Is Walmart Going to Charge Shoppers To Use Self-Checkout?

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If you are a frequent shopper for Walmart, you need to know about this new change to self-checkout because it may just change the way you shop.

Walmart is changing the way they handle people paying for their purchases at self-checkout.

According to Today, Walmart shoppers have been complaining that some stores are closing self-checkout lanes or only allowing them to be open to Walmart+ members and Spark delivery drivers.

In fact, one reddit post even shared a sign with this exact issue:


And only people are noticing how often their Walmart self-checkout lanes are closed even when visiting different locations…

“This is the second time this week that I’ve gone to Walmart, and this is a different Walmart, and it’s been right about this time, and all their self-checkouts are closed and they’ve started to open up the regular lines again,” said one TikTok user.

Here’s the thing – I don’t think having cashiers – real human-beings with jobs – at checkout is a bad thing.

But I do think that Walmart spending all the money to install all these self-checkouts, basically removing cashiers and then trying to get people to PAY in order to use self-checkout, is insane.

Is Walmart charging customers to use self-checkout?

The rumors that Walmart is charging customers to use self-checkout is partially true. While this is not a company-wide thing and Walmart has no plans to entirely go all-in on customers needing to be Walmart+ members to use self-checkout, Walmart did confirm to USA Today that Walmart stores “adjust the use of staffed checkouts and self-checkouts” based on customer flow.

This includes stores that can also create designated self-checkout lanes that are only open to Walmart+ subscribers.

For context, a Walmart+ membership is $12.95 a month or $98.00 a year. While it does offer quite a bit of benefits, I could see someone who doesn’t need all the other benefits upset if they have to pay for it just to be able to use self-checkout.

Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Walmart told TODAY that customers may start to see changes to self-checkout lanes.

“From time to time, our stores adjust the use of staffed checkouts and self-checkouts. For example, a store might start or end the day with staffed checkouts. As the number of shoppers and associate staffing increases, these stores open self-checkout registers to manage the increased customer flow. This process isn’t new,” Kelsey Bohl said.

That all makes sense but if Walmart does ever try to push the “pay to use self-checkout lanes” that just seems crazy to me.

Kelsey Bohl also said that during times of limited access, some Walmart stores may designate select self-checkout lanes for Walmart+ customers and Spark drivers for faster access and deliveries.

Which again, would mean you’d have to be a paid member of Walmart+.

“This decision is intended to better manage checkout availability,” she said.

Kelsey Bohl, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Walmart

Now, if it has anything to do with people not being honest and stealing, I get it. Maybe hire additional employees to ensure items are being scanned correctly.

But I still don’t like the idea that you’d have to pay to use that service. Again, that is if Walmart decides to adopt this plan store wide but so far they haven’t.

And I am speaking from someone who does have a Walmart+ subscription. I also don’t see how this fee being paid helps possible theft? Unless it’s also required that Walmart+ members only can use the Scan and Go feature in the app.

For now, seems like they are allowing stores to test this change on as-needed basis. It will be interesting to see if this causes longer checkout lines or if we see more human-ran registers opened.

So, what do you think? Will this change effect you? Will you pay to use self-checkout at Walmart?

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  1. I live in a rural area where staffed check out is limited and only have self-checkout. What happens if that is the only choice available? Will I be charged extra, if that is the only option available? That is not right and unethical.

  2. Ridiculous! I never wanted to do self checkout in the first place,
    Now they want me to
    Pay for
    It. No thanks I will take my shopping elsewhere.
    I hardly ever go to Walmart anymore anyway because of the shortage of cashiers and it takes forever to fo through a line because of it!
    Like they gonna piss off even more
    People. Sounds like the beginning of the end for them.

  3. Absolutely not… why on earth would I pay to check out my own purchases when I am already paying for the items I am buying. In my opinion Walmart has never had enough cashiers this is evident by the lines in every store I have been in regardless of location for years!!! Why install such a huge amount of self check out stations if only a few people can use them…and no it’s not going to make people give up their Amazon Prime membership to become Walmart member if that is the intent….because in essence they will still be paying for self check out….because the cost of the membership is going to increase as well!!! Walmart….contrary to popular belief, consumers are not stupid….Please do better….we shop with you because we only have to go to one store basically for every thing not necessarily because we are loyal….we will and can go else where!!!

  4. I already don’t shop at Walmart so no big loss for me however, a feature such as self checkout where you do the work of an employee should merit a discount not an extra fee.

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