You can shop Walmart’s incredible range of low-priced merchandise both in-store and online. But, when shopping in one of Walmart’s physical stores, you might be asked to show an associate your receipt before leaving.
So, is Walmart legally allowed to check your receipt? This is everything you need to know!
Can Walmart Check Your Receipt?
Walmart employees can ask to check your receipt before you leave, but you are within your rights to refuse to show it. Additionally, due to the “Shopkeeper’s Privilege” laws, Walmart associates can force you to show your receipt and even detain you in the store if they suspect you of shoplifting.
So, what exactly are your rights when a Walmart associate asks to check your receipt? Read on to find out!
Does A Receipt Check At Walmart Mean They Suspect Me Of Shoplifting?
Walmart associates check customer’s receipts to catch and deter shoplifters.
And, according to a Walmart spokesperson, they intend to check every customer’s receipt before they leave the store.
So, if you are asked to show your receipt, this does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of shoplifting.
Receipt checks are entirely voluntary, and under Shopkeeper’s Privilege laws, Walmart associates can only take further action if they have probable cause to believe that you have shoplifted.
The rules are different in stores such as Costco, where you have to show your receipt as a condition of your membership.
Can Walmart Scan My Receipt?
Sometimes, Walmart associates will ask to scan your receipt, too. This is usually only required when you set the sensors off at the door when leaving the store.
Once again, though, a Walmart associate asking to scan your receipt does not mean that you are suspected of theft.
Usually, it’s just to check that the cashier that rang you up didn’t forget to scan an item.
Ultimately, Walmart just wants to make sure that all merchandise is paid for. However, not all Walmart stores will scan your receipt.
What Happens If You Lose Your Receipt Before Leaving Walmart?
If you lose your receipt before leaving Walmart, then don’t worry! Once you realize you’ve lost it, you can use your payment card to retrieve proof of payment.
Using Walmart’s online Receipt Lookup tool, you can get a digital copy of your receipt and show that to a Walmart associate instead! All you have to do is enter the purchase location and purchase details.
You can also return to the associate who served you and ask them to verify that you paid for your products.
Can Walmart Prevent You From Leaving The Store?
Since receipt checks are voluntary, Walmart cannot take any further action if you refuse to show your receipt to an associate.
However, if they have reasonable suspicion to believe that you have shoplifted, then you can be detained in-store under Shopkeeper’s Privilege laws.
What classes as “reasonable suspicion” will vary from state. Generally speaking, though, it will be determined by observations of merchandise being taken, customer or staff statements, or surveillance footage.
Without this suspicion, associates cannot stand in your way when you leave or try to physically detain you.
Why Does Walmart Check Receipts Now?
Walmart didn’t always check receipts as regularly as they do now.
One reason for the shift is a step-up in action against theft, which in 2015 accounted for $3 billion of the company’s losses. That was 1% of Walmart’s total revenue.
Another is the relatively recent introduction of self-checkout machines to Walmart’s stores.
With a self-checkout machine, it’s far easier to bag a product from your basket without scanning it.
So, it is likely that more associates have been stationed at the exit doors to check that every shopper’s receipt lines up with the products in their bags. This was certainly the case in Walmart’s Canadian stores.
Walmart can ask to check your receipt when you leave the store. In fact, they very often do due to significant revenue losses caused by theft.
However, you are not obligated to show your receipt, and Walmart associates cannot take any further action if you refuse to show your receipt.
The only exception to this is if the associate has reasonable suspicion to believe that you shoplifted an item or items from the store. If they do have reasonable suspicion, you may be detained.