Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wax on, wax off

So, the new price scam has hit Wal-Mart. Remember the soap dish fiends? Well, the soap dish thing was always a little dicey, because the item description clearly came up SOAP DISH. Which, when you're ringing up a DVD - ain't gonna work - unless you're trying to get a Sally Field/ Whoopi Goldberg comedy classic!

The new thing the scammers have discovered is that the candles have individual barcode stickers - $1.96 stickers - for which the removal of said sticker is made MUCH easier by the candle wax.

Yes. I personally found candle stickers on three items of merchandise Sunday night - a $20 DVD - which was so artfully hidden I'd hardly have noticed it if I hadn't have been looking; a children's toy blow-up raft and a moderately expensive watch.

The candles have the added benefit of ringing up with some incomprehensible name like 1/4 IN 8 BLK RD -- which translated is most likely "one-quarter inch round, red, eight inches long, square-block candles." Different permutations of numbers/letters and colors can be used for several dozen colors, candle lengths, etc.

HOWEVER. That line coming across the scanner is not going to scream out SCAM! SCAM! SCAM! when you scan a DVD or a toy or many things they way that SOAP DISH will.

Let's say you got a kid's toy. The same product line could be translate to "one of four eight inch blocks " or for a DVD "Series 1: Black Road Eight." You don't really know. I've seen stranger. No matter what, very few cashiers are really going to go "Huh, what was that?"

There have been times I've had to literally go number by number on the UPC with some products because whatever the Wal-Mart clerks named it is so odd.

Anyway. That was just one of my Sunday adventures.

And to top it all off, one old man returned some rancid watermelon. He said it looked like someone used a syringe to put coloring into it. Really. It's the Wal-Mart. Someone probably did!


High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...


I wonder how many people read your blog and then go to Wal-Mart and do the things you've talked about. Like switch tags on candles and soapdishes or try to return photos they no longer want.

Omigod. People are evil...but do you really care at this point?

Anonymous said...

Hey, as long as it isn't at his Wal-Mart =p

Seriously tho, I work at a Linens-N-Things at the Customer Service desk, and the people who scam often have been doing these same things for a while. The evil people who scam already know these, and the decent people are, well, decent.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the guy who tried to switch the tags on a plasma TV at a Wal-Mart, from $984 to $4.88, about 3 weeks ago. After he was stopped he had a receipt from another Wal-Mart where he had actually bought a TV at the correct price but then went to another one and tried the price switch. The cops figured he was then going to return the original TV he paid full price for.

What a dumbass

Anonymous said...

In the case of the TV for $4.88, I also blame the cashier on that one. When has ANYONE bought a TV for $5? Personally I would have though that would have put a flag that something wasn't right

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the $4.88 TV went thru a self checkout. The scammers usually work in teams--one diverts the self check cashier while the other rings up the wrong barcode(upc). The cashiers are supposed to monitor the items scanned on their screen.Those self checks are a temptation for people who would not normally steal.When they ring up their own items they think nobody will ever find out if they cheat.We had one woman who found a 10 cent clearance barcode and was ringing it up every week she came in. She would use it for items she didn't want to pay full price for. After we caught her doing this, we found out she had been doing this for MONTHS, losing almost one thousand dollars worth of merchandise.

xbuxggirl said...

I like your blog and read it everyday.

powercat99 said...

I've seen this scam pulled several times when I was a cashier. I was ringing up some Crest Whitestrips (back when they were 30 dollars or so) and the screen said MIRROR for $1.86. I peeled off the little sticker on the bottom and said to the customer, "Oh, this must have gotten stuck on here by accident!" Cue shocked look from customer. Surprise, surprise, they didn't want those strips after all!

In Recovery said...

Don't they check your receipt when exiting? Wouldn't that catch the $5 tv scam at least? Love this blog!

Cyndi said...

I really thought the guy should've gotten away with it if he managed to get a TV out of there for $5. Surely they won't let you take electronics through the self-checks?!?!

<---not a Wal-Hell shopper, so I don't know