When To Tip (And How Much)
The day of The Big Move is finally upon you. Everything has been building to this. You’re boxed up, wrapped up and probably fed up – but don’t worry! The end is in sight. You’ve sourced a crack team of movers to help you with your relocation, and it’s going great.
So great, in fact, you want to show your appreciation for their hard work. After all, it was the movers that wrestled with that heavy sofa up to the second floor. And carried your precious wedding china as delicately as a newborn baby. They were nice with your neighbours, patient with your kids, even the dogs love them… So, here is the burning question: Do you tip movers in Canada?
Unlike other service sectors such as restaurants, hotels and hair salons, tipping movers isn’t mandatory. Whilst it’s a gesture they’ll surely thank you for, the mover isn’t expecting to be tipped, so don’t feel pressured. So how do you know when it’s appropriate to tip a mover – and how much should you tip?
Should You Tip A Mover?
Whether you tip your mover or not is entirely up to you. A good rule of thumb is comparing the service you received with other services where you would normally leave a tip. For example, you’d probably tip a taxi driver more if they helped you with your bags. The same rule applies to tipping movers – whilst they’re paid to do the lifting and carrying, movers often do a lot more. If you feel like your mover has gone above and beyond – maybe smiled through the sweat on a hot day and kept everyone motivated, or grit their teeth getting that heavy fridge up those stairs – you might feel like they’re deserving of a tip.
Moves come in all shapes and sizes. From students moving out of the family home with a couple of bags and a mattress, to giant corporate offices and industrial warehouses. Chances are, if your movers look like they know what they’re doing, they’ve probably seen it all. How ready people are on moving day varies wildly across the board, ranging from the meticulously organised (the movers dream jobs) to total chaos. Try and put yourself in the movers shoes for a moment. Where do you think your move sits in the grand scheme of it all?
Was your house full to the brim with furniture and boxes, spilling out onto the street as the movers clambered over a lifetime’s worth of stuff to greet you in the morning? How organised were you? Were the movers breaking down beds and packing boxes for you when they arrived, or were you neat, tidy and ready for action? How was the weather? Were the movers sweating buckets as they jogged up and down the stairs? These are all important factors to consider when thinking about tipping your movers.
Points To Think About When Tipping A Mover
How organised were you?
- How were the weather conditions?
- Were there any extra services, such as packing or protecting fragile items?
- Did any items have to go up/downstairs?
- Were there any oversized items?
- Were there any heavy items?
- Did they have to disassemble/reassemble any items?
- How many hours were the movers on-site?
There are also intangibles – the little yet significant details you almost can’t put a finger on, but definitely went a long way on the day. Like how good the movers were with the kids, how polite and friendly they were to your friends and relatives, and how they made you feel at ease amidst the pandemonium of moving. Being able to juggle heavy lifting with customer service, a dash of childcare and a peppering of comedy is the speciality of an experienced moving team.
How Much Should You Tip A Mover? Let’s Do The Math
So, how much should you tip a mover in Canada? It’s worth mentioning again that tips are not expected, only appreciated, and the amount you decide to tip is entirely up to your discretion and budget.
If your movers have proven to have as much heart as they do muscle – smashing only expectations as your furniture rests safe in your new home – you may find the urge to dig a little deeper to say thanks for the hard graft. Here’s a few different ways to calculate how much to tip your movers.
- As a general rule of thumb, 10-20% of your final bill is a common amount to tip a mover in Canada. This amount is calculated from the total amount stated on your invoice, and is divided among the movers. As an example: $1650 total bill with 3 x movers = $55 per mover.
- Alternatively you may wish to tip each mover based on the amount of hours they worked or were on-site. Tipping around $4-5 per hour is common in Canada. As an example: 6 hour move with 4 x movers + $120 tip = $30 per mover.
- Another way to tip your mover is to keep it simple: $20-25 per person for a half day, $40-50 for a full day.
When Should You Give The Tip To The Movers?
If you’re moving locally, tipping the movers at the start of the job can provide extra motivation and incentivise them to make sure your needs are met. Tipping a mover at the end of the day ensures you are 100% satisfied with their work, making the tip more about your appreciation for their hard work.
If you’re moving cross country, chances are you will have different moving teams at either side. As these types of move tend to be more expensive, it would be best to come up with a flat rate for each team, rather than working off a percentage from the final bill, which may result in you tipping more than you really wanted to.
It’s not just the movers you can tip of course, if you had a packing service you may wish to tip the packing team as well. Keep in mind that the final bill for a packing service will usually include charges for packing materials like boxes, tape, packing paper, etc. With this in mind, you may decide to tip the packers a percentage of the bill with the packing material charges excluded. Otherwise, you can calculate a rate based on hours worked, or a nominal amount for a half/full day.
What If You Don’t Have Cash?
Carrying cash is becoming less and less common these days, so what do you do if you reach for your wallet at the end of the day to tip your movers, and you’ve got none of the folding stuff? Don’t worry, most moving companies will be able to separate tips for the movers from your bill if you want to pay for your move on a debit or credit card. Just give their office a call before the job finishes and ask for their recommendation on the best way to tip the movers via card.
Tips don’t just have to be cash, of course – nice gestures like beer and pizza always go down a treat, too. On hot sunny days, when the movers have been working up a sweat, offering sports drinks, ice cold water and snacks to keep them going is often more valuable than the cash itself.
How To Save Money On Your Move
There are lots of ways to ensure your move is smooth and cost-effective – all it takes is a bit of prep work. Getting you home ready for the move will save you not only time on moving day, but a whole bunch of cash too – which means you may have some spare to tip the movers at the end of the job.
The more prepared you are for your move, the more efficient your move will be. With the correct measures in place, you might be surprised at how quickly an experienced moving team can relocate you and get you set up at your new place. Here are some top tips to help you get your home ready for the big move.
Top 10 Hacks To Get Your Home Move-Ready
- Box up as many loose items as possible to minimise handling
- Clearly label fragile boxes and include room names with a brief list of contents
- Stack boxes neatly out the way, ideally in one room. Separate fragile and non-fragile.
- Dismantle bed frames and keep screws, bolts, etc taped together inside a sandwich bag
- Empty the drawers of all furniture – including bedside tables
- Remove all artwork/mirrors from the wall and collect together somewhere safe
- Clear doorways and hallways of clutter
- Prop open the external doors to your home
- If you’re moving from an apartment, make sure you have priority use for the elevator
- Inform your neighbours at both ends you are moving and to expect a moving truck
Tipping: There’s More To It Than Cash
Tipping your mover is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work, and let’s face it, it’s not the easiest job in the world. If you’ve been in awe of their superpowers – making light work of your heavy stuff, barely breaking a sweat as they run up and down stairs with countless boxes – a little extra at the end of the job goes a long way.
Remember, tips aren’t expected, and you don’t always have to resort to cash. The movers will thank you for a cold drink on a hot day, or a few beers after a long one. Snacks to keep them going are always appreciated too, as it can be tricky to gauge how long a move will take, and it might be a long walk to go and grab something.
If you’re really beaming about your movers, taking to the internet and leaving a glowing review is a great way to reward both the movers and the moving company. Mention the movers by name and they’ll often receive a little extra bonus in their paycheck. Referring your friends and family are also great ways to spread the good word about the excellent service you received.