Santa Barbara Movers | Should you tip your movers ?

Should you tip your movers?

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Do you have to tip your movers?

Your moving day is fast approaching and you have everything planned out. You’ve packed your life neatly into boxes and suitcases, you’ve wrapped up your furniture, and you’ve hired a professional moving company. Now comes the final (and most awkward) part: how much do you tip your movers on the big day?

Moving companies are in the service industry and tipping is a standard way to show your gratitude. Thus said, in no way should tipping your movers be considered something that you have to do. While a lot of people get genuinely worried whether they should tip their movers or not at the end of the move, the answer cannot be any simpler than that: just ask yourself if you’re happy with the moving service you just received. It’s that simple.

Not all moving companies are created equally. If you get anything less than an exceptional experience, you definitely shouldn’t feel obligated to hand over more cash. But if your movers have gone above and beyond what you expected, it’s a nice gesture to reward their hard work.

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Tipping your movers is appropriate if:

  • they showed up on time,
  • they finished your move in a shorter timeline than expected,
  • they had to navigate excessive flights of stairs,
  • they helped you pack your things,
  • nothing was damaged in the move, or
  • they wowed you with their customer service and professionalism

If they showed up late, damaged your things, or acted unprofessionally, keep your wallet in your pocket.

How much to tip local movers?

Unlike most industries in the service sector, tips based on percentages won’t work well in the moving industry. For example, the standard tipping practice in restaurants is 15-20% of the final bill. However, should you tip your movers 20% of your final moving bill, you might be okay with the tipping amount but you might also be giving your hired crew a fortune depending on just how much your final bill turns out to be.

As a guideline, most people will tip their movers 5-10%.

  • If your movers do a satisfactory job, consider tipping them $4-$5/hour per mover. For instance, if a team of 3 local movers works 8 hours to complete your short distance move, then you will end up tipping each mover $40/day which is a decent, appropriate and pretty standard tip for movers.
  • If your movers do an outstanding job and you’re very happy with the way they handled your move, then you may be willing to reward their efforts in the range of $6-$7/hour per mover, or even $8/hour per mover. Again, use your best judgment to determine how much the tip should be.
  • Don’t make the mistake of giving the entire sum to the foreman or the driver! If you’re wondering why that could prove to be a mistake, then keep in mind that some not-so-honest foremen might simply forget to share the tipping money among the crew members and keep the money to themselves.

Other ways to tip!

If you’re not comfortable doling out cash, that’s okay. You can always tip your movers in other ways on moving day. It’s almost guaranteed that your movers are going to work up a sweat, so cold refreshments are a nice gesture. If your move is starting early in the morning, offer your movers coffee and bananas to fuel them up for the day ahead. If your move runs over their lunch or dinner break, you could provide a simple meal like pizza or sandwiches.

Tipping is one of those awkward things that no one really knows to handle. But don’t stress out over it! A good moving company will never expect a tip. If you choose to give them something — whether it’s cash, a beverage, or a smile — they will always be grateful.


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