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How Much To Tip A Mover? What’s The Cost!

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Moving day is just about complete! Let me get my wallet and…..only $5?! UGH! How come I didn’t think about how much to tip a mover earlier?

Am I supposed to tip my movers? If I don’t, will it look bad? How much should I tip them? Deciding on how much to tip a mover is not a question we should be answering when moving day is already here. 

Honestly, when moving, there are already so many things we need to think about: little organizational details, finishing packing those last-minute items, cleaning up, un-taped boxes, and, truth be told, there are just a lot of costs that are involved! With all of these particulars, thinking about tipping our hard-working movers, and shelling out more money, can tend to come last on our list. 

Think about it, though. 

Movers are often spending long hours, in maybe even inclement weather, loading and unloading lots of heavy items, organizing items on and off the truck, potentially climbing up and down stairs all day with weighty items, and tackling all the moving frustrations you specifically hired them to take care of. Showing them some extra gratitude will be highly appreciated.

Ok, but now that leads us to even more questions you’re probably wondering….When is the tip given- before or after unloading? Does the distance of the move increase your tipping percentage? You’re probably even wondering, “Who really knows the answers to any of these questions?” 

Don’t worry, we have you covered! Although moving is expensive and can be stressful, we have put together a few recommendations you can keep in mind when it comes to tipping a mover. 

Table of Contents

Is It Ok Not To Tip Movers?

If you do not tip your movers, you will not face any repercussions. At least in the US, tipping is not mandatory, and there are no laws stating what percentage should be given. In all reality, though, you probably overpacked a few boxes in the move, and being a mover is often a thankless job. Though tipping may not be mandatory, it is common practice. 

In some professions, though not required, tipping can be expected, as most employers may even pay their employees less, knowing customers will tip them. Not to mention, tipping will also show them your appreciation. These are few factors you may want to keep in mind when deciding on tipping your movers. 

Yes, moving is expensive, and yes, you may not want to spend much more money, but let me assure you, the cost of how much you tip a mover may not be as much as you think. Plus, there are a few monetary substitutions!

How Much To Tip Movers For Both Local and Long Distance Moves

In connection with the guidelines we use for tipping in the United States, gratuity for tipping a mover usually ranges from 15% to 20% of the total pre-tax bill when it comes to long-distance moves. For a short-distance move, you can estimate tipping your mover around 10% of the move’s total cost.

Of course, your tips can be adjusted and modified to a percentage that you think is reasonable for the service you were provided. If your movers went above and beyond and you would like to be more generous with your tip, I can almost guarantee they wouldn’t argue with that! 

Tipping is not only based upon simply short and long-distance moves. The amount of time the movers dedicated for your move also plays a role. For example, if it took a half-day to move, you may consider tipping $10-15 per person. On the other hand, for a full 8 hour day, then a tip of $20-25 would be considered more appropriate. You may also want to add to the tip if the movers had to move extremely heavy furniture or navigate through tough spaces and stairs.  

SE Florida to Ocala, FL- 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 218 mile move LOCAL MOVE Estimation $1,420 - $1,950
SE, Florida to Nashville, Tennessee 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 769 mile move LONG DISTANCE MOVE Estimation $3,898- $5,430
SE Florida to Ocala, FL- 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 218 mile move LOCAL MOVE Estimation $1,420 - $1,950
NE From Ellsworth, Maine to Caribou, Maine 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 140 mile move LOCAL MOVE Estimation $1,272- $1,737
NE From Ellsworth, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 218 mile move LONG DISTANCE MOVE Estimation $2,894 - $3,980
NW From Portland, Oregon to Bend, Oregon 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 128 mile move LOCAL MOVE Estimation $1,281 - $1,751
NW From Portland, Oregon to Spokane, Washington 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 291 mile move LONG DISTANCE MOVE Estimation $3,001 - $4,137
SW From Phoenix, Arizona to Tucson, Arizona 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 106 mile move LOCAL MOVE Estimation $1,230 - $1,676
SW From Phoenix, Arizona to Santa Fe, New Mexico 2-3 bedroom home on a Saturday move 379 mile move LONG DISTANCE MOVE Estimation $3,146 - $4,344

Keep in mind, the percentages listed above are suggestions, not a hard-fast rule, so for each circumstance and situation, how much you tip your mover can and will vary.

Helpful Moving Day Etiquette Tips

On moving day, it’s no secret you will probably be running around, on an emotional rollercoaster, and triple-checking to make sure nothing gets left behind. There are so many tasks, small and large, that need your attention. One of the important tasks that shouldn’t be neglected is how to treat your moving crew! 

Here are a few ways to keep the crew who is handling your precious possessions happy and productive.

While moving, having on hand cold bottled refreshments for your movers would be a courteous and appreciated gesture. It may be extremely hot out that day, but, even if it isn’t, your movers will be breaking a sweat moving all of your items. 

In addition, you may also want to provide a simple lunch for the crew in lieu of a tip, and that is also absolutely fine. If you are thinking of offering to buy lunch, it would be appropriate to ask the crew if they have any food preferences, or food allergies. Buying them lunch would be of no use if they couldn’t eat it! 

A final way to keep your movers happy is to give each mover their individual tip at the end of their day. This will show that you appreciated everyone’s individual hard work. If you were to give one person the entire amount, it would be difficult to ensure that the tip was properly divided and allocated to each person.


Now you can rest a bit easier understanding how much to tip a mover. With our practical suggestions, you will be completely confident when it comes to your tip amount. Since we all know moving is already overwhelming, having in mind how much you plan to tip before the moving process begins will make things so much easier for you the day of. 

Keep in mind a customary tip is 10% to 20%, but depending on your moving situation this range may vary. If you are on a tight budget, never forget you can also substitute a cash tip with something non-monetary, like a lunch. 

All in all, don’t take those hard-working movers for granted! They are taking a load off of you, so making sure to show your appreciation even in a small way will leave both of you walking away from your move quite satisfied.

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Jessica Sweatt

Jessica is a world traveler and takes pride in running her home.

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