Moving day is here and you’re all packed up and ready to go. Hopefully, the moving crew has done their job and made the moving process as smooth as possible. While you’ve likely spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your move, you might be wondering whether you should tip your movers, especially if they did a good job. The fact is, moving companies don’t factor or take gratuities into account in their overall estimate. And while it’s not required, tipping is common in the moving industry and your NJ movers will certainly appreciate the gesture.
Figuring out what’s fair depends on a variety of factors including:
- Difficulty of move
- Quality of service
- Size of move
- Number of movers
When hiring professional movers, you should set aside some money for tipping that fits comfortably in your overall moving budget. This tipping guide can help you create a ballpark estimate of how much you should tip.
General Tipping Guide
You’re probably familiar with tipping at restaurants. There, you tip a portion of the total and increase the tip amount based on the service. If you try to carry over that concept to moving, it will cost hundreds of dollars. An excellent place to start is to tip movers at $4-5 per person for every hour they work. Here’s an easy breakdown of how to tip movers:
- Half-day move (generally 4 hours) – $20/person
- Full day (8 hours) – $40/person
- 12 hours or more – $50-60/person
While this is a baseline, you should also factor in the complexity of the move into the price. For example, if your movers are also packing all your things and moving bulky furniture like a pool table or piano, you might want to increase the rate.
Tipping on Moving Day
Most movers NJ residents trust should provide a decent baseline level of service. Most companies offer consistent training to ensure all crew members know best practices when it comes to moving things as efficiently as possible. Some factors to consider regarding the success of your move include:
- Punctuality – did the movers show up on time and communicate their arrival beforehand?
- Efficient – was your move completed on time or even faster than expected?
- Helpful – did the movers answer your questions? Did they help with packing, uninstalling, and basic disassembly of furniture?
- Friendly – while you don’t want your movers to be chatterboxes, you do want them to be friendly and respectful of you, your family, and your neighbors
- Excellent work ethic – they didn’t dawdle when they go on-site and performed work without any complaints including navigating tight halls and stairs
- Careful – Did all of your items arrive in the same condition as they left your old home? Did they damage anything including the walls or floors of your new or old place?
Of course, there might be times when you will need to adjust the tip downwards. Some things to look out for include:
- Poor attitude and tardiness
- Rude and loud during the move, shouting profanities around children and neighbors
- Lack of regard for your instructions, especially with fragile items
- Damaged belongings
- Threatening or demanding a certain amount of cash as a tip
Since tips are meant to show movers appreciation for their hard work, you can withhold a tip if the crew you had were particularly egregious. In these cases, you should also call the company directly and make a report. In many cases, you might be refunded a portion of your moving fee as an apology.
When and How to Tip Movers
As with any other service provider, you should only tip after the job is done. That way you can pay attention to their attitude, how they treat your belongings, and their professionalism throughout the entire process. The exception to this is for long-distance moves as these are often handled by multiple crews. You should provide a tip to the crew loading your items and to the crew unloading them at the destination.
With that said, you can let the workers know beforehand that you intend to tip them for their hard work. That might motivate them to get the job done faster! When figuring out how much you owe, don’t forget to count non-monetary contributions that you provide during the move such as lunch, water bottles, coffee, etc. Something like a water bottle shouldn’t decrease the tip amount dramatically, but a lunch might replace a tip in its entirety.
Once the relocation is complete, put the cash tip for each mover in a separate envelope and hand them out individually instead of giving out the total amount to the foreman. It will limit confusion and prevent potential dishonesty where some movers take a higher cut than others. Also, by handing out the tip individually, you are showing that you are recognizing everyone’s effort. And while it’s customary to give each mover the same amount, you can give a higher one to someone who went above and beyond.
Other Ways to Show Your Appreciation
Yes, cash is king, but there are plenty of other ways you can thank your movers. While not necessary, these can go a long way and help future moves go smoothly if you choose to use the same company. Some ideas include:
- Leaving a good online review using their names
- Provide refreshing cold or hot drinks (depending on the time of year). Just make sure these are non-alcoholic drinks!
- Offer small snacks or food to help keep their energy levels up!
- Write a thank you letter after they have completed the relocation and include it with their cash tip
- Offer a meal. This might not work for very busy movers, but you can always offer a quick meal of pizza, sandwich, etc. that they can take to go. Also, make sure to check if they have any dietary restrictions before putting in the order!
- If you have items like furniture or decor you no longer need, offer it to the movers in case they want it. Many will gladly take it off your hands either to keep in their own home or sell
Help Improve Moving Efficiency
While you’ve hired the NJ movers to load and unload your items, you can make the job go a lot faster by making sure you’ve fully packed everything. Some movers will recommend you leave large and/or expensive items like glass tabletops, TVs, etc. to them as they know how to wrap them up properly.
While they will disassemble and dismount your AC units and furniture, it’s always a good idea to do it yourself. That way, you know exactly where all the screws, brackets, and nails are. Also, make sure to empty all your drawers and shelves. It will reduce the weight of these items and the movers don’t have to worry about your belongings flying out of the shelves during the drive to your new home.
Another step you can take to make your and your mover’s life easy is to label each box appropriately. A well-labeled box includes the room name and a basic inventory of what’s in the box. You should make sure any boxes containing fragile items are labeled accordingly. That way the movers will know to handle them with care.
Moving is a tough job and any action you can take to make it easier helps your assigned crew out alot. Once the NJ movers have completed their job, show your appreciation by giving them a well-deserved tip and great review!
Do I need to tip piano movers?
Much like regular movers, you should tip piano movers for around $4-5 per hour per person.
Should I tip by cash or can I make credit card tips?
You should tip cash to make sure each mover gets the appropriate amount. If you tip by credit card, there’s no way to know if everyone got their fair share plus the amount is reduced thanks to credit card fees.
Is it okay not to tip movers?
While it’s generally a good rule of thumb to provide a tip, movers are part of the service industry, there are times when it’s appropriate not to tip. If the movers damaged your furniture, are careless, rude, showed up late, etc. you don’t have to tip. Of course, accidents happen, so it’s up to you to use your judgment.