Walmart employees share insider facts about shopping at the big-box store

Thomas Cooper/Getty ImagesDon’t be afraid to ask to see the store’s clearance items.

Walmart stores are everywhere.

The retail chain reports that it currently operates 11,300 retail locations in 26 countries. And it’s safe to say that the 2.2 million associates employed at Walmarts and Walmart subsidiaries around the world know a thing or two about the chain’s inner workings.

Whenever you’re preparing to go on a shopping spree, it pays to come in armed with as much information as you can get. That way, you can keep an eye out for the best possible deals and shopping strategies the next time you visit your local Walmart.

Here’s a look at a few tricks of the trade that only Walmart employees and long-time customers know about:

You can always just ask employees about markdowns

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One Walmart associate from Virginia recommends working with employees to seek out good deals. By scooping up items that have been marked down, you may be doing them a favour.

“Ask the people who work the department what have they marked down today,” the employee told Business Insider. “Most will tell you, because they are trying room for new things coming in.”

The Savings Catcher app can really add up over time

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How helpful is Walmart’s mobile app Savings Catcher?

Quora user and former Walmart employee Ward Miller wrote that customers shouldn’t “expect boatloads of money to come rolling in” from the app because “Walmart goes to a lot of work to maintain its competitive price points.”

The mobile app doesn’t give shoppers cash back. It instead accrues store credits and dispenses e-gift cards that can be spent on Walmart’s website or in its stores.

“That being said, I paid for a $US140 dehumidifier using nothing but Savings Catcher rewards,” Miller wrote.

Sales prices contain clues about hidden deals

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Always check the price tags carefully at Walmart.

According to the site TipHero, sales prices ending in 7 are full-price, prices ending in 5 denote first markdowns, and prices ending in 1 indicate a final markdown.

Walmart employees can shop on Black Friday, too — but only when they’re on break

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Walmart employees are free to take advantage of the store’s deals on Black Friday.

But the shopping must be done when they’re on break or taking lunch or on their own time.

“Your breaks are short and the lines are long,” Quora user and former Walmart employee Krystle Hannigan wrote. “You’re not honestly going to have enough time to shop until after your shift is over.”

Quora user and former Walmart employee Alley McNally wrote that employees who work Thanksgiving and Black Friday can get a whopping 25% discount. The regular employee discount is 10%, and employees working on Thanksgiving and Black Friday “receive a voucher good for an additional 15% off of any one transaction,” according to Quora user Jessica Cline.

She added that the voucher can be used on set days in early to mid-December.

“I did ring out an assistant manager one year who came through with three shopping carts filled to the brim,” Cline wrote. “Her discount came to $US1,100.”

Stores have some tricks up their sleeves to stop shoplifters

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Walmart has a crime problem, Bloomberg reported in 2016. Reporters Shannon Pettypiece and David Voreacos found that in the city of Tulsa, police were called to Walmart stores 2,000 times in 2015. Compare that with 300 calls from Target stores.

One of Walmart’s attempts to combat the specific crime of shoplifting stirred controversy. CNBC reported that, in 2017, the chain dropped out of a program that had first-time shoplifters either pay to enroll in an educational program or face prosecution.

Quora user and former Walmart employeeMichael Wolfe also shared some strategies the store uses to stop theft.

“Depending on the size of the store you could have a plain-clothes security person who is legally certified and authorised to make apprehensions,” Wolfe wrote.

Walmart strives to give back

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“Walmart does so much for communities, but rarely puts that information forward,” an employee who has worked at both Walmart and its UK counterpart Asda told Business Insider. “Walmart has always been there silently getting people and places back on their feet.”

In 2019, Walmart donated $US1.4 billion to charities around the globe.

Are you a current or former Walmart employee with a story to share? Email [email protected]

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