Don't Go to Walmart if You Don't Know About These 11 Common Mistakes



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Grocery shopping
Nodar Chernishev/istockphoto

Walmart Fails

For millions of shoppers across the U.S., Walmart is the place to go when you need to get your hands on just about anything. Boasting thousands of locations (5,283 to be exact) and several online shopping options, Walmart is a one-stop shop for everything from food and furniture to gardening and car supplies — plus, it's usually cheaper than most other retailers. 

But just like shopping anywhere else, you've gotta have a few tricks up your sleeve to snag the best deals and ensure you're getting the most value for your money. Here are 11 mistakes to avoid while shopping at Walmart. 

Walmart Rollback
Walmart Rollback by Mike Mozart (CC BY)

Falling for 'Rollback' Traps

Though Walmart's "Rollback" promotions (limited-time sales on certain items) can offer genuine savings, it's important to double-check the original price before deciding to buy. Sometimes the rollback price might not be significantly lower than the regular price, tricking you into believing you're getting a better deal than you actually are.

Eckerd brand cotton swabs
William Thomas Cain / Getty

You Don't Buy Any Generic Brands

If you always skip generic brands while shopping at Walmart, you could be spending more money than you have to. Name brands are often pricier, mainly due to the associated marketing costs. Generic brands, on the other hand, are usually just as good in terms of quality and effectiveness. By opting for generic products, you could be saving a surprising amount without compromising on the quality of an item. 

Checking price of item in supermarket aisle

You Forget to Price Match

If you purchase an item at Walmart and it goes on sale within a specific time frame, you can request a price adjustment through the retailer's price match policy (note that this doesn't include items purchased on Failing to take advantage of the policy means you could be paying more for an item that is now available at a lower price. To snag the most savings, keep an eye on the prices of your recent purchases to see if you can save more money through price adjustments.

Walmart Out of Stock
Joe Raedle / Getty

Missing Out on Clearance or End-of-Season Sales

Walmart will often have substantial discounts during clearance or end-of-season sales when stores are getting ready to turn over new inventory. By skipping these sales, you could miss out on significant savings on clothing, seasonal items, and home goods. (I snagged a couple camping chairs for $8 each that were originally priced at $79 during one of Walmart's end-of-summer sales in Denver.)

Related: 12 Hacks and Secrets for Shopping at Walmart 

Walmart Cyber Monday Sale

Not Using Walmart's App or Website

Walmart often provides exclusive deals, discounts, and coupons through its app and website, allowing shoppers to get additional discounts. While some users have panned Walmart's app for not being the most user-friendly, consider taking a few minutes to browse through the app or website before heading to the store to see which items are on sale and whether there are any coupons you could download. 

Related: I Just Went to Walmart for the First Time — Here are My Thoughts

Full-Price Groceries
Sergei Gnatiuk/istockphoto

Ignoring Unit Prices

Walmart offers a wide range of sizes and quantities for many products. Failing to compare unit prices can result in paying more when shopping for a smaller quantity. To avoid this trap, always check the unit prices displayed on the shelf labels to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck. 

Related: Walmart Pledges To Keep Prices for Its Own Products Low, Recession Be Damned

Credit card point of sale terminal at checkout

Overlooking Clearance Sections

Most Walmart stores have mountains of clearance racks, bins, and shelves with all kinds of discounted items. While these sections may seem a bit daunting, many people miss out on great deals by not taking the time to explore them. Don't be afraid to dig through the clearance area to unearth hidden gems at slashed prices.

woman hand hold shopping cart with Abstract blur supermarket aisle background

Buying in Bulk Without Proper Consideration

While Walmart's bulk-buying options can save you a lot of money, it's important to evaluate your needs and storage capacity, too. Purchasing perishable items or products that you won't use before they expire can end up being a waste of money. To avoid this pitfall, consider cleaning out your pantry beforehand to allow for ample storage space, and don't leave the cooking and meal-prepping for the last minute. 

Related: 10 Pantry and Freezer Staples Worth Buying in Bulk

Social media profile page in smartphone screen at work. Woman looking at feed, status update or post with mobile phone. Inefficient lazy worker avoiding job.
Tero Vesalainen/istockphoto

Disregarding Product Reviews

Before buying something, take a moment and check out what other customers have to say about it — especially when it comes to pricier items or electronics. Trust me, skipping the customer reviews can lead you straight into a regretful purchase. I have fallen for this multiple times, and ended up with a product that falls short of expectations or simply lacked the quality I was hoping for. 

Related: Before You Click the 'Buy' Button, Make Sure You Avoid These Amazon Shopping Mistakes

Grocery delivery box
svetikd / istockphoto

Not Using Free Shipping to Your Advantage

Walmart offers free shipping on orders of $35 and above, and most shoppers say the service is worth using. By having your items delivered, you're less likely to get caught up in spur-of-the-moment purchases that often happen when shopping in-store. If you want free shipping on orders under $35, consider signing up for Walmart+. "I've been using it for years. I don't have to pay for shipping and it saves me so much time shopping in the store to be able to use the pickup service," writes one Redditor.

credit card reader

Not Signing Up for Walmart's Credit Card

While applying for a credit card isn't something that works for everyone, Walmart's credit card comes with some hefty perks, including cash back and points that can be redeemed on future purchases, shoppers say. "Excellent card for the right person – can’t beat 5% back," writes one Reddit user, while another adds, "I also have the Walmart credit card and apply the points to my grocery bills. It adds up quickly."

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