Hand holding phone with Walmart app(l), Man looking disappointed(c), Walmart scanner says item not found(r)

amirraizat/Shutterstock @tio_choco/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I’d be calling everyone out daily’: Walmart worker catches online order pickers lying about unavailable items

'This is exactly who I want doing my Instacart orders.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 27, 2024, 10:19 am CST

If you’ve ordered a Walmart pick-up order through the retailer’s mobile application or website, then your items were selected and fulfilled by a Walmart picker. Pickers are equipped with mobile devices manufactured by Zebra, which display all of the store’s logged inventory, but oftentimes there are discrepancies in the inventory amounts listed on the back end versus what’s actually in store.

This could be due to theft, returns that were never processed, or goods being damaged and never deducted from the aggregate total in the inventory list.

So when a picker is looking for items to fulfill a shopper’s request but can’t locate them, they mark those products as not found.

That’s when someone like TikToker and Walmart exceptions clerk Tio Choco (@tio_choco) comes in to check and see if those items are really unavailable. And as he demonstrates on his account—in many instances his co-workers simply didn’t take the time to look for them. Either that or they have it out for the customers.

“Doing exceptions—looking for items the pickers ‘couldn’t find,'” the TikToker writes in a text overlay of their video as they search through the items on their Zebra handheld scanner.

First up are vanilla ice cream cups. Tio shows off the ice cream before clearing away several quantities of birthday cake ice cream cups. It appears that the picker, upon seeing the numerous packs of birthday cake ice cream cups, didn’t want to move the other products out of the way to see if the vanilla variant was lurking at the back of the freezer.

Next up were the Kinder Joy Egg treats—and Tio shows that the store is carrying 293 of them. While it’s understandable if the inventory count says that there is only 1 or 2 of an item in the store and that was miscounted, it’s difficult to imagine that an inventory count is going to be off by nearly 300 units. He then pans the camera away from the device’s screen to the shelf which sure enough contains a bog holding several of the Kinder Egg surprise treats.

Tio was then directed to find a white decorative pillow emblazoned with an image of a blue pickup truck carrying a bunch of daisies. He, again, cuts away from the screen to show the price tag, which clearly details the pillow should be located there. However when he pans his camera up to try and find it on the shelf, similarly to the ice cream situation, he has to move another type of pillow until he gets to the back of the shelf to find the home good he’s looking for.

With the bag of Purple Skittles gummy candy, it’s readily apparent that the picker in question who was tasked with finding the product probably didn’t even try—it was there, ready for anyone to put in their shopping cart.

The device then displays a can of CELSIUS Sparkling Galaxy Vibe, an energy drink. A message: “item not found” is featured on the handheld inventory management device, which states that there are 14 of them “on hand.” Sure enough, the $1.88 beverage is right there on the shelf, at Tio’s eye level, next to other variants of the brand’s offerings.

The last product Tio shows on camera is Uncooked Maple Syrup Breakfast Pork Sausage Patties. There’s no need to move any other products around to find them—they’re front and center, highlighting yet another instance of an item that was very easy to spot.

According to a caption posted by Tio, this is a recurring chorus of his job, as this particular clip is his 27th video delineating what it’s like working as an exceptions clerk and locating items that other Walmart employees couldn’t find, or simply didn’t want to, for customers.

@tio_choco Exceptions. Part 27. #fyp #fy #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #onlineshopping #onlinegrocerypickup #onlinegrocery #exceptions #work #working #workdayvibes #workdayinmylife #workday ♬ What You Won't Do for Love – Bobby Caldwell

Some viewers who watched Tio’s video expressed their gratitude for the work that he does.

“So you’re the reason I always get ALL my items,” they penned.

Another person seemed to sympathize with his exceptions clerk frustrations, writing that they, too, understand the struggle of co-workers who won’t try and find items. “They never look behind anything lol,” they wrote.

Someone else appreciated Tio’s dedication to locating the products others couldn’t find: “This is exactly who I want doing my Instacart orders.”

There was another commenter who thought that the “hidden” products may have been the work of folks who were trying to save the items for themselves. “Someone was def hiding that ice cream for later,” they speculated.

Another person was stunned at the equanimity Tio exhibited in his videos: “How are you not infuriated on a daily basis? I would be grumbling all freaking day! Lol.”

Tio replied to the aforementioned TikToker, stating that he was, indeed, irate that his co-workers would leave out items he so easily found.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Walmart via email for further comment.

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 2:00 pm CST