Hand holding a receipt and using a tablet
Photo by Simon Kadula on Unsplash

This whole self-checkout at stores has become quite controversial.

Some people really love it... and others really hate it.

My own mother adamantly opposes using it.

The topic has come up on podcasts, in major newspaper articles, and it's even being discussed on late-night tv.

Who knew it would be the world's next great divide?

But why?

Redditor nojunkpeter wanted to hear about why people will only use the cashiers when shopping. So they asked:

"People who refuse to use self-checkouts, why?"

I don't hate the self-checkout. I use it when I have to.

It's not the worst.


online grocery GIF by WalmartGiphy

“Unexpected item in the bagging area.” EVERY.TIME."


"It seems like Walmart doesn’t give a fu**. You don’t have to put anything in the bagging area. They’re probably just happy that someone is even trying to pay."


Damn PLUs...

"Looking up produce."


"I was rockin' Wegmans Shop 'n Scan until they took it away. Remember 4-digit PLU, place produce on one of many scales in the produce section and enter code, scan with phone."

"Bag as you shop, scan barcode at self-scan checkout, tap Google Wallet, done."

"Even with Shop 'n Scan gone, those same scales can still print stickers to affix to your produce, for a simple scan at checkout."



"I'll use them both. It depends on the lines, how many items I have, my current mood, the moon phase, etc."


"Ditto. If I have a few things, sure. But regular cashiers are way, way faster at scanning and bagging than I am."


"Same. My only goal is to pay for my shi* and leave asap. 99.9% of the time it's faster for me to do it myself instead of waiting for someone making minimum wage to do it for me. Not that I blame them but yeah."



"I live in Germany, our cashiers are 10x faster than I could ever do it. Every. Single. Time."


"Going to the grocery store in Germany is a lot like going to the airport. You make sure you stand behind someone you think can bag their groceries faster than the other line."


"Same for me in the US. I'm assuming OP just eats a ton of processed food because I hate the idea of looking up and weighing a bunch of produce when the cashier knows the product codes off the top of their head."


Talk to Me

couple hug GIFGiphy

"I like the human interaction. I work in tech and deal with shi**y computer systems all day, I don’t want to be served by a robot after work as well."

"Just a little banal small talk with someone who isn’t a techy colleague or wants me to fix something is a most minor highlight, but a highlight nonetheless."


People connecting has always been an important part of life. And it's disappearing.


infomercial movement GIFGiphy

"I have a bad back and there just seems to be more reaching and lifting because I find it just more physically difficult."



"If it's a few items, then sure. But usually I got a full shopping cart. Those self check out machines have weighted bagging areas so that it knows what you've scanned. A full shopping cart is way too big to load all my items on to that bagging area. Inevitably I'll need to move a bag back into my cart, causing the machine to freeze up. Often multiple times."


Where's my paycheck?

"I don’t work for the place I’m shopping. This is exactly how I feel every time I’m in a Walmart. Billion dollar company decided to make shoppers scan their own groceries - seems like a really clever way to avoid paying more employees."

"They had so many people complaining about the checkout process the length of lines were a priority."

"Now there’s so much self checkout it’s not their problem we’re all slow."

"And it’s insulting to me that I can’t buy alcohol at the self checkout kiosks, usually they don’t ID me anymore."


Different Positions

"I work at a grocery store and know the cashiers, I wouldn't want to put them out of a job. Even though they're on autopilot, standing still and doing the same thing for hours, that little human interaction makes life just a little less alienating."


"It’s nice to have someone else bag too. I was staunchly in the self-checkout gang for years until I just wasn’t feeling it one day."

"Now my wife and I go through the aisles if we have a lot of groceries or are just tired. One or two items I find convenient to run through and throw in an old tote bag in self checkout, but if you’re bringing home a ton of groceries it’s just way more satisfying and quicker to go through a cashier/bagger."



Steve Austin Celebration GIFGiphy

"Waiting half an hour for someone to go by and approve my beer purchase? No, thanks."


In the end, it also takes away jobs. No one mentioned that.