Tipping Your Movers: A Guide

In the American service industry tipping is customary—be it for getting a good haircut or to reward exceptional service at a restaurant.  Relocating is no different. As employees in the service sector, movers can provide service that runs the gamut from being sub-par to going beyond what is expected of them. So should you tip those movers and if so what are some pointers on how to do so?  Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:


Should You Tip?

At some companies tipping is mandatory. Always ask your relocation company if this is the case beforehand. At Moishe’s tipping is completely at your discretion. If you believe you’ve received service that merits a reward, we encourage you to reward the movers.  Moving is hard work and requires extreme physical exertion. Many movers rely on tips as a considerable portion of their income so the movers will always welcome that extra bit from clients.


How Much Should You Tip?

Because the entire idea of providing gratuity depends on your level your satisfaction, how much you tip is also at your discretion. The figure can run anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the moving expense. At Moishe’s, we recommend tipping at 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the entire move.  You might aim for the higher end of that range if the move is especially difficult—like navigating through narrow staircases—or requires relocating large items such as a piano.


When Should You Tip?

It’s best to tip at the end of the move when you can assess how the movers performed. Maybe your movers disassembled and assembled furniture to help you out or took extra care with your goods. Or perhaps they were careless and broke furniture. Tipping after the move assures you can reward the movers if the service you received was exceptional and less or not at all if the move was not satisfactory.


Who Should You Tip?

Instead of deciding how much to give each individual on the moving team, you’re best off giving the entire amount to the head of the team and allowing that person to divide the sum fairly.  Good relocating companies have team members who look out for each other so you don’t need to worry about deciding what’s fair in terms of compensation.