The Customer Checkout Scheme Aldi Employees Can't Stand

Odds are, if you try pulling something over on a grocery store cashier, they're going to notice. Even if they don't say anything, seasoned employees are trained to discern everyday mishaps. In an interview with Insider, an Aldi employee, who goes by JK, shared his thoughts on a tactic he especially hates. In the event there's a purchasing limit imposed on an item, JK wants you to refrain from using sneaky practices to cheat the system. "We know that a 3-year-old didn't come in on their own to buy three dozen eggs with a $50 bill," he said. "In these cases, we're forced to ask the responsible customer to put back the excess, and that's annoying."

In 2023, cashiers likely faced these troubles when major grocery outlets set purchasing limits on eggs. These limits were the result of a nationwide egg shortage, which caused prices to soar as demand increased. The news of the rations quickly spread across social media, with shoppers sharing their first-hand accounts. "Limit 2 per customer for 9-dollar eggs. Things are fine. Things are totally fine," wrote one Twitter user, who also shared a photo from inside the grocery store.

Difficult times like these make it even more challenging for grocery store employees to keep things in check. But, this is only one of the customer schemes that cashiers simply can't stand.

Reading posted signage is the best way to avoid issues

Sometimes, instead of trying to bypass sales' restrictions, customers attempt to ignore them altogether. Whether items are limited as part of a discount or because of nationwide shortages like this year's egg crisis, trying to ring up more than the posted amount is a waste of time for both you and the cashier. "If customers take more than they're allowed, we have to ask them to leave the excess at the register," Aldi employee JK said to Insider. "This makes the employee look like the bad guy when they're only enforcing a clearly posted rule."

Where some customers try to weasel their way out of purchasing limits, others wish they'd be enforced on a larger scale. On the r/aldi subreddit, one user called for limits on Aldi's "find items." Though the shopper shows up each Sunday at 9 a.m., taking advantage of these deals isn't always possible due to greedier customers. "Some of them bring 2-3 shopping carts each, and load up their carts with everything ... [One woman] bought every planter and pergola that my neighboring Aldi had in stock," the post read. It was hard to fathom that any single person needs that many pergolas, but one commenter explained that shoppers buy bulk amounts for resale.

Next time you grocery shop, make sure to pay attention to posted notices. Well, this is what JK recommends to prevent any problems.

Another selfish customer behavior Aldi employees can't stand

It's fair to say that there is a mild level of etiquette when shopping in a grocery store. And, along with the basic courtesy of not buying over your limit when products are rationed due to a lack of supply, there are other sorts of behavior that really annoy Aldi employees. One of these, according to a former U.K. Aldi employee, is hearing customers ask them to "scan slower," as reported by the Mirror in 2022. But, doing this would apparently cut into their efficiency level as employees are required to, "hit a percentage of 83% or higher on item per minute scanned," according to one Reddit poster (via The Sun).

So, not only would buying more than your share of a limited item steal the chance for someone else to have that product at home, but it would also reduce the cashiers' productivity level. Ostensibly the cashier would need to stop scanning and ask you to take the items back, or in fact, take the items back themselves. Please just respect your fellow customers and employees and follow the grocery shopping etiquette. 

Getting away with the scheme may become easier with self-checkouts

Aldi has long been known for cutting costs by passing some of the work on to the customer, hence the need for bagging your own groceries and returning your own cart. It stands to reason, then, that this retailer would eventually get on board with the self-checkout trend. Not all Aldis have rolled out this new format as of yet, though, as this conversion not only takes time but money — according to an MIT study, the cost of installing a standard self-checkout setup is about $125,000. Still, the change is definitely underway and self-checkout stations have been popping up in Aldi stores from Nebraska to Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

When it comes to circumventing item limits via self-checkout, it seems that you could probably also try that same trick of having your kids go through the line to make their own purchases. In this case, though, you won't be dealing with a cashier whose job may depend on them remaining as polite as possible under the circumstances, but rather on the goodwill and/or gullibility of other Aldi patrons who have no such constraints. They will likely let you know what they think of your scheme in no uncertain terms, so it's better to just play by the rules and avoid the censure of your fellow shoppers.