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Tips for Preventing Long Lines at Grocery Stores

Updated on February 2, 2012
Save time, don't wait in long lines!
Save time, don't wait in long lines! | Source

Nobody likes to wait in long lines. Being the person causing a hold up in a long line is even worse. Sometimes there is nothing you can do about the long lines in retail stores, but there are some things you can do to speed up the entire process. I have been working as a cashier in a grocery store for a few months now, and I have discovered that there are many things customer's do that contribute to long lines.

Don't get distracted by conversations

There is nothing more frusturating to me then trying to ring up a customer that is talking on their cellphone. This is so rude! You may not think that having a conversation with your cashier is important, but it can be. For example, sometimes I have to ask a customer if their item rang up the correct price. Occasionally, I will see that a customer missed a sticker for a "buy one get one free deal", and I will ask them if they would like to receive their free item. If you are on the phone, your cashier may not even bother to tell you these sorts of things. Not to mention, it is not right to make the cashier feel "rude" for being the one to inturrupt your conversation to tell you your total or ask if you'd like a receit. I have had countless chattering customers, waste time by being oblivious to the fact that I am waiting for them to pay. The bottom line is, if you are that attatched to your cellphone that you can't put it down for the time it takes to grocery shop, then maybe you need to see a professional. This also goes for having real life conversations. It is also rude to hold up a line so you can talk to your neighbor that just walked by. Get out of line if you want to focus on a conversation that is with someone besides your cashier. It is nice to have alittle friendly conersation with your cashier, but don't get into such a big conversation that it slows down their pace or causes you to become distracted.

Be Prepared

You should know the drill. If your store has any type of memebership card, have it out before you approach the register. Have your source of payment out and ready. It is frusturating to stand behind a customer that frantically searches for their credit card in their purse for 5 minutes only to have to wait another 5 minutes while they run out to their car to get it. Did you not know before you got up to the cashier that you were going to have to pay? Are you buying alcohol or tobacco? Have your ID out. Why didn't you look for these things before getting in line or even while waiting in line?

If you are using a large quanity of coupons, plan your trips wisely

I have nothing against couponers, even as a cashier. In fact, I admire couponers. I have always believed the phrase " a penny saved is a penny earned." However, I will never understand the ladies that come in at the busiest time of the day and hand me a stack of 40 coupons. Find out the typical busy times at your store. These are usually 5-7pm when everyone is getting off work, weekends, and at the first of the month. Ask the manager of the store if you need to. Plan your coupon trip during nonpeak times. Coupons take longer thus holding up lines.

Know what you want

If you are purchasing something behind the counter that the cashier has to get for you, have atleast a general idea of exactly what you want. You would be surprised at how many customer's make those behind them wait for several minutes while they debate between 5 or 6 different brands of ciggerettes.

Help your cashier if possible

If you are able to help your cashier in anyway, then do so. If you can help bag or load your cart, for example, this can help speed up the checking out process.


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    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 6 years ago from Greece

      I think your hub is great! Truthful with a twist of humour, I love the bit about people who can't be separated from the mobiles whilst shopping needing to see a professional!! I totally agree.

      We all hate waiting in queues and if we can make it a more pleasant experience, then why don't we!!

      An amusing hub and socially shared....

    • nityanandagaurang profile image

      nityanandagaurang 6 years ago

      Actually this is common problem in all grocery store.Very unique subject for hub Amber522

    • motherhubbard profile image

      motherhubbard 6 years ago

      I'm very well aware of what you are talking about. But it takes all kinds of people. You can add those that are inconsiderate to the list, or have too much time on their hands.

    • Amber522 profile image

      Amber522 6 years ago

      Rochelle, I never thought to add not coming through express lanes with more items then allowed, but yes that is also an important tip. Stores create those lines for a helpful reason.

      Peoplepower, I am glad you lked the tips, and thhanks for SHARING!

      alocsin, that is another great tip. I prefer shopping later at night for this reason.

    • agreenworld profile image

      Dawn A. Harden 6 years ago from CT-USA

      Good points on needing to be prepared while in line so you don't hold others up..thanks!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Excellent advice, though I'd like to add shopping at off-peak hours is the best way to avoid lines. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 6 years ago from Placentia California

      Thanks for the tips. This will definetly make me a better shopper. I thik the only thing I violate is not having my rewards card ready. This hub is really about empathy and being able to put ourselves in the place of the other person. Thanks for SHARING.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Good suggestions, for those who will listen. I think cashiers have a difficult job; on your feet and dealing with lots of people.

      I was one in a 'quick check line' and heard someone remind a customer that they shold only have ten items. She said," Yes, I know-- but I would have had to wait." Then she wrote a check.