Should you tip your movers?
Legend has it that the tradition of tipping began in Great Britain in the eighteenth century. A café manager is said to have placed a container on the counter with the words “to insure promptness,” which gave rise to the acronym “TIP.” As a result, clients who wanted to receive prompter service had to leave a few extra coins. The word “tip” has remained part of the English language ever since, while the French equivalent, “pourboire,” similarly to the equivalent in several other languages, translates roughly into “drinking money.”
While the true origin of the word is not entirely clear, the amount one should tip is even less so. Therefore, it seems only fitting to provide a few words of advice with regard to tipping your movers, whether you should do it in accordance with best practices or at your discretion, as you deem appropriate.
When, why and how much: the ABCs of tipping your movers
Movers provide us with personalized service, which can range from ordinary to extraordinary. This raises the question of whether you should give your movers a tip. The answer is that tipping isn’t obligatory, but it is highly recommendable…and appreciated! Moving is a difficult, demanding profession. Transporting heavy objects, packing up fragile items, ensuring that everything is secure during the trip and unloading everything without breaking anything… All of that requires a certain kind of expertise that only professional movers can offer.
You may be thinking that all of these tasks are simply part of the job a mover is paid to do. Consequently, what criteria should you employ in order to determine the appropriate amount to tip?
- The complexity of the move: are you situated on the ground floor or upstairs? Do you have a lot of furniture? Are the boxes heavy?
- The quality of the service: did the movers arrive on time? Were they extra careful with your fragile items? Did they take care not to damage your walls and floors? Did they make a mess? Did they clean up before they left?
- The weather conditions: was it cold? Or was it hot and humid?
- The final price tag: did you use their packing services? Did they have to use a second truck to move everything?
With these considerations in mind, let’s cut to the chase: how much should you give them? It’s customary to say that the amount is at your discretion. While this is technically true, $20 per mover is a good average. If you’re particularly satisfied or if the move was complex, you might consider a tip equivalent to 10 percent of the total cost of your move, to be split among the movers. Of course, if you notice that some of them made a greater effort than others did, there’s nothing stopping you from giving a different amount to each one.
Finally, when should you tip them? It’s best to do it when all the work is completed so you can base the amount of the tip on the service in its entirety, from arrival to unloading.
Other gestures of thanks
Other actions can show your movers that you’re satisfied with their service or that you care about their well-being, especially when it’s extremely hot or cold outside. Furthermore, from a purely practical standpoint, you may not have enough cash on you or you may feel uncomfortable giving them money. In that case, you could do any of the following:
- Leave a comment online, remembering to give credit to any employee who particularly stood out.
- Offer them beverages, snacks or even a meal while they’re working.
- Thank them sincerely, mentioning that you’ll recommend them to your friends, family and colleagues. It’s simple and very effective!
Of course, you may run into some people who have a bad attitude, in which case, neither tipping nor pleasantries should be on the menu!
However, in general, you should bear in mind that movers like the professionals at Group STC Movers help guide and support you during a significant moment in your life, relieving you of a great deal of stress. Such a big event merits a little gesture of gratitude, don’t you think?
Journal de Montréal. Le pourboire : Comment ça marche et à qui en donner [The tip: how it works and whom to give it to]. 2019.
Moving Waldo. How Much Should I Tip Movers – and When?