Scanning Code of Practice (Money Saving Tip)

Some well known retailers in my area (Walmart, Food Basics) offer a program called the “Scanning Code of Practice.” The purpose of this program is to ensure quality service, and to make sure that all of the prices are accurately displayed on the shelving. There are not a lot of people who know about this trick, even though the “Scanning Code of Practice” is clearly displayed at each cash register in participating stores.

How It Works

The “Scanning Code of Practice” promises that the participating retailer will have accurate UPC (universal product codes) and PLU (price look up) when at the register. Failure to have this entails a reward to the consumer, if they can catch it. Problem is, despite the display of the “Scanning Code of Practice,” few consumers are even aware of its existence.

The Benefits to YOU, the Consumer

At my local Walmart, the employees are aware of the “Scanning Code of Practice” but they will not bring it up to you unless you ask. Typically it’s a hush hush practice, because it reflects badly on the store and in particular its managing staff.

For example:

I needed some diapers for my daughter. My personal favourite brand are the Pampers Cruisers. Walmart offers the massive box for a regular price of $37. The pricing on the shelf listed the diapers as $33.47, and the UPC code for the product and for the tag on the shelf matched. When scanned at the cash, the diapers came up as $37. Most people would be happy to just simply request the price they saw on the shelves, and pay $33.47, which is what Walmart wants. However, if you ask for the “Scanning Code of Practice,” the store is forced to give you $10 off of the price, and if the product is under $10 it’s free! Yes, free. No strings attached.

The box of diapers you see above ended up costing me $23.47. The big huge box. That’s less than the smaller box listed on the shelves for $29. It pays to know the in and outs of this program. It works for everything from groceries to clothing to household to electronics. The one catch is that it works solely for one item of its kind. So if I were to go back and get two boxes of those diapers above, only one would cost me $23.47 and the other would cost me $33.47. But if you saw those diapers listed for the wrong price, and also a bar of cheese was mislabeled and a box of granola bars, you would walk out with free cheese and granola bars, and diapers for $23.47. Not bad!

The “Scanning Code of Practice” is displayed right at the cash, typically beside the debit/credit machine at participating stores. Check next time you shop see if your local retailer is a participant!

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