You are not required to tip movers. However, just like in restaurants and cabs, it is expected that you will give each mover at least some tip. So, how much are you expected to tip?
Amount to tip movers
Depending on whom you ask, you will get a different answer as to how much you are supposed to tip movers. The general consensus is that you should tip between 5% and 20%, and divide this up between each mover. If the service was great and the movers went above and beyond the call of duty, then you should aim for the higher amount. If the movers did a really bad job, then you might forgo tipping altogether.
For example: If your move cost a total of $3000, and the movers did a pretty good job (but not fantastic), then you might choose to tip 15% which comes to $450. If there were 4 movers, then you would give each about $110. You might want to give the foreperson a bit more, so the foreperson could get $150 and the movers $100 each.
Tipping based on hours spent for local moves
Another way to calculate the tip for local moves is to go by the hours spent on the job. Depending on where you live and how good of a job they did, you should tip $5-$10 per person, per hour. For example, if it took 4 working hours to complete your move and the movers did a good job, then you would want to tip each mover about $25-$40. The basis for this method of tipping is that movers often get paid lower amounts. You may be paying $150 per hour for the move, but the movers are only getting minimum wage for their time.
Tipping movers on multiple-day long-distance moves
With long-distance moves, the move will probably take several days and there may be an entirely different crew loading your belongings from the crew that unloads them. In this case, you will need to tip each crew, but tip each a smaller amount.
Don’t forget drinks and snacks!
When your move it going to take several hours or more, it is also often expected that you will provide snacks or a meal for the movers. Don’t worry – they don’t expect 5-star cuisine! You can order pizza for the movers and provide some basic refreshments, then factor these costs in with the tip.