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 are shoplifting.  

Does A Receipt Check At Walmart Mean They Suspect Me Of Shoplifting?

Walmart associates check customer’s receipts to catch and deter shoplifters. 

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 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 Costcowhere 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, tooThis 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 you are suspected of theft. 

Usually, it’s just to check that the cashier who rang you up didn’t forget to scan an item.

Ultimately, Walmart 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 ityou 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 act further if you refuse to show your receipt to an associate.

However, if they have reasonable suspicion that you have shoplifted, you can be detained in-store under Shopkeeper’s Privilege laws.

What classes are considered “reasonable suspicion” will vary depending on the state. Generally speaking, though, it will be determined by observing merchandise taken, customer or staff statements, or surveillance footage. 

Without this suspicion, associates cannot stand in your way when you leave or try to detain you physically.

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 bagsThis was certainly the case in Walmart’s Canadian stores.

To learn more, you can see our related guides on the most stolen products from Walmart, how long Walmart keeps security footage, and what sets of Walmart door alarms.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

2 thoughts on “Can Walmart Check Your Receipt?”

  1. There are 3 components to a contract:
    1) offer (item on display with listed price)
    2) acceptance (I agree to buy item)
    3) exchange ( I go to cashier and pay funds and receive goods.)
    The contract is fulfilled at that point.

    Walmart: May we see your receipt?

    Consumer: No

    Walmart: it is our store policy…

    Consumer: my policy is not to let strangers go through my personal property

    You can always ask the “greeter” to see their phone I guess. Same thing really.

    Me: Can I see your phone?

    Walmart: No

    Pretty simple concept really.

    Unless they have corroborating ‘evidence’ that you are stealing they can’t detain you. Refusing to show receipt is NOT sufficient. I believe that is referred to as “accusatorial paradox.”

    So, tell walmart no and continue walking. If you are REALLY lucky they will actually lay hands on you and CHACHING!!!!!

  2. I was checked this morning at 6:30am with $14.00 in items that were not bagged. Opened to see! They need to choose their battles! They watched me ring and pay! I been shopping at this store for years! I get checking receipts with large items, even numerous items in bags! I had 1 bag of bird seed and a few $.25 boxes of crayons!! I find that insulting!

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