Irrespective of the industry, tipping has always been somewhat of a touchy subject. In the moving industry, figuring out whether  or not to to tip your movers seems even more controversial.  Of course, any team of professional movers is paid for their work but if they’ve done a really great job, many people will wish to give them a little bit of a reward. Is it appropriate to tip professional movers? If so, how much is “okay”? Is it acceptable to buy them a decent meal instead?

Here’s the deal: while tipping IS optional, it’s generally accepted as the right thing to do. After all, these guys have probably done some seriously heavy lifting for you. It’s only right to show your appreciation, especially if you have a particularly large household or difficult furniture items.

A good lunch probably wouldn’t go amiss – nothing’s easier than ordering a few boxes of pizza. This is, however, not generally considered a replacement for the welcome tip your movers deserve at the end of a gruelling day. Providing refreshments really is considered common decency – so it would be best not to consider this as part of the tip.

Tipping Local or Short Distance Movers

Moving locally may not be the kind of endeavour that spans over several days, but the heavy lifting element still exists. You’re still dealing with a moving crew that needs to pack and then unpack an entire household worth of furniture and possessions. In some cases, the crew may even assist you in packing smaller items into said moving boxes – it all depends on the type of service you’re paying for.

If you’re happy with the service you’ve received and are angling towards the “standard” tip, then you’re looking at somewhere in the region of 5%. That’s the “generally accepted average” across the board. Some people believe that anything between 10% and 15% should be common practice. Use your own discretion and decide where you should aim – consider the number of hours the movers have spent on your particular move. Remember to divide everything equally among the team members. Depending on how many team members there are, this will probably affect your overall tip percentage.

Tipping Long Distance Movers

When a crew of professional movers is committed to moving your possessions over a number of days, the moving bill can be a little on the heavier side of the spectrum. This does make sense, however, considering the fact that these movers are putting in so many hours of work. If the bill is much higher than that of a local move, should you really fork out an extra 15% as a tip? Again, you’re not officially expected to give a tip at all, but it really is the acceptable thing to do.

In all honesty, these movers go through a ton of effort to make sure that your belongings reach their destination in mint condition. If all of your possessions have arrived in perfect condition, if every task was completed on time, and if you’re truly satisfied with the service you have received, it stands to reason that a tip may be in order. In this case, however, calculating a tip based on the percentage of your total bill may be a bit much. In general, clients prefer to give each mover somewhere between R50 and R200. In the end, it’s all up to you.

Before you hand out a tip to each team member, be sure to check whether or not a service charge has already been added. This charge is generally considered to be the “official gratuity” so there’s no need for an additional tip when this is a part of the final invoice.





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