Military discount


Do you offer a military discount? Is it even allowed? I sold a pair of sleep headphones the other day and while checking my shipment statues I noticed that they were going to a soldier. Now, they’re on their way to where ever this soldier is located but I have the overwhelming urge to refund them with a note thanking him for his service. Is this ok?

Thank you,



I always refund their shipping and thank them


Is it OK? Yes. Is it smart business? I’m inclined to say no.


Ummm just my thought… my dad is a retired marine… They deserve every penny… they know they will spend long stints away from their family… miss the birth of their children, at any moment get injured or killed… sometimes just in training exercises… and quite often deal with the mental stress of watching their fellow soldiers go through the same…

I would venture to say that many people who choose to take low paying jobs out of high school instead of the government route… there are many choices not military… are doing so because they do not want to make that sort of commitment. Not saying its wrong but not agreeing they are as deserving either…


You can do what you want but…I do not offer a military discount and I am a USMC Veteran.

They get paid more then any other job a 18 yo could walk out of highschool and walk into.

They get paid well enough, have better benefits then any job I ever had, get free housing and all basic needs are met. Any money issues are their own doing.

If you wanted to help the disadvantaged, a Minimum Wage Worker discount would be better, or donate to a homeless or woman’s shelter.

If you want it as marketing and promotion campaign and it will drive business to you…OK I can see that.

Otherwise you are just randomly giving someone money or cutting your prices, Someone who has better income and job security then you probably do.

Edited to Add:

Last year was out having drinks with a Master Sgt friend with 22 years in from Pendleton and my Sig other.

Sig other kept buying round after round (Sig other makes around $290K a year)

Finally after the 6th time I am like “Stop…Jason can buy a round, He lives in a house on base near the beach, makes around 100K a year when you add all pay bonuses and differentials, and he is on a per diem, his wife is a GS-9 umm, he’s not broke.”

Jason kinda looked up sheepishly “Yeah…So I guess i get this round…”

Edited by: chuck400b on Mar 6, 2014 7:46 AM


I am not debating the merits of military service. Just the fact is they can pay list price. Every job has a body count, even the minimum wage midnight shift cashier who gets heinous acts done to them and are never seen again alive.

No one who is currently in the military had no idea that they were not signing up or re-enlisting for probable combat and deployment.

The only people I ever felt sorry for were the Reservists (especially those who shipped out on the 10th of September-) they had no idea that they would see an OP-Tempo far greater then any projection they had ever been given or were ever told they would have.

Everyone else knew exactly what they were getting into. Or they were dumb.


I must agree here.

If you voluntarily sign up to do a job, a discount or a “thank you” doesn’t really apply. I mean, I wouldn’t give my accountant or bank teller a discount, would I?


Another former active duty Marine weighing in: if I were to give a military discount (which I don’t,) it wouldn’t be because I think military personnel need the money. It would be a show of respect and gratitude, my small way of saying, “Thanks.” Perhaps that’s what OP is going for–not charity, but gratitude.

2 cents>


Preaching to the choir.

30 days of vacation, unlimited paid sick days, paid federal holidays, no copay health care. Best GIG I ever had in my life.


Thank you all for your opinions and advice. It was a pay it forward moment for me not a business ploy. My husband and I do a lot with the troops, from helping with homes for out troops builds to doing motorcycle runs that support the wounded warriors project. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t violating any kind of policy before I acted.


I did 3 deployments in Iraq no one owes me anything. I chose to be in that career field. I don’t ask for any extra support, or discounts from anyone. You sold the item at a price you were comfortable selling it at. If you made deals to hundreds of people in the military, odds are you won’t be in business long.


Instead of refunding money off this order, you could give them a special promotional code, setting the code to be used one time only, for any amount or percentage you want to give them off their next order. That’s good business.

But don’t email it to them. Send it by US Mail with a Thank you card.

Edited by: MCW Beads and More on Mar 6, 2014 11:14 AM


As a veteran of the first gulf war I was amazed at the number of sellers who offered me refunds or discounts of some kind.
While yes I chose to serve it was heartwarming that so many people cared about those who put themselves on the line.

That being said a note that says THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE goes a long way to making a soldiers day. And letting them know that your thinking about them.



Thank you for your service.


This is not to you Madhatter, just clicked the reply button.

I am utterly appalled at some of the responses here. Not only am I a Vet of Desert Storm and was in for 8 years, but my husband has been in for 17 and is currently in Afghanistan. This is his FIFTH deployment and, at NINE MONTHS, is the shortest so far (last one was 16 months with only a 3 week break at 10 months). He lives in a 10 person tent with less space than an inmate gets. They wear no civilian clothing - uniform all the time - sleep uniform is their PTs. The chow is horrendous and he has to buy things off of because the PX they have there doesnt have enough BASIC HYGIENE items for them. To compare this to a cop or a firefighter that gets to go home nearly every night and sleep in their own bed is ludicrous and insulting. Think about your husband or wife or significant other… how well would your partnership survive being away from them for a YEAR.

In terms of salary, expenses, and housing… We have 3 children (and before anyone says that is our choice, yes, I know this). Base housing has nothing large enough to suit our needs. Beyond that, the housing on base is AWFUL… falling apart at the seams, mold, bugs, you name it. It barely borders on sanitary no matter how much you clean it. So yes it is free… but seriously? We just PCS’d here to Texas from Virginia. The Army allowed us, for 5 people, 11000 pounds that they would move. That is about 5 rooms (not bedrooms - rooms) of furniture and appliances. We had to pay out of pocket for a truck to move the rest and we STILL were overweight and had to pay $4500 towards the move.

OK now money… the bottom line, right? My husband is a senior NCO with 17 years in. We make roughly 50k a year. That is including housing, BAS, everything. If we were to live on his salary, forget it, would not happen. If we lived on base, you can deduct $1300 per month (that is the amount of housing we get - doesnt even cover the mortgage with property taxes the way they are). For that 50k we get (now we wont even talk about A-ghan) at home station he goes in at 0630 every morning. He does not get off work until 1730 (530pm) that is 11 hours a day which boils down to 55 hours a week with a 24 hour shift every other week. At 50k per year that boils down to roughly $15 an hour. He is trained and skilled labor and a supervisor and includes the housing benefits. For a soldier living on post and not receiving housing money, they make $34k a year - yes with free housing but 34k a year.

Now lets talk benefits. YES we get free medical care but there ARE copays unless we go on base (which for us is not practical because we live quite a bit from the base - but that is us). Yes, we get some discounts at certain places - sometimes 10% off sometimes 15% off. These are the only benefits that we get… its not like we are rollin in the chedda and buying Prada. If it were not for my business… we would not be afloat.

NOW that being said, I dont want sympathy nor do I ask for extras (unless it is a store I know offers a military discount). I dont play the army/army spouse card and I don’t know a whole lot of soldiers that do either. If you want to honor a service member that is a wonderful thing to do but I guarantee that you will NOT find “a whole lot of other soldiers will come asking for a freebie”. That is just the most absurd thing I have ever heard…

Sorry for the monologue…


A discount? No. I am here to earn a living, and - as others pointed out - the soldier is probably better off financially than I am.

A thank you note included with the order? Absolutely!


Here’s the issue in a nutshell… where does it stop?

Do you give cops, paramedics, firemen, ambulance drivers discounts because they put THEIR lives at risk for you on a more direct and personal level than a soldier in Iraq does?

Where do you stop? Bear in mind the number of convenience store robberies - does the clerk behind the counter not take a risk every day, without the same pay or benefits that a cop or a soldier gets? Heck, they don’t even get bulletproof vests or mace or stunguns let alone a Dirty Harry Pistol… but they show up every day to serve you and stock shelves and take the risk of being shot for the $40 that’s in the till.

Sure, it’s a pay it forward moment - but if you REALLY want to ‘pay it forward’ the idea behind the philosophy is that you do it for someone who needs it - take the money you would have given as a refund and spend it on books for under-privileged kids, or give it to a food-bank, or, if you’re military-minded, get some Christmas scarves for kids who’s dads or moms are overseas…

But, giving a discount just because someone is in the military?

As I said, once you start, where does it stop?

Watch out - now you’ll get a ton of soldiers ordering from you and all expecting free shipping or a discount.


I would give them a refund, that’s the least someone could do for them considering most people treat them terribly when they come back home.


I am sorry Chuck400b, Although you say you are a Vet, You seem to be under the illusion that they make so much money they are just rolling in it.
I too am a Viet Nam Vet and my Base pay was a whopping 80.00 a month. When I did go over to Nam my Pay was raised to 120.00 a month. Base Pay now for a two year PFC is about 18,000 a year. Break that down into how many hours they are on duty while overseas and it is far less then Minimum wage. Most of them with Families now are also on Food Stamps and have to pay some for their Medical. An Elisted Man is by no means getting rich and they put their life on the line while on Active Duty. I am sorry Chuck400b that you feel uninspired so much by our Guys and Gals in Uniform as to not send them a refund on shipping.
Now your other suggestion on a Homeless or out of work guy. How you going to know by their order that they are?

I always Refund them Money on shipping and I write a nice thank you note for serving and protecting.


Thank you and also to you Welcome Home. We were spat upon and kicked and slapped By Jane Fondas and John Kerry’s group when we got back. We had no one Welcoming us home. We were looked down upon and in some cases some were beaten to death by Different groups here in the USA. The very people we were fighting for.
Welcome Home nows means a whole lot to all of us.

I am just amazed at the answers on here, I am sure they are nice people but seems to be in the mindset that the Military people are rolling in the dough.