Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Your Checkers Wish You Knew

Okay- we could post all day long about what we wish (some) checkers knew about couponing and checking out us couponers. But have you ever thought about the frustrations they deal with when checking us out? In my time couponing it feels like I have run into all kinds of checkers. Some are obviously annoyed, some love to see how much I save and are excited to help, some are confused beyond words and completely overhelmed, and others don't even seem to notice.

I think it should be the goal of all of us Krazy Coupon Ladies, whether Veteran or Virgin, to make sure our checkers are excited to see us, rather than dreadful. How do we do that, you ask? Let me explain.

Couponing is all about being organized. Checkers will be so much more excited to see you, if you walk up to the checkout with an organized envelope of coupons, sorted according to transaction (if you are doing several transactions) and all cut and neat and ready to go. I will expand on organization in the next few days... But the bottom line is, it is stressful for you and your checker if you are searching for coupons, trying to clip them and keep your kids quiet all at the same time. And in my experience I am nicer (to everyone) if I am not stressing out.

Don't expect your checkers to bend the rules for you. If a coupon or promo limits your transactions, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES. Checkers are accountable for their till, and at some stores they go through the transactions and check what coupons are used. I would hate to be responsible for getting a checker in trouble. Also, I will note, while we don't want to expect special treatment we can expect to be treated with respect, just as though our coupons are cash. Bottom Line? Don't demand that the rules be broken for you, Play Nice!

Checkers will be more friendly to you, if you aren't the reason they are going to have to explain to the next week's worth of customers that they are out of a certain product. While I think it is the stores responsibility to stay stocked, we as consumers/couponers can take advantage of knowing about sales before they happen. My favorite thing to do when I find out about a sale that I want to stock up on, is to GO IN (I have heard reports of special orders not happening over the phone- and this way you will have a face to hold accountable- should anything happen... just sayin') and SPECIAL ORDER. You can't pay in advance, but you can order the amount you need, and you can avoid all the guilt for clearing a shelf. Also, if you are willing to chance it, you can go the last day of the sale or you could make several little trips after their freight days.

At most stores, checkers like to be "Blissfully Ignorant" about Overage. Stores aren't losing money when overage is given because they get reimbursed for the amount of the coupon, but they are a business, so of course if they catch it, they'd rather keep it than give it to you. Don't Demand (or expect) Overage, and Don't Point it Out if you do get it. Simple enough, right?

Print out Store Coupon Policies and have them in your binder. Often, checkers aren't given the proper information (by their managers) and will be more than happy to follow the rules... when they know what the rules are. Don't get confrontational, rather politely hand them the policy and explain how you thought you understood the policy to read.

My favorite checker at my Albertsons is a young guy who doesn't work too many hours each week, so when I luck out and see him, I get excited. One night I told him that he was my favorite checker, and he perked up. He said " Well I would love more hours, do you mind filling out this form, and telling my boss how much you like me??" Of course, I would love to see him get more hours, so I obliged. The next time I saw him, he came over to me while I was still shopping and thanked me for passing along kind words about him to his boss. He told me he would love to help me if I ever needed anything and that he really appreciated it. If our checkers like us, they will bend over backwards to make sure our experience is pleasant. A little compliment goes a long way.

I want to give a special thanks to a checker at a Walgreen's here in the Boise Valley. She contacted us by email, and was so nice! She loves seeing all these KCL's come to her store, she gets excited for all the money we save, and she wants us to have a good couponing experience. A lot of what she expressed to me, is included in the post! Thanks again Mystery Checker!


Brittany said...

Such a great post!! I loved it! I found my favorite checker yesterday. His name is Ryan. We are bff now.

Jennifer said...

so would you ever recommend using the self check out at albertsons? Sometimes I think it would be easier to just check myself out, but I'm not sure if its worth it with all the coupons and promos they have. Any advice?

Sarah & Eric said...

Great Post!! Thanks for writing it. I had an experience at Walgreens at Overland and Five Mile and the checker said that couponers have been asking to scan their own coupons. He dreaded it when I walked up with all my coupons but I was nice and he was really nice back to me.

Jennifer - I have used the self checkout at Albertsons and it worked just fine for me. I only did it on small orders though.