Walmart Stops You And The Assistant Manager For Refusing To Show Receipt

These receipt checking stories keep coming in and they just keep getting weirder. Reader Patrick was shopping at a Memphis, TN Walmart to buy a firearm, some ammunition and some groceries. First, Walmart refused to sell the groceries and the ammunition because Patrick was buying a firearm.

Then, as the Assistant Manager was carrying his firearm ( it is store policy that a manager escorts the firearm out of the store) another employee demanded to see a receipt. Patrick refused, as he had not even touched the firearm. The employee refused to let him leave, and Patrick decided to return his purchase instead of showing his receipt.

Here’s a basic run down of my WalMart experience from this past Saturday in Memphis, TN. I went there to buy 1)firearm, 2)ammunition for firearm, and 3)groceries. I knew the firearm would take the longest so I went to the sporting goods counter first with the intent of buying the firearm and ammunition back there and groceries up front ( I had produce). I was going to have my initial purchase in its own basket and flow through the self check out with my groceries.

While waiting for the government approval to buy the firearm, I gathered my groceries and the ammunition. The cashier, who really was nice and pleasant, kept telling me it would be just another five minutes and to wait instead of going up front and buying my groceries. After an hour the approval came through so a manager was called to complete the sale. We waited 15 minutes for Assistant Manager Ladarrel to show up. He checks the paperwork then tells me he can’t ring the ammunition up with the firearm. I would have to take them to the car and come back. Since I had already spent an hour waiting so far and no one in sporting goods bothered to point out that store policy, I decided I would just buy the ammunition at another time. I already had to wait in 2 separate lines. I didn’t want to make it 3. Ladarrel sells me the firearm. I give him cash. He gives me a receipt. He then says it is store policy that he escorts the firearm out of the store. So he, holding the box with the firearm, follows me and my shopping cart to the front of the store. When I walk to a check out line he tells me he has to escort the firearm out of the store immediately and I would have to take the firearm to my car and come back to buy the groceries. I explained I could not secure or even hide the firearm in my car so once I put the box in my car I was leaving. He insisted I could not buy my groceries at that time. So, we abandoned the cart and went to the door.

When he reaches the door checker, he, still holding my purchased firearm, stops and tells me to show them my receipt. I say that I don’t do that. He says it’s store policy. I explain that it’s my policy not to show my receipts unless absolutely necessary. Soon another man who apparently is in charge of the front joins in and insists that unless I show my receipt I can’t have my firearm. I try to explain that not only did I give cash to Assistant Manager Ladarrel AND he gave me a receipt of sale AND he has been in complete possession of the firearm since the sale; he escorted me from the back of the store to where we were standing. At no time had I been in possession of my merchandise. He knew he had sold me the merchandise and he knew I was the owner at that time. It was useless. We argued for about 10 minutes. It all came down to their saying that unless I showed proof of ownership the merchandise was not mine. I insisted that not only did Ladarrel know I owned the merchandise so he was illegally in retaining possession of it; the proof was located in the records they are required to keep for a firearm sale; records that Ladarrel had personally verified for accuracy.

Finally, I said I wanted to return the item. They insisted that without a receipt I could only get store credit. I told them that I paid cash and I would get cash. We walked to the sporting goods counter and they easily printed a copy of the receipt from the register. I received my cash back and they kept the firearm. I left and went to a grocery store and a sporting goods store. All in all, I would have spent over $450 at WalMart but other companies received my business.


That policy makes no sense.

(Photo:Brave New Films)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ekthesy says:

    Maybe we just shouldn’t be selling guns at Wal-Mart.

  2. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    Here we go again.

    I don’t show my receipt unless it is absolutely necessary

    What exactly does that mean? If the person at the door wanted to see it, sounds like it was necessary. I guess in a couple of days, somebody is going to post a story about not wanting to show their receipt and some poor bastard is going to get shot over it.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Dead Wrestlers Society:
      What is the big deal with showing your receipt. Man, just show them, and leave. I have had to show my receipt hundreds of times, its not like it takes up a whole lot of time. Stop being a bunch of friggin babies.

  3. Aphex242 says:

    This whole receipt-showing business is making me seriously reconsider reading The Consumerist. Essentially what’s being promoted as standing up for your constitutional right to shop without showing a piece of paper is practically just anarchy. It’s a stupid argument, it’s not a slippery slope, and we need to just get over it already. I don’t feel like I’m being treated like a thief when someone asks for a receipt, I feel like the store’s doing what it can to KEEP MY PURCHASE INEXPENSIVE.

    The whole argument is really fucking nutty. Constitutional or not, this is an utter waste of everyone’s time. Move on, Consumerist, move on.

  4. Skellbasher says:

    I worked at a Wal-Mart about 15 years ago in college. Policy on firearm and ammo sales was the same; the register systems would not allow you to ring up the gun and the ammo in the same transaction.

    When a gun sale occurred, a store manager had to walk the person to the front door, but they then could come right back in and buy whatever ammo they wanted.

    They told us the policy was to prevent people from buying a shotgun and box of slugs, loading up in the store, and going on a rampage. I remember pointing out that if they could come back in and buy ammo 5 minutes later, they could still do the same thing. They were none to please by someone pointing out such an obvious fact.

    Wal-Mart should not be in the gun business.

  5. LionelEHutz says:

    Maybe people should just stop shopping at Walmart. It’s a retail idiocracy.

  6. that’s quite the shopping list

    20 gauge shotgun…check
    assorted slugs and shells…check
    pepperoni pizza hot pockets…check

  7. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    It still surprises me that we can shop for groceries *and* guns all at the same, convenient location.

  8. bustit22 says:

    Wal-mart actually has great deals on ammo, I buy mine there all the time! The gun prices are pretty good too!

  9. kenblakely says:

    @ekthesy: Who the heck is ‘We’? Here’s a better idea: maybe Walmart shouldn’t hire retards.

  10. mopar_man says:

    All in all, I would have spent over $450 at WalMart but other companies received my business.

    I would’ve just skipped the wasted Wal-Mart trip from the beginning and shopped elsewhere. It’s amazing that even their assistant managers are useless.

  11. darkened says:

    @aphex242: You’re an idiot, no store deserves the ability to infringe upon my constitutional rights for any reason whatsoever. The government does enough of that, letting a private corporation / store policy take away your rights makes you a damned fool.

  12. ClayS says:

    The receipt checking article yesterday elicited 480 comments; that’s why you see another one posted today.

  13. SpecialEd says:

    I can understand not selling guns and ammo together, but groceries? Sounds like Ladarrel is an idiot. This receipt checking has gotten way out of hand. Great policy: Piss your paying customers off at the front door, while the employees rob you blind through the back door.

  14. Crymson_77 says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: But only if you go out and in 3 times…

    @General: This policy is insane. That assistant mangler (purposely misspelled) should have known better and he will likely be hoist on his petard for losing such a profitable sale for Walmart…god I hope he does. This receipt checking BS is getting out of hand.

  15. Spyrojoe says:

    @aphex242: For real. I’m just as prideful as the next guy, but it’s just a damn receipt! If I owned a store I’d be checking them too!

  16. I wish there was as much outrage for random police checkpoints and roadblocks (which are unconstitional) as there is when a privately owned business asks you to show a receipt.

  17. babaki says:


    This whole receipt-showing business is making me seriously reconsider reading The Consumerist. Essentially what’s being promoted as standing up for your constitutional right to shop without showing a piece of paper is practically just anarchy. It’s a stupid argument, it’s not a slippery slope, and we need to just get over it already. I don’t feel like I’m being treated like a thief when someone asks for a receipt, I feel like the store’s doing what it can to KEEP MY PURCHASE INEXPENSIVE.

    The whole argument is really fucking nutty. Constitutional or not, this is an utter waste of everyone’s time. Move on, Consumerist, move on.


  18. bravo369 says:

    Please consumerist, can we stop with the crybaby receipt stories? you do wonderful work on this site and i’ve learned alot on how to get things settled when a company has really wronged you but these stories really aren’t worth the effort anymore. Some of these people are just never going to be happy and will find every slight thing to complain about so let’s just let it die

  19. Yoooder says:

    99% of the time I have the receipt in my pocket, and the greeters are polite in asking to see the receipt.

    The few times I’ve been unable to (or would be greatly inconvienienced by it) haven’t been too bad. The most recent case was purchasing a large houseplant, which wouldn’t fit in a cart–so I just grabbed the base with both hands and took off. The greeter asked, I said I had the receipt but couldn’t show it, and went right on by. An employee (who I presume was with store security) was at my car while I was struggling to get the plant in, and they helped load it. Then I showed them my receipt, and they thanked me.

    I asked what their policy was for people refusing to show receipts. She said typically the greeter calls security and they get your license plate number on tape; then review their in-store videos to see if the items you left with were paid for at a register; only if they had proof on tape that you stole would the situation be elevated.

  20. wesa says:

    $450 is change to Walmart. Why do people think that spending a few hundred (or few thousand for electronics) gives them a sense of worth? When you spend tens of thousands, then you might be able to say that, but until then, it’s irrelevant.

  21. nickthebrodie says:

    Having purchased two firearms recently, and having to go through pretty much the same process at two stores other than Wal-Mart, I can understand the frustration that is involved with purchasing a firearm. However, while inconvenient, it is important for verification of serial numbers, model numbers, etc because the fines associated with mistakes are huge. I know for a fact that even a small mistake on paperwork (such as abbreviating the state, or putting SW for southwest) can cost the store $3,000 in fines.

    Basically the stores are doing their best to limit mistakes by checking, double-checking, and triple-checking everything involved with the purchase of a firearm. So that they can keep costs down, as well as keep the products in inventory.

  22. Kevmas says:

    Just don’t shop there. I know many people who don’t anymore.

  23. mopar_man says:


    You’re kidding right? You would walk someone out with one item after YOU did the sale, personally taking the money from the customer, and still insist he show his receipt? Is your real name Ladarrel?

  24. J.J. says:

    Just a few things to consider. The guy with you knows that you bought the firearm but he is the only one. How easy would it be for you to steal a weapon if you knew the manager?

    Wal-Mart escorts you out with the firearm because customers get scared when they see a gun. It is a danger to other customers and employees.

    Ohh also one little tiny thing.. Wal-Mart is a PRIVATE company. They have the RIGHT to ask for receipts, check bags coming and going if they want. They have the RIGHT to escort you with a firearm to the front door and then make you take it to your car.

    Everyone whines about constitutional rights being infringed. It is B.S. Wal-Mart has constitutional rights too. The ME ME ME attitude is pathetic.

  25. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Guns, ammo, and groceries. The holy trinity. I would have showed him the receipt with one in the chamber.

  26. You Be Illin' says:

    I bought an hydraulic auto jack about a month ago, amongst other things, and tried exiting the store. They didn’t place the jack in a Wal-mart bag, and when I was trying to leave an employee grabbed onto my cart and asked me to show a receipt. I asked why, and was told that they needed to check that the auto jack was on my receipt. At that point I just pushed the shopping cart as hard as I could so the middle-aged lady grabbing onto the cart would let go.

    Definitely seems like it is store policy now to inspect receipts for any items not in a shopping bag. Can’t they use those little orange stickers that supermarkets use to place on milk jugs?

  27. Amelie says:

    @aphex242: “we need to get over it” because you said so? How about “you get over” the fact that people get upset about different things.

  28. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I try to explain that not only did I give cash to Assistant Manager Ladarrel AND he gave me a receipt of sale AND he has been in complete possession of the firearm since the sale; he escorted me from the back of the store to where we were standing*. At no time had I been in possession of my merchandise. He knew he had sold me the merchandise and he knew I was the owner at that time. It was useless.

    *emphasis mine

    Please, tell me how it makes sense that even when an Assistant Manager is with you from the time you make your purchase to the moment you reach the door you are still required to show a receipt? He’s obviously not stealing the gun so why does he have to show it?

    What exactly does that mean? If the person at the door wanted to see it, sounds like it was necessary.

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: Really? That’s all it takes for something to be necessary is for somebody to ask for it?

    In that case, gimmie your car. I want it therefore it is necessary.

  29. freshyill says:

    @aphex242: Nobody’s stealing guns from Wal-Mart. If your prices go up because of theft, it’s because of employee theft, not shoplifting.

  30. Aphex242 says:

    @darkened: Actually, I’m not an idiot. I know, if I shop in a brick and mortar store, there’s a reasonable expectation someone will ask to see a receipt. And you know what? I don’t give a flying shit about it. Instead of pitching a fit, taking cellphone pictures, getting into physical confrontations, involving the police, returning purchases, etc.

    Who’s the idiot? The guy who won’t show a slip of paper and who does all that or the person who does? I’m not saying, necessarily, that this is right, but I’m also saying it’s reality. We’re not in some vacuum where this doesn’t get people hurt or cost taxpayer money, and it’s sure a hell of a lot of trouble to go through over a piece of paper. If YOU really care enough next time it happens to you, sue. Take it all the way to the Supreme Court, if need be. I’d even applaud that. But this vigilante receipt-hiding is just stupid, and promoting it is stupid as well.

    @ClayS: Excellent point, I guess I should have considered that. lol

  31. freshyill says:

    @mopar_man: Well all arguments about Wal-Mart being evil aside, I can’t fault the man for attempting to save time by getting his gun, ammo, and groceries all in one shot (no pun intended), when he knew it would take a long time.

  32. ThinkerTDM says:

    This one is just ridiculous: the assitant manager, who had sold the item to the customer, needed to see the receipt. Would you want a low grade moron who can’t remember that you bought the item 2 minutes earlier selling guns?
    Him: Show your receipt.
    You: I just bought this. From you. I gave you the money, and you took it, and gave me my item.
    Him: Who are you, again?
    The other instance that comes to mind of people blindly following the boss’s orders is Nazi Germany.
    This “its the rules, and I have to follow it” crap has to stop!

  33. Traveshamockery says:

    I really don’t understand the whole receipt argument.

    Serious question: can someone explain to me WHY exactly it’s such a big deal to show your receipt?

    Side note: this type of situation explains why they won’t sell you the gun and the ammo at the same time!

  34. The Cooler says:

    What “rights” are supposedly being violated here? None of the people who have bravely “stood up” to the oppressive receipt checkers has ever provided a sensible argument for their action that goes any further than “I don’t want to.” The policies may be pointless and time consuming, but so is arguing about it. It’s not a privacy issue at all.

  35. SkokieGuy says:

    Ya know, I’m another that agrees that most of the “I’m not showing my receipt” protesters are inane. Yes you have the right, but it almost always comes across as someone itching for a confrontation. The slipperly slope argument is laughable, you’re rights have already been taken away by the Federal Government, not Wallmart or any other retail merchant. What injury are your suffering when the receipt is provided? You’ve already been videotaped in the store, your transaction is data-archived by the store, the only loss or injury you suffer is a few moments of time, far less than you’ll spend when you righeoutsly protest and demand your rights not be violated.

    Worried about showing your receipt means your giving in to the man? How about the goverment monitoring all your emails, phone calls, the books you check out at the library, your source of income, spending habits, the ability to break into your home without a warrant, the right to kidnap, imprison and torture you without any charges, right to trial or counsel?

    Now – all that being said, the idiocy of the receipt demand, when the merchandise if being held by the store manager is truly laughable in its stupidity and worthy of being posted and ridiculed.

    Whew, that’s my rant for the day. I need a nap now.

  36. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @suburbancowboy: Can’t figure out how to spin that into a consumer issue.

  37. Aphex242 says:

    @Amelie: No, we need to get over it because there are FAR MORE egregious things that companies do to consumers that we should instead be focusing on. Dangerous products with lead, driving forklifts into downer cows, hidden fees and charges, not honoring warranties, etc. All of those things greatly outstrip the sliver of merit to this receipt showing garbage.

    Let’s keep the focus on what’s a real problem. Yeah, ok, of course that’s subjective, but I think about 95% of the population is going to agree with me, here.

    @freshyill: Excellent point, noted. Next time I’m buying guns at Walmart and they ask to see a receipt I’ll pitch a fit, ok? Otherwise in 99.9999% of my other transactions, my previous sentiments will apply. Got it.

  38. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Hyperbole Police! Hyperbole Police! Help! I’m being assaulted!

  39. AddMan says:

    …I just don’t understand these receipt issues. When I go into a big-box store, I keep the receipt in my hand with the item / bags / whatever, that way I just walk by the employee and flash them the receipt if they ask.

    I know people want to defend their rights, but for me its about choosing your battles. Is it worth the 15 minutes and 2 extra trips you now had to make because you didn’t want to reach into your pocket? Is it really even defending your rights? Seriously, do you think if you keep doing this they will just stop checking receipts at the door? Do you think if you don’t do something about this, tomorrow it’ll be worse? They do it to stop shop-lifters, and no matter what you say or do, I just can’t see Wal-Mart and the other big-box stores stopping this policy just because a bunch of you make a scene. And I don’t see how letting them see your receipt is going to destroy all your constitutional rights.

  40. joeblevins says:

    These receipt stories are getting stupid. What consumer was helped in these? Do we now have more ‘ammo’ in our quest to protect ourselves while shopping? No, we just come off as self-serving duche-bags.

  41. ktjamm says:

    The point about the receipt is they shouldn’t HAVE to show a receipt. Walmart has no Legal right to detain him. Just because stores write stupid policies, doesn’t mean we are obliged to follow them.

    If you feel the need to comply, go ahead. Don’t begrudge people who don’t like the idea of rights being slowly eroded.

  42. Traveshamockery says:

    @wesa: “$450 is change to Walmart. Why do people think that spending a few hundred (or few thousand for electronics) gives them a sense of worth? When you spend tens of thousands, then you might be able to say that, but until then, it’s irrelevant.”

    Even though I think the subject of this post is being foolish and petty, I respect his decision to withhold his money out of principle from a retailer whose policies he disagrees with.

    And Wal-Mart’s billions are based not off a few million dollar sales, they’re based off zillions of $5-$500 transactions.

  43. catskyfire says:

    What makes this one especially interesting is that a manager was involved in the sale, receipt printing, and carrying of the item. He should have said ‘it’s good’ to the guy asking for a receipt, because he was involved in the process. If the guy hadn’t actually purchased the firearm, the manager should be carrying it out the door for him.

    The interesting thing is that the greatest shoplifting usually takes place by employees, not random people.

  44. Trickman2 says:

    I understand the point but it does seem pretty stupid that the store manager knows the item was purchased. So we get two people refusing to budge on the receipt thing(store manager and Customer). Why not just show the receipt and be done with it? If you really want to understand why Wall mart customer service sucks…look up the history of how the company came about.

  45. KenSPT says:

    Okay, I’ve been on Consumerist for a while now. I have what may be a stupid question about this whole receipt checking thing.

    What are the “rights” that people are protecting by not showing their receipt?

    I understand that it’s within a persons rights to not show a receipt, but besides just hassling employees who probably don’t know any better, what’s the big deal of quickly taking out a piece of paper and letting the door checker see it?

    To me, a lot of these stories come across as people causing trouble for the sake of causing trouble, all for the sake of showing that they “know their rights”.

    Like that dude who wouldn’t show a receipt at Home Depot, or that guy yesterday who was walking out of Wal*Mart with an un-bagged item and refused to show a receipt.

    Granted, this story is a little more ridiculous than others, but still if someone can explain to me what rights are being lost if I decide that instead of arguing with a $6 an hr employee I opt to show them my receipt, it would be appreciated.

  46. wellfleet says:

    Good. Freakin’. Grief. How much is the OP’s time worth? OK, so you don’t show your receipt on principle, or because you’re an asshat, or really, both. But you will sit and argue with someone for 10 minutes?! The guy is checking your receipt because managers steal, too! Who is to say you’re not the manager’s buddy and he’s walking you out with some gratis shotgun? They check receipts at the door to deter theft, prevent theft, and they also find cashier errors like being double-charged for Barbie: Princess.
    Sam’s Club and WalMart used to stock TVs on the base stacks so you don’t have to deal with an associate if you just want to grab a set and go. They don’t do that anymore because people would load TVs on a cart and walk out the door without showing the receipt.
    If you’re going to start WWIII on principle, do it for something worthwhile that actually has something to do with your freedom, not over something as petty, inconsequential, and asinine as having to show your receipt. They’re not violating your rights. You have no God-given right to shop at WalMart. Stop being a d-bag. You’re the customer everyone hates.

  47. anapex says:

    I bought one and only one gun at Wal-Mart. Going through their assinine process was enough to remind me why I spend a little extra to shop at a locally owned store.

    I’m also curious as to how the manager would have reacted if he had called the local police to report a stolen firearm. He paid, filled out and the paperwork and was approved. Every place I go to the gun is mine at that point.

  48. DevPts says:

    Retarded on many levels. We all know about the receipt checking policy.

    If you do not approve, do not shop there.

    Write a letter to corporate and inform them of your disdain. Heck liquidate your stocks too (after the annual meeting and dividends are payed).

    You may have a point but there are better ways to make it than arguing with the receipt checker.

  49. Gev says:

    @darkened: For someone throwing around the word “idiot” you sure don’t seem to realize that the Constitution and all its amendments apply to the government and not a private entity like Wal-Mart.

  50. Bye says:

    Don’t stop with the receipt stories no matter how much people like to cry and whine about “crybabies” or people being “difficult” or worse yet, “duche-bags” (sic).

    I’m glad the consumerist recognizes that this receipt-checking nonsense is an invasion of our privacy as consumers even if a number of its readership doesn’t. If stores need to put MUST SHOW RECEIPT AT DOOR in their policy and sell memberships (like Costco) to be able to legally enforce it, so be it. I want to know upfront if a store is going to treat all of their customers as criminals because they have their own internal shrinkage problems. That way I can choose to go to another store.

  51. Phildawg says:

    @aphex242: I 100% agree. I’m also getting fed up and losing respect for fellow consumerist readers over this articles. It’s like they just want to cause trouble for the sake of causing trouble, and at the end of the day, the consumerist who pulls the shenanigans rarely wins and just ends up costing many working people a considerable amount of time over such an insignificant issue.

  52. Phildawg says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: Walmart truly embraces the guns and butter mentality =)

  53. MDSasquatch says:

    I just had a great idea; the next time I go to Walmart, I am putting the receipt right into my underwear. When the receipt-zombie at the exit ask to see it, i am going to scrounge around in my drawers before producing the receipt, then hand it to them.

    Maybe we should abandon the ” I am not showing my receipt ” routine and start thinking of ways to make the experience as gross as possible for those that insist on seeing it?

  54. EBounding says:

    Ah, I remember when a buddy from Canada came to visit Ohio. We were walking through Wal-Mart and his eyes got huge when he saw rifle display case.

    “They sell GUNS….at WAL-MART?!”

    Anyway, my take on these receipt stories is to just show it. You should KNOW going in that they might want to look at it. It’s not like it’s a surprise anymore. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else. A mom and pop store isn’t going to check your receipt, so just go there if it bothers you.

  55. fostina1 says:

    i hate shopping. when i cant get my wife to do it, i go in get what i want hit the self checkout and head out the door. get in and out and be done with it. now if there is a line of people at the door waiting to show reciepts, im not getting in that line. im not waiting in a line unless im buying something. (doesnt happen in my small town walmart but if it did i wouldnt wait) the exit should not be accessible to anyone who didnt go through a checkout line. if you cant leave without going through a line then it eliminates the need to show a receipt. my walmart actually has different exit than entrance so it would be ez to do.

  56. stuny says:

    Everyone is arguing the wrong points here.

    Yes, it is annoying to be stopped, but they stop everyone, they are not singling you out. With a wide open store front, it is easy for anyone to grab something off a shelf and walk out the door, so it is not unreasonable to do this.

    They are not frisking you or arresting you, they are asking for you to display the receipt that you received 15 feet back. Do you consider opening your wallet when you pay to be illegal search and seizure? Is the cashier invading your privacy when she scans every item? No, it is the normal process for you to show a credit card, debit card, or cash to pay, and they look at your stuff. I think the constitution is okay with this.

    Accept the final check as part of the checkout process and move on. Don’t like it, shop somewhere else. If they start rubber-gloving you at the door, write to the Consumerist, otherwise, consider that the low prices you pay at this store are due to their efforts to reduce losses. (oh, and exploiting Chinese children, but that’s another post)

    Who cares is employee shrinkage is bigger than customer theft? It doesn’t mean they should provide safeguards to protect the store from all losses.

  57. Neon.Wonder says:

    This guy sounds like a wack job. Refused to show his receipt? For what reason? Angry about rules that insure the saftey of other customers? Just because he thinks he’s not crazy and isn’t going to shoot anyone doesn’t mean everyone else just knows that.
    Plus, why is he even buying a gun… from walmart… in the first place.
    U.S.A…. you are fucked up.

  58. Phildawg says:

    @darkened: Could you show me the constitutional argument where George Washington, John Madison, etc. took the time to draft up some rights to protect you from showing a receipt for purchase? Did they also take the time to write up protection from illegal search at airports, high crime schools, convention centers, obama rallies, football games, basketball games, etc. etc. etc.

  59. Phildawg says:

    I’ve actually never been asked to show a receipt at walmart, a place I shop bi-monthly.

  60. Amelie says:

    @aphex242: Nice backpedalling there. You simply told people to “get over it” because you didn’t agree with it being a “slippery slope.” Why didn’t you say, “We need to focus on the more serious consumer issues,” if that’s what you meant.

    Regardless, unless you complain about every non-grave story on Consumerist, your complaints about this one, simply amount to: “People need to get over this topic, because it’s not a topic that I find important.

  61. gorckat says:

    Found an interesting post via Google on the subject (which was probably inspired by a post at consumerist :p)


    It’s a small thing, yes. But refusing it is also a small thing, and if the store escalates the situation from there, it’s the fault of the store, not the individual, that the situation becomes a bigger deal than it should be. The opposite viewpoint privileges the institution in a bizarre way, simultaneously denying it agency (by assuming it cannot changes its ways) and granting it the right to create social norms (by granting it the right to impose new procedures on customers).

  62. arsbadmojo says:


    RE: random police roadblocks – oh, there’s outrage there too. I hate them much, much more than receipt checkers – but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about receipt checkers, or that police roadblocks should be a discussion on The Consumerist. There’s a place and time for that.

    And for the “Just don’t shop there” crowd I say this; I don’t. I avoid Wal*Mart like the plague – but there are times when you really have no other choice. I can count the times I went in one last year on one hand, but I did go for one reason or another.

    And more and more places are doing this. The first time I ever heard of it was Best Buy. Then I bought a guitar at Guitar Center and they did it. Then it was Circuit City, Wal*Mart, Home Depot – pretty soon we’ll be out of brick and mortar options unless this “money saving” tactic is squashed. So I’m making it my job to squash it.

    I’ve seen comments that it isn’t a slippery slope. Really now? So what’s wrong with a 3 second pat-down if it helps SAVE YOU MONEY? Af you’re lucky enough to have grandparents that are still alive, why don’t you go ask them what stores did this in their day.

    Put your registers closer to the exit. Pay a uniformed cop to stand by the door. Problem solved. Large orange PAID sticker – problem solved. Gee that was hard.

    And I’m all for stopping shoplifters; I HATE theives. Maybe that’s why I hate being treated like one so much.

  63. Amelie says:

    @stuartny: No, they don’t stop everyone. I’ve never been stopped at a Walmart. Being a neatly dressed white woman, is like a main character shield – sad to say.

  64. stuny says:

    Here some good advice on getting free stuff.

    Go buy a nice expensive, off the shelf item, pay for it and get a receipt.

    Put the item in your car and go back into the store and take another identical item off the shelf and walk out the door without paying. Just show your receipt from the first time.

    Repeat continuously until there is no more room in your car or they run out of the item.

  65. full.tang.halo says:

    @Gev:Cool, so I hereby start my own company and take all your money, rights, property and convict you to eleventy billion hours of water boarding and show tunes for using the space above me in this comment board.

    You do no surrender all your rights by stepping into a private companys store, if so stores would be allowed to execute shoplifters and use child slave labor

  66. markrubi says:

    Show the damn receipt and get on with your life. As for the person being upset about not being able to buy the firearm and ammo at the same time. Well I just need to point out it’s obvious common sense still can not be purchased anywhere. They don’t want someone locking and loading the firearm/ammo they just bought because they are pissed off about having to show a damn piece of paper before leaving the store even though a manager was escorting him. There are other things in the world to get worked up over.

  67. disavow says:

    @wellfleet: If you’re going to start WWIII on principle

    Can we update Godwin’s Law?

  68. Doofio says:

    The only reason I read articles like this is to get a good chuckle at how retarded the public can be. I personally believe that there SHOULD be a law that allows stores to require receipt checking at the door. Not to help the stores, but to prevent retarded customers from causing a completely unnecessary scene to “protect their rights”.

    There is absolutely ZERO reason why you should not show your receipt at the door short of having too much crap in your hands and you cannot physically do so. It takes all of 5 seconds and if you’re one of those people who love to play the “I can’t spare 5 seconds of my precious time” card, then you have much more serious issues in your life than a simple receipt check.

    And for all of you people who love to preach about “protecting your rights”, as it applies to this situation, you are no different than those fundamentalist wackos that just go around LOOKING for a chance to stir things up. I bet the people that cause these type of commotions are the same people who would bitch and whine if a 25 cent coupon didn’t ring up correctly.

    Get over it, get a life and move on.

  69. Jim Fletcher says:

    Is there a law anywhere saying that WalMart -can’t- enact a policy requiring me to show a receipt?

  70. bonzombiekitty says:

    @stuartny: Which is why I particularly have no problem with a guy at the door asking for a receipt if he marks it to indicate you left the store with that receipt and those items, which in my experience almost all places do. I can’t think of any store that I’ve been to that was doing a routine receipt check and failed to mark the receipt.

  71. MeOhMy says:


    They don’t want someone locking and loading the firearm/ammo they just bought because they are pissed off about having to show a damn piece of paper before leaving the store even though a manager was escorting him.

    Walking back into the store to buy the ammo, then walking back to the car to load the gun will surely give him ample time to cool off and rethink his plan to go on a killing spree.

  72. Galls says:


    4th amendment. Unreasonable search and seizure

  73. Toof_75_75 says:

    It’s really disappointing that the assistant manager couldn’t just say…”He’s got a point, I know for a fact he purchased this gun, I have been in possession of it the entire time, there is no reason he needs to get his receipt out. Thanks for your purchase sir, have a great day.”

  74. bonzombiekitty says:

    @brooksosheffield: I think in some states there is. They can routinely ask for it, but they can’t accuse you of shoplifting because you failed to show it.

  75. formerretail says:

    As a former Wal-Mart manager I have a little advice.
    Ask for the number of the district loss prevention manager DLPM and escalate it to them. They are charged with training the stores on the policy and enforcing it.

    It also helps to mention that you will have to ask your lawyer about the legality of their detaining you. That always solicits more attention from the DLPM. Wal-Mart stores are also supposed to have their district managers name and phone number posted near the service desk so you can pull the number and escalate it through them also.

    In this case there are at least 2 stupid managers involved here since the one should have said they already checked the receipt and got you out without any hassle. (Maybe the door greeter didn’t trust the manager – they might be stealing the gun with you)

  76. Canerican says:

    I have never been asked to show a receipt at Wal Mart, but whatever, if they ask me I show it. Maybe if I was in a rush I would say no thanks.

    This isn’t that big of a deal though.

  77. Dervish says:

    @Rey: I completely agree. If other people don’t feel that it’s a big deal, then they’re free to show their receipts. Just because I wouldn’t doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t either.

    But if a store tries to enforce a policy like this that was not communicated to me ahead of time (as in, say, Costco’s membership agreement) and they don’t properly train their staff, I don’t have to comply. They’re the ones wasting their time. If they didn’t try to stop me without cause – if they just asked for my receipt and I refused and that was it, as they should be trained – no one is wasting any time.

    You do what you think is right and I’ll do what I think is right.

    Please keep posting these stories.

  78. mdkiff says:

    @aphex242: Thank you. I understand the basic principle of not wanting to wait in another line to show a receipt, but when a guy spends over an hour to buy something and then won’t spend 10 seconds to get out of the store after a reasonable request, he is the one being unreasonable. For example, how did WalMart know he isn’t buddies with the manager, who walked from the BACK OF THE STORE with the gun – and therefore didn’t go through the registers near the doors? This is the one case I have read where it was perfectly reasonable to request to view a receipt – they had no other way of verifying that he had purchased the item. Get over yourself sir – and if you’re going to “stick up for yourself” then don’t later complain about the time you wasted not buying the item.

  79. zerj says:

    I certainly agree this issue seems a little silly. However If my wife is carrying a purse that they also happen to sell at Walmart I don’t want them asking for her receipt everytime we walk out the door.

    To me the issue is a reciept is the consumer’s property and proof that the item was purchased for tax/expense report/returns etc. The Vendor’s proof that you bought the item is sitting at the cash register. I have the right to toss the reciept as soon as I get it. I have pockets and usually stuff small things right into my jacket at the register after I purchase. I won’t be returning a candy bar or a book I just bought and I can’t use those for a tax writeoff so the reciept is just waste paper. Walmart can keep it.

    On large purchases I don’t care about this issue much. I would be saving the recipt for a Gun Purchase so its not an inconvience and its not likely that I would be carrying my own Gun into Walmart.

  80. nuch says:

    I’m just going to start sticking my receipt down my pants as soon as they give it to me. If they still want to check it at the door, I’ll fish it out for them to look at. :P

  81. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Galls: Which applies to the government, not private businesses on private properties. The fourth amendment doesn’t really apply any more than the first amendment does in this situation.

  82. SuffolkHouse says:

    If you ask me, you shouldn’t be buying guns at WAL-MART, OR ELSEWHERE. LETS STOP SELLING GUNS AND STOP THIE WHOLE PROBLEM!

  83. Toof_75_75 says:

    You’re an idiot…well done.

  84. tequilajunction says:

    @brooksosheffield: Is there any law saying that WalMart -can-?

  85. EllenRose says:

    So much depends on circumstances! If my arms are full and my receipt in purse or pocket, they are asking me to set down my load and go fish for the receipt. If they want me to do that, they’d get more graceful compliance if they had a table for me to put my stuff on. Or, for that matter, if the register clerk had reminded me to keep the receipt at hand for the door-warden.

    (Works everywhere. Just got back from a trip full of lines: TSA, customs, ticketing, et al. I’d have been a lot more snappish over it if they hadn’t provided tables to hold my luggage while I re-stuffed and regrouped.)

  86. flairness says:

    I don’t know what’s stranger…

    The story…
    Walmart selling guns…
    Or buying a gun with your broccoli, loaf of bread, and toilet paper…

  87. DashTheHand says:


    How many times does THAT have to be repeated before it sinks into YOUR brain?

  88. bonzombiekitty says:

    @tequilajunction: Well, I’d think that the default would be that it is legal. Private business and all. I can’t see how wanting to see a receipt upon exiting the store would be such an unreasonable request that it should be considered illegal by default.

  89. disavow says:

    @arsbadmojo: Thanks. Like I commented on the other post, I’ve been further along that slope, where Best Buy decided to lock two of my friends and me in a room with two loss-prevention guys for 15-20 minutes, with absolutely no intention of calling the police or searching us or anything. My view since then is either give them the finger, or let them take the arm.

  90. bonzombiekitty says:

    @DashTheHand: But in this case he wasn’t detained, was he? Granted, the original e-mail is a big block of text so I didn’t read the whole thing, but I didn’t see any mention of being detained in the summary or scanning through it.

  91. zerj says:


    I think the problem is there is no law/rule that you save the recipt. So asking for it at the door is a little late to try to create some policy.

    What happens when I toss my recipt before I get to the door? The problem here is I think Walmart doesn’t have an answer for that. At that point it does turn into an illegal detainment if they try to stop me.

  92. Dead Wrestlers Society says:


    How many times does THAT have to be repeated before it sinks into YOUR brain?

  93. MrEvil says:

    @J.J.: Actually, Wal-Mart’s constitutional rights begin and end at asking you to leave their property, and refusing your business. They don’t have the right to search you, they just have the right to make it a condition of conducting business with them…and that’s only if they say it up front before you enter. Unfortunately I don’t see a sign at the front door of most stores saying “All bags and persons subject to search” probably because it’d hurt sales.

    The world would be alot nicer if people would harden the fuck up and present the stupid receipt when leaving the store. It’s not a violation of your privacy, in fact the person checking the receipt is probably only looking for big ticket items in your cart.

    I do agree on most shrink being caused by employees though. And it’s not always because of theft. It can be caused by alot of other things, damaged product that was never logged, expired product that was never logged, and product that was taken from inventory for store use.

  94. Jim Fletcher says:


    Says: ‘The amendment applies only to governmental actors; it does not guarantee to people the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures conducted by private citizens or organizations.’

  95. apex says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: You’ve got to be kidding me. The manager himself took the OP’s payment, handed him the receipt, and followed him to the door. Leaving aside the fact that just because a door checker thinks it’s necessary to see a receipt doesn’t make it so, in this instance his supervisor was an eyewitness to the transaction. Jeez.

  96. KJones says:

    It’s become abundantly clear that those who don’t see a problem with being asked for a receipt are incapable of grasping the plot.

    The is not an issue of privacy. The issue is a false accusation of shoplifting made without any evidence and a false pretext being used to search people. The characters of people with no history of theft are being impugned for no legally justifiable reason.

    To those incapable of understanding don’t mind being falsely accused of theft, keep drinking the kool-aid. While you’re at it, sign up for Iraq if you’re so much enamoured with the current administration’s idea of individuals having no rights. I and other people, however, consider just cause to be an important concept.

    For those like me with no criminal record (or even those who have one but are not shoplifting) it is an insult to be asked for a receipt when no criminal act has taken place. If the stores are not accusing people of shoplifting, then there is no legal reason to see it. Don’t answer with stupidity of “store policy”, I am asking for a legal justification.

    Answer: There is none. If the store staff think someone has stolen something, they can detain the person, call the police, and make the accusation publicly. The subtle innuendo of “guilty until proven innocent”, by asking for a receipt, is unacceptable.

    If the stores want to end this, they can build walls from the registers to the “Exit Only” doors. A person can’t shoplift if there’s no physical way past the checkout except through, thus no longer a “need” to check receipts.

  97. flamincheney says:

    The reason for it being illegal is that a tore is considered public space, which is why constitutional rights are protected. Store such as Costco are private clubs that require compliance as a part of enrollment.

  98. markrubi says:

    @Troy F.: That was sarcasm. Yes I am fully aware someone could buy the gun be escorted to the car then go back in get some ammo and return to the car load it and walk back in.

  99. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @apex: I am speaking in general terms, where these “OMG I had to show a receipt at the store” posts that seem to flood this website.

  100. bonzombiekitty says:

    @zerj: Well I’d argue that 99% of the time, most people aren’t going to toss the receipt before they leave. Personally, I’ve never done it. I usually stick it in my bag or my pocket (after all, you never know – you may want to return it). But they should have some way to handle the situation in which a person has tossed the receipt between the checkout counter and the door.

  101. Jim Fletcher says:

    I would say by now that any Consumerist reader, at least, is aware that WalMart has a rule saying that you DO have to hold onto your receipt until you’re at the door, at least.

  102. Kat@Work says:

    You know, I see the point behind this post – that we should not be required to show our receipt because we’re Americans and not (this is debatable though) being ruled by Nazis – but GIVE IT A FRIGGIN REST.

    Each and every time I leave Sam’s Club, I have to show my receipt. I know this. I keep it out. If I leave Wal-Mart with my receipt in my hand, guess what? They don’t ask to see it.

    I had to show some ignorant clerk at Lowe’s my driver’s license the other day to make a credit card purchase. Did I start WWIII? Am I going to sue Lowe’s? No. Why? Because frankly I care more about my TIME.

    So if this kind of thing upsets you – ok. Not sure why, but you have fun. Its your right.

  103. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Kat@Work: Oh be careful, don’t start the whole asking for ID for a credit card purchase war.

  104. BK88 says:

    @SuffolkHouse: Yep that’s why criminals are the only ones who have guns in England!

    And no, we did not ask you.

  105. Dashrashi says:

    @J.J.: And you have the RIGHT to refuse. At which point they can kick you out. Whether you choose to exercise it or not is of course up to you.

  106. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Kat@Work: Forgot to add…

    You bring up a good point. I think a lot of people need to pick their battles a little bit better. Of all the things in the world to be concerned about, whether or not a store should be allowed to require a receipt when you leave a store is somehwere has a really low priority.

  107. DashTheHand says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: I can act however prima donnaish I want when I make a purchase from a store. If they want to label me as a shoplifter when I walk out directly from the register with an item in a bag, then screw them, I’ll return the item if they don’t let me leave or try this crap.

    Too bad you’re so ignorant that you’ll bend over and let them search your rectal canal if they decide that you might be hiding something in there.

    You’re the same kind of jackass that cheers for the TSA.

  108. Dashrashi says:

    @stuartny: I don’t have to accept it. That’s my right. And not every Wal-Mart does this, and not all the time. How am I supposed to know before I buy my item whether they really are planning on checking my receipt this time?

  109. vladthepaler says:

    Hooray for not redacting!

    Yes, the not-showing-receipt stories are getting a little repetitive, but if there’s enough attention on the issue, and enough people refuse to show their receipts, maybe the stores will get the message and change their idiotic policy.

  110. statnut says:

    @Kat@Work: “Each and every time I leave Sam’s Club, I have to show my receipt. I know this. I keep it out. If I leave Wal-Mart with my receipt in my hand, guess what? They don’t ask to see it.”

    Thats cause the membership you signed up for at Sam’s requires you to do so. It states it in what you sign. Wal-mart is a different beast.

  111. Kat@Work says:


    Exactly. The time it would take to do that is just not worth it to me – now, if its worth it to you, fine.

    Now, I DO see where the driver’s license issue is different – so no jumping on me about that people – but still, unless the clerk is Rainman, a quick glance at the name on the cc vs. your dl is all most do.

  112. statnut says:

    You know, if people dont like these stories, here’s a novel idea: stop reading them. You’re not forced to comment here, unless you enjoy being forced to do things you dont want to.

  113. Kat@Work says:


    Different beast – same puppeteer.

  114. MadameX says:

    While I agree that most of Walmart’s policies are stupid, I just think if you don’t like them, shop somewhere else.

    That said, I have NEVER been asked to show a receipt exiting a Walmart store here in Arizona. Granted, I only shop there a few times a year at the most, but still.

  115. bigvicproton says:

    nobody asked you…

  116. Dervish says:

    @statnut: I’m glad someone said it, because that’s sure as heck what I’ve been thinking.

  117. apex says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: Fair enough. It’s a hot-button topic and it’s obvious that Consumerist readers feel strongly about it, so it gets hits.

    The general feeling on the anti-receipt check side is that stores have every right to ask, but if we say “No” and keep walking the store has no right to stop us from leaving because we refused. That’s where the important part of the issue is.

    It’s a little irritating to be asked for a receipt 15 feet after we’ve paid for our merchandise, but it’s ultimately not as important as the first point.

    Boss Man rules.

  118. rawsteak says:


    4th amendment was created for government actions. now let’s say the receipt has your CC # on it, or your name and address on it, or your personal info that not everyone needs to know except you and your cashier. then yea, you should not have to show everyone this information. and neither does the government have the right to track your expenses in a database. but if you go to a huge store like walmart, the cashier and the door are never close together, and there’s always more than 3 cashiers, so the person at the door can’t track which line you came from to see that you bought your items legally and appropriately or some person that grabbed a plastic bag and shoved things in it illegally.

    when is searching you reasonable then? you’d pretty much have to broadcast and advertise your intent to 2 or more workers that you are going to steal a bag of stuff because if they didn’t ask for receipts, you could just walk out and no one would be the wiser! so let’s say they hire more in-store detectives. now you complain that your privacy is being invaded! that you’re being treated like a criminal!

    yes, walmart is a huge ugly conglomerate. yes, walmart is an evil company. but stop comparing walmart to the government and big brother and deal with it already. they want to make sure you’re not stealing by verifying your receipt. i much rather show my receipt than have a detective follow me around or be under the scrutiny of a million video cameras.

  119. econobiker says:

    Memphis, WalMart, gun purchase- ‘nuf said… even prior to getting into the receipt issue.

    Like I have mentioned before- Walmart isn’t getting boosted by the average customer. They are getting ripped by the organized shop lifting crews who change upc symbols and return for credit, steel multiple goods for resale via special “theft” bags, or steal, gut, and return empty boxes, etc.

  120. moviemoron says:

    It doesn’t matter whether it is a 5 cent pack of gum or a $200 purchase. You do not have o show your receipt unless there is probable cause that the store believes the items are stolen. You should never give up your rights, no matter how small the situation may be.

  121. ianmac47 says:

    Totally explains why they won’t sell you ammunition and a firearm at the same time.

  122. bigvicproton says:

    if they would only put a sign at each door saying “if you shop here we can ask you for receipt before leaving. if you do not agree to this then please do not enter.” that would solve some problems, at least for those who can read. the consumer would know what to expect. but if they dont have any kind of notice, then one would only be expected to be asked if one were being accused of something.

  123. vividblurry says:

    Consumer receipt stories. Do not want.

  124. TPS Reporter says:

    Most people here are missing the point. The assistant manager is who rang up the sale according to this letter (if I’m reading it right). He knows for a 100% fact that the guy owns the gun. And the assistant manager is who was escorting him and the gun out of the store. So why does he need to show a receipt at that point? It was moronic and stupid to request his receipt. But let’s all just go around and mindlessly follow irregardless of the logic. Baaaahhhh. Time to shear the sheep.

  125. picardia says:

    Is it fair for a store to require you to show your receipt? I’d say yes. However, you always want a store to use some common sense — and when the guy was being escorted out the door by a manager who could confirm that he’d purchased the item that he wasn’t even holding yet, there wasn’t any need for it.

    It’s not so much the receipt thing; it’s that corporate America keeps putting stupid rules ahead of the most basic human judgment. It grates, and it screws people over in situations much more dire than this one.

  126. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @DashTheHand: Nice educated response. Did someone at Wal-mart make you show your receipt when you bought your Dungeons & Dragons ?

  127. Dashrashi says:

    @brooksosheffield: Not every Wal-Mart has such a rule, and not at all times. What is to be done when the policy is not even standard, and is disavowed by management or corporate when asked? And furthermore, they can ask, and I can refuse.

  128. Metropolis says:

    Whaaaa… They wouldn’t let me purchase ammo, groceries and my gun together. Ill show them. I won’t show them my receipt. That’ll show them.

  129. Dashrashi says:

    @bonzombiekitty: I don’t have the limited psychic energy that you do. I can pick this and many, many other battles. Just because you choose not to pick this particular battle doesn’t mean others can’t or shouldn’t.

  130. econobiker says:

    Probably the better solution would be to gather up receipts from the parking lot, old visits, the trash cans, etc and have a huge wad of receipts for them to go through each time they ask for one. Remember that time efficency is their motto- if each time they ask for a receipt you hand them a group of 25 wrinkled and dirty receipts to go through (keeping your new receipt separate) then they would hate it since as they spend time reviewing this wad of receipts multipe shoplifters could be racing behind them…

    That said- I once went to Costco and after paying, and just before the receipt checker, realized I was not charged for case of juice bottles under my cart. At that point I was not worried about getting caught for theft but more worried about getting the ultra-nice older lady who checked me out in trouble for missing the case. A little social engineering and help from distracting children rolled us out of there easily.

  131. BugMeNot2 says:


    “I certainly agree this issue seems a little silly. However If my wife is carrying a purse that they also happen to sell at Walmart I don’t want them asking for her receipt everytime we walk out the door.”

    And this is why people who say this is not a possible slippery slope are wrong. My wife had nearly this happen to her one time. We were on our way into Wal-Mart, and she had a new-looking purse with her. As we walked in, the door greeter runs over and slaps one of the pink stickers on my wife’s purse.

    My wife said, “Excuse me!” and the greeter blurts, “Well, that looks like a purse we would sell, and it would be hard for you to prove it was yours when you’re leaving, so this is for your own good.” Of course, a complaint at the service desk did no good, as they said it was ‘store policy’ but could not provide proof of such.

    Now, for those who say, “Just show your receipt. It’s not a slippery slope.” That’s the same argument that will allow, in ten years, for people to be arguing, “Just let them put the sticker on your purse/shirt/hat/shoes/pants/watch/whatever (and possibly ruin the item with the adhesive). It’s to keep prices down and it only takes two seconds.”

  132. sly100100 says:

    Here in Vermont we have a gas station in the same building as a gun shop! lol Somehow that just seems wrong.

  133. nakmario says:


  134. Mills says:

    Can’t we banish all talk of receipt checking to the forums? Along with any discussion that involves tipping?

  135. opticnrv says:

    Recent Australian Ex-pat living in America now.
    The majority of Australian stores check receipts at the door even though they have no legal right to do so.
    They have begun to escalated to looking in all personal bags (definitely backpacks, and sometimes even women’s purses).
    It happens, it’s already happening.
    This slippery slope DOES exist no matter who here thinks it’s a figment of the other reader’s imagination.
    Ask any reader who lives in Australia. It’s inconvenient and intrusive, the process itself is understaffed, and they use the staff with the least skills. It slows everyone down, and leaves an unpleasant feeling with all shoppers as their last impression of their shopping experience.
    Please do your homework and reach out to Australian residents. Ask them how they feel when they leave a Target store.

  136. DashTheHand says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: Never been forced to show a receipt, and if I had to, I wouldn’t. But please, try more insults on people that don’t like being called shoplifters and see if it bothers them when your method of thought is clearly loving living in a police state environment.

    I’m guessing you were the class NARC in grade school through college? Wheres your “I Heart the TSA” bumper sticker?

  137. Myotheralt says:

    @InfiniTrent: the store is stationing an employee at the front door, and telling you to prove that the things you just bought are yours.

  138. Dashrashi says:

    @bigvicproton: I agree that they can ask. I just don’t agree that I have to comply

  139. DeeJayQueue says:

    Here’s my problem with having people at the door checking receipts:

    You can say all day that you want to help keep prices low and do your part to help prevent shoplifting, but *I* don’t. I don’t work for wal-mart, or any of the other companies I patronize. I don’t know or care about their LP methods or policies. They should be transparent to the customer.
    To me, asking to see my receipt is the same as saying “I as a representative of this company, think you’re a thief and now require you to prove to me that you aren’t.”

    Well, I’m sorry folks but in this country it don’t work that way. “Innocent until proven guilty”… remember that? No company can take that away, subvert it or change it just because they feel like doing so.
    Stores can’t mandate that you show your receipt any more than they can mandate that you use a shopping cart. If you don’t want to use one, you don’t have to.

    People are making a stink over it beause it’s a dumb policy that once again, does NOTHING to discourage shoplifting and EVERYTHING to annoy paying customers. And because it’s a dumb policy, people do what they can do protest it in the hopes of making it change. J

    If you don’t believe it’s dumb, then by all means show your receipt at the door. Take your shoes, belt, wallet, & watch off at the TSA. Submit to random breathalyzer tests just because you happen to be there. After all you’ve got nothing to hide right?

  140. Jim Fletcher says:

    @Dashrashi: And they can search you without probable cause regardless of 4th amendment because they are not a government agent.

  141. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @DashTheHand: You really paint with broad strokes. Showing a receipt at the store = police state. Nice.

  142. dorkins says:

    Guns don’t kill people – ammunition does!

  143. davidc says:

    This is toooo funny. All these people saying “just show your receipt” have lost touch with reality.

    There is no reason to show a receipt. At all. Period. Ever.

    Once you “pay” for a product, that product is yours. Period.

    The product doesn’t *not* belong to you because you are still on “store property”. It’s yours … the receipt is yours … your not required by law (civil or penal) to produce a receipt to show ownership of your property.

    You don’t even have to show a receipt if the police show up. The determining of “guilt” is for a court to determine … not for some minimum wage employee.

    To all the “it keeps our cost down” nuts … you really need to get your facts straight and quit buying the drivel spewed by the sheep.

  144. bullfrogmiah says:

    After speaking with my Brother in Law, who is a lawyer (in CO), he mentioned something called “Shopkeeper’s Privilege”

    This seems to say that being asked to show your receipt by a merchant is entirely within their rights, if they suspect you of shoplifting. They have the right to detain you “for a reasonable amount of time” (which should be long enough to show your receipt) My BIL also says “I don’t think refusing to show the receipt alone would be sufficient to raise the suspicion. Carrying an unbagged item, or an item in other than a store bag, putting the item in a purse, backpack, etc. in addition to refusing to show the receipt raise the level of suspicion.”

    Asking “am I being accused of shoplifting?” may be the ‘magic words’ to not have to show your receipt.
    I think that it isn’t unreasonable to show your receipt, but if I’m in a hurry, I think that you are within your rights to not show it.

  145. gorckat says:

    @vladthepaler: Yes, the not-showing-receipt stories are getting a little repetitive, but if there’s enough attention on the issue, and enough people refuse to show their receipts, maybe the stores will get the message and change their idiotic policy.

    I’m cynical enough to expect some sort of legislation at the state levels, nationwide, to allow the practice before stores stop checking receipts.

    Wonder who’s gonna pay the lobbyists for that…

  146. Dashrashi says:

    @brooksosheffield: No, a private actor cannot touch you–including searching you–in an offensive way without your consent. There is an exception for merchants searching suspected shoplifters. What constitutes enough suspicion for such a search is very, very narrow. If they touch you without that, they commit a battery. If they detain you

    Wal-Mart isn’t a state actor, but the common law applies to them just as it does to any private actor. No batteries, no illegal detainment of customers without reasonable grounds to suspect them of shoplifting. Refusing to show your receipt is not reasonable grounds for such a suspicion.

  147. disavow says:

    @sly100100: There’s at least one street corner in KC with a funeral home, pawn shop (which sells weapons), and liquor store all in the same place. Not the best part of town, you can be sure….

  148. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    No Wal-Mart manager is going to risk both his job & a federal prosecution & prison sentence by illegally selling a gun to a friend or even worse, just faking the paperwork to give him the gun for free!

    Like all the rest of the pro-receipt showing people, you have no idea what you’re writing about!

    The next step will be Wally World demanding that we shop nude to stop shoplifting & they’ll still demand to see the fucking receipt!
    Do you really want to see all those fat people nude?

    Plus, every study ever done shows that 90% of the merchandise stolen from retailers, goes out the back door.
    That means the employees are doing the stealing, not the customers!

  149. econobiker says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Problem is with their control of the registers. By increasing the requirement of speed through the registers, they are forcing the proof of sale time delay onto the customer at exit. If they had separate entrance and exits (home depot, lowes) with a separate return area (home depot, lowes) they wouldn’t have to worry about this receipt checking and pink sticker on returns…

  150. MDSasquatch says:

    How much should I tip the receipt-zombie at the door? 10% of the total purchase price or a flat fee?

  151. BearTack says:

    This is a serious issue. It is not a matter of fourth amendment rights to be free of governmental searches, but rather the right to be free of criminal actions against ones person. There is an implied use of force in detaining a person or their property. Without just reasonable cause, this is a crime of violence.

    This would be easier to understand this f the store wanted to strip search everyone who was leaving their store. But the legal issue is the same. The store policies have no meaning. Signs in the store have no meaning unless they are explicitly pointed out to the individual, and even then would most likely not have any meaning in a criminal matter.

    The way to put an end to it is to start pressing charges against those individuals who block ones exit without legal cause. This might not be easy, A lot of DA’s might not be willing to be bothered. I will find out the next time I run into one of these thugs, but since I have moved into a small town I have not had the displeasure.

  152. davidc says:

    @bullfrogmiah: They can “detain” you, but you still don’t have to show a receipt.

    The difference between “book” law and “case” law is that once a “law” is written, it gets fleshed out through the court system.

    There is a 4 or 5 point “process” that has to happen to be found guilty of “shop lifting” in a court of law. I believe the points are: 1) They have to see you take the merchandise off the shelf. 2) They have to never lose “visual” contact with you after that point. 3) They have to see you go through a check out lane. 4) They have to “ask” you something before you leave the store. 5) They have to ACTUALLY LEAVE the store.

    That 5th point is the biggest point. If they stop you before you leave the store, you are not guilty of shop lifting. Period.

    All the “sheep” on these forums that say “just show your receipt” really need to get a clue.

  153. WhirlyBird says:

    @aphex242: Be careful here. I’ve have several commenter accounts banned from commenting for pointing out the same thing.

  154. Crymson_77 says:

    Allow me to recreate for you my post on the other item which now has just shy of 500 comments:

    For those of you who are looking for the Constitutional basis for the argument against showing your receipt, please see the line “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. The key word here being liberty. This is an infringement of YOUR liberty. Please see the following articles:

    Liberty: []

    Freedom: []

    From Merriam-Webster: []

    Text from MW that is entirely too accurate here:

    1: the quality or state of being free: a: the power to do as one pleases b: FREEDOM FROM PHYSICAL RESTRAINT c: FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY OR DESPOTIC CONTROL d: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e: THE POWER OF CHOICE

    How can this be any clearer?

  155. Jim Fletcher says:

    As the Court observes, the Fourth Amendment “is wholly inapplicable `to a search or seizure, even an unreasonable one, effected by a private individual not acting as an agent of the Government or with the participation or knowledge of any governmental official.'” Ante, at 113 (quoting Walter v. United States, 447 U.S. 649, 662 (1980) (BLACKMUN, J., dissenting)).

  156. Jaysyn was banned for: says:
  157. BugMeNot2 says:


    Great suggestion! I also suggest banishing any discussion of “Does this belong here” and “can we ban this type of discussion” to the forums.

  158. xerent says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:

    It’s a persons right to not show a receipt when walking out the door.

    How is that a big deal again?

  159. zerj says:

    @brooksosheffield: Yeah I tend to always toss recipts for items that are non-returnable or not worth returning. I personally am not organized enough to save all my recipts in some manageable form. So if I saved the recipt for every $10 dollar item I bought when I needed to return something 3 months later it would take me 3 hours to find the appropriate recipt. My time is worth a lot more than $3.33 an hour.

    Therefore I only save recipts for items I am likely to return. Then its my goal to get rid of all the other recipts ASAP. So I still say no thank you when offered a recipt.

    So I would say the percentage of people that keep recipts is a lot lower than 99%. And most of those that do keep them only do so because the cashier handed it to them and they stuffed it in thier wallet instead of recognizing it as trash and throwing it in the wastebasket.

  160. xerent says:


    I would say big gaping holes in vital organs kills people. =D

  161. Machete_Bear says:

    Good God. Show your receipt, comply with the ignorant minimum-wage employees, and be on your way.

    Contrary to what overly-entitled consumers like the subject of this story may think, refusing to show your receipt to the Walmart door greeter does nothing to “stick it” to big box companies. All it does is cause more trouble than it’s worth, and frustrate people who don’t know any better.

    While it’s true that these stores should train their employees to know things like this, that is not the case, and by your self-righteous dissension, you are only making things harder on yourselves.

  162. Thespis306 says:

    Sure, this guy was being a bit of an asshat — and probably because the assistant manager was being the same by not letting him buy groceries. (Come on – you know the assistant manager just didn’t want to wait while this guy had his stuff rung up.)

    But here’s my concern with the receipt checking: lines. At the local Home Depot, for example, there’s always a line to get out the door — the security guy has to draw a little circle across your receipt, and takes forever to do it. He peers knowingly at your receipt, peers into your bag, looks back at the receipt, looks back in the bag, and finally gives you the orange highlighter circle of freedom.

    And, you know, after waiting 20 minutes to check out, I’ll be damned if I’m going to wait 5 more just to leave. So I hold the receipt out of the bag, and walk right by the line — thus far I’ve had no trouble, but I imagine that luck isn’t going to hold out.

  163. Jim Fletcher says:

    Not making an argument on the value of your time. That’s not relevant… what’s relevant is that you’re aware that WalMart -may- ask you to show your receipt.

  164. mgy says:

    Even if the best argument that someone who refuses to show a receipt is “I don’t want to” – then that’s good enough for me. We are in the United Effing States, and have the prerogative to do so.

    It sounds silly, it sounds pointless, but I believe strongly in principles, and doing what you want is probably the one I hold most dear. So if someone doesn’t want to show a receipt – they don’t have to. If someone WANTS to show a receipt, and they don’t ask – let him. Do whatever, folks, it’s your life.

  165. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    Wal-Mart is a PRIVATE company. They have the RIGHT to ask for receipts, check bags coming and going if they want.

    They have every right to ask for your receipt. But they have absolutely no right to see it. They have no right force you to produce it. They have no right to detain you for failing to show it. They have no right to take or retain posession of your property for refusing to produce it.

    As for checking bags, again, they have every right to ask to look in your bags, but they have NO right to actually do it.

    Store policies do not have the force of law

    Store employees do not have police powers.

    Absent a legitimate, statutorily authorized detainment based upon probable cause for shoplifting, the only authority a merchant has over you is to ask you to leave his store. That’s it. Overstepping that authority opens the merchant up to civil and/or criminal liability.

  166. arsbadmojo says:


    “I would say by now that any Consumerist reader, at least, is aware that WalMart has a rule saying that you DO have to hold onto your receipt until you’re at the door, at least.”

    LOL. A RULE.

    And I have a rule that I don’t have show my receipts to receipt checkers that have no evidence of me shoplifting. I also have a rule that I won’t be detained by a corporation. The difference is that MY rules are enforcenable by law.

  167. Copper says:

    Good job, Patrick. I’m glad you stood up for this and didn’t act like a moron about it. This is what I would do in this circumstance. Too bad no one has actually tried making me show my receipt after I decline.

  168. DeeJayQueue says:


    Problem is with their control of the registers.

    Yeah, it’s a problem allright, but it’s not MY problem. THEY have a faulty system, and THEY need to fix it. I shouldn’t have to be a link in that chain.

    Incidentally despite having separate entrances and customer service desks, HD and Lowe’s still check receipts on occasion, AND you can buy whatever you want at the hardware corral, which in some stores is almost 100 yards away from the door, between which there are aisles full of merchandise. The same goes for the jewelry or electronics counter in big-box stores, or the copy center in staples or OMax. Why are you giving customers the “convenience” of paying at a boutique register but then taking it away from them by treating them like a thief at the door? That’s like having to walk through the bank vault on the way to the tellers.

  169. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    @Jaysyn: Wow. Thanks for your valuable input.

  170. BugMeNot2 says:


    Ugh. All that points out is that the 4th amemdment specifically does not cover private business. However, numerous state laws do cover it, including laws against assault, battery, theft, kidnapping, etc. etc.

    The argument that “The #th amendment doesn’t cover it, therefore private businesses can do it.” does not fly. There is no amendment that specifically prohibits me from walking up to random strangers and punching them in the mouth, but you can bet your happy ass I would wind up in jail if I did it.


  171. apex says:

    @brooksosheffield: The fact that the Fourth Amendment limits the power of the government to search does not therefore give private individuals carte blanche to search because they are not agents of the government.

    Simply being in a Wal-Mart does not give them cause to search you, and neither does showing a receipt.

  172. esthermofet says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: What it means is that, unless you suspect that I’ve stolen an item from your store, you have no right to treat me like a criminal.

    Back in the early 90’s, which really wasn’t that long ago, I did private security and loss prevention. We had simple rules about dealing with anyone we suspected of stealing. These rules ensured that we would actually get a conviction when something was actually stolen. We had to observe them

    – select a product
    – conceal it
    – bypass checkout, and
    – exit the store

    If we observed all of that, then, and only then, were we allowed to stop, detain, and restrain.

    Treating your customers like criminals is a sure way to either prevent them from remaining customers.

    The only person I will show my receipt to is a police officer — someone whose job it is to actually enforce laws. I don’t care about your “store policy”. I care about actual laws that everyone must follow.

  173. Kat@Work says:

    @Machete_Bear: Thanks. Seriously – if its worth your time to make a scene and stand up for your rights, fine. If not, we’re not bad people, we just pick different battles and don’t feel this is worth our time.

  174. gorckat says:

    Has there been a guide on the right way to not show your receipt yet?

    Something like:

    1) Say “no thanks” and head for the door
    2) If blocked, ask “Am I suspected of shoplifting?”
    2a) If “No”, then say “Have a nice day then!” And go around the person
    2b) If “Yes”, then ask “What items, where are they and who saw me take them without payment?”

    And so on and so forth. Something that could be printed on a business card or something (oh, the irony of taking the time to dig out a business card with this info but not the receipt :P)

    Links to criminal statutes defining exactly what a merchant can do in each state would be handy, as well. I found the one for Indiana somewhere by accident, but haven’t had a chance to dig out Maryland’s, yet.

  175. moore850 says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:
    I concur, “i dont show my receipt unless absolutely necessary” to me would include:
    1) purchasing a firearm…
    2) where I have been only handed the receipt 5 seconds ago, and
    3) where I must present the receipt in order to retrieve the gun at the store exit.

    that sounds pretty reasonable to me. I guess this guy wants to be allowed to walk out the door with a gun, and not have to prove that he owns the gun. Maybe with candy or soda, but a gun? Come on.

  176. Dashrashi says:

    @brooksosheffield: Bud. I didn’t say jackshit about the 4th Amendment. I’m talking about the torts/crimes of battery and false imprisonment. Are you slow?

  177. BugMeNot2 says:


    You say you aren’t arguing the value of a person’s time, yet earlier you, and other posters, all said things to the effect of, “Just show your receipt. My time is worth more to me than fighting this fight.”

    Well, my time is worth a lot to me, too. And while it may only take 2 seconds to show a receipt, if there is no line, and the checker is competent, and the stars are aligned, it takes 0 seconds to not show a receipt, if the business respects the law.

    And, if not for the people who do make a mountain of a seeming molehill in instances such as this, it would make it even harder for people such as me who do skip the checking line when it is backed up, and will take several minutes instead of seconds, just to prove my stuff really is mine.

  178. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @brooksosheffield: And they can search you without probable cause regardless of 4th amendment because they are not a government agent.

    Except for all those pesky laws that make it illegal for them to do that.

  179. Dashrashi says:

    @brooksosheffield: Are you aware that I have the right to refuse if/when they do ask me? And that it would be irrational to choose not to shop there since they only sometimes check receipts?

  180. apex says:

    @moore850: The OP never touched the gun. The manager held onto it all the way from the sporting goods counter to the door. If that’s not sufficient proof, I don’t know what is.

  181. DrGirlfriend says:

    I’m all for people picking their own battles. if people want to fight receipt-checks, fine. If people don’t want to fight them, that’s fine too. What I’m not all for is reading about endless receipt-check incidents. I know those who think that showing your receipt is akin to bending over and giving stores free access, but in my opinion it is not an issue that is quite compelling enough to discuss on the site over and over – especially when the comments are always exactly the same every time. I’ll be skipping over them from now on.

  182. Daniels says:

    I wish there was as much outrage for random police checkpoints and roadblocks (which are unconstitional) as there is when a privately owned business asks you to show a receipt.

    Something tells me that all the people who aren’t ok with receipt-checking also have a problem with illegal roadblocks.

    Something also tells me that the people who are OK with receipt checking are probably OK with checkpoints and roadblocks. Granted it won’t be a one-to-one relationship, but I bet it’s pretty close.

  183. DrGirlfriend says:

    @DrGirlfriend: I meant “I know there are those who think…”

  184. Dashrashi says:

    @moore850: He wasn’t walking out of the store with the gun. The assistant manager was, who can vouch for his ownership and payment.

  185. YSLGuru says:

    1 – The 4th Amendment (previously referenced as why showing a receipt for proof of purchase is unconstitutional) is a right of the people in relation to its governing body, in this case the federal government. The 4th Amendment does not guarantee a right from showing proof of purchase of an item from a merchant.

    2 – The policy of requiring a customer to show a receipt as well as not being allowed to buy a gun in combination with anything else or any other policy the merchant has, are not set by the employee(s) who are required to implement/follow the policy. Therefore when you give the employee, be they a sales associate or even a store manager, a hard time for following that policy you are only increasing the chances that your experience will be as non-positive as possible. The employees following the policies do not make them and therefore giving them a hard time does nothing but cause unnecessary conflict and has no chance of effecting change.

    While the store may not have a legally defined right to require that you show a receipt it does have the right to protect itself from loss and or damage just as you have in your home. Therefore if you put yourself in a position of looking like a potential shoplifter then you will and most importantly should be treated like one and the merchant does have a legal right to detain suspected shoplifters.

    In this particular story/event, not 1 Wal-Mart employee was in error; they were only doing their job. And everyone who complains about this should keep a few things in mind the next time they visit Wal-Mart, or a similar merchant, and give the employees a hard time as the customer in this story did.

    1) The whole ‘show your receipt upon exiting the store’ came about in response to customers leaving with unpaid merchandise. And for those who try to blame this on employee theft, nice try but your dead wrong. This kind of policy would have no effect on curtaining employee theft so why would the merchant enact a policy that did not curtail loss from theft? No there are other policies, that you as the customer never hear about, which are enacted to curtail employee theft.

    2) Any policy, no matter how stupid it appears to be, is most often implemented as a response to something from the customer(s) be they the legal kind, those who pay for their items and don’t try to cheat the merchant, or the other kind who shoplift, attempt bogus returns (steal something and try to return it for cash or something else equal in price but harder to steal) and do any number of things that cause the merchant losses and or damages. And no matter what the policy is, it is always created not by the employee who implements it and who has to deal with customer feedback about the policy, but by some suit on the top floor of a building most likely many miles away from the store. And on occasion the policy is a result of some government requirement in which case the store has no choice on whether it should implement the policy or not.

    3) If you don’t like the way a merchant does business then shop elsewhere. And if you find that most or all of the merchants have policies you dislike then maybe you need to take a minute to evaluate yourself and see if perhaps you are the problem. The good ole ‘The Customer is always right’ motto worked only back when everyone was honest, when theft was a rarity as were scams and cheats. Merchants enact stronger controls and or policies in response to actions by its customer base and not simply because it wants to harass people.

  186. mgy says:

    I was just thinking – what if, when asked to present your receipt, you allowed them to do so, under the condition that THEY reveal the contents of their pockets/jacket/purse/whatever. I imagine this would make for interesting arguments.

    Employee: “May I see your receipt?”
    Shopper: “Only if I can see what’s in your pockets.”
    Employee: “I’m not going to do that – it’s my personal property, and you have no right to do so”
    Shopper: “Exactly my point.”

  187. dualityshift says:

    @darkened: Actually, I’m not an idiot.

    Actually, having made that statement, chances are, you are dumb as a bag of hammers.

    The term ‘store policy’ is thrown around A LOT recently. I would like to know where this ‘store policy’ is displayed for customers to view.

    I refuse to show receipts. I just do. But in saying that, if I was at a store that CLEARLY DISPLAYED their policies for customers, with the statement ‘by shopping in this store, you agree to the terms above.’

    Before anyone jumps and says ‘oh, then the stores can add strip searches and body cavities to their policies…’ these policies should be hammered out by a third party for all large retail chains, like a merchant’s constitution.

    By use of this, there would be no more illegal detentions, since you complied to the rules when you went into the store.

  188. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    . I guess this guy wants to be allowed to walk out the door with a gun, and not have to prove that he owns the gun.

    That’s exactly right! Because absent a criminal investigation, I am under no obligation to justify or prove ownership for MY property to anyone, no matter how trivial or inconsequential such request may be.

  189. bohemian says:

    I’m all for a bit of anarchy until retailers wise up and fix their own problem instead of illegally detaining people. Change the store traffic flow already! Two exits, one for people buying stuff, another for those that didn’t.

    Random searches are the lazy way to deal with this and accuses honest people of being thieves.

  190. iotashan says:

    Of all the guys you might not want to piss of as a door checker, I’d say “the guy buying a firearm” should be toward the top of that list.

  191. CPC24 says:

    I grew up in the area, and let me tell you Memphis is notorious for shoplifting. I know at least one chain who closed their Memphis location due to “shrink” losses.

  192. smirky says:


    From reading the post, he expected the assistant manager who sold him the gun and gave him the receipt to actually give him the gun and KNOW he legally bought it.

  193. JimmyKumby says:

    Yet another doofus giving gun owners a black eye. I hope they kept OP’s background check fee.

  194. Dashrashi says:

    @DrGirlfriend: I’m interested in these stories because I find it interesting exactly how far the stores will go toward enforcing a policy that they have no right to enforce beyond ejectment.

    The last story? They’re going to commit a battery on and illegally detain a customer over this? I’m interested.

    This story? They’re going to insist on their “right” to see his receipt even though there is no possible question of him being a shoplifter? I’m interested.

    I think it’s relevant when stores and employees break the law to enforce a stupid policy and commit torts against paying customers.

  195. Kat@Work says:

    Maybe the manager should have had to show a receipt…

  196. DeeJayQueue says:

    @dualityshift: Great, and when all of the retailers agreed to the rules which are unconstitutional and illegal, where are we as conscientious consumers to spend our money to show our protest for these dumb-ass policies?

  197. TFowl7 says:

    Wal Mart along with many other businesses have many ridiculous policies and prodedures,showing a receipt is not a search and definitely not a seizure. It’s clear from reading these comments that even most of the people griping about showing a receipt are Wal Mart shoppers. For those that don’t like Wal Mart, whatever the reasons may be, stop shopping there and have some principles. All credibility is lost for those that scream at the top of their lungs about the infringement on personal rights and yet continue shop there. I have yet to see anyone start a grassroots campaign to stop the evil horror of showing a receipt…just a bunch of do nothing complainers seeking a feeling of accomplishment by standing up to “the man”…although most of that standing up is just typed words on a website. There is no doubt our rights are being constantly undermined…it’s been that way for thousands of years. Quit whining like two year olds and do something about it…if people aren’t willing to do that with their dollars and their time then they get what they deserve. For those that are complaining about The Consumerist posting these trauma inducing receipt request posts…don’t read them. Now, I’m off to Wal Mart and damnit…I’m taking every WM receipt I’ve saved and if they ask on the way out to see my receipt I’ll hand them a whole stack of receipts.

  198. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @dualityshift: By use of this, there would be no more illegal detentions, since you complied to the rules when you went into the store.

    I think you meant “agreed to the rules when you went in”

    But even that is wrong. Even if I explicitly agreed to it going in (and walking past a sign doesn’t really constitute agreement), I can change my mind any time I like. And if the store doesn’t like the fact that I’ve chosen not to obey their policy, they are free to ask me to leave. Because that’s really the only authority they have over me.

    Hell, I could sign a written contract saying that I agreed to it. If I change my mind later, they still have no authority over me if I refuse, because breach of contact isn’t a crime.

  199. mbbilder says:

    It is perfectly legal to ask for a receipt to be show at the exit. It is NOT legal to detain an individual who refuses to do so. If you want to show your receipt, do so. But do not fault those of us who refuse, for whatever reason to do so, because we are also within our rights.

    When those “rights” come into conflict – my 4th Amendment rights vs. a “store policy”, the constitution will win every time. And yes, the Constitution applies everywhere, even Wal-Mart.

  200. mgy says:

    @Kat@Work: Employee theft is the biggest and most devastating kind of theft. You may be on to something here, Kat.

  201. Raignn says:

    I just don’t see what the big deal is. They ask me to show my receipt… so I show it and move on. It seems like this is not an important battle we should care about.

  202. apex says:

    @DeeJayQueue: The same places, because the beauty of illegal clauses in contracts is that they’re unenforceable. :D

  203. Dashrashi says:

    @Raignn: It may seem that way to you, but it clearly doesn’t seem that way to others. And it’s their prerogative to find this an important battle.

  204. Crymson_77 says:

    @mgy: BTW….that was beautiful!

  205. @MDSasquatch: Maybe we should abandon the ” I am not showing my receipt ” routine and start thinking of ways to make the experience as gross as possible for those that insist on seeing it?

    Take that, minimum wage earning employee who has no ability to set store policy! You show the downtrodden who’s boss as you shop at the cheapest store you can find!

  206. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Ok…I understand both points of view, so I’m trying to be impartial. Yes, managers are definately on radar for stealing. Yes, it’s pretty ridiculous that they still want you to present a receipt even with the assistant manager holding your purchase. Yes, there should be a sign on the door advising consumers of their receipt-checking policies. Yes, there should be a seperate entrance/exit. I hate ponying up receipts too, especially when its because some bumble headed cashier couldn’t disable the freaking security strip in my $15 clock radio. I’ve actually been brought into the security office and scanned with the hand held machine, because they refused to believe that it was just a CLOCK RADIO that set the alarm off. I have never felt more violated than that, standing there with my children watching like I was a common criminal. But the general rule of thumb for myself, is: If they ask for a receipt, kindly hand it over, let them do their job, & get the H*LL out of there, and refuse to give them your hard-earned dollars again. (and, in my case… write the manager the situation and be presented with a $100 gift card, which I used online!) I sometimes feel bad for the poor b*stards that have to work as receipt checkers… no, not the burly security guards who get off on confrontation, but the little old man who’s just trying to pay for his Rx’s. I tend to keep my business with the little guys, I’ve never been dissatisfied with my local stores. They fight much harder to keep you happy, versus the conglomerates we shop at who tend to be nice until they have your money, then completely forget you ever shopped there. I also shop online… you might not have your hands on things immediately, but the lack of hassle is much worth it.

  207. DrGirlfriend says:

    @Dashrashi: I’m not asking them to stop running these. I’m saying that for this reader, the issue is starting to become really repetitive and is going nowhere, and am saying so as my own feedback to the site. The editors can definitely keep running the stories they see fit to run.

    Now, if they brought in a lawyer to do a guest post, to attest to how illegal this all is and advise people on their rights? I’d be all over that, because at least it presents a solution.

  208. statnut says:

    @Raignn: I dont see what the big deal is either. They ask me to show my receipt, I politely decline and keep on walking. I dont see the need to have to wait for the receipt checker to finish what he’s doing.

  209. Crymson_77 says:

    For those still arguing…please scroll up and see my comment on Liberty and Freedom and what part of the Constitution actually DOES apply here.

  210. statnut says:

    @Kat@Work: Except I dont have to sign a contract to shop at Wal-Mart.

  211. unklegwar says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: And in some states….alcohol too! Oh and Tobacco. Walmart -> ATF Mart

  212. DrGirlfriend says:

    …and as an aside, since I hit “send” too soon, I realize that perhaps a lawyer may not want to start doling out advice on a site, but perhaps a general run-down of what a consumer can do? Just, you know, something that helps break this deadlock of “this isn’t legal!”, “yes, it is legal, because it’s a private company!”

  213. tmed says:

    Receipt checking is treating you as guilty and forcing you to prove your innocence. It is contrary to the 4th amendment and is a small chip away at the principles that founded this country.

    Police checkpoints are a greater crime, as is illegal, warentless wiretapping. I see no reason why I can’t fight all three of these intrusions on my personal freedom at once. My freedoms were won through far too much effort for me to watch them be eroded, however slowly, for convenience sake.

    Of course, if the people had made it clear that not being treated like criminals mattered to them when it came to receipt checking and police checkpoints, perhaps the wire tapping doesn’t happen. Of course, erosion continues once it starts.

  214. Softly-with-a-Big-Stick says:

    Uhhhh?….And who would they call to intervene if you refused?…The Assistant Manager????

    Oh my, that could be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous!

    So much for their “security” policy!

  215. jimv2000 says:

    @darkened: LOL, you don’t have any “constitutional” rights at Wal-Mart. The Constitution protects you from govt, not Wal-Mart’s policies.

  216. mkultra1 says:

    I usually have no problem showing a receipt when asked but there was an experience a few weeks ago, I was in a rush and just needed two things. I went through the self check, paid, etc…only to be stopped with a line of 25 people presenting their receipts at the door. The whole reason I went to Wal-Mart was to quickly go in and out because of their self-checkouts.

    So i just bypassed the line. Of course the lady stops me and tells me to get back. I say no. She says that I’m inconviencing everyone else by “cutting”. I respond that I’m not the one who’s inconviencing everyone (she was a regular chatty cathy with all the customers and taking her sweet time). Furthermore I tell her as a customer it’s not my responsibility to work loss prevention for the store by presenting my receipt. I told her to call security as it’s obvious what I bought (had both items in hand). Then I just walked out.

    Call me a whiner or whatever, but it’s typical Wal-Mart ….rolling back the prices at the expense of the customer’s time.

  217. synergy says:

    It’s part of making sure everyone is used to showing IDs and “your documents” for every thing without thought that it’s not strictly legal.

  218. chrisdag says:

    @InfiniTrent: Hi InfiniTrent,

    It boils down to a few things — the first issue is that receipt checking falls into the category of “Security Theatre” (like the liquid ban on flights) where useless actions are performed in order to pretend that something is more safe or secure without actually doing anything.

    Receipt checks are “theater” to me because the industry knows (and the statistics bear out) that the majority of retail inventory shrinkage is caused by employee theft, not shoplifting.

    When you combine useless measures with invasive techniques you generally upset even sensible, calm people.

    The other upsetting fact is the *obvious* subtext that the store views its customers foremost as potential thieves. This may not upset you but please realize that this is generally not a good way to conduct business.

    I’m in the camp of wanting to see these issues continued to be covered on consumerist. All of the “anti” complaints I see are from people who simply value convenience over freedom and *that* my friend really is a slippery slope.

    Anyway, just my $.02


  219. RumorsDaily says:

    It does make sense – the person they’re preventing from stealing is not the customer, but the employee.

  220. mir777 says:

    As I’m sure many of you know, or have pointed out – constitutional rights to privacy guarantees protection from government – not private – actors. When you enter a privately owned store, you have a license to be there conditioned on their rules (which cannot be illegal, clearly). It’s annoying but true. And I don’t know what a cursory peek into my shopping bag and a receipt I could’ve picked up anywhere will do to forestall theft.

  221. brent_w says:

    You should not have said.

    “I don’t show my receipt unless it is absolutely necessary.”

    You should have said:

    “Your store policy is in violation of the law.”

  222. smirky says:

    OK…I’m not being sarcastic with this but I have a serious question about all of this. This is not about rights or laws or any other legal/illegal aspect. Just your personal opinion.

    Where do you draw the line with following a store’s policy of checking your receipt?

    Each of us has a different level of acceptance so I was wondering where others fell. It’s obvious the “I don’t have to.” people draw the line at the completion of the sale but how far are the “Just show the receipt.” people are willing to go to comply with ‘store policy’?

    Would you allow another receipt check just outside the store exit?
    Would you allow them to search your person for potential stolen merchandise?
    Would you allow them to walk you to your car and watch you drive away?
    Would you allow them to search your car before you left the parking lot?
    Would you allow them to search your home?

    At what point would you say to yourself and then to them “That’s enough! Leave me alone and go away.”

  223. watchout5 says:

    I don’t shop at places that check your receipt, if I was ever asked I would laugh and ask them to point me to the nearest place where I can return the items I just bought. If you don’t like the policy, don’t support the business model. If you don’t care or don’t think it matters by all means go join the sheep.

  224. scotch says:

    It seems that this is an unfortunate by product of the large box stores. The larger these stores get, the less common sense is used and the more problems customers have.

    I personally choose not to shop at walmart, I choose instead to give my business to smaller family owned and operated businesses. For me the slightly higher cost is made up for in customer service.

    I have never been accosted at a small family operated business, or even local family operated chains. At the locations that I visit frequently I am known by first name and I know the owners by first name. If I ever do have a problem, it is generally resolved quickly and amicably.

  225. savvy999 says:

    Keep ’em coming, Consumerist! The more that these idiot stores keep pushing the same line of BS, the more true American patriots will stand up for their rights, and sites like this will recognize their small acts of courage.

    Thank you, and kudos to the OP, Patrick.

  226. kylenalepa says:

    First, buying a firearm and ammunition and paying in cash? Yeah, that’s not sketchy at all.

    Second, the customer here is making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s your policy to not show a receipt? Really? This guy sounds like he lives in a log cabin in the mountains, planning how to overthrow the government.

  227. says:

    “I say that I don’t do that. He says it’s store policy. I explain that it’s my policy not to show my receipts unless absolutely necessary. Soon another man who apparently is in charge of the front joins in and insists that unless I show my receipt I can’t have my firearm”


  228. thechr0nic says:

    This seems so simple to me…
    They have a right to ask for the receipt.
    You have a right to say no.

    If you choose to not show your receipt, it is NOT their right to detain you. It is not their right to assault you.

    If you ‘want’ to show your receipt, then by all means, go ahead. But dont get upset, if I choose not to show it.

  229. Twitch says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:
    Some goon standing in the door of a store doesn’t NEED to see my receipt. He WANTS to see my receipt, but he has no actual need.

    For the last time: Making a purchase at a store does not equal being suspected of theft. If a cop on the street has no legal reason to ask you to open your bag or show proof of ownership without probable cause, then a goon at the front of (insert store name here) doesn’t either.

  230. Rajio says:

    only in amerca

  231. Crymson_77 says:

    @jimv2000: Wrong. The Constitution protects you from any and all comers. Or did you not attend grade school? Did you ever read the Constitution? Please do so now.

  232. AdamSelene says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society:
    No.. Wrap your head around this…


    The can ask for the receipt, I can decline, end of story. Declining does NOT constitute probable cause.

    Look up Merchant Privilege.

    How many times does THAT have to be repeated before it sinks into YOUR brain?

  233. I don’t get it. Is there a punchline here?

    WTF is up with people who don’t show receipts. Just show the f-ing receipt and move the F on. Not only are you being a nuisance to yourself (not my concern… if you want to be a pain in your own ass, go ahead), but everyone else who is waiting for the Assistant Manager, and every other Wal-Monkey that has to waste their time because you are a nitwit with a “non-disclosure” policy vis-a-vis receipts. Christ. But then again, you’re buying guns and shop at Walmart. I suspect you live in an area with high levels of payday loan shops and a poor public school system.

  234. brent_w says:

    @jimv2000: You don’t need the constitution to protect you from walmart’s policies.

    The standard laws do just fine.

    In this case, illegal detainment … kidnapping.

  235. mikelotus says:

    wal-mart hates us for our freedoms

  236. cmdr.sass says:

    The saddest thing about this experience is that you need government approval to exercise your 2nd amendment rights.

  237. Dashrashi says:

    @mir777: And all they can do, if you don’t follow the “rules”, is kick you out with your bought-and-paid-for property. Which is exactly the outcome the OP wanted: to leave with his property.

  238. Trumps says:

    The problem is this. It is a receipt today. Tomorrow they might want to cross reference your fingerprints with a criminal record to see if you have ever stolen something before. (I know it sounds dumb) BUT if you are going to let a company take away a constitutional right backed up by the supreme court, then what else are you willing to give up? Urine samples on demand if wal-mart thinks you are breaking the law by getting stoned?

    Wal-mart says “We want to make sure you arent breaking the law, please show your receipt”
    Wal-mart says “We want to make sure you arent breaking the law, please fill this cup”
    Wal-mart says “We want to make sure you arent a criminal, please scan your fingerprint here before you enter the store”

    How far does it go before people stop saying “oh dont worry its just a receipt”? Oh dont worry its just the constitution. Oh dont worry its just DNA. Oh dont worry its just a strip search. It will just take a minute.

    You say well we have laws that keep us from getting strip searched by some company. We have laws that keep companies from holding us against our will. This is the same law they are already breaking.


  239. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says: A RECEIPT IS A CONTRACT

    No, it’s not. A receipt is proof that the store accepted your proffer and gave ownership of the merchandise to you.


    No, they don’t. There are many times where they WANT to see it. There are many times where they may make doing business with you conditional upon your showing it (Such as you returning something). But they never NEED to see it. And they never have a RIGHT to see it.

  240. Jon Mason says:

    I normally don’t stick up for the “I wont show a receipt” crowd, but in this case demanding his receipt is patently ridiculous: A MANAGER had rang his sale up and was still in possession of his merchandise – what is checking his receipt (that the same guy just handed him) going to prove?

  241. BugMeNot2 says:


    No, paying cash is not sketchy at all. Just this past weekend, I bought *gasp* _two_ firearms and some ammo, with cash. Why? Because some people carry more ‘folding money’ than others do. If I have the cash, I’m going to use it before I use a debit/credit card or check. Again, why? Because, contrary to Visa commercials, cash is faster in most instances.

    Using all caps does not make you right. The only time the store _needs_ to see my receipt is if I’m returning an item. Any other requests by them to see my receipt are simple expressions of desire, not necessity.

  242. statnut says:

    @mir777: By that logic, a store can detain you for as long as they want, and give you a cavity search. After all, they are a private business, so they are exempt from the law.

  243. low_dirt says:

    when they ask for my receipt I spit in there face. then i shit in my hand and throw it at them. really i do.

  244. statnut says: Does it say on the receipt that you will be forced to show that you purchased the item anytime they want? No? Then your comparison is moot.

  245. thechr0nic says:

    If you want to show your receipt, then go ahead, I will not complain

    I will not be showing my receipt, and that is my right.

    if you dont like it, well tough shit, you dont have the power to revoke my rights.

  246. BugMeNot2 says:


    ” But then again, you’re buying guns and shop at Walmart. I suspect you live in an area with high levels of payday loan shops and a poor public school system.”

    Wow. Does it take both buying guns and shopping at Wal-Mart to make someone an ignorant, poor hillbilly, or will either suffice? What does being full of presumptuous condescension make one such as you?

  247. DeeJayQueue says:

    @low_dirt: I don’t think you really do.

  248. low_dirt says:

    you’re right, but you’d think some of these posters do. jeez. i hate to cut some of these people off in traffic. i might not live to tell about it.

  249. diddy0071 says:


    So if a store said that they had to strip search you and beat you with a club on the way out to keep your purchase “inexpensive” you would give? The point is not the receipt checking in general, the point is that it is not the LAW to do so. Hell, I don’t even like following the rules of the law half the time, let alone some piece of shit company who is only here BECAUSE I shop here. If people like me didn’t shop at these stores, they wouldn’t be in business. Treating me like a criminal for not showing my receipt is wrong. Besides the fact, if there is a line of 20 or 30 people and I am in a hurry, I feel it is stupid to have to stand in line to show a receipt to get out of a place I don’t want to be in to begin with.

  250. camille_javal says:

    @brooksosheffield: It has to do with enforcement – Wal-Mart stops you, you say you won’t comply because you were not given notice that it was a condition of shopping there. Neither of you will move. If they call the cops to come in to enforce that, it’s a state actor. Some would argue that your refusal to show a receipt creates enough suspicion for you to be liable to search, but then that’s where the debate comes in – does this become a backdoor way to make not showing your receipt illegal? Because that would be unconstitutional (if it hasn’t been enacted as a law, then there’s no notice, no due process).

    [That’s also why the Home Depot case in DC was so egregious (because that didn’t even sound like the cop had been called in on an issue, it seemed like he was around enforcing things for Home Depot, which is not legal).]

    These places just need to post fucking policy.

  251. ReticentEnigma says:

    I don’t show my receipt if I have a cart full of bagged items.
    I can understand if you’re walking out while carrying a large unbagged item, but what are they thinking?
    I strolled aisle to aisle while filling 35 bags full of groceries and nobody noticed until I got to the “Receipt Checker”?

    After spending an hour doing my shopping, and another 20 minutes trying to get through the checkout line, I’m ready to go.

    If you’re going to accuse me of stealing, I’ll see you in court. If not, don’t try and detain me, because unlawful detainment will result in me feeling threatned & I may have to resort to pepper spray for self defense.

  252. Chad LaFarge says:

    I want a WalMart employee to escort weapons to the door, and I want them to check receipts when you’re not coming directly from a checkout line. To do otherwise endangers me, and costs me more money in paying for what some kid steals.

  253. Crymson_77 says:

    @Chad LaFarge: Well…then what about those times, such as in this one, where an ASSISTANT MANAGER is escorting you to the door with your purchase. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  254. DashTheHand says:

    @moore850: RTFA. The Assistant Manager was holding the gun all the way from the back of the store gun counter register up until the store exit receipt checker zombie. At no time was the guy in possession of the gun. Basic reading skills elude you.

  255. scoosdad says:

    The ironic thing is that I went in and out of a Walmart last night and there was absolutely no one at the door either greeting on the way in, or checking for receipts on the way out.

    I thought of these threads as I walked out of the store looking for someone I could refuse to show my receipt for three boxes of kleenex to.

  256. megan9039 says:

    Target is sounding better and better all the time. As many issues we as consumers face, this one is getting a little old. Can’t we move on to a new topic…

  257. startertan says:

    @Skellbasher: I bought a single shot 12 gauge shotgun from Walmart a little over a year ago. I filled out the paperwork and asked “Is it ok if I buy some ammo too?”. The guy said emphatically “Sure!” and rang me up in 1 transaction. Then he says “Store policy is that the manager escort you out with the gun”. I said it was fine.

    We walk outside and right in front of the door the manager hands me the gun and says have a nice day, now I’m standing in front of Walmart with a 12 gauge in one hand and 100 rounds in the other. Good thing I’m not crazy.

  258. jayw7 says:

    pick your battles, it’s a receipt. they are just making sure that the big items are paid for. the only time i ever had my receipt checked at walmart was when i bought my daughters stroller, which almost didn’t fit in my cart let alone the bag. why is this such a big deal, i can see why this is important especially with u scans and all that. it would be so easy to steal i don’t blame them for doing something as harmless as making sure that you paid for everything you are taking with you.

  259. BugMeNot2 says:


    Simple answer to that: Don’t cut people off in traffic. Drive courteously and you don’t have to worry about it.

  260. BugMeNot2 says:


    You may not have a problem with always being suspected of theft, but some people do.

    I think it’s ridiculous for the door person to ask for my receipt when he has watched me pay for a soda from one of their coolers, all because it’s not in a bag and he’s been told “Always check receipts on unbagged items.” This happened just this weekend.

  261. nick_r says:

    So, you don’t have to show your receipt because there’s no constitutional law that says you have to. Fair enough. There’s no law that says you have to wait in line, either, but store policy generally requires it. Does that mean Americans don’t have to wait in line, either? Is it our inalienable Constitutional right to cut to the front of the checkout line every time we shop? It’s pretty simple, folks… if you don’t like a store’s policies, don’t shop there. My girlfriend doesn’t like many of Forever 21’s labor practices. I suppose she could go there, stand in the middle of the store and loudly insist that someone bring her a tank top made by an American being paid a living wage, but that would probably be futile so, instead, she just. Doesn’t. Shop. There.

  262. Karyuu says:

    These receipt stories are starting to rot my brain. To me personally they are trivial issues over and over, with name-calling comments flooding soon after that make the entire subject worth even less.

    Please Consumerist. I’m so close to removing my bookmark.

  263. Jim Fletcher says:

    Actually, I never made a single allusion to the value of my time. Don’t lump me in with “other posters” just because I’m not convinced.

    Bear in mind, I’m against the whole policy too. But I haven’t seen a single piece of cited evidence showing that they can’t demand a receipt. I saw that by detaining/searching, WalMart opens themselves up to the possibility of legal action, but nothing that says that they can’t initiate the deed anyway.

  264. Black Bellamy says:

    237 comments and not one of you pointed out the most obvious thing of all

    they don’t really check the receipt

    they just glance at it and they’re like yup it’s a receipt

    you think if you bought a dozen things the stupid checker can verify ANYTHING?

  265. DashTheHand says:

    @kylenalepa: Yea filling out those forms that the government checks and then paying in legal U.S. Tender sure is sketchy. I bet the ID he had to show at the gun counter register was even from the same state he was buying the gun in. What a “bad man.”

  266. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @nick_r: There’s no law that says you have to wait in line, either, but store policy generally requires it.

    We wait on line is because otherwise the merchant probably won’t do business with us. And if you do cut in line the store has exactly the same options as it does when you refuse to show your receipt. Ejectment.

    if you don’t like a store’s policies, don’t shop there.

    I like my solution better. I shop where I please, and if a store has a policy I don’t like, I disregard it. If the store has a problem with that, they are free to ask me to leave.

  267. smirky says:

    I wonder what would have happened if the customer had honestly lost teh receipt on the way to the front of the store. Would the Assistant Manager and door checker help him look for it or would they laugh meniacly and rejoice in their ‘free’ gun?

  268. dualityshift says:

    @TinyBug: If you don’t agree to their rules, shop elsewhere. They can refuse your money if you refuse their terms of service.

    @DeeJayQueue: How is it illegal? Oh wait, it isn’t, and by your logic, police barricades that impede your movement are unconstitutional, even though they may save your life.

    @anyone else: Most of you are either concerned for your ‘rights’ and I would take a guess that very few spewing this crap have done ANYTHING to help defend those rights. There has not been a war fought on US soil since the War of 1812. There hasn’t been a ‘world war’ to eliminate evil in this generation’s lifetime.

    People have this sense of entitlement which is not deserved.

    I don’t show my receipt because I like confrontation, not because my sense of personal rights have been violated.

  269. dualityshift says:

    @Chad LaFarge: I SO agree with you.

  270. WNW says:

    You know, it’s getting awful easy to spot the Wal-mart employees in these threads

  271. Buran says:

    I can’t believe the sheep are still coming out of the woodwork and making the same just-give-up-your-rights BS arguments that were made in the LAST thread. It’s been ONE DAY, why do we keep having the same damned arguments?

    Oh wait, it’s apparently because no matter how many times they are told that telling people to give up their rights just for the sake of someone else’s convenience (after all, who are you to tell other people how to make use of THEIR TIME) they have to keep spouting the same BS because they think everyone has forgotten all about the last time that was beaten into the ground.

  272. Jim Fletcher says:

    Agreed. If they posted a policy that receipts will be randomly checked, it would put this whole argument to bed. Unless you’re blind. Or illiterate. Or don’t speak {language X}.

  273. DashTheHand says:

    @nick_r: Theres a difference between politely standing in line and paying like the rest of the customers and being asked to show your receipt for what amounts to being asked if they can check to see if you’re stealing something or not. One is you being a normal part of the trade system, the other is you being called a suspected thief.

  274. AMetamorphosis says:

    WAL-FART can have my receipt when they pry it from my cold dead hands …

    When I used to ignorantly shop in Walmart I would simply tell the idiot @ the door : ” NO, you may not see my receipt , if you need verification of my purchase, kindly get off your ass and walk over to the register. “

    After staring @ me blankly & usually getting a few rounds of applause from others, I simply would exit the store.

    Does NO One understand the 4th Amendment ????

  275. jayw7 says:

    @econobiker: i honestly don’t mind showing my receipt but i think i wold much rather show them 25 all from different days and stores!

  276. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @brooksosheffield: If they posted a policy that receipts will be randomly checked, it would put this whole argument to bed. Unless you’re blind. Or illiterate. Or don’t speak {language X}.

    Or unless I decide not to abide by their policy anyway.

    The only thing that would really put this argument to bed is if they stopped their asinine receipt checks.

  277. says:

    I find the stupidest part of this to be that the Assistant Manager who SOLD the item was asking to see the receipt for it. Really, Ladarrel, what are the odds it was stolen after it was paid for and while you were holding it?

    I appreciate the way the OP handled this, by returning his item and refusing to do further business with the store. That’s what I’d do in his place. You want to accuse me of theft, fine, but you lose whatever income you would get from me. I don’t care if a store has a policy of asking EVERYONE for their receipt — that just means they’re accusing EVERYONE of stealing instead of just me, which isn’t personally insulting but is still demeaning.

    Receipt checking is one reason I don’t shop at Walmart. (I admit there are many, many others.)

  278. The Porkchop Express says:

    Ok, not for any rights or anything like that, but this one I’m totally with. This one is just too much, the damn assistant manager is holding the gun. I would have reacted to that one by returning the item as well.

    As far as not being able to buy ammo with the gun: I thought this was known to most that would be buying a gun.

    The groceries would have been a bit of an issue for me, but I would understand that they don’t want the gun in the store for too long once it was no longer under lock and key. I would probably have made a trip to the store just for the gun anyway.

  279. girly says:

    @babaki: But the whole point is you can’t be penalized for not doing it (other than being kicked out or not welcomed back).

    As reasonable as you find the policy, and you are willing to do it, does not mean other people can’t make the choice not to do it.

  280. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @dualityshift: If you don’t agree to their rules, shop elsewhere. They can refuse your money if you refuse their terms of service.

    Yes, they can. Sadly for them, the policy I routinely ignore isn’t an issue until after they’ve already finished transacting business with me. Since they’ve already allowed me entry, and already completed our transaction, they have exactly one option left: ejectment.

    Like I said – I’ll shop where I please, and if the store has a policy I don’t like, I’ll ignore it. If they don’t like the fact that I won’t show my receipt as I’m leaving, they’re welcome to ask me to leave.

  281. erratapage says:

    Does anyone here think that the receipt checker at the door is checking the receipt against some super secret database of purchases?

    Also… what is it about the corporate fanboys who are all about corporate rights? Isn’t The Consumerist about consumer rights and customer service?

    Finally, in order to be subjected to these stupid receipt stories and threads that make some of you so angry, you had to click to read a story and comments that were clearly labeled. Just go on to the next story, you corporate minions!

  282. girly says:

    I would say that being receipt checked is very much like getting spammed from with a coupon from a store you unsubscribed from or continuing to receiving a postcard from a store you told to stop sending you mail.

    It has no direct impact on your transaction (or it shouldn’t).

    They can’t un-sell you the item unless you choose to return it.

    Some people do not want to be burdened with a store’s post-sale worries, eve if there is some incentive for them (like lower prices).

    They have no excuse for not knowing that they did carry out a transaction with a customer. They need to figure out a way that does not hassle the customer after the fact.

  283. Dashrashi says:

    @nick_r: Not all Wal-Marts do this, and not all the time. Furthermore, it appears NOT to be official policy. How am I supposed to know where not to shop if the policy is not express and consistent?

    @brooksosheffield: Of course they can demand to see your receipt. And then when you refuse, they can eject you. That’s it.

    @dualityshift: Of course they can refuse to serve you. But why should you pre-empt them if you’d like to shop there absent the policy? Let them cross that bridge when they come to it. Also, it’s interesting that you don’t include the Civil War as a war.

  284. DeeJayQueue says:


    @DeeJayQueue: How is it illegal? Oh wait, it isn’t, and by your logic, police barricades that impede your movement are unconstitutional, even though they may save your life.

    How is what illegal? Oh, you mean detaining people in stores against their will, assaulting them when they refuse to comply with the made-up rules? Yeah, that’s illegal. It’s called Assault. We read about it yesterday.

    Police barricades? What are you even talking about? There’s a difference between unlawfully stopping everyone on a street, mandating field sobriety tests and conducting unconstitutional searches; and having a barricade in place to protect the general public from danger.

    As far as defending our rights, that’s exactly what we’re talking about here. We’re the ones standing up for ourselves in the cases where our rights are being taken away, in real time, right here right now. There’s no evil government coming to take them away from us, just corporations and mindless lower-middle management siphoning them off a little bit at a time.
    It doesn’t matter if it’s ze nazis or the commies or the neighbors. If you don’t exercise your rights and freedoms, you lose them. We don’t need to have fought in a war to realize that. You’re right though, we DO have a sense of entitlement. That’s because we’ve grown up being told that we live in the greatest country in the world, the place that was founded on freedom and liberty, the place that broke away from its oppressive mother-government and won the fight. The place where anything is possible. Yet, in practice, we go to try to do something as simple as patronize a store, and we’re treated like a criminal by someone who isn’t even a cop, isn’t even the government, but some barely-over-minimum wage nobody, and his power-tripping assistant manager. WTF is that?

    Yes, I bought this. Yes I paid for it. No I don’t have to prove it to anyone. You have to prove I didn’t without involving me. Fuck you for asking.

  285. girly says:

    If they can’t trust their own employees then they have to find a way to make sure the sale is completed as you exit.

    Otherwise it’s not my concern.

  286. disavow says:

    @Canadian Impostor: Reading comprehension is your friend. In each article Consumerist has posted, IT WAS NOT STORE POLICY.

  287. nick_r says:

    @DashTheHand: So, standing in line is okay as long as everyone has to do it. But if everyone has to show their receipt, those who feel righteous indignation should be allowed to opt out? I don’t get it. As for the “suspected thief” part, there are a ton of measures in place in most stores that operate under the assumption that you might steal something. Like anti-theft tags on products. Is it therefore my right to have the store remove every one of those from every product they sell, just because I know I’m not planning on stealing any of them?

  288. Cap'n Jack says:

    These receipt stories are typical low-class “stand up amurika” whiny complaints, hiding behind a guise of “constitutional rights”. It’s not news worthy, and nobody is seriously affecting your life or infringing on your constitutional rights by asking to see your receipt. Get over it. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else and stop being a little bitch.

    If you want to stand up for something so badly, why not protest the war, or stand outside the Church of Scientology to protest, or something else worthwhile. You think Walmart or Best Buy gives a crap that you feel insulted and oppressed when they ask to see your receipt? They don’t, because it’s their right to ask. Just as it’s your right to refuse, and get your ass kicked out onto the curb.

    Now please, Consumerist, something news worthy instead of these ridiculous “dey tuk ar jawbs, and I got rites, dur dur dur!” complaints? Thanks.

  289. Logan26 says:


    ou do understand the difference between the two sotes dont you? Sam’s Club you pay a membrship fee and part of those rues is to show a reciept. Walmart is a public store and there for you do not have to show a reciept.

  290. DeeJayQueue says:

    @nick_r: Stores can do whatever they like to their own product. They take the clamshells/spider wraps/dye packs off and deactivate the EAS tags as I’m buying the stuff. Once the transaction is complete and I’ve got a receipt and am leaving the store, the merchandise is MINE and I owe nobody an explanation about it, nor proof of purchase. The same rules that let them decide what to do with THEIR products lets me decide how to handle my own.

  291. girly says:

    @nick_r: security tags and other measures are pre-transaction, not after you OWN the item

  292. Cap'n Jack says:

    Wrong. Until you’re off the premises, the store can do whatever they please. They can ask you to open up all the packages for them to inspect, if they like.

  293. girly says:

    “Wrong. Until you’re off the premises, the store can do whatever they please. They can ask you to open up all the packages for them to inspect, if they like.”

    I disagree. As far as I know, they could ask you to do that, you could say no, then they could kick you out and/or ban you (all without taking your stuff from you).

  294. DashTheHand says:

    @nick_r: No, feel free to remove the anti theft tags yourself. Just don’t be surprised when they throw you out for destroying garments with the ink inside.

    As for waiting in line? Thats not a listed store policy either, its called being courteous to the OTHER PATRONS of the store. Feel free to butt ahead in line. just don’t be surprised when they decide not to check you out because you skipped ahead of other people. Also don’t be surprised when someone bigger than you decides to deck you eventually. You haven’t purchased your items yet, so its only a foul on yourself. The same could be said for taking a dump on the middle of the floor in a store. Nothing is preventing you, but good luck with not being ejected before you’ve made your purchase that you came for in the first place.

    Once I’ve bought and paid for the item I came for, and they want to eject me for not showing my receipt, I could care less. I have the item, they have their money for the item, and if they don’t want me coming back to spend MORE money, then thats fine, eject me.

  295. The Porkchop Express says:

    @smirky: Outside the door is where the line is drawn for me, I’m not in your store anymore. I’ll show you my receipt inside all you want, but outside the transaction and our relationship are over.
    And I am not against the check inside at all if you look in yesterday’s receipt check article.

  296. acasto says:

    This policy is clearly to prevent one from loading the shotgun with a baby-carrot and shooting the Easter Wabbit.

  297. Dashrashi says:

    @Cap’n Jack: All the OP wanted was to be kicked to the curb with the property he bought, paid for, and then owned. The rest of your comment is obviously not worth responding to.

  298. girly says:

    Okay, so you are on their premises with items you own. I suppose they could *ask* for proof of ownership on anything you have with you, but you don’t have to provide it (and is some cases you wouldn’t be able to anyway).

    And yes, they could ask you to leave and tell you you are not welcome back. But that is all they can do.

    But isn’t it bad customer relations to do all that and worse as ‘punishment’ if it is not even their policy?

  299. DeeJayQueue says:

    @Cap’n Jack: You’re right. They sure can. And I can just as surely tell them no. The rights of the store and my rights as a citizen are exactly equal. If the store chooses to try to force me to show the contents of my bag, or my receipt, or detain me, it’s the same as anyone on the street asking the same question. The answer is the same too: “That’s none of your business, now if you’ll excuse me I’m leaving.” If at that point the store chooses to escalate the matter, it could be construed as assault.

  300. Cap'n Jack says:

    Well then we don’t disagree at all, do we? My post here basically agrees with you on that point: []

    I just think that people are refusing to show receipts because they just want to act like assholes, and are taking their frustration of other things out on some poor sap at the Walmart. There’s no way that they’re not instigating these big arguments when they create such a scene at the store. I object to these consumers making themselves out to be victims when they are, in fact, just average jerks.

  301. arcticJKL says:

    I just called my local walmart and cooperate HQ.

    Local store implied they would use common sense to determine if they should detain customer.

    Corporate is looking into the matter and will have some one contact me back. (we’ll see) I gave them some details of to what happened and directed them to this site.

    I think if more people ask for their official policy they may talk to a few of these over zealous employees.

  302. Cap'n Jack says:

    Agreed. Nobody has the right to put their hands on you, least of all some schmuck that works at Walmart.

    However, acting indignant over a receipt doesn’t make you a white knight either. I’m just implying that this problem isn’t really a “problem” at all. It’s just a few people acting like jerks.

  303. girly says:

    As contemptible or disagreeable you may find these anti-receipt-check ‘activists’ they still do not deserve to be threatened or harassed

  304. APFPilot says:

    I had to stop in to a Wal*Mart on my lunch break today to get some ginger ale. I didn’t bag the bottle and put my receipt away. They checker was too busy to ask me for my receipt though he was yelling at an old lady because she couldn’t walk and wanted to take the scooter outside with her.

  305. DeeJayQueue says:

    @Cap’n Jack: You’re right again. It doesn’t have to be a problem. If the employees ask to see a receipt, and the customer says no, drop the issue. No harm no foul. Customer keeps going and everyone’s happy. The employee did his job by asking, and the customer left with no intrusions on his privacy, liberty or personal rights.

    However, it’s when employees start standing in the way of the door, demanding bag checks, grabbing people, and making threats that the line gets crossed. It’s not the customers who are escalating the situation here. Customers are not impeding the employees, threatening them or demanding to see what’s in the employees’ pockets. It’s the other way around.

  306. CharlieSeattle says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: Do you have reading comprehension problems, the manager that sold it to him, had it his possession up to the door, there should have been no reason to show a goddamn reciept.

  307. IgneousRock says:

    Many stores mark your receipt after checking it so you are unable to go back in and steal the same items. Off hand I don’t recall if Walmart does this. I noticed that no one has brought this up. I also wonder if these people complaining have never shopped there before as to be unaware about the checking of receipts. I for one keep my receipt handy or in hand and have never had this problem. I will say the few times I have caused myself and others grief over something minor I was in a bad mood, sick, tired or having a headache. I think I’ll go shopping.

  308. sweetpea12 says:

    Well…it’s not really keeping your purchase inexpensive when the security guard is standing there, watching you make your purchase and then asking for your receipt even though he just saw you pay.

  309. BugMeNot2 says:


    You probably won’t see this above the roar of the crowd, but I apologize for that lumping-in. I had you confused with another poster. My point, minus directing at you, still stands, though in regards to time.

    As far as demanding to see the receipt, nobody is denying that they can demand to see it. It’s just that it’s an empty, unenforcible demand. The most they can do about it is eject the person from the store.

    @Lo-Pan: Re: buying the ammo with the gun. I would have never thought of that, as I have bought a firearm and the ammunition for it in the same instance, although never at Wal-Mart (I buy my guns at places I can haggle). But my local favorite gun store actually always asks, “Do you need ammunition to go with that?”

    @Lo-Pan: Just out of curiosity, and not trying to be incendiary, but why is it as soon as you leave the doorway that the line is drawn? At Wal-Mart, at least, the parking lot is still their property, so it would make just as much sense to yield the receipt at one of the cart corrals as it would in the building. I honestly am curious about the distinction for you.

  310. typetive says:

    Consumerist editors: Please write a single post the details the legality of being forced to show a receipt at a store (not a club store) and then REFER to that post each and every time you put up another story about this topic.

    (Or perhaps your writers get bonuses for getting 100+ comments and these are just the posts that will do that.)

    Some folks just don’t get it. You don’t have to show a receipt and when a store refuses to let you leave without showing it, then they are illegally detaining you.

    (I was asked to show a receipt at K-Mart recently … I said no thanks and kept walking.)

  311. AMetamorphosis says:

    These same simple idiots that don’t mind giving up their 4th ammendmant rights have no problem with embedded RFID tags either. You see, they don’t value privacy as much as intelligent people do so they have to try and belittle those of us that defend everyone’s right.

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

  312. XTC46 says:

    It makes no difference that the manager was with him. It is a checks and balance. otherwise a manager could walk out with what ever they wanted unchecked.

    in the military it is taught to challenge everyone when guarding your post, even if the guy is weaing 3 stars on his shoulders, you challenege him and ask (respectfully) for proof of identity and purpose. Same thing here, the door guard should ask every single person for a receipt. you have the right to refuse and deal with the hassel it causes. I have the right to show my receipt and encourage stores to empower their staff to deal with asshole consumers.

  313. girly says:

    I feel sorry for the employees too, and if they somehow get fired for not harassing non-compliant people they should sue WalMart

    Even if these people complaining are not cuddly, I would take their side over Wal-Mart’s because in these cases they were only unlikable and WalMart clearly wrong

  314. girly says:

    @APFPilot: How did she get into the scooter then? Interesting

  315. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Cap’n Jack I just think that people are refusing to show receipts because they just want to act like assholes

    How exactly is smiling and saying “No, thank you” being an asshole?

  316. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    First, buying a firearm and ammunition and paying in cash? Yeah, that’s not sketchy at all.

    @kylenalepa: No, it’s not sketchy. Not everybody has a credit card. I bet it happens more often than you’d think in places where people buy guns and ammo often (note the OP is in Tennessee).

    @Black Bellamy: The only time it has happened to me in the past year was at a grocery store. The alarm went off as I was going through the door.

    I stop and the security guy asks if I just bought ‘item’, ‘item’, steaks, etc. Basically, a list of things that might set off the alarm. I told him I bought steaks. He asked to see the receipt. I showed it to him.

    While he did look to see that steaks were on my receipt he did not check the number of steaks against how many I had in my cart. I have my own cart with a black canvas bag in it. I use canvas shopping bags. The steaks were not visible in my cart.

    On the one hand I was only stopped when an alarm went off and the security person checked my receipt for something specific. That’s good. On the other hand I could have bought one steak and stolen 5. So even when they really check the receipt it doesn’t do any good unless they search your bags too.

    Would the “show your receipt” people still want to show it if security people were actually checking it and making sure you only had what you paid for?

  317. Aphex242 says:

    @dualityshift: I was merely responding to the assertation by the OP that I was an idiot. I think, when defending oneself against an accusation, refuting the accusation and then providing evidence to back up your argument is a rather effective way to do it.

    I fail to see how a repudiation of an attack justifies the attack, but… maybe you can sort it out for my idiot brain using smaller words this time.

    Regardless of whether something is posted or is ‘store policy’, if you have such a big problem with it, never patronize them again. This isn’t rocket science. I don’t shop at places that have treated me badly, and you shouldn’t either. I just don’t see the receipt thing as mistreatment.

  318. Aphex242 says:

    @Amelie: If you’d really like to argue semantics, then your argument amounts to: “We should talk about anything ANYONE finds important, regardless of how frivolous the majority of others feel it may be.”

    For the record, that wasn’t technically a backpedal. The horrifyingly stupid receipt thread from yesterday contained similar thoughts from me, encouraging a focus on the stories that most commenters seem to collectively agree are worthy of attention. I just left that bit out in my original post today.

  319. Jordan Lund says:

    Why are all these “show receipt” stories from back East? Out here in Oregon none of these chains require that… Home Depot, Best Buy, WalMart… none of them.

    The only place I’ve been asked is Fry’s Electronics and they always make the mistake of asking “Can I see your receipt?” The correct answer to which is always “No.”

  320. BugMeNot2 says:


    “in the military…”

    Luckily, this is the civilian world, and as such not obligated to stand up to military scrutiny. Lots of things happen “in the military” that would not work in the outside world. That argument is not compatible with this topic.

  321. moviemoron says:

    Bottomline people is that you do not have to show your receipt to anyone. They may ask to see it, but you can refuse. Now, they can demand a receipt if you re walking out of the store with a product in hand that is not bagged or you set off the alarm (or of course, they see you actually steal an item or you are part of a private club like COstco). Then they have reason to ask for a receipt. You see, asking a customer for a receipt is synonamous to saying that you are guilty of theft until you prove that you aren’t. This goes against the principles of what this country is about. To some, taking the 5 seconds to show a receipt may be trivial, but usually the erosion of rights starts out small and gets bigger. You have to nip it in the bud.

  322. SeaKaySea says:

    What’s the problem with buying a gun and groceries from the same store (a lot of previous comments are complainting about this.) Aren’t both still legal to own? Haven’t Americans been buying them from the same store for…oh… since, say the Gold Rush (that’s 1849 for you folks from Loma Linda.) All this “taboo-ing” of guns hasn’t worked out very well lately. Maybe it is time to go the other direction.

  323. mgy says:

    @dualityshift: I pay taxes. That confirms my membership in a club we call the United States, which has a set of rules called the Constitution. That is my entitlement.

  324. BugMeNot2 says:


    But see, there’s the rub. These two threads have amassed over 800 responses, so apparently most people don’t find them frivolous (other than the people who deign them frivolous yet continuously post in them).

  325. Dashrashi says:

    @xtc46: I’d prefer for Wal-Mart to resemble a military base less, not more, thanks.

    @aphex242: Have you missed all the posts where it’s clear that this is A) not Wal-Mart’s official policy, and B) not enforced in regular or predictable patterns? How is one supposed to guess what will happen?


    i didn’t even know you could take a gun home in under an hour.

    i agree that this is semi-ridiculous. just show them the stupid receipt. or – you know, don’t buy an effing gun to start with!!

  327. TexasScout says:

    Yes they were dicks. So were you.

    As a teacher used to say, “is this the hill you want to die on?”.

  328. chrylis says:

    @zerj: Maybe not you, but I usually carry my gun into Wal-Mart (and most other places).

  329. BugMeNot2 says:


    “or – you know, don’t buy an effing gun to start with!!”

    And why not? It is perfectly legal and within his rights to do so. Even with the intrusive background check, purchase of a firearm, from picking out the specific one to payment, can be completed within 15 minutes.

  330. dualityshift says:

    @Dashrashi: T^he civil war wasn’t a war, it was a pissing contest, between inbred, moronic slave traders and their ilk. I don’t consider this ‘War in Iraq’ a war either.

  331. Aphex242 says:

    @BugMeNot2: lol touche’. I just can’t believe how people are so passionate on the other side of this debate. I consider myself a moderate, and most arguments I can really see why people feel the way they do on disparate issues, but I simply don’t get it here. I just can’t fathom how this ‘principle’ is worth this much attention and angst.

    @Dashrashi: No, I have not missed those posts. If you’ll notice, I was replying to someone else commenting on whether something was ‘store policy’.

    Fact: Wal-Mart checks receipts. Alot. If you have a problem with it, don’t shop there. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s policy, it doesn’t matter if it’s posted, the fact is, it happens. If you don’t like it, don’t give them your money.

    I fail to see how this is some difficult, obtuse point I’m making. We don’t all have a right to shop at Wal-Mart the way we want it. I don’t like how the aisles are stuffed full of screaming kids. I don’t like how stuff isn’t always clearly marked. I’m not a big fan of a lot of the sources of their products.

    But am I, despite those misgivings, going to go there, get into heated verbal and physical confrontations with them, taking cell phone pictures, calling the police, and generally cause a scene, merely because I feel my rights are being impinged by their inability to price correctly, or monitor the safety of their products? Hell no.

    Because I’m not a self-important asshole trying to make a point.

    I’m a human being trying to shop. So I go somewhere else, and leave the psychotic activism to people like some of the ones on this thread. Vote with your dollars, and the poor bastards earning minimum wage who were poorly trained? Leave them the hell alone.

  332. girly says:

    The one thing I think about this is yes we can see they are doing this, but what else might WalMart be doing that is scarier?

  333. BugMeNot2 says:


    Any credibility you had was lost right there:

    “T^he civil war wasn’t a war, it was a pissing contest, between inbred, moronic slave traders and their ilk. “

    From the poor wording — “betwen inbred, moronic slave traders and their ilk.” — so you’re saying both sides were inbred, moronic slave traders, to the tone “it was a pissing match”, it’s just ridiculous. It shows a lack of understanding of history.

  334. dualityshift says:

    @DeeJayQueue: You’re right though, we DO have a sense of entitlement. That’s because we’ve grown up being told that we live in the greatest country in the world, the place that was founded on freedom and liberty, the place that broke away from its oppressive mother-government and won the fight.

    By your own declaration, it’s the greatest country in the world. Ask your Northern or Southern neighbours if that’s what they think. Ask your European Allies the same thing. The only people who think America is the greatest country in the world are Americans.

    Your sense of entitlement is false and it is what is eroding your country to its core.

    America is headed to the shitter. When people are more concerned about showing/not showing a receipt than the state of their government, America gets what it deserves.

    I didn’t want to get into this, but your tirade of how great your country is was just too much. America has fallen victim to its own propaganda

  335. dualityshift says:

    @mgy: With an attitude like that, I hope you die in a fire.

  336. dualityshift says:

    @BugMeNot2: Considering I’m not American, my knowledge of history is just fine.

  337. parad0x360 says:

    Of all the rights people choose to stand up for…why is it always this one?

    Just show them the friggen receipt, its not a big deal. I would understand if every store was checking every receipt but its almost random and its rare.

    Even still you were buying a gun. Maybe it was the law that the door checker verified you bought it. How do they know you arent friends with the manager and you are trying to steal guns together?

  338. salguod_senrab says:

    I’d cheerfully second the need for an official Consumerist post about the laws here. The only problem is that the laws regarding shoplifting vary substantially over all fifty states — I’ve seen some decent descriptions in the comments above of _particular_ versions of the law relating to the detention and search of shoplifters, but this is one of the most variable areas of law across the states.

    The rough framework in any state, however, is like this. Once you’ve paid for an item, and you’ve got it in your hands or your cart, it’s yours. The transaction is over. Even at a membership club where you’ve signed an agreement. Any store can, however, eject you _and bar you from the premises in the future_ if you refuse to cooperate with the receipt check. A membership club would likely (depending on the terms of the membership agreement) be able to revoke your membership.

    The next question is whether the store can detain you on suspicion of shoplifting. (Almost?) every state has either a common law or statutory “shopkeeper’s privilege” for when it is permissible to detain shoplifters. Searching is _not_ usually part of the privilege, and the shopkeeper must typically wait for the police. There are often limits on the degree of force than can be used.

    Also, the question of what constitutes reasonable suspicion for triggering the shopkeeper’s privilege varies from state to state. It’s entirely possible that there are states where refusing to show a receipt would be enough, but they would be in a very small minority. Several posters have correctly stated the standard LP rules for prosecuting shoplifting (see them get the item, see them conceal the item, observe them continuously, see them exit), but this is a conservative approach that should not be interpreted as the minimum standard in every state or confused with the reasonable suspicion required to invoke the shopkeeper’s priviliege.

    A number of other posters have correctly pointed out that the limit on a store’s actions in a receipt check are constrained by common law tort law (battery, false imprisonment) or its statutory equivalent, as well as equivalent criminal law (but good luck there). That is, absent the shopkeeper’s privilege, grabbing someone or blocking their exit is tortious and possible criminal behavior. In fact, good LP policies expressly forbid this type of behavior by receipt checkers, because of the potential liability.

    However, as many posters have pointed out, refusing to show a receipt is not looked upon kindly by many of your fellow citizens, including the police. You run the risk of a nasty “ride” even if you beat the “rap” in the end.

    Note that the constitution doesn’t have a lot to say about any of this directly, although it is of course lurking in the background. Ranting about your constitutional rights in this context just sounds silly.

    Hope this is helpful.

  339. J.J. says:

    Ok After re-reading the first post I call BullShit.

    Once the paper work if filled out and you pay for the gun $Wal-Mart will NOT return it for any reason.

    Wal-Mart registers won’t let you return a fire arm anymore. Once it is logged out no refunds, no store credit, Any defects you must deal with the manufacture.

    A nice full sized paper is hung up at the register or gun case in sporting goods saying All Sales of Firearms and Ammunition are final.

  340. OsiUmenyiora says:

    It’s hard to know what the most surreal part of this story is. Is it someone going to Walmart to buy a gun, ammo and broccoli at the same time? Is it Walmart security demanding to see a receipt for an item that a store manager personally brought to the front of the store with customer in tow? Or is it some wacko who sat in Walmart for over an hour to buy something and then went and returned it rather than show his receipt at the door on the way out?

    We have a winner! The most surreal part is the wacko who spent over an hour in Walmart to buy something and then returned it rather than show the receipt at the door on the way out. Congratulations! And no, the Constitution does not guarantee you the right to walk out of a store with purchased merchandise without showing your receipt.

  341. maztec says:

    Can someone please explain why we shouldn’t show our receipts? I just don’t get the arguments about slippery slope [goes both ways] and really don’t see any reason not to show it.

    The only argument I could come up with is something to do with privacy, but it just doesn’t stick. It seems the only purpose is to make the job harder for some poor guy making minimum wage.

  342. Dashrashi says:

    @aphex242: I’ve never had my receipt checked at Wal-Mart. I shouldn’t shop there because they might someday do something that negatively affects me? That doesn’t make any sense.

    @dualityshift: I’d be interested in what you’d call it, and whether it gets at anything beyond semantics. A conflict? A skirmish? What’s the difference regarding the facts on the ground? And don’t you think there’s a difference in those facts between the American Civil War and the Iraq War?

  343. mgy says:

    @dualityshift: I may very well die in a fire, but it doesn’t make me wrong.

  344. weedpindle says:

    Just lay down and do what ever the nice man at the door tells you to do. Are we becoming a bunch of Lemmings?

  345. DeeJayQueue says:

    @dualityshift: OMG Children are starving in Africa and there’s AIDS and smallpox everywhere and China is too overcrowded and crime and drugs are everywhere! Holy crap we’re paying through the nose for a war we don’t want, our government has taken away our rights and our president tried with all his might to become a dictator! The sky is falling! Happy now? I’m still not showing my freaking receipt.

    Besides, I don’t think we’d have such a problem with illegal immigration if our country wasn’t a pretty happenin place to be. If it was so shitty we’d have problems keeping people in.

    Plus, if you want to rant about how bad America is, more power to you, but take it somewhere else. We’re talking about receipt checking here.

  346. Baz says:

    If you don’t want to show a receipt when you exit a store, then:

    don’t shop there!

    It’s really easy to do – for instance, I don’t shop at Best Buy because I hate getting treated like a shoplifting suspect after I give them money.

    If they had come out to your car and asked you to show a receipt, then I see a problem. Did the OP ask what particular policies Wal-Mart had concerning firearm purchases? A little homework and consumer intuition would have informed the OP that Wal-Mart is not a store where one can purchase a firearm and leave the store without showing a receipt. Since showing the receipt was apparently such a major issue for OP, he should have thought to inquire about it before initiating the purchase, much less waiting an hour for a background check. If you have a particular issue that could be a “deal-breaker” – ask before you buy. (for instance, the return policy)

    I suggest finding a *real* constitutional issue to focus attention on – there are plenty of issues currently being debated and decided at both national and local levels that will have lasting and serious consequences for every American — let’s put our attention where it is most needed.

  347. sashazur says:

    I won’t get into the argument about whether or not receipt-checking is legal or ethical, but either way I don’t have much sympathy for this guy:

    First, anyone who habitually refuses to show a receipt (or reads this site) already knows that this can cause a hassle. And second, anyone who has purchased (or considered purchasing) a firearm, knows that doing so is a hassle in itself.

    So, if you knew both of the above, why on earth would you even bother trying to buy a gun at Wal-Mart in the first place? Or why wouldn’t you at least ask about the receipt-checking B.S. BEFORE making your purchase?

  348. Dashrashi says:

    @Baz: I cannot tell whether or not I should shop at Wal-Mart. Clearly, some people are getting their receipts checked. I have never gotten my receipt checked.


    Oh, that’s right. I should ignore their asinine and unenforceable policy if it ever comes up, and not let the possibility of it coming up limit my choices beforehand.

  349. Japheaux says:

    What would happen if he would have claimed he lost his receipt, then followed up with, “Hey, just check your video surveillance footage and you’ll see I paid for it.” ?

    Oh, yeah, then they’d have to admit their video doesn’t show squat.

    Those who hammer their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not. – TJ

  350. wellfleet says:

    @disavow: not really, since WWI did not involve the National-Socialist Party and that, as a granddaughter of survivors, I wasn’t comparing this guy to a Nazi, or Hitler, or Goebbels. I guess I should have said he’s making a mountain out of a molehill, but then you’d sic the cliche police on me too.

  351. OsiUmenyiora says:

    This Walmart had a lot of policies the OP complied with and just one that he wouldn’t. You can’t buy guns and ammo at the same time. Fine, he said. You can’t hold the weapon until you leave the store with it. OK, no problem, he said. You have to walk right out of the store with the weapon and can’t stop to buy groceries. Cool with me, he said.

    But then they required him to show his receipt at the door. Whoa! No way, he said.

    How silly. He’s a part-time sheep.

  352. BugMeNot2 says:


    Sometimes it’s not making a mountain out of a molehill. Sometimes it’s removing the damn-blasted moles because they keep tearing up my yard. I mean that both figuratively and literally.

  353. anonymousryan says:

    This is such bullshit.

    Like this one time I went into Wal-Mart to buy a gun, some ammunition, duct tape, a ski mask, Astroglide, candy, and Barbie dolls and they gave me such a big fucking hassle about it.

  354. taka2k7 says:

    href=”#c4520628″>BK88: “Yep that’s why criminals are the only ones who have guns in England!”

    Let’s leave that weak gun-rights argument for a combo walmart–gun-rampage–receipt post.

  355. Poopchutes-n-Ladders says:

    I have a solution: do away with the cashiers and build security/checkout booths at the entrance/exits to the parking lot. They search your car as you enter and then you can go into the store, get what you want, load up your car and get searched again and charged for everything that wasn’t in the car when you came in. Then you get your receipt as proof of purchase and drive away.

    (For those that cannot tell, I am being sarcastic)

  356. Smitherd says:

    I never show my receipt anywhere I go. Just the other day, however, I was stopped at a Walmart and asked to show my receipt. Of course, I denied and headed straight for the door. The underpaid employee at the door did nothing to stop me, which I suppose is a good thing. This is not that I shy away from a good confrontation, mind you; I was simply in a hurry and did not feel like being hassled.

    In fact, thus far, I have only been stopped once for not showing my receipt. [At a KMart, no less.]

  357. taka2k7 says:

    doh… that was supposed to be @BK88

  358. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @The Cooler:
    “What “rights” are supposedly being violated here?”

    How about the right to your property?
    Once I pay for the merchandise it’s mine.

    Using some of this reasoning, many of you would be willing to let the cops come into your house and have a look around “since you don’t have anything to hide”.

  359. girly says:

    @J.J.: you could be right!

  360. McWatt says:

    Maybe someone said this already but most of the people commenting on this post have probably wasted as much time reading it and formulating their comments as the man spent sticking up for himself. The funny thing is, many of you are using the argument that your time is so fricken valuable. If everyone refused to show their receipts, these types of policies would be changed in a heartbeat and you could save time EVERY TIME YOU SHOPPED! That time would surely add up quicker than if you were one of the unlucky few who got stopped and harassed by an employee or two. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve already spent too much time on this topic to think about it any further…i’m out!

  361. disavow says:

    @wellfleet: Um, note the use of the word update. As in, update Godwin’s Law to include WWIII since it’s the hip new war hyperbole. Bad joke.

  362. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    If you don’t want to show a receipt when you exit a store, then:

    don’t shop there!

    Here’s an even better idea:
    If you don’t want to show a receipt when you exit a store, then:

    don’t show it!

  363. shadowkahn says:


    No, he’s not an idiot. A store cannot violate your constitutional rights unless it is a store owned by the federal government. The constitution only outlines what the federal government can and cannot do. It says nothing about what Walmart can and cannot do.

  364. chl says:

    I have purchased firearms from stores that make you jump through hoops to get it out and the whole time I have my legally concealed firearm on me. It annoys me when businesses try to get me to show a receipt.

  365. mgy says:

    @McWatt: My time is valuable only so far as it is MY time. Another way of putting it is that it is valuable to me when I decide what is done with it. I am choosing to participate in this discussion because I enjoy the ideas being brought up about constitutional issues, as well as the rights of the individual and and the company, as well simply hearing other’s viewpoints on a topic that I think is more important than people treat it.

    The key here is that I am choosing to do this at a time I find convenient. This is not the case here.

    My suspicion, however, is that you’ve misinterpreted or misrepresented what the actual arguments against receipt checking are. I don’t think anyone is debating whether or not it would only take a second. That’s obvious. Checking receipts is not a time-consuming process. The real problem is personal property rights.

  366. Dashrashi says:

    @m4nea: He did not want to show the receipt. Period. He did not have to show the receipt. He should not have been hassled about this, regardless of whether he showed his receipt or not, and whether there was a “quicker and easier” way of resolving the situation.

  367. Sasquatch says:

    @aphex242: I couldn’t have said it better
    myself. This is a non-issue and everyone needs to stop acting like it’s
    some gestapo tactic to ask for a receipt. Sure, it’s technically not in
    the law that you have to show it, but that doesn’t mean you’re not an
    arrogant douchebag for refusing to comply with what is a pretty simple
    and reasonable request.

  368. bnorton says:

    You just know that produce = whisky

  369. forgottenpassword says:

    lol I cant believe how many sheep are commenting in this thread! “Just show the reciept”… blah blah blah.

    Next, you will be be bending over for a prostate exam right there in the vestibule to make sure you arent smuggling stolen M&Ms out of the store.

  370. Catperson says:

    I’ve only read the first and third pages of comments, but no one seems to be commenting on on the story at hand here, which seems to indicate that the poster WAS NOT GIVEN a receipt. He says he had to have the sporting goods department print off a new receipt to return the gun. So Ladarell sells him a gun, doesn’t give him a receipt, then insists he show the nonexistant receipt to the checker at the front before he can leave. Sounds like some pretty crappy customer service. Unless he refused to show his receipt even for the return, in which case, he’s nuttier than I thought and probably should be kept away from the guns.

  371. smirky says:

    @Catperson: The OP does state he was given a receipt at the time of purchase.

  372. smirky says:

    I have to ask again and this is not intended as an attack of any kind. I simply would like to know where others would draw the line. This is not about rights or laws or any other legal/illegal aspect. Just your personal opinion.

    Where do you draw the line with following a store’s policy of checking your receipt?
    Each of us has a different level of acceptance so I was wondering where others fell. It’s obvious the “I don’t have to.” people draw the line at the completion of the sale but how far are the “Just show the receipt.” people are willing to go to comply with ‘store policy’?

    Would you allow another receipt check just outside the store exit?
    Would you allow them to search your person for potential stolen merchandise?
    Would you allow them to walk you to your car and watch you drive away?
    Would you allow them to search your car before you left the parking lot?
    Would you allow them to search your home?

    At what point would you say to yourself and then to them “That’s enough! Leave me alone and go away.”

  373. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Eli Reusch: but that doesn’t mean you’re not an arrogant douchebag for refusing to comply with what is a pretty simple and reasonable request.

    Here’s the thing, you see: not everyone thinks it’s a reasonable request.

    You call people who refuse reasonable requests arrogant douchebags. I call people who submit to unreasonable requests just for the sake of convenience mindless authoritarian bootlickers.

    To MAY to
    to MAH to

  374. Catperson says:

    @smirky: Ah, I see you are correct. Then why on earth did they have to print him a new receipt to return it? I’m going to have to join the chorus and accuse this person of being nuts, even though I’m kind of undecided on the whole receipt-showing issue.

  375. failurate says:

    The “I refuse to show my receipt” argument would make more sense if it was a third party or a government official asking to see the receipt. Since it is a store employee reviewing the receipt, it should probably just be scratched up as part of the purchase transaction.

    I think it is an absurd policy that originated somewhere in Political Correctness World.

  376. Dashrashi says:

    @failurate: But it’s NOT part of the purchase transaction. That transaction has been completed. You now own the item, and you are simply trying to leave the store.

  377. Aphex242 says:

    @forgottenpassword: Oh my god you’re SO right! Here I was thinking the OP was a jackass for not showing his receipt and really he’s just protecting the integrity of my colon! What a savior! I had no idea my anal integrity was at stake here! You’ve COMPLETELY changed my mind in light of your succint, intelligent, and well-put argument!

  378. belch says:

    I like these stories, and hope that you will continue to post them. I especially like the ones where the cops are called, and/or the case goes to court… I wouldn’t mind not reading one of these stories for a few weeks if it meant I got to read one that involves cops and lawyers.

    Honestly some have argued that since the store is private property, they can search you as they wish…well, I invite you all to my house. When you get there, I’ll be checking your health insurance papers, car insurance and registration, and be taking a photocopy of your DL because this cuts down on people suing me for injury and helps me track you down if you steal something… (read:FREAKING RIDICULOUS!!!)

  379. arsbadmojo says:

    Some points:

    1. To the “shop elsewhere/vote with your dollars” crowd – Although I don’t shop there much, on the few occaisons that I have, I’ve never been asked to show a receipt at Wal*Mart. Obviously, they don’t implement this policy unilaterally. Same with Circuit City and Best Buy.

    2. To the “Takes 2 seconds!” folk – completely irrelevant when it’s a matter of principle. Something I’ve noticed about this group – it’s usually some variant of ‘show your @%#$! receipt’ or ‘just show it you [jackass/jerk/high-n-mighy/holier-than-thou]’. I’ll leave it to the psychiatrists to tell me what’s behind this fervor. Redirected self-loathing because although they too feel put-upon by the receipt check, they lack the fortitude take a stand?

    3. Don’t mind the policy/don’t mind compliance? That’s just ducky by me. I won’t even think less of you as a person.

    4. Just because this issue isn’t the most important policy question in the arena of civil liberties doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.

  380. Difdi says:

    I am not a thief. I do not steal, I do not cheat, I do not lie. My reputation as an honest, honorable man is my most valuable and prized possession, and it exists because it is true. If someone accuses me of dishonesty, theft, or even untruth, they are making a very real assault on my good name, and are committing the tort of slander or libel (depending on the exact form the accusation takes). Treating me as if I am a thief, such as asking to inspect my receipt, is slander. And I will not tolerate it.

    Committing the crime of battery against me due to my verbal intolerance of an unprovable accusation (unprovable, because I do not steal) will result in a measured, appropriate level of force in self defense, as I was taught to do by my various instructors in aikido, karate and judo.

  381. WraithSama says:

    Here’s a simple idea: if you don’t like the receipt stories, don’t read it. The site doesn’t force you to read articles you don’t want to reach ones you do.

  382. Dashrashi says:

    @aphex242: Your high-and-mighty routine rings a little false when you misspell “succinct.”

  383. That-Dude says:

    @darkened: What right?

  384. That-Dude says:

    @arsbadmojo: Still trying to figure out the civil liberty infringement.

  385. jnorris441 says:

    @bravo369: Just don’t click on them. Problem solved.

  386. evelyn says:

    @danisaikou: so you’re going to make the poor sap who has to stand at the front door for his whole shift touch your sweaty, gross receipt? it’s not his fault you have to show your receipt at the door. his boss told him to stand there and he needs a paycheck. if you want to make a big stink over privacy or whatever knock yourself out (as long as you’re not doing it while i’m trying to show my receipt so i can just get out of the damn store), but you’re punishing the wrong person.

  387. Crymson_77 says:

    @That-Dude: Take the civil off and you have your answer.

    See link: []

  388. arsbadmojo says:

    That-Dude: There is no infringement in a store employee asking. It’s rude, disrespectful and acusatory in nature; but not an infringement in itself. If, however, I am detained or assaulted for refusing to follow a store policy, then an infrigement of law has occured; and I’ll lump that in as a civil liberty argument.

  389. Crymson_77 says:

    @evelyn: Hmmm…I could make an argument that the soldiers that fight a war shouldn’t be held accountable either…but that would be pointless…wouldn’t it?

    The “poor” person should keep in mind one simple rule. That rule? “Treat others as you would wish to be treated”. I wish, nay demandm to not have my receipt checked and I would expect them to feel the same way about the invasion of their privacy.

  390. toddy33 says:

    I vass chust following ordersss…

  391. FMFats says:

    I am a middle aged Caucasian male. I live in a zip code that in the last census was 92% African-American. Wal-mart opened its first urban store in this metro area a couple of years ago. It’s a few blocks from my home, but I shop there as little as possible, mainly because of the time it takes thanks to the general cashier shortage. I have yet to be stopped for a receipt check in that store.

  392. yesteryear says:

    i hate walmart, but i really feel bad for the people who have to work there. having to deal with cheap assholes like this guy. you’re shopping at the world’s cheapest, crappiest store and you think they provide concierge service or something? the manager didn’t carry the gun out to help you, he was following procedure (perfectly logical procedure).

    oh, and the guy checking the receipt was probably some 76 year old making 63 cents an hour to supplement his social security. give these people a break. and get over yourself.

  393. That-Dude says:

    @arsbadmojo: @Crymson_77:
    Disclaimer, I am an attorney.

    I just cannot make the logical leap that your rights are infringed upon in this situation. Asking for a receipt seems reasonable and well within the rights of the shopkeeper. To the extent your rights are violated, I suppose you have the right to refuse, which may give them the right to reasonably detain you in order to ascertain whether or not you have committed theft.

    Showing the receipt, when asked, seems like a fair trade off of time vs. inconvenience.

  394. create says:

    the original poster brings up a really really good idea, i had never thought about it, but next time i get stopped at walmart to ask for my receipt, i will simply warn them once i am not showing my receipt, and if they insist i will show it at the customer service line when i return my purchases

  395. toddy33 says:

    @yesteryear and every freaking idiot who thinks this is okay because the receipt checker is a drooling minimum wage slave in a blue vest…

    It’s not okay. It doesn’t matter who’s doing the checking. The policy is wrong, it’s rude, it’s annoying. When they cross the line and detain me for not doing it, it’s imprisonment without my consent, and if they touch me, it’s assault. I will not be treated as a criminal when I’m not a criminal when I have done nothing wrong. This is NOT Wal-Mart’s corporate policy. It’t stupid and insulting to ask to show a fucking receipt, especially when, in this case, there’s not even a question that the item was purchased.

  396. humphrmi says:

    I’ve got the perfect answer.

    The next time anyone is asked to show their receipt, pull it out, but before the checker can check it, lick it all the way from top to bottom, being sure to leave a nice coating of spit all over it. Maybe snort up a good loogie before you lick it, just for effect.

    See, sheep will eat almost anything. They want us to be more like sheep, let’s accomodate them.


  397. Badjeebus says:

    I want to contribute something here which may help illustrate where things can go if left unchecked.

    The police where I live once took a bicycle from a homeless man because he couldn’t prove it was his and it “looked too nice” to be owned by him. They confiscated it. Took it away from him right there on the street.

    It was, in fact, his… bought and paid for. He went back to where he bought it, the owner remembered him, and boy did the papers love the story. And some people *still* defended this. As though all you need to take someone’s property was the fact that it just doesn’t seem right.

    THAT is what can happen folks. All of a sudden a couple of cops walk up to you and take your nice new Rolex. Not because there’s been a report of someone with your description in the area breaking into houses, not because some guy nearby says you took his, just because it looks too nice to go with the rest of your outfit. Or you look too young to have that kind of laptop. Or too black or hispanic to actually own that car, so you’re pulled over for no reason at all and questioned, in full view of the public.

    That last one happens ALL the time.

  398. efesus says:

    what the fuck is with these slack-jaw yockels that won’t show their fucking receipts. if people would just play along with the piece of shit system, just a little, we’d avoid ourselves all these damn problems.

    and, let’s stop selling guns to inbred hicks at wm, please.

  399. evelyn says:

    @Crymson_77: i’m sorry, equating checking a receipt with killing someone is just gross. however parallel you think they are, asking to see a piece of paper and killing someone will never be the same thing, no matter how far down your “slippery slope” you go. do you think that if that guy refuses to check receipts that the policy will change? honestly, the guy at the door probabaly doesn’t give a damn about showing his own receipt, so unless you want someone shoving their hands in their underpants before they shake your hand, your “treat others as you would be treated” argument falls to pieces.

  400. toddy33 says:


    It’s spelled “yokel”.

    And if we play along with the piece of shit system when the piece of shit system is creating the problems in the first place, the piece of shit system will keep creating more of these damn problems.

  401. hossfly says:

    I thought Wally World’s whole image was “Get Everyting Under One Roof”???
    So, it seems like, even though you’re a “Dept.Manager”, your word, or position is crap at the front??
    If it was so easy for them to pull-up/print a reciept when they lost the sale and had to issue refund,AND said “Dept Manager” knows it’s STORE POLICY, why didn’t the “Dept. Manager” or whoever, have a copy of the receipt in his/her hand?
    Damn, if your gonna sell bananas, pork&beans AND guns, why make the shit hard?
    If you KNOW what your own policies are then why be a part of the problem when you can ENFORCE the solutions???!!!

  402. Aphex242 says:

    @Dashrashi: …right, a typo invalidates my argument. Way to not comment on it, by the way.

  403. Dtyler says:

    @Skellbasher: actually a lot of the stores stopped carrying firearms (they had a massive restructure where generally only one or two stores will carry firearms in a district) the store i worked at had the same policy, for the same reason, and yes….although i didnt work in sporting goods i realized how stupid it was

    as for showing the reciept, the manager should have been less of a jerk and just let the guy through, especially since he was there for the entire transaction

  404. Britt says:

    @aphex242: I absolutely agree. Ordinarily, The Consumerist is a blog I enjoy reading. It’s intelligent and provides great advice. This Wal-Mart receipt business? Not so much. Sounds like nothing but whinging to me.

    You’re being asked to show your receipt, not bend over and drop your drawers.

  405. Britt says:

    Also – Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. What a stupid battle to pick.

  406. wherescommonsense says:

    KUDOS TO WAL-MART! They put their policies in place for a reason. They need to have confirmation the firearm has left the store for liability reasons. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone roaming around the store with a gun either, especially with a cart of ammunition.

    If the guy was so short tempered that he would put up arguement over something as minor as a receipt, I don’t want such a moron to be anywhere near a gun! I’m glad to see that Wal-mart is looking out for all of our safety by not allowing people, particularly such a short tempered moron to roam around the store with a gun.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world and a LOT of people steal from Wal-mart every day. I have no problem following Walmarts policies as I have personally witnessed it’s effectiveness in catching thieves.

    If you owned a store and you had hundreds of people walking in and out, some of which are stealing from you, wouldn’t you do something about it too.

    Another note. Employees don’t go to work thinking “How can i piss off the next customer?” They are just trying to do their job.

    Greeters have to deal with enough needing to ask for the receipts. Rather than giving them a hard time for doing their job, just go along with it. If you are not a thief, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

  407. Dashrashi says:

    @aphex242: I think the person you were responding to was overly hyperbolic, but I agree that it’s a slippery slope. See Badjeebus’s post.

    Furthermore, I was simply submitting that when you’re taking the tone implying that the person you’re replying to is stupid, it’s probably a good idea to double-check your spelling and grammar, so as not to be laughed at for the irony of it all. And your defensiveness indicates to me that you’re sensitive to being laughed at.

  408. Dashrashi says:

    @Britt: Just because you think I shouldn’t, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. What a stupid mandate to place on others in situations other than your own.

  409. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @evelyn: asking to see a piece of paper and killing someone will never be the same thing, no matter how far down your “slippery slope” you go.

    I can think of about six million people who would disacgree with that assertion

    //Godwin FTW

  410. Bakachan says:

    This is just damned stupid. And no, I don’t mean the store policy. (While they sound a little wonky, I can totally understand the rationale behind not wanting someone having access to a firearm and ammunition in the middle of the store.)

    They needed to see his receipt, he decided he’d act all rightfully-indignant and not show it… No one’s fault but his own.

    I could understand not wanting to show someone my receipt if I’d paid with a credit or debit card… That’d be just one more opportunity for someone to needlessly glance my CC#… But he paid cash.

    Then again… I’d never buy groceries OR firearms from Wally World… But that’s neither here nor there.

    While I dislike the equally overdramatic comments people have posted, I do agree that The Consumerist starts to lose a little credibility when they start posting stories about consumers being stubborn douchebags like they’re the victims.

  411. ecwis says:

    @aphex242: I didn’t read your other posts but I can see why others have called you an idiot. “Assertation” isn’t a word. I think you meant “assertion.”

  412. arsbadmojo says:

    “Asking for a receipt seems reasonable and well within the rights of the shopkeeper.”

    Perhaps if said shopkeeper had some shred of evidence that I stole something; I might agree with you. Asking every customer who has done you the favor of giving you their business, to prove that they didn’t steal something, seems rude and very unreasonable to me.

    “To the extent your rights are violated, I suppose you have the right to refuse, which may give them the right to reasonably detain you in order to ascertain whether or not you have committed theft.”

    What you suppose is irrelevant, I DO have the right to refuse. Another poster pages ago nailed it perfectly. If detained at all the first thing out of your mouth should be ‘Am I under suspicion of shoplifting?’ That’s a yes or no question right there. If they say I am, I’ll call the police myself. If the answer is no, then any further detainment is a very grey area that no corporate lawyer is going to want their employer to be in.

    “Showing the receipt, when asked, seems like a fair trade off of time vs. inconvenience.”

    If that works for you; great! I’ve got no problem with that at all – but I’m not doing it.

  413. msp123 says:

    is anyone considering the point that, whether or not you agree or disagree with the fact that they request you receipt, they do actually have the right to request. you are correct in that you have the right to politely refuse, just as they have the right to politely request. point 2 is that these incidents are not the exception to the rule-it is store policy and in case you weren’t aware, wal mart and target, etc. are very large corporations–store policy is the same for all stores so these handful of associates at the door asking for your receipt are not just a coincidence. they are asking b/c it is in their job description. they are given clear directions, and they would like to keep their jobs so they follow the directions. corporations like wal mart do not give individual employees(even managers) the power to decide which rules to follow for which customer. they are not the ones who should bear the brunt of your frustration. these policies exist for a reason and believe me, large retailers do not just make up these policies and hope they are legal-they are going to make perfectly clear its legal before putting policy into practice. please consider that before taking out your frustrations on the guy at the door.

  414. Dashrashi says:

    @Bakachan: They didn’t NEED to see his receipt. They wanted to. Big difference.

    @msp123: Have you read any of the other posts on this topic? Whenever someone calls the corporate office, or, in yesterday’s post, asks the manager, they tell them that NO, it is NOT store policy to detain people who refuse to show their receipts.

    Of course they have the right to ask. No one is saying otherwise. Although it is rude. But you have the absolute right to refuse. And at that point, they are legally obligated to let you leave or forcibly eject you if they don’t suspect you of shoplifting.

  415. strathmeyer says:

    @Dead Wrestlers Society: “What exactly does that mean? If the person at the door wanted to see it, sounds like it was necessary. I guess in a couple of days, somebody is going to post a story about not wanting to show their receipt and some poor bastard is going to get shot over it.”

    You’re the type of person who is one of the dozen who are killed after being cornered by a lone gunman.

  416. RagingTowers says:

    I think my brain shorted out for a minute…

    Guns and Food?

    I love living in a country were I can buy a firearm and oreos at the same time..

  417. SilverPaladin says:

    While that is odd that they wanted the person to show the receipt while the Assistant Manager was there, this does remind me of a story back from when I worked in the wonderful world of retail. I worked at a Lowe’s Home Improvement store, as a cashier in the Lawn and Garden section. One of my duties at the time was to check receipts of people who walked out of the store via the L&G exit. I remember one day a guy pushed a $500 generator past me in a cart, and so I stopped him and asked to see his receipt, which he gladly showed me. The only problem was that the receipt he showed me was from Wal-Mart and didn’t even have a generator on it. I asked him to show me a Lowe’s receipt and he started cursing me and telling me “Don’t f*** with me.” Long story short, he left the generator in the cart and left the store.

    Not really sure what the point is, other than that checking receipts can sometimes actually do some good.

  418. whorfin says:

    The only way this story woulda been better if there was some titties and beer involved, too.

  419. dweebster says:

    From what I understand of the laws, at least in California, once they have your payment the title to the merchandise is YOURS. The payment is made and the merchandise is delivered at the REGISTER, and your obligation to the store for any further interaction is over. The merchant may later “ask” to see your receipt, just as I may “ask” a Best Buy employee if I may drive his car. However, the store has absolutely ZERO right to _DEMAND_ you show a receipt as a condition of leaving the store – just as I have no right to_DEMAND_ that the Best Buy/Walmart/insert-your-shitty-store-here’s manager give me HIS car keys as a condition of him being able to use his car. It’s not even a subtle point – when the company has my money – the title has transferred and they need to leave me the fuck ALONE.

    No matter WHERE I shop, I make sure I have a receipt, check it, and put it directly INTO MY WALLET before I leave the cashier stand. This habit has served me well over the years, I have _NEVER_ losta receipt as it goes directly into Quicken and then into a file. The door drone may “ask” if I will show him a receipt, and I may decline – end of interaction. When the drone wants to play Rent-A-Cop and _DEMAND_ that I show him a receipt then the situation has been escalated and we have a problem.

    I don’t choose to show him and nearby people where my wallet is located nor what’s inside, nor do I choose to have additional distraction that may possibly result in breakage, theft, or other harm to the property I have just purchased and is mine.

    If, in the process of “receipt checking” (or outside if I were to be mugged) will Walmart/Best Buy/etc. take immediate and full liability for all damages? If not, don’t even whine about how “easy” it is to show your fucking receipt. You may show it if you choose, I may choose NOT to – end of story.

  420. dweebster says:

    @Dashrashi: @wherescommonsenseYour right to throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose. Your right to _demand_ something from me at your store is at the cash register when I’m showing my intention to leave with your property. Once I’ve paid you – you have no rights to _demand_ anything from me or touch MY property to which I have FULL TITLE. Just as I can’t approach your wife somewhere and _demand_ to see her underwear to be sure it’s not stolen from my collection or some such “policy” I make.

    Fucking with me at the door instead of politely accepting my choice not to play this game is where the stores go very, very wrong. The door folks are very poorly trained in the law – I had a GENERAL MANAGER of a Best Buy threaten me just before the police came (I eventually had to call them to get out of the store safely). Of course, Best Buy corporate will play the “bad apples” excuse and say they will “retrain” the employees – but having experienced the *exact* behavior at several Best Buy I know they are absolutely behind this crap.

    I encourage people to choose whether or not they want to mess around with the door grunt or not – but title transfers at the CASH REGISTER – and you are no obligation to the store.

  421. dweebster says:

    Just for fun, this guy ought to approach that manager some night as he’s getting into his car – demand to see his licence and registration and inspect his trunk before he leaves because it’s your “policy” to do so. After all, he’s sharing the roads with you and you have no way of knowing that’s his car nor that he’s insured – blah,blah,blah…

    If he says “that’s reserved for the police and only with probable cause” you can say “___exactly____.”

  422. dweebster says:

    @Britt: But if they chose to make dropping your pants at the door their “policy” it seems that about 45% of this thread would willingly do so without an argument. baaaaa, baaaaaa, baaaa

  423. seth1066 says:

    Here’s why I give up my right to not show my receipt: I do it so that the scumbags that shoplift (and stop making it sound like ALL the shrinkage is out the back door) will not be able to sneak a blue plastic Wal-Mart plastic bag in, fill it up and then breeze out the front door saying, “Fuckoff, I don’t have to show my receipt.”

  424. wellfleet says:

    I’m also in love with all the “it’s about my privacy” posters. If you think *anything* you purchase at Wally remains private, you are outta your element. Wally’s server system is second only to the Pentagon. They record everything that you purchase. For example, and this is an actual example, Wally’s computers noticed a direct correlation between Florida hurricane season and sales of Pop Tarts, especially strawberry. They now ship massive amounts of strawberry Pop Tarts to Florida during hurricane season. If the OP is so concerned about his privacy, why is he purchasing a firearm in a store instead of on the street? Why is he using a cell phone? Why is he then calling corporate and giving them his receipt info? There is no government collusion here to intrude on your person, just someone making $4.88 an hour trying to do his job.

  425. witeowl says:

    I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. I’m as much of a privacy nut as anyone (or so I thought), but I don’t see the big deal here.

    Here’s a little trick I’ve figured out. Don’t put the receipt in our pocke, purse, wallet, or bag. Keep it in your hand. Then, the pointless little “Can I see your receipt?” garbage takes about all of five seconds. And that’s with a slow “ungreeter” (or whatever those people are). Considering I go shopping in stores like this about twelve times a year, that’ll probably be an hour out of my entire life.

    For those crying “illegal search”: STFU. Would it be an illegal search if the kid at the movie theater asks to see your ticket stub? Is it offensive to show your parking stub to the toll guy on the way out of a parking garage?

    Give me a break. It’s a damn piece of paper. Plan ahead, get a grip, and find a real problem to fight… like maybe the erosion of our rights by the actual government.

  426. Phas3Sh1ft says:

    Hey says the assistant manager was right there next to him during this interaction. Why the hell didn’t he pitch into the conversation? I agree with others that this is a pretty rediculous issue, but it’s rediculous enough that the person who sold you the item (and didn’t let you even touch it at that point) didn’t back you up. That was a poor judgement call on his behalf, imo.

    On another note, anyone ever bitch at Costco for making them show their reciept? Didn’t think so. It’s pretty sad that ppl are making a huge issue over one tiny thing. Sure it’s annoying, but shit guys aren’t there bigger battles to be fighting?

  427. Britt says:

    @dweebster: Why yes, you’re absolutely right. Being asked to show a receipt is EXACTLY THE SAME as being asked to spread your cheeks. Totally comparable. Why didn’t I see it before?

    WTF, mate. WTF.

  428. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    One question: What if the assistant manager was “in on it”?
    Walmart does not even trust their own employees.

  429. DashTheHand says:

    @Psychodad1961: If he was “in on it” he would be risking incarceration in a federal prison for illegal trade of firearms. This after being witnessed by several employees and in store CCTV that would all weigh heavily at his trial.

    Or the more plausible reason was that he was an idiot and trying to force a non-policy on someone.

  430. Aesteval says:

    As much as I don’t see the point in rising a fuss over showing a
    receipt for an unbagged item (seriously, what’s the big deal? It’s a
    matter of consideration to others and has nothing to do with
    constitutional rights), but forcing a receipt check when the assistant
    manager is right there escorting the purchased good outside the store
    is downright asinine.

  431. toddy33 says:


    Actually, it is: in the sense that the store can ask me to do either one. It’s NOT different just because the store isn’t likely–yet–to do the one that you are pointing out is the most ridiculous.

    In neither case should I have to comply.

  432. BearTack says:


    I have spoken to a number of attorneys on this matter. Most are of the opinion that the detaining someone against their will for whatever reason, for however short a period of time, is illegal unless there is reasonable evidence to demonstrate that a crime has been committed. The shopkeeper has no more authority than a policeman. The police can not detain a person without some articulable suspicion that a crime has been committed. Neither can the shopkeeper.

    Why a shopper does not wish to communicate to the door checker does not matter. Without cause, they have no obligation to communicate with anyone.

  433. girly says:

    @witeowl: All of the instances you site are mid-to-end transaction.

    Receipt check is completely post-transaction. (meaning you have no obligation).

    I think receipt-checking is a poor, anti-customer practice that just shows how bad their system of loss prevention is. They can’t figure out who they sold to without you helping them.

    I think people have to realize that although it is not very important, it’s a preference. The stores can ask, but they can’t mandate and try to physically enforce or harass you into cooperating.

    That is the outrage in my book. Not that they ‘dare’ to ask you for the receipt, but that in the name of something so trivial they are willing to stomp you down. Although these are supposedly ‘rogue’ employees, the fact that we have several of these instances shows that companies don’t care enough about their customers to make it clear to employees how to deal with customers properly and make a clear policy.

  434. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @BearTack: The shopkeeper has no more authority than a policeman.

    Actually, a shopkeeper has considerably less authority than a policeman. With the exception of their ability to detain suspected shoplifters, they have no more authority than you or me.

  435. girly says:

    @TinyBug: Well, he did say no more, not no less.

  436. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Phas3Sh1ft: It’s pretty sad that ppl are making a huge issue over one tiny thing

    I agree completely. I mean, my leaving without letting them see my receipt is really no big deal. It’s not noisy, it takes no time or effort at all on their part to let me go. After all, they don’t have the right to see it, or the authority to force me to produce it.

    So why do they flip out and turn it into such a big thing? Yelling, holding up the line, blocking doorways, grabbing people, intimidating and sometimes assaulting them, and even illegally detaining those people who choose not to participate?

    Hell, it would be way easier to just let them go. And since that’s all they legally can do, it works out perfectly! Yet they still insist, time after time, on making it into a big deal.

    Sure it’s annoying, but shit guys aren’t there bigger battles to be fighting?

    I’m sorry that my decision to stand up for my principles isn’t a big enough cause for you. Tell me, how’s your progress on that cure for cancer?

  437. Crymson_77 says:

    @evelyn: I believe you are arguing points accross arguments from different people. To answer your argument about “treat others…”, well…if that is the way someone wishes to be treated, that is their fault. Not yours. Not mine. If you expect to be treated with respect, treat others with respect. It is altogether too simple.

  438. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @girly: Yes, I understood that. I wasn’t really correcting him, just clarifying. The phrase “no more than” can cause confusion – sorta like the phrase “up to”

    Customer: The sign says 75% off everything in the store
    Manager: No, the sign says UP TO 75% off everything
    Customer: But every single item is marked 1% off
    Manager: Well, 1% is certainly included in UP TO 75%

  439. girly says:

    @TinyBug: funny example. I understand.

  440. Crymson_77 says:

    @TinyBug: Lovely reply! Puts it perfectly. Hope everyone reads it and gets a f-ing clue.

  441. BugMeNot2 says:


    “Here’s a little trick I’ve figured out. Don’t put the receipt in our pocke, purse, wallet, or bag. Keep it in your hand. Then, the pointless little “Can I see your receipt?” garbage takes about all of five seconds. And that’s with a slow “ungreeter” (or whatever those people are). Considering I go shopping in stores like this about twelve times a year, that’ll probably be an hour out of my entire life.”

    Except, as I and others have mentioned repeatedly in this thread and others, it’s not always ‘all of about five seconds’. When there is a line, such as when the greeter blocked the fucking door so no one could leave until he checked every receipt, keeping me for ~10 minutes while he checked the people in front of me. So the people behind me waited more than 10 minutes. He blocked the door because I, carrying a heavy item started to walk past while he was searching the several bags in the cart of the first couple. And he was matching each item on the receipt to an item in the bag, so you can imagine how long it was taking. My time is worth enough to not wait 10 minutes any time I go to the store. If it takes being a dick when it would only take 10 seconds not to, then so be it.

    “For those crying “illegal search”: STFU. Would it be an illegal search if the kid at the movie theater asks to see your ticket stub? Is it offensive to show your parking stub to the toll guy on the way out of a parking garage?”

    How about you STFU. I love that it’s always the ones on the “Just show your receipt” side who start trying to shout down those on the “no way in hell” side. You don’t like it, don’t fucking do it, but if it’s really that trivial an issue to you, then why the hell are you wasting time commenting on it here, other than to show off your e-penis? “Boy, I showed them, I told them to STFU. I’m a big man.” And, your examples are flawed. All of the examples you gave represent transactions in progress or before they have started. For it to be accurate, you answer this:

    Would you let the usher follow you out the door after the movie and demand to see your ticket stub, barring you from leaving the premises until you did? Would you let the toll taker follow your car to the next stoplight and detain you until you proved you had paid the toll he just accepted from you?


    RTFA and comments if you’re going to comment. It’s been addressed ad nauseum that Costco is a private membership store, so you are comparing apples and oranges.

    To everyone saying “pick your battles” or “aren’t there bigger battles to fight”: If you need a root canal, do you stop brushing because plaque build up is not as bad as the issues the root canal will fix?

    And heaven forbid any of you ever argue for a price correction if you’re overcharged at a store. After all, when there are people starving in the world, and dying of disease, aren’t there bigger battles to fight instead of trying to get the $2.00 back you were overcharged?

    Hellfire, if you’re taking the pick your battles route, 90% of the things brought up on this site are trivial, if you look at it in the big picture you want to use, so really, why not just shut down this site, since it’s all tilting at windmills?

    Oh, wait, some of us are actually capable of handling multiple tasks at a time, so it’s not a zero-sum of “if I fight for this, then I don’t fight for that.” It’s just that since this is an article about receipt checking, that’s what I’m talking about, instead of how to cure cancer.

  442. Doofio says:

    For all of the nimrods who believe that asking to see a customer’s receipt is the equivalent of calling someone a thief..grow the fuck up. If you go over to someone’s house and are asked to remove your shoes before stepping on the carpet, are you to assume that they’re calling you a filthy person that slogs around in the mud? No.

    They ask you because they don’t KNOW what you stepped in and want to PREVENT anything from fucking up their floors. The stores are not calling anyone thieves, but with the way the world is today when it comes to theft, it would be irresponsible for a company to to have at least some resemblance of a plan to help prevent loss. And when making nothing but a completely reasonable REQUEST to see something as simple as a receipt is bluntly denied for no real solid reason, it does nothing but raise suspicion.

    Is this the nonsense that this site has reduced itself to? When should we start seeing the articles of how a store wouldn’t accept a customer’s expired 75 cent shampoo coupons…THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!

  443. BearTack says:


    With the exception of their ability to detain suspected shoplifters, they [shopkeepers] have no more authority than you or me.

    Actually, pretty much the same rights as you and me. I have the right to detain someone I find stealing in my home. I just better be right if they came in as a guest.

  444. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @witeowl: Here’s a little trick I’ve figured out. Don’t put the receipt in our pocke, purse, wallet, or bag. Keep it in your hand. Then, the pointless little “Can I see your receipt?” garbage takes about all of five seconds

    Here’s an even better trick that I’ve learned. Do whatever you want with your receipt. When they ask for it at the door, ignore them. Then the pointless little “Can I see you receipt” takes about all of ZERO seconds.

  445. girly says:

    @Doofio: Is it really just a ‘simple request’ if merely refusing it raises suspicion?

    I don’t think that anyone is saying that it’s not in WalMart’s interest to do it. It’s just poorly executed loss prevention at best, and a violation of the law (illegal detention/assault) in the worst cases.

  446. BugMeNot2 says:


    Yes, they are insinuating I am a thief. Let’s take your “visiting someone’s home” analogy, but not the retarded ‘taking shoes off’ part, since that is not analogous. We will keep the shoes, though. If you come to my house, and as you’re leaving, I notice you have on a pair of shoes that look a lot like a pair I have, and I did not notice you wear them into the house. I didn’t notice your shoes at all when you came in, in fact. Now, by your logic, since I don’t expressly know that the shoes you wear are yours and not mine, I can ask you to prove they are your shoes. And hey, I’m not calling you a shoe-stealer, I’m just protecting my shoes. Would you honestly go through whatever effort it takes to prove that your shoes are indeed yours, or would you laugh in my face and say, “You’re crazy.”?

  447. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Doofio: And when making nothing but a completely reasonable REQUEST to

    Not everyone thinks it’s reasonable.

    reasonable REQUEST to see something as simple as a receipt is bluntly denied for no real solid reason, it does nothing but raise suspicion

    Hows this for a real solid reason? I’m under no obligation to to justify or prove ownership for MY property to anyone, no matter how trivial or inconsequential such request may be.

    Here’s another real solid reason, very similar to the first. What I chose do do with my property is none of their fucking business.

    it does nothing but raise suspicion.

    Failure to submit to the presumed “authority” of some blueshirt doorwatcher is not suspicious. Unless you’re one of those sorts who believes that any defiance of “authority” is suspicious.

    Is this the nonsense that this site has reduced itself to

    If you think that corporations and retail establishments violating the rights of their customers is somehow unworthy of being on the consumerist, perhaps you should read other sites instead.

    I would also point out that the 2 recent threads on this topic have produced nearly a thousand comments. So it would seem that the readers of this site are very interested in this topic.

  448. Dashrashi says:

    @dweebster: …Dude? I agree with you.

  449. Dashrashi says:

    @Phas3Sh1ft: You SIGN a CONTRACT to shop at COSTCO in which you agree to show your receipt. This has been pointed out approximately a dozen times.

  450. girly says:

    @brendanb: I don’t know if they were expecting sterling service. I think not expecting to be detained is pretty basic.

  451. toddy33 says:

    I generally expect and receive crappy, surly, or even outright rude service at Wal-Mart. I shop there for HBA and household products because there’s really no local alternative here in my city, and there’s a location closer than Target (which has its own set of problems).

  452. Crymson_77 says:

    @Kat@Work: Actually, no you can’t. The surcharge is a membership fee. Found this out recently when I attempted to do so.

  453. @wesa: Yes, by all means, let’s just come right out and say it: The only people who deserve constitutional rights, or to be treated fairly and/or with dignity, are those who have lots and lots of money to spend. Corporations should have the absolute right to pick and choose who they want to treat decently based on profit. Everyone else should just shut up and get in the back of the bus.

    You know what? Your eventual financial ruin is going in my prayers tonight. Asshat.

  454. Kat@Work says:

    @Crymson_77: Apologies – should have been specific – you can purchase alcohol and prescription drugs without a membership. (Varies with state laws.)

  455. Benstein says:

    Why was there a wait for buying a shotgun? There should only be a wait on handguns.

  456. toddy33 says:

    There’s a cursory check required with the police to make sure you aren’t a felon or a wanted criminal. Much different from the Federal waiting period for a handgun.

  457. Benstein says:

    @toddy33: I have bought semi-auto AKs and there was no check. Must be a state thing.

  458. gingerCE says:

    Thank god Walmart refused to sell him a gun and ammunition at the same time. In fact, I think they should refuse to sell guns period–but that’s my opinion, not the law.

    It is funny, that he went their, oh, to buy a gun, ammunition, and of course, some groceries.

    Someone who is willing to plunk down $450 cash to buy a gun, ammo, and milk, who belligerently refuses to show Walmart–really any store–his receipts, in my opinion, should not be allowed to purchase a gun even if his background check came back clean.

  459. toddy33 says:


    My bad for making an assumption. It’s required here in Florida…You’re right–it must be a state thing.

  460. gingerCE says:

    @Dashrashi: Costco still cannot illegally detain you despite the contract. They can only revoke your membership. So Costco for years has been illegally detaining people (like myself) and another poster commented how the clerks chased him down for leaving without showing the receipt. Costco is guilty of this same thing as Walmart–illegally detaining people.

  461. gingerCE says:

    @salguod_senrab: You are one of the few sane ones. I thought your breakdown was excellent.

  462. Benstein says:

    @gingerCE: People like you are why I am in the NRA. You can walk into a Dunhams and buy 10 guns and ammunition at the same time. I don’t see a rash of shootings going on there. And if you don’t like guns don’t come to my state, most of my friends legally carry concealed almost everywhere they go, including malls and grocery stores. The only reason I don’t carry is because I don’t care for handguns, I prefer collecting rifles.

  463. Doofio says:


    Allow me to retort.

    First of all, my analogy is just as analogous as yours for the record.

    Now, onto your little scenario. If someone visits my house and I notice as they are leaving that they have a similar pair of shoes that I own and I did not notice them before, I can simply walk into where I store my shoes and look. Also, chances are, that person has not been wandering around my house unsupervised while I stand at my door waiting for him to leave so I can pat him down. Also, chances are, if someone enters my home, I’ll probably know that person or know someone who knows them, so it will be easy to contact them later should I find out my shoes were in fact stolen.

    Now, we’ll jump back into the real world. Someone walks into Wal-Mart and strolls around the massive store, grabs something off the shelf and proceeds to the exit. The doorman asks to see his receipt, the man refuses and exits with his stolen merchandise.

    Oops! Here comes common sense! Watch out!

    Now, linking back to my previous shoe story, you’re saying it’s more reasonable for a store to review tapes, review transaction receipts, check inventory etc…; things that they’d have to do long after the person is gone, rather than have a customer take 5 seconds out of his day and show a receipt?

    By this logic, anytime you bring something back to a store for a return, by them asking that you have your receipt, they’re actually accusing you of attempted fraud. The bottom line is people steal shit every day and are coming up with all kinds of new and creative ways of doing so and it’s extremely difficult for stores to watch everything all the time…how about stores start hiring people to simply escort all customers around the store, or have drones posted at the ends of every aisle so you people won’t have to take 5 seconds of your time and flash a piece of paper.

    And for TinyBug: Blatantly not complying to a very simple (and it is a VERY SIMPLE request, there are no gray areas on this point) does in fact constitute suspicion. If you were a police officer and asked someone to keep their hands where you could see them and they refused, if alarms don’t start going off in your head, you deserve to be shot. And for God’s sake, lay off the “violation of rights” arguments, it’s tired and grossly overused especially for situations like this that its lost all meaning. There is no government suit standing there conspiring against you or taking away your freedoms, it’s a fucking doorman asking to see a simple piece of paper that you have no real good excuse to not show other than,


    You’re not proving any points or accomplishing any goals by refusing to show a receipt, you’re simply using a technicality to act big and powerful but you come off as just an asshole.

  464. Crymson_77 says:

    @Benstein: In texas, you could strap that rifle on your back and walk down the street with it if you so chose…with a great deal of scrutiny from everyone, but you could do it legally :)

  465. gingerCE says:

    @Benstein: Thank you for warning me about your state. I will stay away.

  466. Dashrashi says:

    @gingerCE: That’s fine. But at least you’re officially notified that that IS the policy at Costco, via the contract you sign.

  467. Crymson_77 says:

    @Doofio: No one has said that it is anything but simple. It is even more simple to have the employee checking receipts actually doing something productive like stocking shelves. Amazingly, things tend to not go missing from the shelves when there are employees around stocking or helping in general. Even more novel…hire more employees that can offer help to the customers. By hanging around to provide service, they serve two functions. They make customers feel good about shopping there, and force thieves to rethink their idea of stealing something. But that will never happen because we wouldn’t want to pay more than an f-ing nickel for a loaf of bread…right? Whatever happened to service? Nevermind the fact that this was the way it used to be done and people didn’t steal near as much as they do today. In addition, well that would create jobs…that pay people…people that can’t seem to find work might have a job to go to…wow…novel idea that…

  468. Dashrashi says:

    @Doofio: Yeah, it IS more reasonable for the store to depend on all of its old methods of loss prevention, since they have no way of compelling me to show my receipt. So depending on the kindness of your customers’ hearts to help you do something you should already be doing isn’t really the best plan. Furthermore, if they make me wait in line so someone can check my receipt, which they often do, I have absolutely no incentive to help them out–I’d be putting myself out to help the store, which I don’t have an interest in doing.

    When you come back to the store to make a return, they get to see your receipt because they make it a condition of making that transaction with them. If you’re insulted by that, you get to leave, just as you do with receipt-checking. The store is just luckier in that case because you have an interest that transaction, and it hasn’t taken place yet, so you’re likely to comply for your own self-interest. They are shit out of luck when it comes to checking my receipt, though, because I no longer have an interest there.

    Not showing your receipt does not constitute legal suspicion in any jurisdiction I know of. And when they make it a pain in the ass, which they very often do, to show my receipt, I have absolutely no interest in helping them out at the expense of my convenience. And guess what? By golly, I do have a right–yes, a right–to go about my business, and not help out Wal-Mart.

  469. girly says:

    Doofio: Your scenario is exactly why I think walmart is seriously wrong.

    If they want to freak out over not showing a receipt, why don’t they check with the people working the registers, especially if it turns into a longer standoff?

    or after noting a license plate, to confirm if they really need to call the police.

  470. girly says:

    “By this logic, anytime you bring something back to a store for a return, by them asking that you have your receipt, they’re actually accusing you of attempted fraud.”

    I would say that does show they obviously don’t trust people, but in that case they have the upper hand because you have to comply to execute your return.

  471. LeopardSeal says:

    @aphex242: I bet taking your shoes off at the airport makes you feel safer too. Land of the free indeed.

  472. girly says:

    @Doofio: Let me put it this way…we are really talking about the abuse of this policy.

    If you see Timmy in the store with his babysitter, and she doesn’t want him to touch the items on the shelf (because other kids have knocked things over doing that and she has to pick up after them and it wastes her time), but he does it anyway (and it would be so easy to listen), do you think it’s okay for her to punch him? Because he should have known better? Isn’t what she did wrong? Even if you find out he’s a rotten brat?

  473. gingerCE says:

    I think stores should have the right to check receipts. However, there are those who will refuse, and those like me, who lost their receipts temporarily. For those who refuse, I don’t have as much sympathy for them. I mean, this guy, paid cash for his $450 gun and possible ammo, and he says he never shows his receipt? Why not? There’s no personal info on the receipt.

    For those, like myself, who have misplaced receipts between the door and the exit, if Walmart is wrong in detaining people, then so is Costco and other warehouses who do so. Costco will chase people down (as one poster wrote) and will put a heavy on you until you find your receipt–they won’t go to the cashier to ask if hey, did this woman just purchase this one item? I just feel like there are people ganging up on Walmart but are so willing to let Costco pass when they do the exact same thing. I will say that my Walmart is telling people as they check out they will need to show receipt upon leaving, but they need to post those signs up by the register at least temporarily as they implement this new practice.

  474. Crymson_77 says:

    @gingerCE: How many times must it be stated? We aren’t arguing about Costco because it is part of the membership agreement. It is just wrong for them to chase you down and detain you as it is for Walmart to do so. At Costco on the otherhand, they can cancel your membership. That is the absolute LIMIT to what Costco is allowed as a remedy.

  475. Crymson_77 says:

    @Crymson_77: “just as”

  476. girly says:

    How do they know the difference between people who lost receipts and people who refuse. The refusers could just say ‘I lost my receipt’

    Sorry, they don’t trust us that much.

  477. gingerCE says:

    @Dashrashi: My walmart is telling people that they must show receipts before they leave–verbally, which is actually in a way better notification than Costco because honestly, I never read my membership agreement with them–I can’t be the only one who hasn’t read something in small print (just like credit card agreements). I have said Walmart needs to post signs up with this new policy by the registers.

    On one of my last visits to Costco I asked to purchase items separately, as some are business, some are personal and I like to take 2 receipts–something I have done on numerous occasions back when I shopped at Costco. I was told the policy is one receipt only–where previous in another Costco I had seen signs posting 2 receipts per member. When I questioned this, I was told this is their policy and I must purchase the items together and not separtely. Stores change policy as they please, that’s probably in the fine print for Costco and in the store policy posted as you enter Walmart. I do think in both cases, notice should’ve been given to benefit the consumer.

  478. gingerCE says:

    @Crymson_77: I guess my point was Costco has been doing this for years, asking for receipts, and then detaining people, and there are no complaints here. I feel Walmart has the right to make this their new policy, they just need to post it better.

  479. gingerCE says:

    @girly: I know the stores don’t trust us, but if someone is looking for a receipt, pointing out to you what register they were at, the store should take it upon themselves to go ask the register clerk if indeed that someone purchased the item. Both Walmart and Costco are unwilling to do so.

  480. APFPilot says:


    Ginger you still haven’t give us an actual example of where someone has been detained.

  481. girly says:

    @gingerCE: true. other than getting a license plate, checking the registers should also be one of their recourses when a customer does not show their receipt

  482. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Doofio: Blatantly not complying to a very simple (and it is a VERY SIMPLE request, there are no gray areas on this point) does in fact constitute suspicion

    Failure to obey a person who has no legal authority over me is not suspicious, even if their request is VERY SIMPLE. Refusing to show someone a piece of my personal property that they have no right to see is not suspicious, even if their request was VERY SIMPLE.

    If you were a police officer and asked someone to keep their hands where you could see them

    Blueshirts are not policemen. Merchants do not have police powers.

    And for God’s sake, lay off the “violation of rights” arguments, it’s tired and grossly overused especially for situations like this that its lost all meaning.

    Show me even one place where I claimed that being asked for a receipt is a violation of my rights. Just one. You’re arguing against positions I’ve never taken. It makes you look stupid.

    it’s a fucking doorman asking to see a simple piece of paper that you have no real good excuse to not show

    It’s a person who has no authority over me demanding that I show him something he has no right to see. And I’ve already given you two good reasons to not show my receipt, but I’ll reiterate the simpler one here: What I choose to do with my property is none of his fucking business.


    Putting (ridiculous) words in my mouth in attempt to make my position look ridiculous is dishonest. I’ve never said anything close to that, and your repeated implications that I have are just making you look like an ass.

    you’re simply using a technicality to act big and powerful but you come off as just an asshole

    How exactly is smiling and saying “No thank you” an attempt to look “big and powerful”?

    And which “technicality” are you talking about, specifically?

  483. Baz says:


    Yeah – that’ll show ’em! Let ’em know how pissed off you are by giving them your money.

    Way to hit ’em where it counts.

  484. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @Baz: Yeah – that’ll show ’em! Let ’em know how pissed off you are by giving them your money.

    I’m not pissed off at places like Wally World because they ask for receipts. It used to annoy me, but now I really don’t care much at all, because they take exactly zero seconds out of my life, and an approximately equal amount of effort for me to say “No thank you”

    I can see how my using phrases like “none of his fucking business” might make it seem like I’m pissed about it, but that’s just the tone I take when discussing it with chowderheads who think that refusing to show a receipt to a blueshirt is like refusing to obey a cop who tells you to keep your hands in plain view.

    I do get pissed when I hear stories about undertrained employees harassing, illegally detaining, and even assaulting people who are not doing anything wrong.

  485. Dashrashi says:

    @Baz: If the people who object to the policy don’t shop there, no one will ever object to the policy in practice in a way that matters to Wal-Mart–read: a paying customer in the store and making a fuss. And if all Wal-Mart customers acquiesce, their bullshit “policy” may start to get confused for a real rule, with power beyond people who want to acquiesce. I DO NOT want that to happen.

  486. Crymson_77 says:

    @Dashrashi: Which is exactly why I have been so vociferously arguing in this thread alongside you :)

  487. Dashrashi says:

    @Crymson_77: I personally am hoping this one tops 500 comments too.

  488. toddy33 says:

    Ditto. Geez, if I let idiot policies chase me out of stores, I’d never shop.

  489. jimconsumer says:

    @Machete_Bear: Good God. Show your receipt, comply with the ignorant minimum-wage employees, and be on your way. – Has it ever occurred to you that some of us don’t blindly follow orders?

    Seriously, the reason these receipt stories create such fiascos in the comments simply boils down to personality types. The fact is:

    1. Some of us are introverts. Introverts are generally compliant people who don’t like controversy. They’d rather just do as they’re told so as not to create a scene. Introverts quietly go about their lives.

    2. Some of us, myself included, are extroverts. We tend to talk loudly and we question authority. Extroverts don’t put up with snot nosed little assholes telling us what to do. The quickest way to ensure an extrovert will NOT do something, is to demand he do it. The more you demand, the more we resist. Why? Just to prove you can’t control us. The extrovert motto is, “You’re not the boss of me.”

    Introverts see extroverts as childish and obnoxious. They don’t understand why we would cause a stir over something so stupid. To them, we’re just creating trouble.

    Extroverts see introverts as weak and useless people. Like cattle, just going along with the flow. We don’t understand how anyone can be so ridiculously compliant with the demands of another person. Good God, people, show some backbone.

    There really is no right nor wrong answer here. Each of us will do what is in our nature based on our personality style.

  490. RedSonSuperDave says:

    My method of handling the “Wal-Mart receipt checking” phenomenon is as follows: If I think I’m likely to need the receipt, I’ll hang on to it. This is generally the case when I’m buying some high-priced electronics equipment or something. However, 90% of the time I’m at Wal-Mart, it’s for groceries. If I’m not gonna need the receipt, then I will generally pop the receipt in my mouth and chew on it all the way to the front door. If and when they ask to see my receipt, I spit a soggy lump of what looks like white chewing gum into my palm, hold it up proudly, and say, “See?”

  491. Doofio says:


    Failure to obey a person who has no legal authority over me is not suspicious, even if their request is VERY SIMPLE. Refusing to show someone a piece of my personal property that they have no right to see is not suspicious, even if their request was VERY SIMPLE.

    Authority has absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s a sad state of affairs that when given a simple request, people are so uptight that they need to throw out legal cards just to get out of doing it. If someone approached you on the street and asked for the time, you have the right to say “fuck off” but would you do that? My money’s on no…this is the same type of situation, no real good reason to say no, but you do it anyway because “you can”.

    Blueshirts are not policemen. Merchants do not have police powers.

    Once again you go the “authoritative” route. This example had nothing to do with authority, but more of what I thought was a pretty straight forward scenario, but i’ll dumb it down for you: You see someone walk out of your garage with a hammer, you approach and ask where he got the hammer, he responds: “I don’t have to tell you!”, if you don’t get suspicious, you deserve to have it stolen. Clear enough?

    Show me even one place where I claimed that being asked for a receipt is a violation of my rights. Just one. You’re arguing against positions I’ve never taken. It makes you look stupid.

    This was my mistake as I was referring to another post that wasn’t from you. Which I did not make clear.

    It’s a person who has no authority over me demanding that I show him something he has no right to see. And I’ve already given you two good reasons to not show my receipt, but I’ll reiterate the simpler one here: What I choose to do with my property is none of his fucking business.

    Hey! Here’s that fun “authority” word again that you love to throw around so much. You’re right in that he has no authority to see it but the issue here is not authority. Your two excuses were anything but good, they were adequate when it comes to the law, but the logic behind is what’s in question here. A receipt is a proof of a purchase, nothing more. It’s designed to help you out if you’re ever in an instance where you might be asked to prove you made a purchase, but when that situation arises, you refuse because it’s your right to refuse? What?

    Putting (ridiculous) words in my mouth in attempt to make my position look ridiculous is dishonest. I’ve never said anything close to that, and your repeated implications that I have are just making you look like an ass.

    I never put words in your mouth, I never made mention that you said that, I was making another example.

    How exactly is smiling and saying “No thank you” an attempt to look “big and powerful”?

    I’ll agree that you’re simply asserting your right, but this situation seems like an asinine time and place to do so, completely unnecessary, especially when you almost always know (mainly from reading here) that something probably is going to ensue, it’s almost like you’re simply looking for a fight.

    And which “technicality” are you talking about, specifically?

    The technicality lies in the fact that you know you have no real reason not to show it other than the fact that you know that you’re not legally bound to.

    Bottom line is this, the man is not asking for your tax returns, he’s not strip searching you, he’s not beating you with sticks…he’s making a reasonable request. So you can either comply and be on your way, no harm no foul, or you can act like a spoiled child with a toy yelling “This is MINE and I don’t have to share!”

    Grow up.

  492. Crymson_77 says:

    @RedSonSuperDave: ROFL I will have to remember that one! Of course…you do know what they dosed that receipt with prior to your chewing it don’t you???!?!? ;)

  493. Crymson_77 says:

    @Doofio: I’m going to skip the italics and get straight to the point. If someone approached me and asked “What the F is the time?” I would happily tell them to go suck a donkey. If they were respectful and asked nicely, “What’s the time?” I would happily share the time with them. Receipt checking falls under the former of those two scenarios for me as by asking for a receipt, I feel as if you are accusing me of stealing something. As such, go suck a donkey would be the less kind response the person asking would receive…especially in the cases where they are being complete asshats. No, the man isn’t beating us with sticks and whatnot…but this entire problem is a step in that direction. How do you think taxes evolved? They started out as being used to pay for a war…but they never stopped and now you are legally obligated to pay them regardless. That is how it happens…and NO WE ARE NOT GOING TO ARGUE ABOUT TAXES NOW!

  494. jimconsumer says:

    @wherescommonsense: If the guy was so short tempered that he would put up arguement over something as minor as a receipt, I don’t want such a moron to be anywhere near a gun!

    Well, it’s a good thing you don’t make the rules, then.

  495. Dashrashi says:

    @Doofio: I can think of two good reasons not to show your receipt that have already been raised in this thread numerous times. If there’s a line and it would be an inconvenience to you to wait to show your receipt, that’s a good reason. And second, if you don’t like the implication that you’re a shoplifter, and you want to dissuade them from holding onto a policy that implies that, that’s also a good reason.

    You say that it’s rude and unreasonable to refuse to show your receipt. Many people feel it’s even more rude to ask in the first place, and to treat every customer like they are a shoplifter until proven otherwise–especially when the circumstances clearly indicate that you are not (they see you leave the register), or if the store itself put you in the position you’re in, as it did here. I tend to agree with that line of argument.

  496. msp123 says:

    you just repeated what i said exactly. i never said they had the right to detain you, i said the had the right to ask and you have the right to refuse. thank you for reitorating my point.

  497. BugMeNot2 says:

    Doofio, you suck at making analogies. I’d recommend just giving up on that part. If you wish to continue to make analogies, though, go ahead, it’s your right to do so, and I can’t bar you from it. ;)

    No, your shoe analogy was not on par with mine, and mine wasn’t the best, just showing what it would take to make yours closer. As far as someone walking out of your garage with a hammer, that is suspicious, but mainly because it is not the norm. However, people walking out of Wal-Mart with their own property is an extremely common event that happens thousands of times a day.

    As far as someone asking me for the time, that is not the same as asking to see my receipt. Again, a better analogy would be if someone came up and said, “I saw you get out of that car, can I see your pink slip?” to which I again would laugh in their face and say no.

  498. toddy33 says:

    Amen, especially to the second part.

    I don’t even care if there’s a line or not…that opens up the red herring of, “well, you stood in line to make the purchase.” Rather, I have to say that the idea that the store wants to automatically treat me as a shoplfter when I am not is reason enough.

    I don’t mind reiterating it a thousand times if necessary. It doesn’t matter how many times the sheep–sorry, we’re now calling them introverts–want to tell me that I’m being an asshole about it. I disagree in principle with the store wanting to see my receipt after I have given them my money. I don’t feel that my rights are being trampled by their asking. But it’s rude, annoying, and unnecessary. I don’t agree with ANY policy that presumes that I am doing something wrong, illicit, or even slightly shady. I don’t care if you think it makes me look suspicious if I refuse. I don’t care if the store thinks it makes me look suspicious if I refuse. You can pick any reason you want and say I look suspicious. I don’t give a fuck.

    They can ask. I can say no. Fuck you AND go suck a donkey if you don’t like the way I am handling my own affairs.

  499. Dashrashi says:

    @toddy33: Agreed. I don’t even necessarily agree with the introvert/extrovert distinction. Under normal circumstances, I’m extremely conflict-avoidant. But I just feel like this is too important (I do not want a large corporation to think that it has a right it does not have, and enforcement rights it also does not have) and that too many people are likely to go along with it out of convenience or politesse (which could lead to it becoming a real rule), that I think it’s important in its own right to stake out this particular territory. I believe that’s called “picking your battles.”

  500. toddy33 says:

    :) And I repeat…Amen.

  501. Crymson_77 says:

    @toddy33: Hey…that was my line :)

  502. girly says:

    @Dashrashi: Thanks. I agree that introverts are not cowards.

    Introverted means that you are less focused on the outside word and are more reflective.

    I’m pretty introverted. I also happen to be a bit cowardly. I don’t think they are automatically connected.

    And I don’t like Walmart’s policy.

  503. Dashrashi says:

    In related news, this thread now has over 500 comments. By golly, I think Consumerist readers really are interested in stories about this topic!

  504. ryoudeaf says:

    ok…lets start with its pretty stupid for the assistant manager not to verify the purchase of the gun. However, there is a point to “well…how does the door checker know you’re not his buddy and he’s helping you steal it? Point taken. Sounds a little bit like checks and balances. hmmm

    As far as search and seizure….ummm what are they searching? Any identifiable info on that cash purchase? even credit card info is blocked out…its already been stored in the register….this is not a violation of your right to have just cause for a search. period. Search and seizure applies to someone coming into your personal space (such as your home or car, or pockets, or clothing) and looking through your personal belongings, not to you proving you made that purchase.

    Right to privacy is not violated because the receipt does not have personal identifying information on it. And hell, they can get that just by standing next to you and scanning your credit card number without you even taking it out of your pocket or purse.

    Lets talk about the store’s right. Does the store..any store…not have the right to ask for proof that you made a legitimate purchase before you walk out the door? especially when carrying some of thier merchandise?

    Someone doesn’t have time to stop for 5 seconds to prove they paid for merchandise? It takes less time to show the receipt than it does to argue about it and then return the purchase on principal? By the way…what principal. If I owned a store and I saw someone walking out the door with a piece of merchandise, your saying I can’t make sure its paid for? Bet everyone commenting on here makes sure or tries to make sure they aren’t being robbed everytime they turn around…bet you wouldn’t let me walk into your house and walk back out with something in my arms without making sure it was mine to walk out with.

    Its a stupid arguement…just show the damn receipt and put your efforts into something more worthwhile.

  505. ryoudeaf says:

    Not to mention the fact that receipts are given as PROOF OF PURCHASE! For the SOLE PURPOSE OF PROVING YOUR NEW PROPRTY IS PAID FOR! Why the hell else would you be given one? just to kill another tree?

    Someone way back there said they could just hire more employees to work the aisles….not a bad suggestion…so while on the verge of a recession…or even perhaps in the throes of one…lets hire more people to just hang out with the customers….jack the prices up to pay thier hourly wages…and still expect all that disposable income to keep rolling in…umm…sorry but as a business my objective would be to keep overhead down and prices low so the customer keeps spending what little disposable income they have in MY store rather than the more expensive competition down the road…the most effective way to do that is to check the receipt I purposely gave you for the exact reason I hired only one person to stand at the door for…proof of purchase.

  506. Fishnlawyr says:

    “insist he show his receipt? Is your real name Ladarrel?”

    NO, but my other brother is Ladarryl….

  507. Fishnlawyr says:

    Violated what constitutional right??? “Illegal search and seizure” is prohibited IF it is done by the government…not some underpaid guy who is working for a living and having to put up with overly critical and, supposedly, intellectual jerks. Next time you go out to eat lunch in a restaurant or supper in one of those places where they put caviar on a ritz cracker listen to the crowd and I’ll guarantee you that you will hear someone griping about their constitutional rights being violated because of any of half a dozen reasons …from violating their constitutional right to free speech when they got fired for telling their boss to go screw himself to “Hells bells, they put an ashtray outside the front door of the place where I worked….how can they tell me what I can or can’t smoke…”

  508. toddy33 says:


    It is worthwhile. Just because you wish to follow their policy will never make it otherwise.

    It has nothing to do with the time I might wait. It has nothing to do with seach and seizure. It has nothing to do with the Fourth Amendment. It has nothing to do with “rights”. All of these are red herring issues.

    The main point is that the store, in asking for my receipt at the exit, is telling me with no provocation that they assume I am criminally taking something that belongs to them when I am not. They are adding an extra layer of intrusion. I find it insulting. I find it unnecessary. I have no intention of complying with this assumption.

    It doesn’t matter how many permutations of people telling me that I am an asshole for not complying come flying at me. It’s an issue that, in my own personal multitasking universe, is perfectly worth standing up and saying, “Enough.”

  509. BugMeNot2 says:


    “Lets talk about the store’s right. Does the store..any store…not have the right to ask for proof that you made a legitimate purchase before you walk out the door? especially when carrying some of thier merchandise?”

    As has been said a million times now, yes, the store has the right to ask for proof of purchase. And I have the right to refuse. What the store does not have the right to do is detain me simply because I refused to show my receipt.

    I don’t show my receipt, as I’ve said a dozen times in this thread alone, because rarely is it ‘just 2 seconds’, at least around here. It is almost always several minutes, because you have to wait for the guy to thoroughly go through the bags of the person(s) ahead of you because they had one item not bagged. Then I’m supposed to wait while they match up stuff on my receipt to what’s in my bag? No. And if it’s one of the rare instances where it’s the guy who just looks at the receipt and nods, then what is the point? Having _a_ receipt does not assure I did not steal anything. Other times, it’s because the two-ton Tessie they have stationed at the door likes to sit on one of the electric carts in the back of the cart shed, and she demands I bring my receipt and bags to her. Why the fuck, quite frankly, should I walk to the back of the filthy cart shed just because she’s a lazy cow?

    “Not to mention the fact that receipts are given as PROOF OF PURCHASE! For the SOLE PURPOSE OF PROVING YOUR NEW PROPRTY IS PAID FOR!”

    No, not for the sole purpose of that, or at least not for the sole purpose of showing that to TT-Tessie at the door. It can be for tax purposes, for reimbursement, or because the system is simply not set up to not print receipts. I can go to the gas station, do pay-at-the-dispenser, and choose to not get a receipt. If I don’t get a receipt there, and they try to accuse me of theft, guess what, they’re still in the wrong.

    And again, it’s _my_ property after money has changed hands. I don’t have to prove to anybody that it’s mine. Maybe I’ll just start walking up to random people on the street and ask to see proof that their clothes are truly theirs. I mean, after all, they could’ve taken them from someone/someplace at some time in the past.

  510. witeowl says:

    I wonder if anyone who gets off on punishing the poor big box store employees has the cajones to stand up for our rights with the actual government by ALWAYS refusing car and other searches when police request them. []

  511. BugMeNot2 says:


    Well, since I don’t ‘get off’ on ‘punishing the poor big box store employees’, I can’t really speak to your target. I simply offer a polite ‘no, thank you’ if there isn’t a line, or walk past the line and ignore any comments when there is one.

    As far as standing up for my rights to a police officer, I’ve been lucky enough to never have to have done so. The times I’ve been pulled over, I was indeed guilty of speeding, and that was the only thing the officer and I discussed.

  512. toddy33 says:


    I am absolutely mystified as to why it comes up so many times in this thread that somehow my refusal to comply with a request that I find unreasonable is punishment of someone or that I am “getting off” on something.

    The simple fact is, I find it unreasonable for the store in question to assume that I am a thief simply for leaving the store with merchandise that I just paid for. I’m not getting off on anything, I’m not punishing anyone, and I’m not even being rude in return for thier rudeness. I’m just politely saying, “No.”

    And yes, if I must answer your apples-to-oranges question in which you misspelled “cojones” that I would in fact say, “Yes, I do object” in a case in which an officer asked if I objected to a search of my vehicle, my person, or my home. But I have never been stopped, so it’s purly hypothetical.

  513. toddy33 says:

    :) Purely.

  514. witeowl says:

    @toddy33: Heh heh… thanks for showing that misspellings are common enough – even for those that are quickly to point out others’ errors.

    Secondly, I’m not necessarily referring to posters here, but you can’t deny that this gun/ammo/eggs shopper is puffing his chest out over this.

    The punishment, from my perspective, is in making it impossible for this poor person to do his job. How would you feel if you had to deal with people making your daily grind even more miserable than it had to be by preventing successful completion of part of your job?

    These protestations are misguided, IMNSHO. Find the policy unbearable? Shop elsewhere and send off diatribes to your local newspapers and the people who make the decisions. “Vote” with your dollars, I say.

  515. ryoudeaf says:

    @BugMeNot2: The receipt CAN be used for tax purposes, etc. etc. But was intially created as PROOF OF PURCHASE. You stated its yours once money has exchanged hands….in a store as large as Walmart…do you really expect the door handler to see every transaction that takes place. Besides…so YOU say money exchanged hands. PROVE IT!
    DOn’t get me wrong…I never said you were an asshole….I have actually walked right by the door handlers myself…but my reasoning has nothing to do with feeling like I have been accused of something I didn’t do. I personally don’t mind proving my innocence if it helps to catch those who aren’t. Our crime rates are out of control and until people start taking responsiblity for thier own actions, then someone has to protect the interests of the rest of us…and yes, low cost is an interest of mine…I work hard for my money and see no reason to piss it away on overpriced merchandise because an asshole thinks he/she is entitled to the five-finger discount, regardless if its coming out the front door or the back.
    As far as detaining a person for not showing a receipt…I have never personally seen it happen…and think in THIS case it was probably the smart thing to do. Why you ask? Because the assistant manager who engaged in the transaction and the escorting of this customer didn’t have the balls to stand up and simply say he did purchase it and caused the volatile reaction that ensued. Simply put…the asst. manager was wrong and provoked it, however the jackass that had to make a scene over it obviously has a temper issue and probably doesn’t need to be carrying a gun in the first place. When I say find a worthwhile issue to put efforts towards…why are we spending so much time pissing and moaning about an asshole manager and a lunatic that wanted a gun but had to make an issue out of a stupid piece of paper? asshole manager + temper issue man with a gun = a mess we could have been reading about on the front pages. Personally, if I were purchasing a gun, the last thing I would want is for all the attention to be on me becaue I raise six kinds of hell over a piece of paper. I probably would have waited until I was buying my groceries instead of a deadly weapon.

  516. ryoudeaf says:

    And just an additional comment….you all are right.
    1. They have the right to ask.
    2. You have the right to refuse.
    3. They don’t have the right to detain.
    4. You have the right to sue if they do.
    5. You also have the right to not shop there.
    6. They have the right to ask you not to come back.

    What the hell is the arguement?

  517. ryoudeaf says:

    @BugMeNot2: Maybe I’ll just start walking up to random people on the street and ask to see proof that their clothes are truly theirs. I mean, after all, they could’ve taken them from someone/someplace at some time in the past.

    Up until that comment, you sounded pretty smart…walmart doesn’t stop random people..they stop…or try to stop everyone…and walmart isn’t assuming you took the merchandise you are walking out with from somewhere at sometime in the past. They are verifying you paid for it this time, right here, right now and you aren’t trying to rip the store off and in the long run, ripping the rest of us off too.

  518. girly says:

    I would love to know how many people they have caught using this method, and what the value of the merchandise was, vs the cost of lawsuits and police time spent on illegal extracting customers from or supporting illegal detentions.

  519. girly says:

    “time spent on extracting customers from or supporting illegal detentions.”

  520. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    You stated its yours once money has exchanged hands….in a store as large as Walmart…do you really expect the door handler to see every transaction that takes place

    I don’t much care what the blueshirt at the door sees or doesn’t see throughout the store.

    so YOU say money exchanged hands. PROVE IT!

    I don’t have to. Your attitude of guilty until proven innocent is an attitude we don’t need at ANY level in this country. Not even at the exit door of a crappy retail store.

    I personally don’t mind proving my innocence if it helps to catch those who aren’t.

    I do. Presumption of innocence is one of the most sacred principles in American Jurisprudence. Your casual willingness to abandon it is disappointing. Especially since you’re willing to give it up just to save WalMart a few bucks.

  521. BugMeNot2 says:

    The burden of proof is on them, not me. That’s the whole point. If they want to prove something, then they must do so.

    The argument is that they don’t realize that their right to request is just that, a right to request, not demand. Too often they demand it and expect blind obedience. Again, my main thrust for not showing my receipt is simply because my time is better spent elsewhere than in a line at Wal-Mart waiting to have my receipt checked. I like consistency, so I don’t show my receipt, line or no.

    There’s the rub, though. They don’t try to search everyone. They do often just pick someone at random to stop. I don’t know their reasoning behind it. For all I know, the greeter could’ve had a long streak of not having anyone to check and got bored. (and before someone says I’m being contradictory by claiming to hate standing in line, then saying they don’t check many people, hence the boredom, I’m allowing for the wide gamut of Wal-Mart stores, ranging from the one we have here that has no greeter ever visible, to the one where the guy stands at the door and tries to stop every single person, with various types in between.)

    Again, I’m sorry, but if they want to deter theft, stop shrinkage, word it however, the onus is on them, and I expect them to do it the least intrusive way possible to me. Since there are more and better ways that don’t involve any interaction with me past the register, door checks don’t meet the least intrusive qualifier I like.

  522. wvusublime says:

    It’s been said, I know- Wal-mart, private business or not, did not really have the right to detain the customer. Sure, they could have just continued to hold his gun, and he COULD have been a true “ass-hat” and refused to leave without it or refused to go back into the store with the manager.

    End result? Whichever local police had jurisdiction would have been called into the dispute, and Mr. Manager and Wal-Mart would have been left trying to explain the Federal sale approval for the gun and following security cam tapes detailing the manager receiving payment of the gun and escorting the customer through the store, from the time of purchase to the time of the altercation at the front over the receipt.

    Police would then wonder why Manager Man refused to surrender the customer’s property to him. Basically, he was unlawfully seizing the guy’s property. If it was such a huge deal to the manager, he could have traipsed back to the Sporting Goods counter and reprinted his own copy of the receipt to show the receipt checker. I did much the same at restaurants I’ve managed when a customer had a problem. Did he? No. Escorting this guy out with a gun most likely interupted the flow of his day, and he chose to be surly about it.

    And I know that Wal-Mart is a private company. However, like most private companies, Wal-Mart doesn’t want to totally alienate it’s customer base, however much it may seem like it. I doubt that they don’t care when they lose almost five hundred dollars in one sale- it adds up to huge losses for them when it comes from thousands of stores where customers demand their money back or stop shopping there, because of policies that really aggrevate consumers. They can ask for receipts as often as they please- you don’t have to show them, although I do agree that it would have been much less painful to just pull it out- the checker isn’t going to be using it to compile a list of purchases you’ve made at that Wal-Mart in the last six months. If store security detains you, they can’t search you. They have to call the authories- who quickly find out you’ve broken no laws and were unlawfully detained by a civilian.

    It isn’t so much, I think, of simply showing a reciept, but more of private companies in general pulling Big Brother tricks. If they try to detain you or seize lawful purchases over a receipt check (which generally don’t work, as no one checks all of your purchased items anyway), and no one creates a fuss, it stands to reason that one day in the near future they’ll begin to implement policies that really do step over that line that separates pain-in-the-butt from those that do seriously infringe upon constitutional rights.

  523. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is missing the point. The customer must show the receipt because Walmart wants to make sure that the Assistant isn’t working with the customer to steal the gun. How does the person at the door know that the weapon was ever paid for? I would imagine that employees must show recieipts when they leave with their own stuff too!