5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Hobby Lobby Employees

Shopping at Hobby Lobby? Double check the prices, and stay home on Sunday.

Hobby Lobby is the perfect place to find everything for your crafting needs. Though the company is not without its controversies, it continues to expand with more than 900 locations across the U.S. If you happen to frequent one of these outposts—whether you're looking for yarn, seasonal decor, or scrapbooking materials—do take note that there are quite a few things that set this retailer apart from other craft stores. Read on to hear from ex-Hobby Lobby employees about the biggest warnings you should heed while shopping.

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You'll want to double-check your receipt.

inside a hobby lobby
Retail Photographer / Shutterstock

If you've shopped at Hobby Lobby, you've probably noticed that the store does not use barcodes. On Reddit, former employee 360inMotion said that the store "refused to work with scanners or UPC codes; all the prices had to be keyed in by hand, which also made tracking inventory and making department orders a complete c*** shoot."

This also leaves a much larger margin for error when your items are being rung up. In many cases, though, it works in the shopper's favor. After Redditor wherewolf_there_wolf shared that a "0" was left off of their receipt, folks weighed in and said the same thing had happened to them, leading to inadvertent discounts.

But, unfortunately, employees have to deal with the mistakes. "My wife used to work at hobby lobby and is incensed," Reddit user Mechanatrix commented. "Not that she likes the company, just that this kind of ineptitude is commonplace within it."

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It's difficult to tell what's on sale.

hobby lobby card in a store
Red Herring / Shutterstock

The lack of scanners also leads to some confused and disgruntled customers when it comes to sale prices. "So customers get mad at you when something isn't on sale and think it's your fault, and the managers would sometimes just throw you under the bus and give the customer the discount to avoid conflict," said an anonymous former employee on Indeed.

In their Reddit post, 360inMotion said that cashiers were expected to walk the floor before clocking in to familiarize themselves with the current sales. "You were also expected to memorize the prices of items that they couldn't be bothered to put sticker prices on (labeling all the different kinds of embroidery threads took too much 'labor!')." They said employees were also responsible for calculating the discounts themselves.

This is even more challenging because sales change weekly at Hobby Lobby. "Cashiering was very difficult because you have to look at a coupon sheet for like every item to see if it's on sale and the sales change every week," wrote another former employee on Indeed.

But there's a trick to the discounts.

inside hobby lobby
Cherisha Kay Norman / Shutterstock

Since Hobby Lobby's sales are fleeting, regular shoppers will want to take note of this insider information. "They run their ads on A-weeks and B-weeks, so boxed model kits are 40% off every other week. And if you buy it while it isnt on sale, you can get a price adjustment if you come back within 30 days, or if its passed the 30 days, then return it within 90 days, and just buy it back for the new reduced price. I was a cashier, so I know everything about their policies on pricing."

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Getting a job can be difficult.

christmas decorations at hobby lobby
Retail Photographer / Shutterstock

If you're considering working at Hobby Lobby, you'll probably want to start as a seasonal employee first. In a Reddit thread about the chain raising its full-time minimum wage to $18.50 in early 2022, user nativeamerica98 shared: "I worked at a hobby lobby for 5 years…They do almost all their hiring as part time seasonal, and they keep the best out of those." They went on to explain that "the full time crew is always people that have been there forever," and it took them three years to become full-time, only after other people had left. But this does mean you'll get to use your employee discount during the holidays.

Don't expect to find Halloween decorations.

hobby lobby store
George Sheldon / Shutterstock

Hobby Lobby's owners are Christian. On their website, they note that they are committed to "honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles." For this reason, all stores are closed on Sundays. It's also why you'll notice a conspicuous lack of spooky Halloween decorations. Sure, there will be cute pumpkins and fall foliage-themed items, but don't expect to see any "jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, or goblins," as a 2021 TikTok video pointed out.

In the comments section of this video, user @c.21.w explained: "I work here and they actually took a servay(2019) [sic] from customers asking if they'd buy halloween here and people said no because it a chirstian [sic] company." Fellow employee @messyjessy_1994 added that, though Hobby Lobby made this change in 2019, "they had been planning it for 10 years or so before."

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