A user on TikTok has gone viral after claiming that Walmart customers will soon be required to pay a dollar to use a cart.
In a video with over 7.2 million views as of Sunday, TikTok user Shawn (@soulforgepodcast) shows an apparent payment mechanism attached to a cart at Walmart.
“Starting February 1st, Walmart is going to charge you a dollar to take out their carts,” Shawn says.
@soulforgepodcast #money #shop #store #walmart #food #shopping #fyp #fun ♬ original sound – Rusted Robot Toys on Etsy
At first, TikTok users appeared outraged.
“Now I have a great reason to start stuffing my pockets,” wrote one user.
“Well I’ll have to hook up the trailer to the Jeep so I can take the cart home with me,” another added. “If I’m paying for it, I’m keeping it.”
“I should charge them for bring[ing] the cart in from the parking lot!” another exclaimed.
However, there are a few things that TikTok users are misunderstanding about this video.
First, Shawn is based in Canada, where dollar coins are more common. While it is unclear if this policy will exist across Canada, there are news stories from regions like Thunder Bay that indicate that this policy is in fact being rolled out at some Canadian locations.
Second, it appears that the dollar coin inserted into the cart is a deposit, not a fee. When one’s shopping is complete, they can return their cart and receive their dollar back.
As other users on TikTok pointed out, this is a fairly common system in both the U.S. and Europe.
“It’s like aldi’s once you put the key back in you get your $1 back,” a user claimed. “This isn’t new, bigger urban cities have been doing this since 90’s.”
“Aldi has done it for years,” a second user stated. “So now Walmart eliminates having to fetch their carts.”
“If you ever lived in germany you’ll understand,” shared a third.
As evidenced by the comments above, grocery chain Aldi has had a system like this in place in the United States for years. In order to take out a cart, one must deposit a quarter. When they are done shopping, they can get their quarter back.
Aldi explains the policy on their website.
“This 25 cent deposit ultimately saves our customers money because we don’t have to hire extra staff to collect grocery carts,” the site reads. “To unlock a cart, customers have to insert a quarter, and this deposit ensures shoppers return their cart to the corral to get their quarter back.”
Still, some users were less than enthusiastic.
“Next thing they’ll do is have you stock the shelves too,” a commenter joked.
Update 12:15pm CT, Feb. 1: While Walmart has not confirmed that this will be a policy all over Canada, Shawn says that he has heard it will spread all over the country.
“I first found out the day I posted the video,” Shawn wrote in an Instagram direct message to the Daily Dot. “I walked into Walmart to get batteries for my podcast equipment and people were talking about it. So I just made a quick video spur of the moment.”
Shawn has a podcast called the Source Forge Podcast. This system is not uncommon in Canada, he explained.
“Here in Canada, it’s pretty standard. Not all stores do it but a lot of the grocery stores already do,” he detailed. “No Frills has been doing this for many years. It’s usually a quarter but no one cares about those so they’ve gone to the dollar coin. Everyone wants those back.”
We’ve reached out to Walmart Canada via its media relations contact form.