Should we tip movers?
Like for many people who render services as their job, we can ask ourselves if we should tip movers. Giving a tip is sometimes an expected gesture (like for the restaurant servers, because they are paying taxes on expected tip amounts, whether or not they receive them), and in such cases it is very frowned upon not to leave a tip, unless the service has been terrible.
For other situations, it is usually a matter of choice, culture or habit in some contexts.
Normally, we give a small supplement when we have received an excellent service from one individual going beyond what was expected. Since moving is a service, we can thus say it is normal to tip movers who have given us an excellent service.
Movers are service employees, just like a taxi driver, a hotel maid or a hairdresser. These are people giving us a personalized service during which they have a strong interaction with us and they have lots of latitude in their service delivery to just limit themselves to the base service or to do that little extra that makes all the difference. It is then logic to tip movers who give us an excellent service.
But what is an excellent service for a mover? It obviously means going beyond simply move boxes, furniture or household appliances around. It also means offering a service that shows attention to details and to your belongings, as if they were theirs. It is about paying great attention to fragile objects to ensure they will arrive at the destination in perfect conditions. It is also about taking care of floors and walls to ensure not to damage or soil them during the indoors moving operations. It is more than reasonable to tip movers who do their work being aware of those considerations, going way beyond the base service for which they are paid.
How Much to Give?
But what amount to choose and give when you choose to tip movers? Here again, it is a very personal question, and the answer will vary depending on your financial resources as well as the quality of the service you received. A few standards promoted by etiquette specialists suggest a tip of about $5 per hour, for each mover. If the move is highly complicated, that it involves extremely fragile or valuable items, the etiquette specialists then suggest the tip should be around 10% of the overall moving bill, split among the various movers involved in transferring your belongings.
You can take into account the working conditions specific to the day of your move. For example, if the weather was awful (extremely warm or cold, rainy, etc.) or if they had to go through many flights of stairs. All these elements must be factored in at the moment to decide how much you should tip movers, and they could easily justify a bigger tip considering not only the excellent service offered but also the harsh conditions in which the service had to be carried out.
If you have received different levels of quality services from various employees during your move, you can, of course, tip movers differently, giving a different amount to every employee. In such a case, try to do that in private for each employee, so as not to cause discord or jealousy among the various movers who have been assigned to your move.
Other Forms of Appreciation
Of course, it is possible that you would not be comfortable handing away cash around or that you simply do not have cash available. There are other means to show your appreciation, in addition to tip movers.
However, avoid taking the work “tip” in the wrong way and offer drinks (beer, wine, spirits) to movers, in order to make them tipsy. Those professional employees cannot drink alcohol while they are on the clock, nor can they transport alcohol in their truck.
Another way to show your satisfaction, in addition to tip movers, is to leave a good comment for the company on various online resources. If an employee has been the star of the group of movers who transported your things, do not hesitate to mention his name in your comments. That will be appreciated by the employee and his boss might give him more jobs in the future.
For example, you could leave a positive comment on Yelp, Google Maps, or on the Facebook’s page of the company, etc., in addition to telling about your pleasant experience to your friends and family. A recommendation from you will always be appreciated by the company as well as by the employees.
In summary, “Should we tip movers?” – Yes. It is more than normal to tip movers who transfer your belongings with care and professionalism. That is a service you receive, just like the services offered by your hairdresser, the hotel bellboy of the delivery guy from your favorite restaurant.
How much to give when you tip movers is a personal choice. This all depends on your financial resources and the service you received, but an average of $5 per hour per mover, is the general recommendation from etiquette experts.
Finally, whether or not you have decided to tip movers, if you are satisfied of the service, let it be known around you, on recommendation sites and elsewhere. If you are not satisfied, have the courtesy of contacting the company first to give them a chance to make things right.