The other day I got a question on Twitter that I’ve wanted to address for a while. John H@coasttal wanted to know how to essentially butter up his local Walmart associates so he could ms there easily:
@PointChaser New WM opening. How do I break-in the money dept there & the mgr before unloading lots of gift cards? Write a post on this.
— John H (@coasttal) April 19, 2017
I can say from experience that befriending Walmart cashiers can make your manufactured spending routine infinitely easier. Before my local Walmart reps got to know me, I spent a lot more time hopping from one store to the next in order to buy money orders. I always walked into the store with a bit of anxiety: Are they going to ask excessive questions? Will they assume I’m engaged in some kind of illegal activity? Will they ban me from the store? Befriending the cashiers helped alleviate those fears and increased my productivity substantially.
Not only could I easily buy $10,000 worth of money orders during every trip, but I didn’t even have to hide the fact that I was using Visa gift cards. The cashiers and managers are now fully aware and completely ok with this. Being friendly with the manager also led to him backing me up after a confrontation with an asset protection associate.
This is the same manager who helped me double the amount of cards I could liquidate after he instructed the cashiers on how to process multiple card swipes on bill pay transactions. Not to mention that he is also the one who made an exception for me to use gift cards in the first place.
So how do you go about breaking down barriers and befriending your local Walmart cashiers? It’s really comes down to five things:
1. Be honest. There was a time when I took the Fight Club approach when it came to manufactured spending: “Don’t talk about it.” I soon realized that telling the cashiers I was buying thousands of dollars in money orders every week to pay bills sounded ridiculous. It made them uneasy and more suspicious. So I came right out and explained it to them and the reaction was, “That’s so cool! I wish I could do that.”
The same goes with my run-in with the asset protection associate. When I explained to him I was buying money orders to earn miles and points, he was actually familiar with this hobby and relieved he could cross me off the suspicious person list. He asked some questions and later told the cashiers it was ok for me to use Visa gift cards to pay for money orders as long as my name was on them. This hobby is weird but nothing we do is illegal, so be honest and your Walmart cashiers will be more at ease.
2. Be nice. You have no idea how many awful people Walmart cashiers deal with on a daily basis. I’m constantly told, “You’re my favorite customer. If they were all like you, it would make my job so much easier.” I try to be nice in general (except to jerks, for whom I save my full wrath). Being friendly, remembering people’s names, and taking the time to get to know them and ask about their day goes a long way in establishing a friendly rapport. It will take time, but eventually this combination of a friendly rapport and being honest about your ms activities will make your trips to Walmart easier.
3. Be considerate. If you’re buying $10,000 worth of money orders and there’s a huge line behind you, split your transactions and let others go ahead of you. What I often do is buy $2,000 – $4,000 worth of money orders, depending on how long the line is, and then let someone go ahead of me to keep the line moving. The customers spend less time in line, the cashiers appreciate it because their customers are less irritable, and it goes a long way in building good will.
4. Fill out surveys. Customer surveys are extremely important to Walmart stores. I was told my local store needs at least two positive surveys a week and they sometimes have trouble getting to that number. I also learned that my store actually rewards cashiers for positive survey feedback in the form of a $5 lunch credit. My local store employees know I always fill these surveys out, so they’re actually happy to ring me up even if it does take a long time. If you’re just getting to know your local cashiers you should fill out a survey, mention them by name, and the next time you see that cashier let them know about it.
5. Bring them treats. My local Walmart has been good to me – everyone from the store manager to regular cashiers are awesome to deal with. I know many of these people personally now and have even advised them on how to earn enough points for their dream vacation. I genuinely like these people and as a result, I drop off Krispy Kreme donuts either during holidays or after I’ve taken a trip made possible because of their cooperation.
Why Krispy Kreme donuts? Because everyone likes them, they’re easy to transport, and they’re just a little bit more special than regular donuts. Anyway, it really depends on what kind of relationship you have with your Walmart team. I get along great with everyone and really consider some of them friends. So when the occasion calls for it, I’m happy to show them my appreciation and nothing does that better than five dozen calorie bombs.
Really, befriending cashiers is like befriending anyone else. These people deal with a lot of awful customers on a daily basis (have you read People of Walmart?) and dealing with pleasant people is sometimes a rarity. Be that pleasant person and you’ll not only make their day but they’ll repay you by making your manufactured spending routine way less difficult.
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