Self checkouts - Pro or Con?

drummerboy said:

sac said:

sprout said:

Smedley said:

What does annoy me is when a store doesn’t have enough manned registers open and there are lines at self-checkout including customers with a lot of items, which I don’t think self-checkouts are meant for. I have found this sometimes at Target in Union and to a lesser extent, Stop &Shop on Valley. 

I've used the hand-held scanner at Stop & Shop that you take with you and scan as you go through, and pack into your own bags (my daughter enjoys doing the scanning, and I like having my bags packed in my particular way). In the beginning, people thought I was trying to do the self-checkout with a large cart full of items. But just the scanner is scanned (except for those times I was selected for a random check of 7(?) items).

 I love this combo! I wish all stores would have the self-scanners!  At times I also wish that S&S would reserve one or two of the self-checkout lines for self-scan users - at least if any are present and waiting. It’s much quicker than “10 items or less” or whatever and might encourage more people to take advantage of those self-scanners. I’m amazed at how few people use them.

 how do the hand held scanners work for produce and loose bakery items that have no bar codes?

 At Stop & Shop they have several "weigh stations" in the produce department.  So, similar to what you do at the check out, you put the items on the scale and select via the code number or description/pictures and then it prints out a label that you can scan with the hand scanners.

Also, when you get to the checkout, there is an opportunity to handle any items that weren't scanned for some reason at that point to add to what was stored by the scanner.



 how do the hand held scanners work for produce and loose bakery items that have no bar codes?

Like in the bulk food aisle at Whole Foods, they have scales in the aisle which print out labels and you scan them and put the item in the bag.


drummerboy said:

 how do the hand held scanners work for produce and loose bakery items that have no bar codes?

For the single bread items like bagels and hoagie buns, there's a UPC code on the sign on top of the bins. You just scan that for each item you have. Really easy.

Before it tried the hand-held scanners, I thought they seemed cool but I didnt fully appreciate the efficiency until after I started using them. I love that you can have a cart-load of items and still go thru express checkout. Plus it now seems like such a waste of time/energy to go thru the store putting everything in your cart, then get it all back out of your cart onto the conveyor belt, then return it to your cart again.


mmh said:

hoagie buns.


 You mean sub rolls.


I don't think we have the self-scanner guns here yet. They seem like a clever idea - except that I can see a lot of people walking off with them, or simply not scanning a lot of items (in the same way that shrinkage has increased in the self-scan check-outs. 

I do a lot impulse gift trays from the fresh fruit section of my supermarket; while I'm walking around the other areas, someone is selecting and wrapping a pretty $20 tray for me to drop in to the hospital dept I'm surprising that week. That'd be hard to do if everything is all automatic and self-self. Plus, we used to do a lot of customised shopping on account for work, that needed to be at a particular grade for elderly folk to comfortably chew. (No, not slop) So selection is critical as well as payment process (the account paperwork needs to be properly signed in person). 

I surprised one supermarket last week: realised when I got home that I'd forgotten to pay for two items. Went back to declare my thievery and pay up the $12. Staff were staggered, and laughed!


mrincredible said:

krnl said:

We would love to use the hand held scanners, but when we tried shortly after S&S introduced them the scanner would not accept our S&S tag. Customer Service was no help with this issue.  I bet many others had this same issue and that's why do few customers use this service.

 I believe you need to take your card to customer service to have it validated to use the scanner. I've never done this, but perhaps I should try it. 

 Did that and nothing happened.  If course, this was months ago when they put in the hand held scanners.  It may be time to try again...or get a fresh card.

Anyone having difficulty with bringing your own bag to the self checkout?  Even when you exactly follow the instructions it requires one of the assistants to intervene. We are now best friends with the assistants  who work the times we tend to shop. Fun times ahead once the plastic bag ban is in effect.


krnl said:

...

Anyone having difficulty with bringing your own bag to the self checkout?  Even when you exactly follow the instructions it requires one of the assistants to intervene. We are now best friends with the assistants  who work the times we tend to shop. Fun times ahead once the plastic bag ban is in effect.

Every damn time at Shop Rite in Livingston.

Every damn time.


joanne said:

I don't think we have the self-scanner guns here yet. They seem like a clever idea - except that I can see a lot of people walking off with them, or simply not scanning a lot of items (in the same way that shrinkage has increased in the self-scan check-outs. 

I do a lot impulse gift trays from the fresh fruit section of my supermarket; while I'm walking around the other areas, someone is selecting and wrapping a pretty $20 tray for me to drop in to the hospital dept I'm surprising that week. That'd be hard to do if everything is all automatic and self-self. Plus, we used to do a lot of customised shopping on account for work, that needed to be at a particular grade for elderly folk to comfortably chew. (No, not slop) So selection is critical as well as payment process (the account paperwork needs to be properly signed in person). 

I surprised one supermarket last week: realised when I got home that I'd forgotten to pay for two items. Went back to declare my thievery and pay up the $12. Staff were staggered, and laughed!

They have no use outside of the grocery store that I can envision, so I'm not sure why someone would walk off with one.  If you checkout at the regular line, you have to hand the scanner to the cashier.  If you check out at the self-check, there is usually an employee near all the self-check stations.  I suppose that you could get out of there without them seeing, but I don't know why you would want to.

Also, re not scanning all your items, they have random "audits" that pop up occasionally when you check out and then an employee comes and checks your stuff.  I don't know what happens if they discover that you didn't scan everything.  If it was only one item, they would probably assume that you just missed it, but if it was a bunch of stuff, I suppose they might disable your account.  (You have to scan your little card at the start of the scanning session and then it remembers your account to give you any discounts associated with the store membership.)


drummerboy said:

krnl said:

...

Anyone having difficulty with bringing your own bag to the self checkout?  Even when you exactly follow the instructions it requires one of the assistants to intervene. We are now best friends with the assistants  who work the times we tend to shop. Fun times ahead once the plastic bag ban is in effect.

Every damn time at Shop Rite in Livingston.

Every damn time.

 D’s theory is that this is a not-too-subtle way of keeping an eye out for shrinkage. 
As someone else noted much earlier, shrinkage (aka shoplifting) has increased since self-scanning was introduced. There are many ways this can occur, despite an abundance of cameras. The best ways to lower shrinkage include more convex mirrors (I think they’re convex; but floor designers don’t like them, think they’re ugly), and many more friendly staff on the floor. Strangely, this seems to be reinforced by retail and security surveying. 

Aussie larrikins will nick anything on a whim or for a lark. Those scanners would be nifty for pets to play with, or for kids to play with, or to scare motorists with, or to use in other businesses (recode them for use in other barcode systems); flog them on gumtree or in a garage sale... believe me, they’d find a way. A nation founded on convicts, and with a government funded by illegal rum running, remember?? 



 how do the hand held scanners work for produce and loose bakery items that have no bar codes?

 For produce, you weigh the items on a scale in the produce dept, telling it by using on-screen buttons what the produce is and whether or not it's organic.  Then it prints a barcode sticker which you can scan.  I don't know how bakery works, as I haven't bought anything there that didn't have a barcode, but you can add items to your scan order at the checkout, so you'd just save those to ring up as usual


drummerboy said:

 how do the hand held scanners work for produce and loose bakery items that have no bar codes?

 There are scales in the produce department where you weight your items and print a barcoded price sticker.  In the bakery department, the containers have a barcode that you scan.  I love using the Stop & Shop scanning gun.  The only negative is that the scanning gun is only available from 7am - closing (I often shop when the store opens at 6am).


I was at a Home Depot today and there were ONLY self-checkout stations open. Not a "cashier" in sight. I was not pleased. 


krnl said:

mrincredible said:

krnl said:

We would love to use the hand held scanners, but when we tried shortly after S&S introduced them the scanner would not accept our S&S tag. Customer Service was no help with this issue.  I bet many others had this same issue and that's why do few customers use this service.

 I believe you need to take your card to customer service to have it validated to use the scanner. I've never done this, but perhaps I should try it. 

 Did that and nothing happened.  If course, this was months ago when they put in the hand held scanners.  It may be time to try again...or get a fresh card.

Anyone having difficulty with bringing your own bag to the self checkout?  Even when you exactly follow the instructions it requires one of the assistants to intervene. We are now best friends with the assistants  who work the times we tend to shop. Fun times ahead once the plastic bag ban is in effect.

 I just put the stuff on the shelf (not in a bag) and bag them after I finish checking out. (One more reason I love the hand scanner, which lets you bag items as you go.)


I have stopped doing my weekly shopping in Maplewood due to the ban on bags. If they remove the bags from self checkout lanes I will stop using them as well  oh oh


the18thletter said:

I have stopped doing my weekly shopping in Maplewood due to the ban on bags. If they remove the bags from self checkout lanes I will stop using them as well 
oh oh

The only ban is on plastic bags provided by the retailer. You are free to bring your own bags, including flimsy plastic ones if you prefer. But the cloth or sturdier reusable plastic bags are SO much better. What’s the big deal about bringing your own? I just keep my supply in the trunk of my car.  And I’m happy to donate a few to anyone who needs some, as I have way too many - mostly freebies I’ve received over many years as I’ve been using them since long before the bag bans were even contemplated.


sac said:

The only ban is on plastic bags provided by the retailer. You are free to bring your own bags, including flimsy plastic ones if you prefer. But the cloth or sturdier reusable plastic bags are SO much better. What’s the big deal about bringing your own? I just keep my supply in the trunk of my car.  And I’m happy to donate a few to anyone who needs some, as I have way too many - mostly freebies I’ve received over many years as I’ve been using them since long before the bag bans were even contemplated.

stores provide shoppers with paper bags for a nickel.  Anyone who stops shopping in Maplewood over a nickel charge for a bag is probably spending a lot more than a nickel's worth of time and gas to travel somewhere farther.


ml1 said:

sac said:

The only ban is on plastic bags provided by the retailer. You are free to bring your own bags, including flimsy plastic ones if you prefer. But the cloth or sturdier reusable plastic bags are SO much better. What’s the big deal about bringing your own? I just keep my supply in the trunk of my car.  And I’m happy to donate a few to anyone who needs some, as I have way too many - mostly freebies I’ve received over many years as I’ve been using them since long before the bag bans were even contemplated.

stores provide shoppers with paper bags for a nickel.  Anyone who stops shopping in Maplewood over a nickel charge for a bag is probably spending a lot more than a nickel's worth of time and gas to travel somewhere farther.

 yeah, but owning the libs is priceless.


drummerboy said:

 yeah, but owning the libs is priceless.

 yes, that had occurred to me.


Last week the cashier at Trader Joe's asked me if the fruit was a mango. You won't get that interaction at self checkout. P.S. It was a cantaloupe. And I think the primary reason my wife won't leave NJ is not having to pump gas. 


some people actually REUSE the plastic bags they get at store...so that is the annoyance with bringing bags in....  I have severe sinus issues.  I have a wastepaper basket in every room....I use the grocery bags for the tissues.  If 1 has a small hole, i put a small piece of scotch tape over it.  I probably use 6-9 bags per week for that  alone.  I also reuse them for other things.....


the reusable ones should be washed periodically.  They sit in germy carts, have germy hands on them, products can leak (i often notice chocolate milk on the outside of the bottle), etc  if someone doesn't have their own washer dryer....thats another hassle and expense.

I  have memory issues from a brain injury.  I also can't walk much.  I tend to forget to bring the bags back to the car or bring bags in to the store...and with my legs already hurting/giving out would have to run back out  to get them. I've even tried leaving them on the seat next to me by my pocket book...and forgotten them.  I do prefer reusable for heavy items that will just rip the plastic bag too much and make it impossible to reuse.  I used to use  a couple reusable more often when my stock pile of plastic was full, but since more places are banning them, I am enlarging my stock pile..because I reuse them.


jmitw said:

some people actually REUSE the plastic bags they get at store...so that is the annoyance with bringing bags in....  I have severe sinus issues.  I have a wastepaper basket in every room....I use the grocery bags for the tissues.  If 1 has a small hole, i put a small piece of scotch tape over it.  I probably use 6-9 bags per week for that  alone.  I also reuse them for other things.....


the reusable ones should be washed periodically.  They sit in germy carts, have germy hands on them, products can leak (i often notice chocolate milk on the outside of the bottle), etc  if someone doesn't have their own washer dryer....thats another hassle and expense.

I  have memory issues from a brain injury.  I also can't walk much.  I tend to forget to bring the bags back to the car or bring bags in to the store...and with my legs already hurting/giving out would have to run back out  to get them. I've even tried leaving them on the seat next to me by my pocket book...and forgotten them.  I do prefer reusable for heavy items that will just rip the plastic bag too much and make it impossible to reuse.  I used to use  a couple reusable more often when my stock pile of plastic was full, but since more places are banning them, I am enlarging my stock pile..because I reuse them.

 True.  But, sadly, you are greatly in the minority and the "inconveniences" associated with reusing bags ought to be well worth the positive impact on the environment, don't you think?  


does anyone follow these rules with their reusable bags?

Proper Uses

  • Shopping bags should be washed after every use when carrying food just as you would launder a kitchen towel. This is especially critical for bags used for meats, produce, and precooked foods. Bags used for cleaning supplies or dry goods can go a bit longer between washings.
  • Have more than one bag and label each bag as Meat, Produce, Dairy, Dry Goods, Cleaning Supplies, etc. Or use a different-colored bag for each type of purchased item. This will prevent cross-contamination. Always double bag with a plastic bag any items like poultry and meats that may leak. Even if the contents don't leak, there could be bacteria on the packaging material.
  • Consider purchasing reusable hemp bags because hemp has naturally anti-mold and antimicrobial properties.
  • Use grocery reusable bags only for carrying food—no gym clothes, diapers, chemicals, or gardening supplies. A soccer team in Oregon was infected with the norovirus after a reusable grocery shopping bag was used for gear.
  • Do not leave unwashed bags in your car. The high heat is a perfect incubator for bacteria to multiply.
  • Do not place clean reusable shopping bags in the baby carrier section of the grocery cart. This is the most contaminated area of the cart and bacteria can transfer to your shopping bags.
  • Insulated shopping bags must be cleaned as frequently as those that are not insulated.

You guys really need to get out more....


I haven't breathed fresh air in 3 days. You're right.


With regard to the rules posted above by drummerboy, omg, it's a miracle i'm alive.  and i don't plan to change my ways.

I've been reusing store bags, and using reusable bags, for decades with no problems.  All the food is inside something anyhow, isn't it (produce bag, can, box, overwrapped meat tray)(maybe not bananas)?  Just the occasional milk carton leak back in the day, and now it's almost always in (recyclable?) plastic jugs.

eta: Regarding the original question, i'm fine with self check for a few things, maybe up to 10 or so.  With more, i'll wait for a checker.  My main gripe is that there are fewer and fewer checkers in some stores - they really want us to self-check or preorder (latter is not appealing).


jfinnegan said:

Last week the cashier at Trader Joe's asked me if the fruit was a mango. 

That kind of scintillating conversation might just make me rethink the self-checkout.

 


mjc said:

With regard to the rules posted above by drummerboy, omg, it's a miracle i'm alive.  and i don't plan to change my ways.

I've been reusing store bags, and using reusable bags, for decades with no problems.  All the food is inside something anyhow, isn't it (produce bag, can, box, overwrapped meat tray)(maybe not bananas)?  Just the occasional milk carton leak back in the day, and now it's almost always in (recyclable?) plastic jugs.

eta: Regarding the original question, i'm fine with self check for a few things, maybe up to 10 or so.  With more, i'll wait for a checker.  My main gripe is that there are fewer and fewer checkers in some stores - they really want us to self-check or preorder (latter is not appealing).

yeah, I didn't mean to imply that I endorse those rules. Far, far from it. I think they're a little nutso.

Then again, I don't believe an unopened yogurt can ever go bad, so YMMV.


drummerboy said:

does anyone follow these rules with their reusable bags?

Proper Uses

  • Shopping bags should be washed after every use when carrying food just as you would launder a kitchen towel. This is especially critical for bags used for meats, produce, and precooked foods. Bags used for cleaning supplies or dry goods can go a bit longer between washings.
  • Have more than one bag and label each bag as Meat, Produce, Dairy, Dry Goods, Cleaning Supplies, etc. Or use a different-colored bag for each type of purchased item. This will prevent cross-contamination. Always double bag with a plastic bag any items like poultry and meats that may leak. Even if the contents don't leak, there could be bacteria on the packaging material.
  • Consider purchasing reusable hemp bags because hemp has naturally anti-mold and antimicrobial properties.
  • Use grocery reusable bags only for carrying food—no gym clothes, diapers, chemicals, or gardening supplies. A soccer team in Oregon was infected with the norovirus after a reusable grocery shopping bag was used for gear.
  • Do not leave unwashed bags in your car. The high heat is a perfect incubator for bacteria to multiply.
  • Do not place clean reusable shopping bags in the baby carrier section of the grocery cart. This is the most contaminated area of the cart and bacteria can transfer to your shopping bags.
  • Insulated shopping bags must be cleaned as frequently as those that are not insulated.

*sigh*  I have thought all of this (except the hemp bag part--that will be new to my mental checklist) ... but figured if I ever told anyone, they would think I was nuts.


what I was thinking is that you could line your shopping bag with a kitchen garbage bag, and then when you get home you use that bag for your kitchen garbage pail.

no fuss. no muss.

easy peasy!


I occasionally wash my reusable bags, but generally it should not be a problem. As others have noted, they don't typically come in contact with the actual food.  And I don't wash my kitchen linens after every use either (but definitely more often than my grocery bags.)



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