Asked To Show Your Receipt? Just Smile And Comply [OPINION]
Lately, I've seen something new trending on my social media pages. I like to call them 'Receipt Heroes'. They have taken it upon themselves to solve the most important issue facing the world today. No, not fighting inflation or ending the war in Ukraine. These heroes are standing up to the real issue troubling consumers. Having to produce your receipt when leaving a store.
First of all, let's cover the legalities. Do you have to show your receipt when asked? According to Lawyers.com, if you're shopping at a membership store like Sam's Club or Costco, the answer is YES. It is actually part of the membership agreement that you enter into when paying for your right to shop there. Things begin to get a bit vaguer when it comes to big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart.
Most states have what are called 'shopkeeper privilege' laws. Lawyers.com reports that these laws allow stores to stop a shopper if they have reason to suspect them of shoplifting. But what if they don't have any reason to stop you? What if you simply got the four or five items you needed and are leaving to get on with your day? Do you have to show your receipt then? Lawyers.com says that you do not, as long as it is not a membership store.
So why make a big deal about having to show your receipt in the first place? It seems much of the social media bickering centers on the proliferation of self-check aisles. These were first installed in stores to provide convenience for the shopper. I love using them if I have only a few items to get and am in a hurry. But eventually, they took the place of employees and in many stores outnumber lanes with in-person checkers. I think that these 'Receipt Heroes' believe that they are sticking it to the store that took away jobs. But refusing to show your receipt won't change anything, except how people look at you.
Why do stores ask for your receipt? Yes, they are trying to cut down on shoplifting. It costs companies like Wal-Mart and Target millions of dollars, and those costs are then passed on to the consumer. They're also checking for simple mistakes like scanning an item twice or forgetting to scan something in. I shop at a number of different stores and a rarely am asked for my receipt. But when I am asked to show it, I don't get offended and believe that the store is somehow profiling me. I simply realize this person is doing their job. A job that they probably don't always enjoy and don't get paid much to do.
So spare me the hurt feelings and the indignation. Take a few seconds and show your receipt, and put that anger and energy into solving real problems.