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Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page

tip movers

One of the business lessons we learn in life involves the practice of tipping. We typically learn about the practice of tipping while dining at a full service restaurant. Then, we become accustomed to tipping hotel valets and our hair stylists. However, there is confusion concerning whether we should tip the professionals that help us move and relocate. Should you tip moving professionals?

The answer is yes. However, the real question is how much should you tip movers?

How much to tip movers is a sensitive issue, as is asking the same question for tipping bartenders or even a black jack dealer. You certainly do not want to come off as a cheap customer. On the other hand, over tipping often leads to future expectations of receiving the same amount of gratuity.


Why Tipping After Moving Long Distance Makes Sense

Unlike dining at your favorite restaurant or visiting your hair stylist every few weeks, moving is often a one-time life event. Even if you are in the military or work a job that requires an occasional move, you should not expect to need a moving company for at least every couple of years. So, why should you tip people that you might never see again?

The simple answer is called showing appreciation. As you know, moving is one of the most dreaded activities in life. From the frustration of trying to pack everything into a truck to falling behind the schedule, moving can trigger a substantial amount of frustration. By hiring a moving company that employs professional movers, you reduce the stress and anxiety of making a move. In return, you can show your appreciation for a relatively stress free move by tipping each member of the professional moving team for packing and moving your storage and furniture.


Here are few other reasons to tip the moving team of professionals that helped you relocate:

  • Movers arrived on time
  • Moving company employees were friendly and open to answering several questions
  • Your property remained in the same condition as it was before packing and making the long distance move
  • Movers acted professionally, especially when confronted with unexpected challenges
  • The moving company employees treated your stuff as if it was their own
  • The movers worked hard from the start to the completion of the move

Overview on How Much to Tip Movers (including foreman)

How much to tip movers in NYC or anywhere else in the US must be based on how well the moving team performed the long distance move. Performance involves the process of packing, loading, moving, unloading and unpacking. Movers' performance also involves determining your level of satisfaction, as well as if the move was completed under budget. Above all, make sure to tip your movers on what you feel is fair.

Tipping Guide - Moving Quality and Experience

Tipping Movers - Tipping Etiquette and General Breakdown on How Much to Tip Movers in 2022

Above Average Tip - If the moving crew and foreman went beyond your expectations in performing a move that had few, if any issues.

Average Tip - Did an okay job of moving your stuff and ensuring your storage and furniture remained in one piece

Below Average Tip - Movers completed the move, with a few issues affecting the quality of the job during the cross-country move

No Tip - An absolutely terrible job tarnished by several disagreements between you and one or more members of the moving team


How Much to Tip Local Movers

Local moves typically require less planning, and moves within the same area take less time to complete. Does this mean you need to tip the moving team less than what you tips movers for mid and long distance moves? The answer is the amount of money tipped will be less for a local move, but the percentage rule you apply for performance will remain roughly the same. In short, it is advisable to maintain the tipping etiquette elaborated above.

Standard tipping practice for dining out is usually between 15% and 20%. If you apply the restaurant tipping principle to the team of professional movers in charge of your relocation, you might end up tipping out hundreds of dollars. Even moves across town can cost homeowners a lot of money, depending on cargo weight and how long the move takes.

For a local move that is completed above your expectations, think about tipping each member of the moving team around $6 per hour. For example, four movers work six hours to complete your move. You total tip for the entire team will be $144. Each member of the team will earn an additional $36 on top of the wages and bonuses paid by the moving company. For a local move that involves the moving company employees doing an average job, consider tipping each member of the moving crew $4 an hour.


How Much to Tip Long Distance Movers

According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average cost of a long distance move is a little more than $4,300. How does the AMSA define a long distance move? It is a move from one state to the next state, even if the two states border each other. Long distance moving costs widely vary, as a move from Miami to San Francisco will cost much more than a move from Kansas City, MO to Chicago.

Let’s go with the $4,300 amount provided by the AMSA. If you tip 20% on a $4,300 move, well, you make the calculation. You would be out more than $800.

Tipping the team members of a long distance moving company can also include the scenario when two different moving companies work on the project. You can have movers that pack and load the truck at your home. Then, a different moving company is responsible for transporting your furniture and storage long distance.

In any case of a long distance move, you want to forget about the percentage based tipping system used for virtually every other type of business transaction. Instead, you want to use a per hour tipping system based on the same performance factors you used for a local move. However, the amount per hour for an average job should be $5, while for an outstanding job, you should bump the amount paid an hour up to $8.

Finally, how should you tip moving professionals? Although we have become a credit card driven society, most movers in NYC and elsewhere in the US prefer the old school way of tipping: Cash. You can pay the long distance moving bill by using a credit card, but when it comes to saying “Job well done,” cash should rule the day.


Before tipping, you need to also find the best long distance moving companies for your relocation! 9Kilo.com helps you get in touch with best nationwide movers in the country. Get free moving quotes and estimates online using the "Calculate My Move" button on this page!