With inflation and other financial challenges making us keep our money longer, some people might think twice about tipping. However, it is always best to tip your movers because you work with them face-to-face and they must deal with your time schedule. They have the safety and security of your personal and private items in their hands, so give a little. It doesn’t hurt.

Movers Aren’t Tip Creepers

Like wait staff at a restaurant, tipping movers doesn’t mean they guilt you into tipping. In the moving industry, tipping is expected, especially if they did a good job.

To be clear, you should always tip for good service. Watch out for pressures to tip in places where it hasn’t been the case until recently. It is easier said than done until you are in a situation where tipping is strongly supported. You might feel guilted into giving a tip.

Some etiquette experts call this situation “guilt tipping,” but it seems to have gained notoriety in recent years. The pandemic and the hundreds of thousands of delivery drivers elevated guilt tipping, which continues today.

But tipping a fast food counter worker? Come on! When did that become a thing?

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Tipping and Labor Laws

The hard truth is some professions have traditionally lower hourly wages if expected tip wages are involved, such as with waiting tables. However, this has never been true for fast food workers. Irony alert: fast food restaurants are classified as quick service restaurants, or more fondly as QRCs. If a fast food restaurant takes as long as a sit-down restaurant, does it deserve tipping? Thinking about that relationship can make your head hurt because no one ever tips fast food counter workers – until the dreaded tip creep caused tipflation and options for tipping started popping up on payment screens.

Should I Tip My Mover?

The short answer is yes. But remember, the key takeaway from the recent news about tipping is it sometimes replaces missing wages, like not getting a raise when inflation makes paying bills more challenging. While this sentiment encourages guilt tipping, saying no based on your financial situation is reasonable as long as you don’t stop tipping those service professionals who traditionally call for tips.

Movers Deserve Tips, Too

The moving industry is highly motivated by good customer service because moving companies are front-facing service providers. It is similar to taxi drivers, doorpeople and wait staff. According to a recent Forbes article, you should tip movers about 20% of the total cost. Some moving companies include gratuity in their estimates, so ensure you are not double tipping.

It’s also customary to give each mover moving your stuff $20 to $50, depending on the amount of work and the working conditions. For instance, your movers go out of their way to keep your stuff dry when it’s raining. Conversely, not keeping your stuff dry is a situation where you should tip at a lower rate. We created hypothetical situations where you should tip above and beyond the traditional amount.

The Better Way to Move
  • Most of us have pets. If your dog gets loose and makes your mover’s job risky by chasing and biting the movers as they leave or while they are unloading the moving truck.
  • Other family members who boss you and the movers around can interrupt your movers. Basically, when your movers stop moving things to deal with family members, the work takes longer and has a greater chance of causing damage.
  • Moving in bad weather should always get extra money for the inconvenience.

Tips Can Change Lives

Tipping your movers extra because they made an impact on you has the potential to change lives. There is precedent for this phenomenon. A waitress received a $1,000 tip on a $60 food bill. This was just one example of a mega tipper known only by the Instagram handle TipsforJesus. Over several years this mega tipper left tips totaling $130,000.

In another story from north of the border, a man buys a burger at a fast food restaurant and converses with the owner. The man discovered the owner faced serious family medical issues. The burger-buying man wrote a check for $10,000 and gave it to the owner. The man had won $25 million from the lottery and was touched by the business owner’s story.

Say what you want about Johnny Depp, but he’s known for extravagant tipping. One Chicago restaurant owner received a $4,000 tip from Depp. The restaurant owner told reporters many famous people visit his business and leave really high tips. Presumably, Depp’s high tip came from the service he received, which relates back to the broader view that tipping should reflect service and how the business handles the challenges that come with the service.

Should All Tips Reflect Service Level?

All situations are unique, but a reward for service is culturally acceptable in the United States at a rate of 10 to 20 percent. Some service industry businesses, such as movers and delivery drivers, should always receive tips, even for bad service. Withholding tips should only be used in extreme cases where the service is bad.

It’s Your Money, Not Your Guilt

The next time you see a tip prompt on a point of sale screen before receiving the service, just skip the prompt. The tip police won’t give you a fine or put a scarlet non-tipper letter on your forehead.

If you really don’t want to tip people, visit Japan. If you give someone a tip at a restaurant in Japan, it’s considered an insult because doing a good job is part of the job. The server is apt to think you are giving them extra money as an incentive to do better work the next time.

Final Thoughts

With Bellhop, tipping is made easy. You can easily add a tip to to your move through the app after your move is concluded, or tip your movers with cash. More to the point, if anything has been less than exemplary with your move, please let us know. We want every move to end with a high-five. And if for whatever reason it hasn’t, we’ll make it right.

Get in touch to schedule your move today.

Nick Valentino