Self serve checkout lines at K-Mart

So there I was today, at K-Mart (motto: “Come on, it’s cheap!”), in the self checkout line. I ran my items over the bar code scanner, then over a grey magnetic pad, then placed them in plastic bags.

After each item, a recorded voice said “Please bag your last item. Purchased item was not bagged.” I tried explaining to the machine that I had put my item in the bag, but it wouldn’t listen. As I left, I saw a screen logging error messages from each self checkout line, which confirmed my suspicions that the sensors weren’t working: “Purchased item not placed in bag. Non-purchased item taken from bagging area.”

But that got me thinking, just how do the sensors work? There were no cameras or visible sensors on the machine, just the scanner, magnetic pad, bags, and payment slots. The items also had no visible transmitters. How does the machine supposedly know where you’re putting your items?

The bag is being constantly weighed.

Sorry about that. There is an explanation here . They are about to introduce self scanning in Australia and a representative of the US manufacturer explained the weighing angle on TV.

That doesn’t seem to be the case at our local K-Mart/Big K (weighing that is). Two days ago my wife and I almost came to blows with one before we realized it was referring to the customer before us whom had paid with a check and the reset had to be done at the teller’s station. What’s the point of self-checkout and self-pay if you’re going to do it with a check (that the machine won’t take)? Don’t understand these people.

Anyway, I’ve purchased single items several times and forgone the bag. I was never hassled by the machine. (Though I’m waiting for Skynet to take over and punish shoplifters by sending Terminators to their house.)

Takes less time, especially if you can walk right up to the self-pay instead of waiting ten minutes in line.

Also, even though it does still require a cashier to operate the “self” checkout, it’s usually only one cashier for four or six scanners. In the long run, it saves the store money, as well as being an easy way to add many more express lines.

No competent retail store is going to let you pay with a check (or even a credit card) sight unseen, unfortunately - there’s just way too much risk of fraud.

Incidentally, you don’t have to actually put your stuff in the bag, only on the end of the machine that holds the bags - as noted above, it’s basically a big weighing surface.

At the K-Mart I go to - the scanner seems to basically take your word that you’ve scanned in your items and don’t have a cart of Martha Stewart goodies on the side.

I like those self-serve thingies. Mainly because there’s never a line. I guess a security guard might stop you and check your receipt.

On a similar tack, I bought some CD’s and books at Borders (owned by K-mart) and walked out the inner door into the vestibule… BEEP BEEP

Some people glanced at me. I stopped, pulled out my receipt and waited a New York minute (15 seconds or so in this case) and nobody came at me with a billy club.

“I’m going to my car” I telepathically told security as I left and headed to my car.

We had one of these at a SuperK in my hometown, it shut down. People so totally abused it that it was not even marginally funny. I saw several folks on several different occasions when it was busy dragging multiple identical items across the scanner and dropping them in or holding a lower priced item in front of a higher priced one while the one cashier was trying to help another customer at their checkout station (and therefore not watching the cameras)

I wonder if it also checks the weight placed in the bag against the weight of the purchased item? So you can’t scan something small and cheap, put it aside put a DVD player in the bag.

I don’t understand what the ‘bagging’ is about. The K-mart I go to seems to work on an honor system, although it’s likely that cameras are used as drachillix mentioned.

I bought some towels (scanned - tossed back into wagon), curtains and curtain rods (scanned & tossed back). No bags. No weights. I swiped my VISA, the machine gave me a receipt and I walked out.

Thank you, come again.

The self serve registers here at the antelope valley k-mart havent worked in months

And it looks like thell never be fixed although i wish to god they did since I dislike most of thr checkers at the k-mart we have

We have some at the local grocery store and they do indeed seem to have a “weight” stored in the computer for each item you scan, so you can’t just place an unscanned item along with a scanned item into the bag at the same time. Produce is always fun, since I get to challenge myself to remember produce codes from seven years ago (I used to be a checker in high school). I love watching old people look at their fruit, suddenly discovering how it works. “Ooohhh, I just punch in this code on the sticker! Wow!”

Incidentally, those things answered one of my questions from back when I was a checker. I started noticing that every piece of produce started getting stickers, or even a barcode. Even bananas got a sticker, which even the newest checker knew was 4011. The self-serve lanes opened up a year after I quit.

As a former Borders employee, I can tell you that even if you BEEP when you leave, you won’t be checked or searched. Employees are told not to be that aggressive for fear of wrongly accusing someone.