Saturday, October 8, 2011

Walmart Price Match Etiquette

This post has been on my Discussions section on my FB page.  FB will soon be discontinuing their discussions app so I am posting my suggestions here.  IF YOU PM, PLEASE READ TO MAKE LIFE FOR YOU AND YOUR CASHIER EASIER!!  

After reading several complaints about the cashiers at Walmart from fans and subscribers. I called and visited with the MW and Graham managers today. We talked about how to handle a not so nice cashier, confirmed what stores they will match and more. First let me say that both managers were very nice and very supportive of price matching and my report. They are aware that a few bad apples are causing some cashiers to be less than happy when they see a price matcher in their line. So here's a run down of our conversations.

1) Walmart DOES NOT require you to have the ad when price matching. However, some cashiers may ask what store, and that is completely acceptable and understandable. There have been cases of attempts to price match stores that are an hour or more away. That is not considered to be a "local competitors" area. Walmart does not have a minimum mileage area that they match. Each store manager determines who is considered to be their "local competitors". I have heard 50 miles used as a reference, but there is NO mileage minimum. Unfortunately Walmart runs on a regional pricing and distribution system. MW and WFD are in different regions, which explains the price difference in milk. When you consider your time and the outrageous price of gas it is still cheaper to stay close to your local store. You may have noticed that not all stores are listed on the reports now. If you are in MW, the stores that MW matches are on your report. I hate that our store doesn't match FTW stores like Kroger too. They have some great deals, but I am thankful that this manager has chosen to honor WFD stores. When I worked there a couple of years ago they did not, nor did they honor CVS or anywhere else that required a reward card. So don't be defensive when they ask which store, just politely tell them.

2) I have had some questions about matching store brands. Walmart will match store brands, but it must be the same size and quality, i.e. not the regular version against the supreme version. I do not currently put store brands on my report, but may do so if I know that the Good Value brand has the same size. I personally do not attempt to match store brands simply because when I use coupons in conjunction with a price match the name brands are normally cheaper.

3) Both managers were very clear regarding their position on cashiers. If you get a rude cashier YOU MUST GET THEIR NAME! A description of short, with brown hair and glasses may fit several cashiers! Just jot down their name before even beginning your transaction. If a cashier tells you that they require the ads POLITELY tell them that is not their policy. Ask to speak to a CSM if they still insist on an ad. If the CSM gives you trouble, then ask to speak to the assistant manager on duty. There is always a member of management there. If the assistant is not nice, then call the next business day and ask to speak to the manager, but remember to have names! The store has ads, they can easily produce the ads themselves if they feel there is a need to check a price. BUT PLEASE BE NICE! Don't assume that the cashier is going to give you trouble, because most of them will not. There is no need for you to feel are not doing anything wrong!!! However if you start out the conversation with the cashier with an attitude you will most likely get attitude back! Address the cashier by name, and remember that they are just trying to earn a paycheck as are you! When you get a good cashier be sure to thank them for their patience! Even better, lets turn the table on the trouble makers...when you get a good cashier that is nice, get their name and then call and ask to talk to a manager. Tell them how nice they were and how much you appreciate it! When a manager gets called to the phone I am sure that they are expecting a complaint. Lets do a flash mob of sort and call them with compliments! Several cashiers use my report for their own shopping. Next time you are in the store, look to see if that same cashier is working. Sometimes it is worth waiting in a longer line to have less grief at check out!

4) I am working hard to keep a good working relationship with the managers. The MW store gets a copy of my report and Graham will begin doing so also. This will keep customers from being able to say that is says something that it doesn't. If a subscriber is reported as abusing my report they will be blocked from my website and my FB page! I don't appreciate someone trying to basically steal from WM and then telling them that I said it was that price...which is what they did. That gives me and my report a bad reputation. As a former cashier, I do have an insight as to how things work. If they don't know how to price match I can actually tell them...haha! Employee bonuses are based on store sales and profits. When someone is abusing the system, it is taking money from their bottom line and in essence from the cashier's bonus. Understanding that makes it easy to understand why some of them may be defensive. It is my wish that my report will have a good reputation to the extent that when a cashier sees you holding it, they know that the prices are correct and that you are being honest. Please help me with that! I have already begun talking with them about the Christmas season and what they will be matching on Black Friday. :)

So with all that said here are a few suggestions.
1) When shopping put all price match items to the rear of the cart, i.e. closest to you.
2) Group all the like items together. For example if Kelloggs cereal is on sale and you get three different kinds, put all the Froot Loops together and so on. Each different variety of a like item has to be rang up. They can't just ring up 5 boxes of cereal if you got 3 varieties - it's an inventory thing.
3) Keep a Sharpie with you and jot down the price on the item as you get it off the shelf. This way you are not having to flip pages to find prices. I think that my next trip I may get some of this little sticky notes and put the price and the store on it. It makes it much faster. A few extra minutes while in the isles will save you lots of time at checkout!
4) When you get to the check out line put all of your regular items first and save the price match items till the last. I usually put down a bar so the cashier knows when to stop.
5) Politely let them know that everything past that point is price match. If they ask if you have the ads, just say, "No, but I can tell you the store where it is on sale." Show them how you have it written down if you do it that way. Then if there is a problem as to speak to the CSM.
6) Jot down cashiers name so you can thank them, and call management to compliment them - or file a complaint - but I am keeping a positive attitude.
7) REMEMBER TO BE NICE! Walmart doesn't owe you anything! That cashier may have had someone try to scam them that morning, or maybe their dog died. My point is that they are just trying to earn a living as we are. Every one has a bad day, don't make their day worse. Be a light in the world! Walmart is being nice to price match. I think that it is to compensate for the fact that they don't run weekly sales. When compared on a large scale the amount of customers that do price match is very small, so when it is done within the rules they are not loosing money. It does bring them business, and the managers know this! Doubling and tripling coupons is being tested in select markets. Let keep our fingers crossed that they decide to implement it all over!

I APPRECIATE YOUR KIND WORDS AND SUPPORT OF THIS FB PAGE AND MY REPORT!! I love it when you post your savings on the wall! Keep your chins up and let all save some money!!

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