|This is a question without one correct answer that many moving customers contemplate and struggle with. Should you tip your movers? How much should you give them? Should you tip more for long-distance moves?
Opinions on the standard amount for tipping movers vary among experts. Some movers claim that they don't expect tips at all, while others feel it is standard practice. Some customers believe that since they are already paying so much for the move, they shouldn't have to tip. Just remember: the large sum you are shelling out to the moving company does not go to the laborers that are actually doing the work. Movers often receive considerably low wages, and work long hours in the hot sun, frigid cold, and pouring rain to safely transport your prized possessions from one home to the next. If they do an exceptional job, a tip will always be appreciated.
The tip should depend on the difficulty of your move, the size of the crew, and your satisfaction with the service. For good service, about $5 per hour per mover is typically considered an acceptable tip (about $20 for a half day's work, $50 for a full day's work and $100 for two day's work). It is not customary to tip based on a certain percentage of the move's total cost--a long-distance move is calculated by not only moving labor and the number of hours the move takes to execute, but fuel expenses, packing supplies, and other incidentals as well.
More than one crew?
When relocating long-distance, the crew that packs and loads your belongings is often not the same crew that will deliver and unpack your shipment. In this case, you should tip both crews. Find out before the move if a different crew will deliver your belongings--this way you will know in advance if you should tip them after they pack up the truck or if you can wait until they deliver your items at your new home.
Tip each mover individually
When offering a tip, always tip each mover their share personally. If you give the whole sum to the foreman, he may not divvy it up evenly--or he could pocket the entire thing himself. To ensure that each mover gets his fair share, hand them their individual tip yourself. If you have a smaller moving crew, they likely worked even harder to make up for the short-handedness. You may want to throw them a little extra for handling the load of a crew twice their size.
How difficult was the move?
If you had a particularly difficult move, you may want to consider adjusting the tip accordingly. If the movers had to lug furniture up or down two flights of stairs, if they packed up your five-bedroom home speedily and efficiently, or if they carefully and professionally moved your baby grand piano out of the house and onto the truck without so much as scratching the finish, you may be inclined to show your gratitude with a nice tip.
You should of course consider the quality of the movers' service when determining how much to tip. If they show up late, soil your furniture, break your wine glasses, or scuff your beautiful hardwood floors, you may not be too eager to hand them a cash reward. However, if they conduct your move with professionalism, care and caution, and are punctual, considerate, and cordial, you can tip them accordingly.
Other ways to show appreciation
Cash tips are not the only ways to show movers appreciation for a job well done. A cooler full of snacks, sports drinks and plenty of water is always welcomed. You may also offer to buy them coffee and doughnuts for breakfast and/or a pizza or subs for lunch. Just remember to never offer movers beer or alcohol in lieu of a tip--they are not permitted to carry alcohol in the moving truck under any circumstances. You also don't want your movers drinking on the job while they are handling your most treasured belongings!
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