8 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Hobby Lobby Employees

From the best days to shop, to getting a job there, former workers share some advice.

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When you're looking to start your next DIY project and want to embrace your artistic side, there's perhaps no better place to go than Hobby Lobby. With a little over 1,000 locations in the U.S., there's a good chance you even have a store right in your neighborhood. However, even if you shop at Hobby Lobby frequently, you may not be privy to the retailer's secrets—and no one has more intel than the folks who used to work there. Now, ex-Hobby Lobby employees are sharing insider info to help you get the most out of your crafting ventures and avoid overspending. Read on to find out what eight warnings former Hobby Lobby workers have for shoppers.

RELATED: 7 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Walmart Employees.

1
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."

2
Pull items from the back to get the best price.

hobby lobby yarn inside store
Cherisha Kay Norman / Shutterstock

In a recent TikTok video, a former employee who goes by @shoppingwithtay, notes that sometimes the same items in a store will have two different prices.

She shares that Hobby Lobby's corporate branch sends items to stores with prices already on them, leaving store employees to adjust those prices as needed.

"So when you see one item that has different prices on it, that means that the last shipment that came into the store had a lower price, but then once that item was adjusted for inflation, to reflect the new price for the next year… the new items we put in the same spot," she says.

Therefore, the former Hobby Lobby employee recommends checking items in the back of displays, as she says those may be the older products with lower prices.

RELATED: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Big Lots Employees.

3
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.

4
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 isn't on sale, you can get a price adjustment if you come back within 30 days, or if it's 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," wrote a Reddit user.

RELATED: 7 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Home Depot Employees.

5
Don't shop on truck delivery days.

Hobby Lobby Truck
Jesse Franks/Shutterstock

New products are great, but shopping on truck delivery day isn't ideal. Most stores get deliveries once a week, but the day of the week varies depending on location.

According to a former employee on Indeed, "Truck day is the day that we unload new merchandise that the associates ordered weekly to restock the shelves as needed."

Therefore, inventory is updated and unlikely to be on sale, as prices tend to drop the longer something sits on the shelf.

6
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's a Christian [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."

RELATED: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Goodwill Employees.

7
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.

8
Not all of the employees know about crafts.

hobby lobby logo on a shopping cart
The Image Party / Shutterstock

You may assume that all Hobby Lobby employees know about crafts and art supplies, but apparently, this is not the case.

In a Quora thread about what it's like to work for Hobby Lobby, Gina Hall, who worked at two different locations, points out that knowing about the products isn't necessarily a job requirement.

"It's ok if you don't know crafting stuff. Usually there is someone on shift who does, plus you can answer lots of questions just by reading the directions on the product the customer is asking you about," she shares.

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NOTE: Best Life only includes information from social media and job boards when there is corroboration from multiple sources. These comments have not been independently verified, however, and are the opinions of the people who posted them.

Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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