Walmart customer tried to buy display vacuum cleaner after getting told no

@ajtheeblacksheep/TikTok ValeStock/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Imagine his surprise when he takes it home’: Walmart customer tried to buy display vacuum cleaner after getting told no. It backfires

'He ... bought it for a penny.'


Sarah Conklin


Posted on Jan 1, 2024   Updated on Jan 1, 2024, 1:08 am CST

Walmart employee and TikTok user AJ Spencer (@AJtheeblacksheep) regularly creates content that chronicles his time working at the superstore. In his latest viral video, he shares how a customer tried to pull one over on Walmart staff by taking a display vacuum, only to discover that display models do not work. The TikTok has been viewed over 200,000 times. 

AJ begins the video by filming a display shelf of vacuums, with a noticeable gap where one has been removed. The tag shows what the missing device is: a BISSELL PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum. It is on sale, at a rollback price of $44.96 (discounted from $59.00, according to Walmart’s website)

“So ya’ll, we told this man he could not buy the display because the box is right freaking there,” Spencer shares as he pans from the empty display to the shelf below, which is stocked with vacuums of the same model. Moving the camera back to the display, he zooms in on a snipped zip tie dangling from the wall.

Spencer elaborates, “He cut the zip ties off of it and took it to the register anyway and bought it for a penny.” 

While the Daily Dot has covered some wild 1-cent deals at Walmart, this instance is a little different. 

Although the Walmart customer might have gotten away with paying only a penny for his new vacuum, the device is not functional.

Flipping the camera toward his face, AJ continues, “Imagine his surprise when he takes it home, and it doesn’t work.” He cackles underneath his face mask as the video ends.

@ajtheeblacksheep #onthisday ♬ original sound – AJ Thee Ninja ✨

Consumer Gravity reported that while displays are typically used to grab the attention of customers customers, resulting in more sales, they are rarely functional and cannot be sold. 

“Many times they are simply shells made to look like the original product. This is often done to cut back on store expenses as Walmart cannot legally sell display items after they have been displayed. This allows Walmart to display these new items at a cheaper price and without having to waste merchandise. This also works as a protectant against theft as the display items are worthless and not worth stealing,” Consumer Gravity reports.

Retail workers resonated with AJ’s experience. “We had a guy annoyed and confused cause we wouldn’t sell a floor model CAR SEAT,” @syncsis said.

“The amount of times I had to stop people when they ring up display items and would they try to argue, okay bring that toaster with no cord home,” @danelle.kay shared.

“It’s amazing how many customers think they are entitled to buy the display model regardless of its actually for sale,” a third viewer wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Walmart via press inquiry and AJ via Instagram message.

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*First Published: Jan 1, 2024, 9:00 am CST