How Much to Tip Movers When Moving Cross Country?

June 10, 2022Moving Tips
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

When you start planning your long-distance relocation, you will undoubtedly need a trustworthy relocation crew who will provide you with excellent service. One of the dilemmas you might have is how much to tip movers for long-distance moving. Let’s take a look at this issue and answer the most common questions.

Although there isn’t a rule set in stone, it’s customary to tip your relocation crew about $5 per hour of work per person. That means the tip should never be less than $20 for the day since most relocations can’t last under 4 hours. It’s polite to reward the workers on both ends of a long-distance move unless there’s just one team who does all the work – in that case, you should pay them once the relocation is done.

Is It Necessary to Give a Tip for Long-Distance Moving Services?

Organizing a move is a complicated task – there are so many tasks on your relocation to-do list that it shouldn’t be surprising most people think stress-free moving doesn’t exist. We are here to tell you it does – but only if you do your best to be well-prepared for the challenge ahead of you. That includes knowing how to prepare for the relocation crew – you should learn about the tipping customs in the moving industry. Is it necessary to tip your mover after the job is done? Some people think that the cost of relocating is enough – should you add tips to your relocation budget?


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The Decision is Up to You – But It Is Customary to Leave a Bonus as a Sign of Gratitude

At the end of the day, there isn’t one right answer to this question – you can’t make a horrible moving mistake regarding tipping. There are no strict guidelines or recommendations like in the restaurant business, for example. The best thing we can use as a rule of thumb is the experience – what do most people do in this situation? When it comes to relocations to new cities, most people provide their crew with tips to reward them for a job well done. It’s considered polite to do so, seeing as the movers are doing hard physical work, often in the unpleasant weather conditions. Of course, the final decision is up to you – no one says you absolutely have to give tips for even the best of moving services.

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Finding a Reliable Moving and Car Shipping Company Can Be Tough – If You Found One That Does Great Work, Reward Them

Before you ask yourself – how much do I tip movers? – we urge you to think about one thing. Finding a legitimate relocation company can be a real challenge – there are so many relocation scams out there, and you need to be extra careful when booking these services. Of course, the same goes for choosing the best USA auto transport company. If you are smart, you will find a company that does both auto transport and relocation services.

But, regardless of what kind of auto transport delivery you book (door-to-door auto transport or terminal-to-terminal car shipping), you want people who are trustworthy and professional. This stands for both the companies that provide open carriers, as well as enclosed auto transport. If you manage to find someone like that, and for a reasonable cost, why not show your appreciation? These tips won’t affect you much, but they will mean a lot to those who spent hours carrying your items and boxes.

Cross-country movers carrying a refrigerator
How much should I tip movers? What is the right amount to reward their hard work?

How Much to Tip Movers Who Help You With Long-Distance Moving? Here’s What You Need to Know

Now that we’ve established the importance of tipping, it’s time to tackle the main issue – how much do you tip movers? You don’t want to end up looking cheap, right? But you also probably don’t want to give more than you had to – the relocation has already cost you enough, and you can’t wait to get this over with and arrive at your new home. Still, this isn’t a place to save on a relocation cost – compared to the overall cost of your move, the money you give to a mover won’t change anything.

What Is an Appropriate Tip for Movers?

Most relocations start early in the day – if you are well-organized, you will probably want to begin in the morning. Considering the number of items, boxes, and pieces of packed furniture you have, this job can last anywhere from 4 to 12 hours. That means you can’t offer a fixed amount for a mover regardless of the circumstances.

Generally speaking, people think it is best to give about $5 for each hour the mover spends working. Keep in mind that it should be $5 PER PERSON – every team will have a few workers, so you can do your math depending on how many workers show up.

Can You Tip Too Much?

Workers from every service industry will agree that you can never overtip. The importance of tipping is actually huge. After all, these numbers are here to show your satisfaction with the job – if you are particularly impressed with the team that helped you get to the new home, you have every right to reward them. They will be grateful, trust us. No matter how much they earn, a little bonus never hurts anybody.

Also, if your move had some difficult circumstances, such as too many fragile items to carry, many flights of stairs and no elevator, or carrying a piano, it would be polite of you to acknowledge that and offer an extra few dollars.

Do You Tip Movers on Both Ends of a Long-Distance Moving?

Do you tip movers when they load or unload? A lot of people experience anxiety about the move because of this question, but we are here to clarify everything. The answer is actually very simple – it depends on how many relocation teams you had working for you. You can always check this with your company, but there are usually two different crews handling loading and unloading your items at the old home and a new one. It is only logical that you would give the money to both teams, don’t you think?

Movers carrying sofa
It is best to reward your team for their service on a relocation day

How to Politely Hand Over the Tips for Your Workers?

One of the relocation essentials you need to know about tipping a mover is how to actually do it. Even if you have a last-minute move and you’re in a real hurry, you wouldn’t want to offend the workers after they did the best job possible. So, how do you hand over the money without looking awkward, and when should you do that?

What Is the Most Polite Way to Give Tips?

Most relocation tips suggest that the best time to hand out dollars is when the service is done, and all your belongings are safely loaded on or unloaded off the truck. It simply makes sense to wait and see if you actually like how the workers treated your items, right? Still, some experts suggest that it can be wise to offer some sort of a small amount before any services are done – the concept says your team will be better motivated if they know they will certainly be rewarded when they finish. Of course, professionals will provide top assistance regardless, but this is just something to keep in mind as an option.

Whenever you decide to give the money, there is one essential relocation hack to remember. It is never smart to give all the money to the team leader and expect them to divide the amount and give part of it to every worker. You never know how they will divide it – will it be fair? No, the adequate way to handle this situation is to give a bonus to each worker separately. Since you would still technically be relocating during Coronavirus, we’d suggest you skip shaking hands, but you can always thank the people who helped you get to your new home.

Packed and labeled boxes
When is the right time to thank your team for carrying all those heavy boxes?

Can You Express Your Gratitude in Other Ways Instead of Tipping?

If you, for some reason, don’t want to reward these essential workers with money, are there other ways you can show your appreciation? Sure, there are different ways to thank the people who helped you move to a home in a new state, but these are often considered an addition to the money. Of course, you have every right to decide to skip the money and instead simply treat the workers to lunch – this is the second most common thing people do for their relocation team apart from tipping. Here’s what you need to know on alternatives for tipping.

Is it customary to buy lunch for movers?

Yes, this is considered polite, even if you plan on giving the workers money. It is especially nice to do this if you are relocating in the summer when there are higher chances of people getting exhausted from the physical work such as carrying boxes.

If you decide to buy them lunch, what food should you get?

It is always better to ask the workers instead of guessing. Pro advise – skip the pizza. Relocation workers are probably already sick of it, as this is the most common food people think to offer.

Should you offer them snacks when they take breaks?

You can, but you don’t have to. Still, if you want to be extra polite, you can always ask if they want something.

Should you have water or soda ready for the relocation crew?

This is a definite yes. As we’ve mentioned, relocations are hard physical work, and you surely wouldn’t want anybody to collapse in front of your home.

Is it okay to offer your movers beer or other alcoholic beverages?

No, this is never a good idea. Workers are strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol when working, but they might feel uncomfortable declining. So, you shouldn’t even offer unless you want to get somebody fired.

Is It OK Not to Tip Movers in Some Situations?

Yes, there are some situations when it is more than okay to refuse to give money to the relocation team without looking cheap or rude. If they didn’t help you achieve an efficient move or have treated you or your things with disrespect, you shouldn’t offer any tips.

Tipping Is Based on Customer Satisfaction – Here Are the Questions to Consider When Deciding Whether to Give Money or Not

So, now the question is – how to decide if you’re right not to offer the money to the team? What are the criteria to help you set apart a good and a bad relocation worker? Every move is different, but there are some common issues that you might face – if you book one of the not-so-good companies. In case you answer one of the following questions with a yes, you definitely shouldn’t offer bonuses.

  • Were the workers rude or unpleasant in any way?
  • Were they late for the relocation?
  • Did they seem to stall or work extra slowly?
  • Did they lose some of your boxes?
  • Did they damage anything?
  • Were they careful when handling fragile belongings?
  • Did they take frequent and unnecessary breaks?

Great Relocation Crew Is the Key Thing That Will Define Your Relocation Experience – Book Your Team on Time

The importance of relocation companies is obvious – it’s next to impossible to pull off a stress-free move without the professionals. They are the heart and soul of every cross-country move, and we hope you get only the top-rated ones for yours. That’s why you shouldn’t put off finding the relocation business and booking their service. Do this before all the good ones are booked – don’t waste time. Contact the pros today, and ensure a smooth trip to your new home in another state.

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