Should You Tip Military Movers?

Should You Tip Military Movers?

Since our household goods are being delivered today, I am once again dealing with the “should we tip?” question.  I hate it.  There’s no good answer, and I am unhappy with whatever I choose.  As I do with pretty much every question, I turned to the internet and my blogging friends to see what kind of answers I could find.

SpouseBUZZ, hosted here at, has had an ongoing poll for the last several years, and it shows that the majority of respondents do not tip the movers.  The comments show that many people offer food and drinks, and consider that to be like a tip.

Outside the family, bloggers have all sorts of opinions.  Most people said that they offer lunch and drinks but don’t tip.  A few of my friends elaborated more:

Sarah Gates blogs at, and she says,

“I have done both. It is a matter of personal opinion and something you and your spouse should discuss ahead of time. We seem to have settled that for the average job (they came and did exactly what they were supposed to do) we do not tip. However, if we feel that an individual has worked extra hard or gone above and beyond in some way, then we will compensate them for that.”

Jennifer from reports,

“We did our first PCS last summer and we tipped; $25-30, I can’t remember. It was enough for my husband to say “Go grab a beer after work”. We also provided coffee and donuts and lunch and gatorades for the movers every day they were at the house (packing, loading, and unloading). I don’t think any of them would have taken a break if we didn’t offer them something to eat and I didn’t want them to rush through the job just because they wanted to get out and get something to eat.”

Heather of HappyFitNavyWife wrote,

“We’ve done both (tipping early on in marriage, and lately not tipping), but we always provide lunch and water. We try to offer something they don’t always get or let them have a choice between two places. I think they get tired of pizza.”

As it turned out, we did tip the delivery people. Our builder was there when they arrived, and he was making it really hard for them to do their jobs. In addition, we asked them to stop and let us put felt pads on the bottom of every single piece of furniture before they could take it to the right place. I figured they deserved a little bonus for being good-natured about the difficulty.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.