right crew, the next step is to book the moving services you need. Then start planning a move to another city.

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Tipping Is a Nice Gesture, But It’s Not Necessary if You’re Not Satisfied With the Service

Customers typically expect to tip for relocation services. Just like in other service-based industries. After seeing the crew work hard to pack their home and move furniture, customers want to thank them for taking good care of their things.

However, this applies only in cases when the customer is fully satisfied with the provided service. Here is how to set the standards that will help you decide whether or not to tip.

When You’re Not Supposed to Tip Movers?

The majority of teams are professional. Some are not. And in many situations, you should not give a gratuity. This is especially important to know when preparing to move out for the first time and avoid being too generous. Here is when providing gratuity is not necessary:

  • Relocators showed up late, did not answer your calls, or failed to inform you they won’t be at the address on time,
  • They handled the possessions without due care and attention,
  • Walls, floors, or your belongings got damaged due to their lack of attention. Of course, accidents can happen, but those that are the result of lack of attention shouldn’t just be forgiven,
  • Some of your belongings got lost, and they refused to take responsibility.

These situations are everything but pleasant. Especially because they imply the discussion with the people in charge of your move and the crew you hired. However, if any of these happen, you have every right to complain, and skipping the gratuity is absolutely acceptable.

Professional long-distance movers carrying a sofa
Stairs, narrow passages, heavy furniture, bad weather conditions, Covid-19 - all these and more are the everyday life of an average mover

What to Tip Movers?

Even in a last-minute move, movers will save you from typical relocation mistakes. And also from unnecessary anxiety about moving out. This is something to appreciate. Adding a tip to the final bill is a great solution when you want to thank them. But how much exactly should you set aside? Let’s find out.

Time Is Not Free – Keep That in Mind When Tipping

The duration of the move, its difficulty, and customer satisfaction usually define the amount. All this means there isn’t a strictly predefined amount of money.

Subjective opinion mostly determines the estimated amount. In other service-based industries, the 10-20% rule is a quick and easy solution, but that’s not true for relocations. Here is an easy gratuity scheme to follow:

  • A relocation that took 4 hours or less (half-day move) – $20 per crew member,
  • A relocation that took 8-10 hours (full-day move) – $40 per mover,
  • A relocation that took 12 hours or more – $50-$60 per mover.

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What Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Tip Long-Distance Movers?

Giving tips to the crew is one of the first things to do after relocating. If you’re not sure how to decide how much to tip your mover, here are some guidelines that will help:

  • How organized were they while managing the relocation? The organization is the most important thing about the relocation team. As well as that, they know how to move efficiently. If they made a plan, labeled all boxes properly, and double-checked all the rooms, they certainly deserve a tip.
  • Did they pack any items (and how did they do it)? Packing services have their own rates. If the crew did an excellent job and took extra care to ensure fragile items get all the protection they need, consider rewarding that. After all, packing is the most time-consuming and difficult part of the whole process.
  • How many bulky things did they have to move? Did the crew have to move a piano or any other large items like refrigerators, sofas, or armchairs? If any of those items were on your packing list, take this into consideration when deciding on the gratuity. Because relocating those items is not only logistically complicated but also physically demanding.
  • What were the weather conditions on the moving day? In case you’ve chosen to move in winter, a cold, snowy day is quite expectable. Bad weather conditions are not something that can be controlled. In many cases, they can even cause dangerous situations like icy and slippery pathways. The risk of accidents is considerably higher in these conditions. Make sure to recognize that, so consider that when thanking the crew for helping you to move to a new home.
  • Were stairs an obstacle while handling items? Even if the building you’re relocating to has functional elevators, some pieces must be carried upstairs. Since they’re too bulky to be placed in the elevator. If the cross-country movers had to take many things upstairs, this is the right sign they deserve a show of gratitude for a job well done.
  • How many hours did they spend working on packing your household? If you own a three-bedroom house, you can expect that the crew will need from 7 to 10 hours just to pack the moving truck. One room more, and they’ll spend more than 10 hours working on your household. Not to mention that not everything always goes according to plan, and there might be some events, like heavy rain, that could prolong this even more. If you’ve noticed the crew is doing everything to speed up the process while ensuring that everything is safely handled, consider giving out tips.
  • Did the relocation take place during Covid-19? Relocating during coronavirus has an entirely new set of problems. Meeting health and safety standards are only a few challenges everybody has to face. All these conditions additionally complicate the already hard job, so keep this in mind when deciding what sum to set aside to express gratitude.
A mover carrying boxes after long-distance moving
There is no one general rule when it comes to tipping in service industry such as moving

What Else Can You Do for the Moving Team in Charge of Your Home Relocation?

The job of movers is undeniably one of the hardest vocations since it involves a lot of hard physical labor. That’s why showing gratitude shouldn’t be expressed only through money. Actually, there are many other kind gestures that can show that the crew did a wonderful job.

Offering coffee, ordering lunch, snacks, and water are all good ways to show your gratitude and appreciation for their hard labor. Just avoid serving alcohol (even beer) since many companies have strict rules on alcohol consumption during work time.

What Are the Best Ways of Tipping the Relocation Team?

Some companies have the option of including tips in the total bill, so make sure to read all the details when signing the contract. If this is the case, then the most convenient way is to pay everything (including gratuity) with a credit card, as it is convenient, quick, and safe.

However, if tips are not a part of the final bill. If you’re satisfied with the good service, there are other ways to tip the team. Of course, the most straightforward one is cash. Just make sure to distribute it among the crew personally instead of giving it all to the main crew member. And lastly, if the company accepts it as a payment method, a check could be a possible solution.

A woman giving a tip to long-distance movers
Cash is still the most common way of tipping, so ensure to have some during the relocation day

Now That You Know the Rules, You’re Ready for the Moving Adventure!

Americans are known as one of the nations that move most frequently. Namely, an average American moves 12 times in their life. The reasons for this are diverse. Some people do it for better job opportunities, some because they want to buy a new home, while others look for a tax haven.

With these facts in mind, it becomes perfectly clear that a couple of more moves are certainly waiting for you down the line. The good news is that next time will be much easier!

You’ll have a reliable cross-country moving company to provide you with all the services you need.  Also, you’ll know all the moving hacks, and lastly, you’ll know exactly how to evaluate the work of the crew in charge of your move.

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