If you've recently hired movers for your long-distance house or apartment move, then you're probably wondering if you should leave them a tip after they're done. After all, you probably want to show your appreciation for the work they've done in packing and transporting your belongings with care. The following explains when and how you should tip your movers, along with some other helpful advice on tipping.

It's Common Courtesy, But You're Not Obligated to Tip

For many people, tipping for good service is almost an automatic gesture. According to a recent Apartment Guide survey, nearly three-quarters of the people who responded to the survey tipped their movers. Nevertheless, you're not under any mandatory obligation to leave a tip, no matter how spectacular the service was. It's a completely voluntary act that should be reserved for service that goes beyond the usual.

You Can Offer Any Percentage You Want

If you're wondering exactly how large of a tip to give to your movers, keep in mind that the ideal amount isn't carved in stone. There's no iron-clad rule to follow when it comes to how much you should tip your long-distance movers. As a result, you'll find that you have plenty of latitude when it comes to your tipping percentage. For instance, you can leave behind a relatively large tip if your movers go above and beyond with their service, or you can choose to not leave a tip at all if you've received poor service.

Nevertheless, most people stick to the customary 10 to 15 percent, the same amount commonly left as tips in restaurants and bars. According to the Apartment Guide survey, 39 percent of respondents tipped 10 percent of their total moving costs while 22 percent of respondents left behind a 20-percent tip.

Again, you can tip as much or as little as you want, irrespective of the level of service you get. However, it's always a good idea to reward your movers' hard work and great service with a healthy tip.

Your Tip Doesn't Have to Be in Cash

Your movers may prefer cold, hard cash, but it's not the only way you can tip them for their hard work. There are plenty of other ways you can show your appreciation for a job well done:

  1. Snacks during the move: Keeping cold bottles of water or sports drink on hand can go a long way towards showing your appreciation, especially if the work proves to be long, hard, and hot. You can also offer chips and energy bars as a way to help your movers keep their energy up.
  2. Dinner after the move: Once everything has been put away, you can treat your movers to dinner as a non-monetary reward for a job well done. It doesn't have to be fancy—most movers will appreciate it if you have a few pizzas delivered or even treat them to a home-cooked meal.
  3. Material goods: Let's say that you have an old couch or television you don't want anymore, but it's still in great shape. Instead of putting it out on the curb, you can offer these and other unneeded items to your movers in lieu of a monetary tip.

Other Tips for Tipping Your Movers

Here are a few other tips to consider when tipping your movers:

  1. Make sure to directly tip each individual involved in the moving work instead of giving one person a lump sum to divvy out among everyone. After all, there's no guarantee that the person you give such a large amount in tips to will fairly dole out the cash as planned.
  2. If you plan on giving non-monetary tips, make sure whatever you give isn't illegal or will get your movers in trouble. That includes tipping in alcoholic beverages—your movers will have to knock back some cold ones on their own time.
  3. Never feel pressured into giving a tip. Again, you're not obligated to offer tips if you don't want to.

Whether it's in cash, food, or other freebies, your movers are sure to appreciate their reward for offering the best possible service.