Do You Tip Movers?

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When hiring professional movers to help you relocate, do you always have to tip them? If so, how much should you be tipping your moving company?

It’s likely that the person or people who are helping you move are getting paid hourly. You can find out by calling the moving company and asking. If it does happen to be the case that movers are paid by the hour, then there really is no need to tip movers, but if they’re getting paid a flat fee (a rate which would include all labor and equipment) then there may very well still be an opportunity for a gratuity.


How Much to Tip Movers?

A good rule is to pay movers $10 per hour per mover or 10% of the total service charge, which can be given along with the payment for the rental truck or storage unit.

It’s important to note that, no matter how much time has passed since you moved into your new home, there are certain obligations remaining – duties you still owe movers. Those moving expenses don’t just disappear because you’ve unpacked all your boxes!


Here are some examples of things you can do to be sure that you’re not being taken advantage of by your movers:

  1. Make sure that all items have been delivered safely.

    If you notice anything is missing, take note of it immediately. Some moving companies won’t charge for non-deliverables, but others will hold you responsible until they can locate the misplaced or damaged item(s). This could mean a lot of money, which might make it worth your while to make several trips back to your old house in order to track down everything.

  2. Check the condition of your belongings when they are unloaded from the truck.

    Make sure that nothing has been broken or ruined during transit. Professional moving companies are required by law to accurately document any damages; if they don’t, and you notice later on that the items in question are not as whole as when you first sent them off to storage, do not be afraid to take action. The manager of your local moving company should make things right.

  3. If your moving crew seemed rushed or seemed like they were taking their time during the move

    (particularly if this was made apparent by how quickly the clock was running during the job), it’s a good idea to check over your property before signing any release forms. Torn mattresses and broken appliances may have been damaged long before you set foot in your new house, so don’t just assume that everything is alright – check! If there does happen to be a problem with something, retain all relevant documentation and contact the manager of your local mover for reimbursement.

  4. Check to see if any food was brought into your new home while it was in transit.

    This is particularly important if you plan on living there while renovations are being completed (which will likely require you to leave the property vacated for an extended period of time). Ask movers, “Are you aware that I have pets inside? Could anything be brought in by mistake?” And, if they say yes, check all the cabinets and closets anyway! Now would also be a good time to re-check for any items that might have gotten lost during the move.

It’s more than acceptable to tip movers. However, keep in mind that what goes around comes around – so if you tip your movers today, they may very well remember that when it comes time to move you all over again!

Tips to keep in mind:

  1. If the contractor is paying by the hour, then there’s no need to leave a tip.

  2. Gratuity should be given in cash – never in kind (e.g., no boxes or packing peanuts).

  3. Tipping is not mandatory but is always appreciated to show your gratitude. 10% of the total service charge is fair. And don’t worry about overtipping; if anything, it’ll make them work even harder next time around.

About Expert Movers: Expert Movers was founded in 2002 to make relocation easier for our neighbors in and around Chicago. Expert Movers offers tips on how to choose a mover, as well as free moving quotes from different movers.