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6 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Kohl's Employees

You might be getting duped by all those discounts.

Maxwell Kohl opened the store Kohl's as a grocery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin way back in 1927. Today, it's grown to be the largest department store chain in the United States, with more than 1,162 locations in every state except Hawaii. Kohl's is the perfect place to get everything from home goods to celebrity-designed clothes to makeup from Sephora—and you'll probably get a good deal on it thanks to their famous Kohl's Cash incentive program. But no matter how much you love the store, there are a few warnings from ex-Kohl's employees you probably should heed. Read on to discover what they have to say about the store credit card, when the worst time to shop is, and more.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Ex-Bath & Body Works Employees.

Don't be pressured to get the store credit card.

shopper outside of kohl's
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Like similar chains, when you check out at Kohl's, employees tend to push the credit card on you—because they're being pressured to do so.

Reddit user ExceptionalPerson explains that when they worked at Kohl's, promoting the credit card was a stressful experience. "I had no experience pushing credit cards, so it was a struggle. I ended up quitting one month in after a manager reamed me until I cried over only getting one person in 3 hours to sign up."

Former employees also say you shouldn't feel inclined to get the card. "Don't be disheartened but definitely don't get the card. After all, you don't need one when Kohl's Cash is so valuable," former associate G07V3 writes on Reddit.

Avoid buying an item just because it's on sale.

kohls store front
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It can be incredibly tempting to buy something simply because it's on super sale. But some of these items aren't worth it.

After @CashmanRyan quipped on Twitter, "I believe Kohls cash is stronger than the American dollar," former employee @MeriWhisker replied, "I used to work at Kohls. The free items/promotions are a good distraction method… Yes, you can find good deals, but they're typically on items that have been [shelved] too long & they want it gone."

While some sales are stellar, others are just old merchandise. Most items, unless they're from major brands, are going to be discounted at some point anyway.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Warnings to Shoppers From Former T.J. Maxx Employees.

You may be getting rid of usable Kohl's Cash.

kohls app on phone
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Kohl's Cash is valuable for a reason—it's essentially free money. "On certain days, when a customer buys $50 or more of merchandise before sales tax, they 'earn' Kohl's cash. They get $10 of Kohl's cash for every $50 they spend – so $100 gets them $20, etc.," explains LilJourney on Reddit. "The Kohl's cash is only good on certain dates though – then it expires. These dates are printed on the Kohl's cash paper you give them (and in the app)."

However, fellow Redditor TheOGMemeShark says "Kohls cash supposedly has a grace period of around 7 days." But they also note that it's at the manager's discretion on whether or not to honor it, so you may get lucky past the one-week mark (or not).

Stop using a friend or family member's employee discount.

kohl's shopping mall store
Billy F Blume Jr / Shutterstock

This might seem harmless enough, but it could have negative consequences. When a current employee shared on Reddit that their family was using their generous employee discount, an ex-employee weighed in. "If you are not a minor I would talk to your store manager and explain the issue. I have seen people get fired for this before and a lot of the time it does take a week or two for lp to do anything so I wouldn't get lulled into a false sense of security just yet," former associate LeotiaViscosa responded.

Likewise, don't use an employee's Kohl's Cash, and don't give yours to them. "If [sic] your an associate please don't use someone else's kohl's cash it is non transferable, using someone else's kohl's cash is a Termination level offense," wrote former employee cmoney19967 in a different Reddit thread.

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Don't buy before big holiday sales.

kohl's christmas earrings
melissamn / Shutterstock

There's a widely held belief that many items are priced higher than they should be because the company assumes customers are going to use Kohl's Cash to make purchases. So while you probably never want to pay full price, it's especially ill-advised right before major sales.

"I used to work at Kohl's and see the prices get bumped up the week before only to go 'on sale' for Black Friday," @FCPaulSupra tweeted. If you want a big ticket item, wait until Black Friday or another major sale to guarantee you're getting the lowest possible price.

Make sure to keep your receipts. 

inside a kohl's store
ZikG / Shutterstock

For discounts and Kohl's Cash, there are certain exclusions including many big-ticket items and brand names like Levi's, Nike, and Sephora. But there's a top secret hack former employee @yayitsabreadstick shared on TikTok to get those items for less. You can buy an item with Kohl's Cash and discounts, and then exchange it for an item of the same starting price. "Let's say you buy Fila leggings for $29.99 but you don't want those. You use your discounts on the Fila leggings and get them down to cheap stuff, then what you do is take those leggings and even exchange them for something you can't get on sale, like Nike shorts, or something of that original price mark," she explains. You won't have to pay more because it's an "even exchange."

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