Professional movers work in the service industry, along with restaurant servers, hotel bellhops, airport porters, and so on. Because of that, tipping is an acceptable practice. In fact, most experts who work for moving companies depend on tips as part of their income. Therefore, if you are happy with the services provided, you should include tipping in your moving budget.
The question that you probably have is what is the protocol for tipping professional movers. While this is somewhat subjective based on the quality of service, there are some general guidelines. As an example, some people prefer to offer a flat fee when tipping as opposed to a percentage. Minimally, you would tip $20 per mover for a local or long-distance move.
If your move involves a large home with a huge volume of items or a business, which is more complicated and time-consuming, tipping around $40 per crew member in these scenarios is acceptable. You should even tip the foreman or supervisor associated with your move, which runs about $50 for smaller and less complex jobs and up to $100 for larger and commercial moves.
When using professional movers to transport furniture and large appliances to a new home, office, or storage facility, the standard tipping rate is between $5 and $10 for each member of the moving crew. If you have a significant number of items to move, a $20 tip is more in line with proper protocol. Although they are doing their job, it is hard work to lift heavy items. For that reason, you should award their efforts. If the crew also assembles your furniture at the new address, you can make the tip slightly more.
Tipping is also appropriate for packing, which is a popular add-on service. For professional packers, there is no standard flat rate for tipping. However, 5 percent of the total packing add-on service, up to $20 per person, is considered average. Unlike the moving crew, with packing, you would only tip the person or persons involved, not the foreman or supervisor.
The purpose of tipping professional movers is to show gratitude for a job well done. Now, if the move does not go off as planned, meaning that a problem arises, you can withhold the tip until the issue is resolved. From there, you can reach out to the company to tip the people involved accordingly.