How Much to Tip Movers: Los Angeles

How Much to Tip Movers

When you relocate for the first time and hire pros, you should have a vast number of questions about all aspects of relocation. There is one thing that isn’t discussed often — tipping movers. Understandably, professional relocation assistance is costly, particularly when you move long distances; this is why you may easily overlook such an item of expense as tips.

Actually, tipping movers is a common practice across the transportation industry and a part of etiquette. Although, rates may vary significantly given the type of the move (local, interstate, or intrastate) and moving size. Additionally, amounts may vary between states and cities. For instance, Los Angeles movers might get higher tips than a crew headquartered in Detroit, which is renowned for being one of the cities with the highest poverty levels in the US. Despite the existing recommendations & guidelines, people tip movers also based on their financial stability and possibilities.

So, to avoid confusion on day X, today we will discuss the following: “Are you supposed to tip movers?” and “When shouldn’t you tip movers?”. Besides, you will get an idea of “How much should you tip movers?”

Do You Need to Tip Movers?

To make it clear: you need to tip your movers in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.. The exception is sub-par service, when you are disappointed with the level of service, for example, late arrival, voluntary slow progress (when paid on an hourly basis), damaged items, destroyed flooring or walls as a result of careless attitude, or rude behavior.

When you are satisfied with the service provided, it would be nice to tip movers personally, every member of the crew. Actually, packing is a tedious task, and loading a truck requires plenty of effort and hard work. Pros are trained to perform all tasks efficiently saving your time and relieving you from stress. Understandably, you pay for the service and might wonder why you have to tip movers additionally.

In fact, salaries of ordinary employees in the moving business aren’t high; the job requires a lot of heavy physical labor, though. When the job is done well, tips would be a well-deserved reward for the hard work. This is a service-providing industry. Typically, we tip for excellent service. If everything is done skilfully, and you are grateful for stress-free experience, you tip movers.

Additionally, you may prepare soft drinks and snacks — the crew will definitely be thankful for this nice gesture. If the work takes more than four hours, the team will need a lunch break. Typically, movers bring water and snacks with them but it would be nice of you to provide meals on-site. No need for four-course meals from top-tier restaurants, but burgers, fried chicken, and pizza will do nicely.

Do Read; Need of Choosing the Best Movers

How Much Should You Tip Movers

Actually, you are unlikely to find a price list with tips to pay for mileage or the moving size. Additionally, tip calculations vary for short- and long-distance transition. So, how much do you tip movers?


Packers $10-$20 per day
Local movers $20+ /mover
Long-distance movers $40+/mover or percent of the move cost
Piano (or other items that require special care) movers $20-$40/mover


How Much to Tip Long-Distance Movers

The average tip across the industry is from 5% to 20% of the moving cost. The amount may vary and depends on the difficulty of your move. If you have large furniture that requires hard labor, you tip more than if you would move a scarcely furnished 1-bedroom apartment.

Note that for long-distance relocation two different teams can work at two locations. You can ask the company representative and prepare separate tips for both teams. It is always good to prepare tips in cash in advance. Once the team has completed loading, you hand over tips to each mover. The same procedure is applicable at your new location: when your stuff is unloaded and unpacked, you tip movers on an individual basis. Optionally, you can pay tips via credit card or a check and rely on the company to distribute tips fairly.

How Much to Tip Local Movers

Tipping local movers is calculated based on hours. The recommended average is to tip movers $4-$5 per team member/hour. For reference, you can use the following chart:

№ of hours Tips
4 hours (or less) $20-$40
8 hours $40-$80
12+ hours $60-$100


Moves can differ significantly in difficulty: moving a studio requires less hard work than moving a fully-packed large house. Thus, thinking about tips, you can hand over higher tips if you have many larger furniture items or things that require special care.

Although cash is the preferable method to tip movers, some larger companies may include an optional line in your bill so that you can add tips when you pay for the move. Small local companies usually do not have this option but you can still ask to add tips (you specify the amount) to the bill to pay with a credit card.

Well, you can tip with:

  • Cash. The most welcome way of tipping. Once the heavy work is done, movers will surely appreciate personalized “thanks” in banknotes. If you know how many movers will work on-site, you can prepare cash tips and put them in separate envelopes for each mover. This way each crew member receives his tips unlike a credit card or check payments when you have to rely on honest tip distribution within a company.
  • Credit card. Paying with a credit card is convenient: the moving day is busy, and you can be nervous and stressed, so tips may just slip your memory. By adding tips to the fees you pay to a moving company, you ensure (reputable companies do care about their employees and distribute tips) that team members will receive your appreciation. One more advantage of paying with a card is that it allows documenting moving costs if they are tax deductible or your company covers moving expenses.
  • Check. Ask a company representative if they accept checks. You can tip with a single check and ask a team manager to distribute tips.

Final thoughts

Gratitude is always important. Usually, moving teams strive to deliver the best service and make sure that all belongings are safe. Knowing that movers have difficult jobs and try to make your relocation stress-free and fast, you can express your thanks through simple things, such as drinks and snacks, tips, and a positive attitude.