8 Self-Checkout Secrets Grocery Store Clerks Wish You Knew

Use the Barcode for Speed: Aim the barcode toward the scanner and avoid covering it with your fingers. This speeds up the scanning process, reducing wait times for everyone.

Place Scanned Items in the Bagging Area Immediately: The system monitors the weight of items placed in the bagging area to prevent theft.

Know Your Produce Codes or Use the Lookup Feature: If you’re buying loose fruits or vegetables, it helps to know the PLU code or use the lookup feature efficiently. Trying to guess can slow down the process significantly.

Have Your Payment Method Ready: Prepare your card, cash, or phone payment while your last items are being scanned. This minimizes the time spent at the checkout and keeps the line moving.

Use the Help Button for Assistance: If you encounter an issue, use the help button rather than looking around for an employee. This alerts staff directly and can be faster than waiting for someone to notice you need help.

Avoid Using Self-Checkout for Large Orders: If you have a cart full of groceries, consider using a staffed checkout lane. Self-checkouts are designed for speed and convenience with smaller orders.

Be Ready to Show ID for Age-Restricted Purchases: If you’re buying alcohol or other age-restricted items, have your ID ready. Clerks need to verify your age before you can complete the purchase, and being prepared speeds up this process.

Don’t Bypass the Receipt: Always take your receipt. It’s proof of purchase and necessary if you need to return an item or if there’s a question about your transaction as you’re leaving the store.

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