The tipping culture around the world is very versatile. While in some countries tips are a given and they are always factored in into the cost, in other parts of the world whether or not you tip is completely up to you! When it comes to the USA, you are always free to make your own choices and decide how much you want to tip for the services you received. Now, while you won’t have a second thought about tipping at a restaurant as it’s a daily occurrence, you might have trouble tipping your local movers. Few service industry employees work harder than affordable movers do.

Your tip reflects your appreciation for the quality of their service, the difficulty of the move, or unforeseen challenges. After all, if these people relocate everything you own without any hitches, you’re grateful – right? We don’t exactly relocate daily. As you’re budgeting for your local or long-distance move, you may be wondering – are you supposed to tip movers? Although you’re not obligated, most homeowners do tip their affordable movers. But even if you want to, some local movers don’t permit tipping, so give your local movers a ring to find out its policy. So, how much to tip movers and when to do it? Let Professional Santa Clarita Movers help you conclude!

Are you supposed to tip movers?

Restaurant tips or gratuity. Banknotes and coins on a plate

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: you shouldn’t necessarily feel obligated to tip your affordable movers. The decision of whether or not to tip your local movers is dependent on several factors. If your local movers deliver quality service, efficiency, and care transporting your items, and a professional attitude, you should then consider tipping them. Now, if you’re asking yourself why you should tip your affordable movers if you aren’t necessarily obligated to do so, that’s also a very fair question. Many homeowners are under the misconception that because their local movers are being paid by the moving company, no tip is necessary.

 When you eat at a restaurant or hail a cab, however, you probably feel obligated to tip for the services you are provided. Tipping your affordable movers works the same way! When you tip your local movers, you are showing them that you were pleased with the services they provided- similarly to waiters and cab drivers. As a service industry professional, tipping your local movers is in no way required but is a great way to show your appreciation for top-notch service. If you feel that your local movers were anything less than professional, however, you shouldn’t feel bad about withholding a tip. So we want to make it clear that tipping is not required, but as with most services tipping is a way for the customer to express their thanks for a job well done.

Young male professional local mover doing home relocation

While there is no “average tip”, it is widely accepted that tipping amounts for affordable movers range from 5% of the total bill to $20 per man. Proper etiquette is to tip each mover individually, not to the foreman or supervisor. This shows that you recognize and appreciate their efforts. If you feel that one or two local movers worked especially hard, or are more deserving than the others, then feel free to tip that mover a little extra. If the crew has gone above and beyond your expectations, you may certainly match their efforts with a larger tip amount.

Tipping is especially warranted when the service exceeds your expectations, or the move is particularly tricky. If the crew provided extra TLC for your piano, completed the job far in advance of the quoted schedule, had to haul lots of heavy furniture up narrow stairs, or managed a long steep pathway from the van to your front door, you probably will want to show your appreciation with a tip. However, if the local movers don’t treat you or your belongings with respect, or your experience is simply awful, you don’t owe anything beyond your contract agreement. Also, if you do decide to tip, be sure to hit the ATM before moving day so you’ll have plenty of cash on hand.

How much to tip movers?

An important factor to consider when deciding how much to tip movers is whether or not they were local movers or long-distance movers. Local movers typically operate in a small area, so their services won’t be needed for as long as may be the case in regards to long-distance movers. For local movers, you can expect to follow the same tipping formulas that we touched upon earlier. There are several ways in which you can calculate the ideal tip for your local movers. Some people give them between 5 and 20% of the final moving cost.

Now, this can get too high too fast, given the fact that a move can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars, to a few thousand dollars. Another, better way is to tip them based on the hours spent working. For example, you would give $10 for a four-hour shift, $20 for an eight-hour shift, etc. Of course, you can also follow the advice to give a $4 or $5 per hour. If you are moving on a tight budget and you still want to tip affordable movers, it is truly up to you. There are no wrong answers here.

When and how to tip local movers?

Moving with care. Full length shot of two contractor employees, young and aged worker in uniform moving personal belongings, furniture inside apartment. Moving service concept. Local movers

Some people are tempted to tip their local movers even before they begin, thinking it will serve as an incentive for local movers to provide quality service. However, this goes against common tipping etiquette. If you’ve enlisted the help of a reputable Professional Santa Clarita Movers, you don’t have to worry because your local movers will expertly execute your move even without a promise for added reward. 

The best time to tip your local movers is at the end of your move. We know it can be awkward to show your appreciation, but don’t stress over it. You could tip only those who provided excellent service or tip the whole crew for a standout job. Unless they tell you otherwise, avoid giving the foreman the entire amount or adding a tip to the bill for the company to split since it could take a while to process the payment and divide the money among the workers.

 There are three ways in which you can tip your movers. The first way is to give them cash. This is also the best way to do it. Just make sure that you hand the tips directly to every mover on-site, and not to the foreman. There is always a possibility that the foreman will keep a portion of the money for himself, so it is better not to risk. The second option is to pay by your card. When you want to pay for the final moving costs, some moving companies actually have the option to receive tips for local movers via card. This is really useful if you have forgotten to withdraw cash from the ATM. The third option is to write them a cheque.

You can do it on spot as well, and it is pretty convenient if you have to justify that money with your tax advisor. You can also have the tax deducted for this purpose. Whichever option that you chose is perfectly fine. Your affordable movers will be happy and grateful.

When not to tip your local movers?

Moving House. Local movers

Your local movers arrived on time, packed your belongings accordingly, and placed them inside the moving trucks. But when you opened the boxes, you found broken items inside. What should you do? How should you handle the situation? Are you supposed to tip movers? Remember that accidents do happen. 

No matter how careful your affordable movers pack your belongings with care and attention, they are also human and can make mistakes. If something goes wrong during the moving process, but you think your local movers did everything they could to take care of your things, give them a small tip or at least leave a positive review.

What are the other ways to show appreciation?


Your local movers are people, just like you! They will understand if you are not financially endowed, which will prevent you from giving them a tip. But, here’s a piece of good news – there are other ways to show your gratitude for a job well done. For starters, you can be attentive to their needs during the process. You can bring out snacks and hot/cold beverages, depending on the season. 

You can try to give a helping hand without being overbearing. If you don’t want to tip local movers despite their excellent job, that is okay. There are other ways to appreciate their hard work without using money, and we will list some of them:

  • Offer cold drinks- Moving is hard, especially if you have a lot of items, so it would be nice to offer your local movers cold water, soda, or coffee.
  • Buy lunch- Instead of tipping, some people prefer buying the moving crew lunch, which is also a nice gesture. Others want to do both. There are no rules, so do whatever feel is right. If you want to treat your affordable movers to a nice lunch, ask them if they have a preference — pizza, a delicious sandwich, or something else.
  • Have snacks on hand- Some local moves take hours to complete, so have some snacks available before or after lunch. A fruit salad, sweets, or healthy snacks are always a nice option.
  • An honest “Thank you”- You were too busy to prepare or buy snacks, and you don’t want to tip your affordable movers because you feel like you’ve paid the company enough, which is perfectly fine. As said before, you are not obligated to do anything. Sometimes an honest “thank you” is enough to make local movers feel acknowledged and appreciated. You can thank them for their hard work, leave a positive review on the moving company’s website, and recommend them to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
  • Offer local movers your old or unwanted furniture- If you have old furniture you don’t want anymore, or it doesn’t fit your new home, offer it to one of the workers. If the furniture is in good condition, chances are good they will take it.

To make it even more clear, tipping is not expected and is up to the customer. Tips can be a touchy subject in any profession, but the subject may be more so for local movers who are handling your possessions. If you feel like your affordable movers have performed exceptionally well, feel free to tip them. However, if your experience happens to be less than satisfactory, you are not obligated to give them anything. So, here’s the answer to the question, “Are you supposed to tip movers?” In the moving industry, there’s no expectation to tip, but like anything, when it’s a job well done, it’s always appreciated.

Certainly, don’t feel obligated, but it’s a good idea to have cash-on-hand to acknowledge a crew that goes above and beyond. Even though tipping local movers means that you have to give more money, after a job is well done, you are just happy to do it.

When you hire a reliable moving company, where the local movers are professional and experienced, you start to feel really generous and want to tip them. And to be honest, tipping waiters and others from the service providing industries has become so normal, that we forget that being local movers require a lot more strength and durability, and they truly deserve tips as well.

But, of course, you should tip the affordable movers only if you are satisfied with the service providers. And if you need professional local movers for your upcoming relocation, feel free to get in touch with Professional Santa Clarita Movers and get your free moving quote today!

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