Supermarket Self Check-Out

Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
Went to Winco today. Noticed they installed six new self check-out registers. I gotta question: How do they know you're scanning every single item and not stealing half the stuff?
 
Messages
530
Location
Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
I gotta question: How do they know you're scanning every single item and not stealing half the stuff?
The stores have accepted the fact that not every single item will be scanned and they'll lose that as theft. The scale helps keep people honest, but it's possible to get away with some stuff. Basically, the bean counters have determined that: cost of self-bagging machines + possible theft through some items being scanned < cost of paying cashiers
 
Messages
484
Location
IL
Originally Posted By: DutchBrad
I *Hate* these things. If I am going to do all the work, I want a discount.
Haha, I do too! I thought the exact same thing while stopping at the grocery store on my way home tonight. It took about 40 swipes to get it to read my hotdog buns and the "monitor" was nowhere in site. Then, for my change, the cash bills are spit out below knee level up under a ledge. The computerized voice kept telling me to "Please remove your change" as I searched frantically. For a moment I thought this must be a joke and I'm being filmed.
 
Messages
593
Location
Al
This is a relatively new use of several mixed technologies so there is little to no standardization. There is a huge difference in quality of various self checkout machines being used at retail stores. As an example the machines used by Walmart work pretty well at this point because Walmart put a huge effort into making sure they worked right in the last couple of years. The early machines Home Depot rolled out were poorly design unreliable junk. HD had had attempted to cheap out and build the machines themselves and the result was junk. HD machines have gotten better in the last couple of years but they are still not great. Personally I think the machines in Lowes have decent quality and ergonomics and they seem to be working most of the time.
 
Messages
993
Location
Wisconsin USA
I don't like the self check out lanes either, but I find myself using them more and more frequently because the lines are shorter and you get done faster. I deal with the frustration by not being shy about calling over a store employee for help at the first sign of difficulty with the automated system.
 
Messages
495
Location
San Antonio, Texas
Originally Posted By: cashmoney
This is a relatively new use of several mixed technologies so there is little to no standardization. There is a huge difference in quality of various self checkout machines being used at retail stores. As an example the machines used by Walmart work pretty well at this point because Walmart put a huge effort into making sure they worked right in the last couple of years. The early machines Home Depot rolled out were poorly design unreliable junk. HD had had attempted to cheap out and build the machines themselves and the result was junk. HD machines have gotten better in the last couple of years but they are still not great. Personally I think the machines in Lowes have decent quality and ergonomics and they seem to be working most of the time.
Yep the ones at lowes are way better ...the hd ones are junk...kinda like the store itself...ehhhh....lowes in general is much better ....hd feels like walking through a ghetto....imho.
 
Messages
22,446
Location
Apple Valley, California
i hatehatwhate those automated checkouts! i always end up with an item that wont scan. i end up taking my bag of stuff to a real checkout,waiting in line and getting it scanned there. i wonder what happens to the one i left without paying when i gave up and went to a human?
 
Messages
189
Location
Boonton USA
My local grocery store has a smart phone app linked to its discount card. I walk in, launch the app on my phone, scan and bag my items, go to a special checkout, scan a code on that checkout which uploads my order to pay. They do an occasional check of what I've bought. They caught that I scanned an item twice but only took one.
 
Messages
541
Location
Canadia
Originally Posted By: DutchBrad
I *Hate* these things. If I am going to do all the work, I want a discount.
I felt the same way at first. Now, I live in a town with no self-checkout retailers whatsoever, and I would jump at the opportunity to "do all the work" if it meant bypassing a line of customers 4-5 deep.
 
Messages
2,147
Location
Chicago, IL
I've gotten more and more use to them. Like mentioned above, the key is to be very mindful of the scale. Scan your item, then put it in the bag on the scale. Don't take anything out of the bag at that time. I can usually make it through smoothly. Sometimes it doesn't read the weight and at least at walmart, they come up with a prompt to skip bagging. It seems worth it to me to skip the longer lines. If I'm buying booze and the person doesn't appear to be watching closely, I'll go wait for a real cashier.
 
Messages
2,408
Location
CA
There is usually at least 1 clerk who oversees all the self-checkout lanes and they are usually monitored by camera. If one is going to be dishonest, you can shoplift with or without the self-checkout lanes.
 
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Messages
2,408
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: Inspecktor
My biggest complaint is the jobs you won't see in stores that have self checkout lanes.
meh, they've been saying this since the John Henry's job was taken over by a steam hammer. The answer is always if your skill was so replaceable by a robot or machine, you should've seen it coming. Hopefully you have some other skill that a robot can't do. If not, you are "freed from toil" to actually go do something better.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,119
Location
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Inspecktor
My biggest complaint is the jobs you won't see in stores that have self checkout lanes.
+1. You can argue that less labor should yield a discount, but the counter is it helps keep prices down. So the proof is in the retailer's profit growth figure, which if public, may be available. Deconvoluting profit from these things versus other efforts would likely be near-impossible unless you could compare quarters and there was a massive rollout over a quarter with the layoffs to match. But fundamentally your post makes sense to me. And what makes it worse is that it's seldom faster, especially when one small item flags the attendant who has to override it.
 
Messages
43,667
Location
'Stralia
It's interesting, as since our trip, we've swapped retail outlet for our groceries...the change has been to a place with a self check-out. The new place actually employs more checkout staff than where we were before, and has an express lane which is manned(ladied as well), which is a genuine 12 items or less, and policed). Old place was lucky to have 3 tills available, frustrated staff, and queues a mile long. New place has more, cheerful staff, and the self service area functions to control the queue length...when the line gets long, people use the self serve more. I like it.
 
Messages
3,577
Location
no. indiana
Originally Posted By: Inspecktor
My biggest complaint is the jobs you won't see in stores that have self checkout lanes.
But it takes people to make the machines.
 
Messages
2,360
Location
Virginia
Hint - Clean the scanner glass before you start. If you have several of one item, ask the attendant to put the number in for you, so you only scan it once. Make sure the bagging area is tidy before starting, otherwise the scale underneath can get confused...
 
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