It’s customary to tip movers anywhere from 10–20% at the end of your move. The amount that you tip is ultimately up to you, but your tip should reflect the effort your movers put in. After all, you’re paying people to do all of your heavy lifting because it’s hard work.
How Much Should I Tip My Movers?
Based on our research, most people tip their movers 10-20% of the total move cost.
We conducted a survey asking 1,000 Americans how much they tip their movers. Most people (58%) tip their movers at least 5% of the total move cost. The majority of respondents tipped 10–20%.
Most Reddit users discussing the topic agree that 10–20% is a customary tip for movers, with a minimum of $20 per mover
Those numbers line up with what Joshua Phillips of JP Moving Company in New Mexico told us. He says that most people tip $20-50 per mover for local moves. “We don’t expect to get tips at all,” he clarifies, but “people usually tip.”
How to calculate a moving tip
There are two ways to calculate your tip:
- Using a percentage of the hourly moving cost
- Using a percentage of the overall move cost
For example, say your movers charge $150 per hour, and your move takes six hours for a total of $900. Here’s how much to tip a mover at different rates.
|Tip percentage||Hourly tip amount||Total tip amount|
You don’t always have to tip 20% or more. But Reddit users with moving experience say you may want to increase your tip in these circumstances:
- Your movers have to go up and down stairs (especially multiple flights)
- You have unusually heavy or large belongings
- Your movers go above and beyond to protect your furniture
- You booked the move at the last minute
- Your movers help with appliance disposal or other non-move tasks
Phillips says customers tend to tip more if the move is much faster than expected or if the movers stay very focused with few breaks.
As you decide how much to tip movers, think about how hard your move is and how hard your movers work.
We suggest tipping movers unless they give you a very good reason not to. That said, there are some situations in which you shouldn’t feel obligated to tip your movers.
For example, say your movers take much longer than expected. In that case, Phillips says, “you should definitely not tip.”
If the move ends up going well over the estimated move cost, Phillips says you can explain to the movers that you can’t tip based on your budget. Redditors add that you don’t have to tip if your movers break tons of your stuff. Just remember that a little wear and tear is normal.
One more thing to note about tipping: A few moving companies have mandatory tipping policies. That means they include tipping in the price of your move. This is pretty uncommon, though. In most cases, the tip is up to you, and the moving company might give you a suggested range.
Moving tip calculator
Use the moving tip calculator below to see how raising or lowering your tip by a few percentage points changes the final dollar amount.
Tipping long distance movers
Long-distance moving companies usually charge by mileage and weight rather than per hour. So plan to tip 15–20% of the move cost.
Also, the more moving services you add, the more you should tip. If you want to hire someone to pack your clothes for moving, for example, your total move cost will be higher ― and your tip amount for movers will be higher, too.
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What is the best way to tip movers?
Now that we’ve talked about how much to tip movers, let’s talk about how to tip movers.
Most moving companies let you leave a tip for movers with either credit card or cash. We recommend tipping movers with cash ― and both Phillips and the internet agree.
According to Phillips, “movers prefer cash because it’s more tangible.” And on Reddit, we saw reports of movers saying they get more of the intended tip when it’s given as cash. Plus, if you tip with cash, you can give one mover a higher tip than other movers if they do something particularly well. (Just do this discreetly.)
We recommend that you plan ahead and get some cash before the move and tip them at the end.If you get cash in $10 or $20 bills, you can easily increase or decrease your tip amount for movers based on how long the move ends up taking.
You can use a credit card to tip if you want to. Phillips says his team divides credit card tips equally. And a tip in any form is better than no tip.
|💡 Pro tip: Let your movers know in advance that you plan to tip, Phillips says. He suggests telling movers at the start of the move that “their tip will be based on their efforts.” In most cases, Phillips says, “you’ll get more out of your movers, because [they] will have something to look forward to.”|
FAQ about how much to tip movers
Is it customary to tip movers?
Yes, it’s customary to tip movers 10–20% of your move cost.
What’s the average tip for movers?
The average tip for movers changes depending on the move size, date, and location. Most people tip movers at least 5%, though, with a tip of 10–20% being a more customary tip for movers.
How much do you tip piano movers?
You should tip piano movers around $20 per mover. Tip up to $40 per piano mover for excellent service or a complicated move.