How Much Should I Tip My Movers?

Industry standards and things to consider…

For the past thirty years, I have been asked this question, and many of our clients were surprised to learn that they should be tipping their movers.  Moving is hard work!  You tip a waiter/waitress for bringing you your food, so why wouldn’t the same philosophy apply to tipping movers?

Some think well, “I’ve paid the moving company thousands of dollars to do their job, why do I need to tip the movers?”  The answer is, because tipping is polite and a great way to reward good service. Of course, being a mover is by definition, hard work as the job is one of the most physically demanding among the service industries. Movers provide the diligence, time and care with your belongings to ensure they arrive in perfect condition, not to mention exhausting work (especially in Texas heat), so it’s only fair to recognize good service, right?  Right.

So here are a few considerations for you to keep in mind.

  • The industry standard is 5%, which seems reasonable — if a crew of two movers move you in town for $500-$750, you might tip a total of $25-$35, or $10-$20 for each mover depending on the quality of the move.
  • Usually a crew of 2-4 workers are involved in a move, and the proper etiquette is to give the tip individually to each mover. If one or two people work especially hard, you can give them a slightly larger tip, but otherwise, we suggest splitting the tip equally.
  • For cross-country moves, tipping is not required and is not expected, and is up to the customer. When an employee is relocating for a job and the company is paying for the entire move, the new employer will often instruct the new employee that they’re not expected to tip, since it’s all been paid for.  If the movers do a good job, we think anything would be appreciated. Typical ranges run $40-$200 per person for a multi-day move. Because policies vary from firm to firm, for a move of this size, if you intend to tip, we recommend contacting the moving company’s main office and asking about their tipping guidelines.

Ultimately the amount you tip is your call, but we recommending rewarding good service just like you do when you order a pizza or when you’re in a nice restaurant. Hard work is hard work, and we have the best crew in Austin. We appreciate you taking care of them.

Warm Regards,

Mary Kopp, CEO

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