I'm staying at a nice hotel which has adopted the increasingly common approach of stocking only the absolute basics like soap & shampoo in the bathroom. They do offer a long list of other freebies (razors, Q-tips etc), but they request that you call to ask for them and then they'll be delivered to your room.

Assuming I'm in the US/Canada, do I need to tip the delivery person, and if yes, how much?

I'm assuming the answer is "yes", because in North America you need to tip for everything and I would tip for eg. room service food, but I find this more than usually grating because here the hotel is providing a worse service (compared to having a pre-stocked drawer) and I need to pay for it. Grumble grumble.

  • so this is in the US: at even the fanciest hotels I wouldn't give more than a $2 tip for that. a $1 bill would be totally adequate. Say for example you happened to ask them to bring up things let's just say three times. I'd only tip the person maybe the first time (a buck). Generally don't go overboard in tipping for people coming to your room.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 12:02
  • A fantastic tip (joke): you know who you should tip hard, especially in the US? The room cleaning staff. Try to be there when they're passing or coming in/out of your room. If you're there for a few nights, give them a big $5 tip on one or two occasions. It generates a lot of love and you get great service!
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 12:03
  • @JoeBlow travel.stackexchange.com/a/48346/1893 Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


Although I'd never presume to tell people what they should do, it would be quite common to tip for delivered housekeeping items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, extra soap, extra pillow or whatever. The only thing I'm ever likely to ask for is a toothbrush and/or toothpaste if I've forgotten mine, and I often don't have local currency on me. So, sometimes I have tipped and sometimes I haven't, but must say I feel a little guilty for the latter.

For something like this, personally I'd tip something like $2 unless I was asking for something extraordinary.

What happens in some hotels is that they understand that this might be an issue and will bring up the items and hang over the door handle, knock and leave. If you rush after them you could tip them.

Alternatively, ask at the front desk when you check in, especially for toothbrush and toothpaste kits. Often they have them behind the front desk and will give them to you without anyone feeling uncomforable giving/receiving a tip.

If they have a shop in the hotel, it can be cheaper buying the item than getting it free.


In this case you actually don't need to tip, but a small gratuity ($2ish) is always appreciated if someone brings you up shampoo, soap, towels, anything that you used up in your room or anything that you need more of. For larger items like cots or rollaway beds I might tip a little more, but it's not totally necessary in these cases.

That being said, usually it will end up being one of 2 or 3 people who will be delivering stuff to your room, so I tend to either tip the delivery person a bit extra the first time and then not the rest of the time, or I'll work something out with the housekeeper where I'll tip her $5-$10 and she'll leave extra stuff like toiletries for me.

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