Self-checkout lanes have become a point of contention among shoppers, but one TikToker sparked discussion about a potential benefit of using them when she showed how easily she was able to avoid scanning pricey diapers at a grocery store.
Totsionna (@wesickandtired) shared her frustration while shopping for a baby shower gift at Kroger, noting that the diapers on the list—a 100-pack of Huggies—cost $46.99.
“Who got that type of money?” she asks in the clip.
She insists that she was still going to buy the diapers, and then cuts to a shot of her feigning having trouble finding the barcode to scan them in the self-checkout lane. Her camera’s viewpoint shows her holding a single Kool-Aid packet in one hand, and when she eventually “finds” the barcode for the diapers, she places the packet over it and scans it instead.
“I’m gonna get the diapers,” she says while all of this was going on. “For 34 cents.”
“Accidentally” scanning the wrong item at the self-checkout lane is considered a common form of this particular type of theft. Different stores take different types of precautions to try to deter or catch customers who do this, including checking receipts at the door, stationing an employee at the self-checkout lanes, or installing security cameras at each station, although these methods have frequently prompted annoyance from customers.
Clearly, these methods don’t always work, as something like 23% of losses due to theft is believed to take place at self-checkouts. People also have different opinions on the ethics of it, with some pointing out that self-checkouts force customers to do work that would otherwise be given to a paid employee, that these stores account for theft in their prices already, or that wage theft is actually the real problem among corporations.
Some of Totsionna’s viewers are also among those who have taken advantage of self-checkout to lower their own expenditures, to varying degrees of success.
“And one thing about it … I make sure I go to that self checkout,” wrote one commenter.
“U gotta use a scan tag from other diapers a cheap small pack so it says diapers on receipt,” another suggested.
One person said that their “momma did this one [too] many times n is now fighting a case,” while another admitted, “I did this one time [and] got caught and did 25 days in jail. Never again.”
Others just had sympathy for how expensive necessary goods like diapers have become—one commenter claimed that when she was buying diapers in 2019, they were no more than $30.
But even people who seemed on board with Totsionna’s tactics pointed out that filming yourself stealing and putting it on TikTok may not be the best way to get away with something.
“Girl you didn’t have to be so obvious about it,” wrote one viewer.