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10 Things Polite People Don’t Do at Walmart

You can shop as quickly as possible at Walmart and still be polite. Here are the rude behaviors you can easily avoid that'll make shopping a whole lot nicer.

walmart exteriorBCFC/Shutterstock

Some Walmart customers have a history of rude behavior

Walmart is one of the perfect stores for one-stop shopping, but it’s infamous for some oddball and often rude customers. In fact, Walmart employees have seen some crazy things at work. These stories die down if people remember the things polite people don’t do at Walmart. Click on to learn the rude things not to do at the big-box store.

walmart produceChekyravaa/Shutterstock

Snack on produce in the store

Only food shopping rookies hit the aisles while hungry. And although it’s OK to open a bag of pretzels or chips before paying, avoid munching on the produce in the store. Snacking on grapes or apples while shipping is a headache for Walmart associates, explains Bonnie Tsai, the Founder and Director of Beyond Etiquette. It’s much harder to calculate your total when they can’t weigh the food, so polite people wait or opt for other snacks instead. Add these snacks and other items to your Walmart shopping cart—they’re things your probably not buying, but should.

WalmartChekyravaa/shutterstock

Hide products

Polite people don’t let laziness win, so if they pick up a product they no longer want, they walk back and return it. Rude people might hide or leave produce or items that need refrigeration in a different area simply because they are too lazy to walk back. But polite people make an effort to return it themselves or give the product to a staff member, according to Tsai. “No one wants to find melted ice cream under the bath towels,” she says. Leaving items in the wrong place is also something polite people don’t do at Costco.

walmart customers checking outQualityHD/Shutterstock

Sass customers

Although some Walmart jobs are better than others, it goes without saying that all employees and customers alike deserve respect. In general, being rude looks pretty similar at all grocery stores, but there’s no hiding the fact that Walmart shoppers kick it up a notch, according to Jenna Coleman, a consumer behavior analyst in the grocery sector and founder of Particular Pantry. “Being rude to other customers and associates not only makes your own experience unenjoyable, but it also negatively impacts those around you,” Tsai says.

walmart employeePJiiiJane/Shutterstock

Or associates

Again, remember that Walmart employees are people, too. They are just trying to do their job, so don’t make it difficult for them by being rude. A little kindness or acknowledgment, a smile or nod, goes a long way, Tsai says. One of the worst things people do at the grocery store is ignore the employees.

walmart shelvesHayden Stirling/Shutterstock

Leave a mess

It takes time and effort to organize Walmart shelves. So if you make a mess in an aisle while looking for a certain product, Tsai says you to put back the items you don’t need exactly the way you found them. “Keep in mind that the associates aren’t there to clean up after you like a housekeeper,” Tsai says. There are plenty of services you didn’t know you could get at Walmart that are up for grabs, but a personal maid isn’t an option.

Walmart PharmacyJeff Bukowski/Shutterstock

Leave carts in the middle of the aisle

Leaving your cart in the middle of the aisle is one rude thing people can easily unlearn. Blocking an entire lane with your cart to run to another aisle is just plain rude. “It’s important to be respectful of other guests who are also trying to enjoy the same experience at Walmart,” Tsai says. So simply move your cart to one side of the aisle or hide it between displays so people can pass by without bumping into the cart. If you can get by with a basket instead of a cart, you’ll avoid this rude behavior and save some money at the same time since using a cart is one of the grocery shopping mistakes that waste your money

walmart shopping cart areaAlejandro Guzmani/Shutterstock

Or leave carts in the middle of the parking lot

Polite shoppers always put their cart in the corral and never leave it abandoned in the middle of a parking space or half on the grass. Coleman says. “I understand that it can be frustrating to have to walk a cart halfway across the parking lot to find a corral, but it’s inconsiderate to employees and customers to leave your empty cart wherever you want,” she says. Stray carts take up valuable parking spots and could damage cars in the lot, Tsai adds. Ditching your cart in the middle of the parking lot is one of the bad habits Costco shoppers should really stop doing, too.

accessibility cartMaria Pomelnikova/Shutterstock

Use accessibility carts if they don’t need them

Motorized shopping carts exist for the people who need to use them, not for your entertainment. Polite people never take them for a joy ride. “You wouldn’t think this would need to be said, but using the accessibility scooter carts to race around the store is rude,” Coleman says. “Not only are you taking it away from someone else who needs it, but you’re also creating a safety hazard for other customers.”

walmart shelvesSundry Photography/Shutterstock

Leave their kids alone

Employees aren’t babysitters, so be polite and keep an eye on your kids while you shop at Walmart. “Safety is key to an enjoyable experience for both you and your kids, as well as other customers,” Tsai says. “Leaving them alone in the toy department can be dangerous since they can injure themselves accidentally.” Keeping an eye on your kids is also important, so they don’t tear apart the toy aisle, according to Coleman. “The last time I was at Walmart, even my kids were shocked that the other shoppers would allow their kids to behave the way they were, running around, knocking toys off the shelf, and putting them back wherever they wanted,” Coleman says. Apparently, there are plenty of forgotten manners every parent should teach their child.

walmart shopping cartsSundry Photography/Shutterstock

Raise their voice

Another thing Walmart shoppers seem completely oblivious of is the volume of their voice, Coleman says. “There have been numerous times where I have clearly heard an entire conversation from at least three aisles away, often including inappropriate language,” Coleman says. Walmart is a family store, so keep the chit chat quite, polite, and G-rated so everyone can enjoy shopping at the store. So many people do like shopping at Walmart that each state has its own top-selling Walmart item.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.