Don’t be afraid to ask to see the store’s clearance items.
Walmart store employees know all about the chain’s inner workings.Some shopping hacks, savings tips, and store policies might not be readily apparent to shoppers.Here’s a look at some insider tips from employees that you should know if you’re going to shop at Walmart.
Walmart stores are everywhere.
The retail chain reports that it currently operates 11,700 retail locations in 28 countries.
It’s safe to say that the 1.5 million Walmart employees in the US — as well as their eight million international colleagues — know a thing or two about the chain’s inner workings.
Whenever you’re preparing to go on a shopping spree, it pays to come in armed with as much information as you can get. That way, you can keep an eye out for the best possible deals and shopping strategies the next time you visit your local Walmart.
Walmart employees know all of the tricks of the trade, from how to spot mark-downs to finding clearance items in the store. They also know all about store policies that might not be immediately apparent to shoppers.
Here’s a look at a few tricks of the trade that only Walmart employees and long-time customers know about:
Clearance items aren’t always easy to find. So when you’re on the look out for deals, just ask for help.
"Over the course of the years, I’ve managed to find good deals because I looked and asked at the right times," a Reddit user who said they were a Walmart employee in 2016 wrote.
The employee described looking for electronics at their local Walmart. They asked the employee working in the electronics section to point out any clearance items. The Reddit user said they were "blown away with the deals I found. I saw Samsung tablets, GPS units, high-end external hard drives, and Bluetooth speakers."
Shoppers can also ask for a price match against a number of other retailers, including Amazon, Target, and Staples.
The store’s policy says, "if you find a lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we’ll match it."
How helpful is Walmart’s mobile app Savings Catcher?
Quora user and former Walmart employee Ward Miller wrote that customers shouldn’t "expect boatloads of money to come rolling in" from the app because "Walmart goes to a lot of work to maintain its competitive price points."
The mobile app doesn’t give shoppers cash back. It instead accrues store credits and dispenses e-gift cards that can be spent on Walmart’s website or in its stores.
"That being said, I paid for a $140 dehumidifier using nothing but Savings Catcher rewards," Miller wrote.
According to the site TipHero, sales prices ending in 7 are full-price, prices ending in 5 denote first markdowns, and prices ending in 1 indicate a final markdown.
Walmart employees can’t accept tips, as per the store’s official policy.
A Reddit user who said he was a Walmart employee in 2017 described receiving a tip from a shopper around the holiday season. He ended up turning the tip into an assistant manager.
Walmart employees are free to take advantage of the store’s deals on Black Friday.
But the shopping must be done when they’re on break or taking lunch or on their own time.
"Your breaks are short and the lines are long," Quora user and former Walmart employee Krystle Hannigan wrote. "You’re not honestly going to have enough time to shop until after your shift is over."
Quora user and former Walmart employee Alley McNally wrote that employees who work Thanksgiving and Black Friday can get a whopping 25% discount. The regular employee discount is 10%, and employees working on Thanksgiving and Black Friday "receive a voucher good for an additional 15% off of any one transaction," according to Cline.
She added that the voucher can be used on set days in early to mid-December.
"I did ring out an assistant manager one year who came through with three shopping carts filled to the brim," Cline wrote. "Her discount came to $1,100."
The days of blue and white shirts may be coming to an end for Walmart employees, so keep an eye out for name tags when you need assistance.
Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that the chain is "testing a new dress code that allows employees to wear blue denim and shirts of any solid color."
"I personally love the new dress code — especially that we can wear any color," Angel Hernandez, an employee of a Walmart store in Springdale, Arkansas, told Business Insider.
So don’t be surprised if the employees are dressed a bit differently during your next Walmart run.
Walmart has a crime problem, Bloomberg reported in 2016. Reporters Shannon Pettypiece and David Voreacos found that in the city of Tulsa, police were called to Walmart stores 2,000 times in 2015. Compare that with 300 calls from Target stores.
One of Walmart’s attempts to combat the specific crime of shoplifting stirred controversy. CNBC reported that, in 2017, the chain dropped out of a program that had first-time shoplifters either pay to enroll in an educational program or face prosecution.
Quora user and former Walmart employee Michael Wolfe also shared some strategies the store uses to stop theft.
"Depending on the size of the store you could have a plain-clothes security person who is legally certified and authorized to make apprehensions," Wolfe wrote.
Walmart— not to mention other big box stores — are often dotted with a whole line of cash registers.
But sometimes only a handful are manned. The resulting bottlenecking leads to longer wait times and a frustrating experience for shoppers. Why can’t all the cash registers be staffed to prevent long lines?
That’s the question that a Reddit user asked a Walmart manager and 2017 AMA participant who said they’d been working at the store for two years.
The employee cited that a "lack of staff" and "mistakes in scheduling."
"As a manager, I spend a lot of time on a register myself trying to cut down lines but there are a lot of managers who won’t take it upon themselves to do that," the Walmart manager wrote.
Are you a current or former Walmart employee with a story to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.