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If you haven’t seen the viral TikTok about Walmart’s shopping carts requiring money deposits — which amassed 36,000+ comments and 86,000 shares in a matter of days — consider yourself lucky. I even had my grandma call and ask me if Walmart plans to make this cart charge at her store. While TikTok is a great place to find the latest TikTok Made Me Buy It products and beauty trends, the truth is, the app is full of rumors and unconfirmed reports, and this turns out to be one of them.
The Krazy Coupon Lady went right to Walmart corporate to find out if they would start charging for shopping carts. After all, they wouldn’t be the first retailer to do it. Aldi makes shoppers pay $0.25 to use their carts (it gets refunded when you return it, but still). Here’s everything to know about the rumored Walmart cart charge and what Walmart told us.
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Walmart charges for carts in Canada but not at their U.S. locations.
The short answer to will you pay for a Walmart cart — no. It turns out that the viral TikTok video was taken from a Walmart store in Canada, not in the U.S.
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After speaking to Walmart’s press office, we can confirm that this new policy will not be coming to the U.S. anytime soon.
“Speaking with our Walmart Canada team, shopping cart deposits are taking place at select stores across that country, with prices varying from $0.25 to $1 per cart. The program helps improve cart availability while cutting down on theft and damage,” the statement explained. “Upon returning the cart to its proper space (i.e. a cart corral), the deposited currency will be returned to the customer. This is a standard practice across Canada among discount grocers and retailers and is not underway in the U.S.”
So you can rest easy in knowing that you won’t have to go searching for loose change the next time you need a shopping cart at Walmart.
There are a number of reasons for shopping cart deposits — but they’re all about the money.
Why do retailers like Aldi (and now Walmart in Canada) require a deposit for shopping carts, anyway?
The main reason is to prevent shopping cart theft. People will often steal shopping carts for personal use, or sell them for scrap metal. Shopping cart theft leads to extra expenses for retail chains, who’ll have to pay to replace missing shopping carts or fix damaged ones. And those extra expenses eventually get passed on to you, the shopper, which leads to higher in-store prices.
Making you pay to “rent” a shopping cart pretty much guarantees you’ll return the cart back to the corral at the end of your shopping trip. This also means busy stores like Aldi don’t have to pay their employees to do it.
Aldi doesn’t hide the fact that making you pay for carts helps them save money on staffing costs. In fact, they post it right on the FAQ page on their website: “This 25-cent deposit ultimately saves our customers money because we don’t have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts.”
Most Aldi customers seem to have embraced the deposit system, especially since it keeps Aldi’s prices low for shoppers.