Walmart Worker Shares Secret for Avoiding Self-Checkout "Hassle"
They recommend taking advantage of a feature in the Walmart app to get in and out faster.
Self-checkout remains a major point of contention, even as stores have quietly pulled back on the self-service option. Troublesome technology, theft accusations, and long lines continue to frustrate customers—and many have become so fed up they've threatened to boycott stores like Kroger and Walmart altogether. But according to one Walmart employee, there's actually a step you can take to avoid the self-checkout "hassle."
The "nine-year veteran employee" of Walmart spoke anonymously with GOBankingRates, providing different suggestions and hacks for shopping at the big-box retailer. One recommendation was to use the Scan & Go option via the Walmart app to save time at checkout.
This is particularly helpful for "minimizing hassle" on days when stores are busy or crowded—which may very well be the case as shoppers make their holiday returns or take advantage of post-holiday sales.
According to Walmart's website, the process is fairly simple. Start by opening your Walmart app and selecting "Scan & go" from the Store Mode page, ensuring that your location access is also on. From there, use your mobile device to scan items that you put in your cart, checking the "View cart" option in the app to make sure everything is correct. (You can also double-check prices as you shop, ensuring that scanned prices match those that you see on the shelf.)
Lastly, select the blue "Check out" button in the app, confirm your payment method, and head to self-checkout. Once you're at the register, scan the QR code at the self-checkout register to complete the checkout process. Once you've paid via the app, you'll get a receipt barcode that an employee can scan on your way out.
While you still technically have to go through self-checkout to complete your transaction, logging items as your shop means you don't have to re-scan and listen to orders about placing items in the baggage area, or call for an associate to assist you when the system freezes.
"Skip the checkout lanes when possible with Scan & Go in the Walmart app," the employee, who works in Walmart's shipping department, told GOBankingRates. "Shoppers can scan items directly in their carts using phones as they shop."
It's also worth noting that you need to be a Walmart+ member to take advantage of Scan & Go in the mobile app, the retailer's website states.
Beyond the convenient Scan & Go option, the seasoned Walmart employee shared additional tips for a smooth shopping experience. Going shopping on Tuesday, for example, might benefit you, as "serious deals" emerge in the clearance aisle on this day every week, they said.
And even if you're not a Walmart+ member, don't underestimate the usefulness of the Walmart app, which the employee called "a goldmine for savvy shoppers."
"Activate push notifications there for clearance events, flash sales and exclusive mobile coupons," they added, pointing out that this can help you score even lower prices on certain items.
If you did end up buying an item and realize you could have saved money by purchasing it elsewhere, the Walmart employee recommends taking advantage of Walmart's price-match policy.
"Walmart's price matching can be a secret weapon," they told GOBankingRates. "Just show proof of the same in-stock product priced lower at a local brick-and-mortar competitor and they'll adjust your previous charge. It's easy savings—just takes asking."