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Be Friendly with your Checker ,Tips to Making Checking out Simple

Thursday, August 27, 2009 |

When I teach classes the most common concern I get is what the checkout process will be. People are always worried that the grocery stores will be mad at them for using coupons. Grocery stores actually like couponers (shock and surprise) because they get paid face value plus .8 cents per coupon. We make them some money!

However, when you check out with coupons there can be scary experiences. I tell people it isn't a reflection of the store because they do want your business, but rather a result of the person checking you out. People are human and can have good and bad days, but I have found that the nicer I am to my checkers and the store employees the better experiences I have! I typically shop at the same couple stores each week. I go in so often all the checkers know me by name and many of them have nick named me "the coupon gal". When I check out I try to be as friendly and courtesy as I can. I ask them how their day has been, how they are doing and in general just make small talk. In the process of being kind I could walk into the store with you and tell you the employees names, how many kids they have, and how closely they check coupons when you check out (you know some just scan them in, and others check every detail, are they expired, the right size etc.).

In the process of being kind to the employees they have gone above and beyond for ME. They never give me a hard time about requesting rain checks on the first day, asking if something is out and if they have more in the back, or asking when the restock their shelves. A lot of times they will give me a heads up about upcoming sales, other catalina offers and the less busy times to go shopping.

Emily had made a post about our price matching at Walmart at the beginning of the week. I am glad she made the post instead of me, because she was much more positive about our experience than I would have been. We had a checker that just wouldn't trust a word we were saying. They tried over and over to catch us in some coupon fib, and they just grew more angry as they saw we were doing things the right way (Thank you readers for all your comments. I feel much more comfortable about trying it again). I finished checking out and was exhausted. Emily followed up behind me and she broke that checker. She started by asking them how their day was, if they had tried some of the products she was buying and by the end of Emily's check out they were on friendly terms. I couldn't believe how the checkers mood had shifted just from Emily being kind and interested.

There have been several of you that have shared similar experiences with me. You have made friends with unlikely checkers who appeared nasty at the beginning of your shopping trips, but were laughing with you when you said goodbye.

Checkers do need to be on guard. There are couponers out there that do things the "wrong" way. Checkers have to be on the lookout for photocopied coupons, coupon usage with expired dates, and coupons with dates cut off and even couponers that try to scan additional coupons in the self checkout aisle. Can you blame them for being weary of coupon usage. If you keep doing it the "right" way your checker will know you do things honestly and will quit questioning your integrity. Until then if they question a coupon your using be calm, patient and friendly with them.

The moral of the story use coupons the "right" way and be friendly with your checkers. It will make all the difference.

Have any of you had similar experience with your local checkers or advice to newbies checking out?


Monica said...

Thanks for the tips and since using your advice for about 6 weeks now, I watch how I and others treat the cashiers. They encounter a lot of Smart Shoppers day after day and sometimes the process is more complicated than working with regular shoppers. For example, a lady shopping at Smith's recently gave her on-line printed coupons on full sheets of paper without taking the time to cut them out. The checker helping her then took 2-3 minutes after the transaction to clip all the coupons so they could be organized and submitted after his shift.

Needless to say, when I followed with my batch of coupons and everything matched and flowed smoothly, the checker was very kind and apologetic for the delay that was caused by such an unprepared shopper. Several encounters like this are reasons that many stores will not accept online coupons at all, so let's work together to keep relations and the process amicable with every retailer we do business with.

Shoppers need to know of the extra work we pose on cashiers because all coupons collected have to be organized in groups according to the company authorized for the reimbursement. This is done at the end of every shift. Next time you're shopping, look at the bags of coupons they collect. Hopefully you'll do your best to keep the process as smooth and painless for them as well as yourself and then everyone is happy in the end. :)

Catherine said...

Great post! I might add that if you're using a B1G1 coupon where you have to write in the value, write it in yourself so the checker doesn't have to dig up a pen, etc. I used a 12 B1G1 coupons this week, and wrote the value in. The checker looked very relieved and her mood lightened considerably.

Anonymous said...

I have a question?? Has anybody had problems using coupons at Walmart? I was there the other day and the checker told me that Walmart will not take multiple coupons! They also said they can't take coupons if there more than the cost of the item..

Mitchell Family said...

I loved all these great stories! Thank you guys!

Mitchell Family said...

Sometimes if a coupon is more than the products value they will adjust it to make it FREE not allowing any overage. If a checker told you you couldn't use multiple coupons they are blowing smoke. Call over a manager.

L.R. said...

Yes, I had a problem using coupons at WalMart in Springville. The cashier would only let me use one coupon even though I was buying two of the item, and it clearly stated on the coupon "one coupon per item purchased". It wasn't worth pushing the issue, in fact I was glad I didn't buy two of the items because it turned out I didn't like it anyway. It will certainly make me think twice before using very many coupons at that store.

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