Do you use/like self serve checkouts?

Do you guys like self serve checkouts? Do you use them, do you scam them? I personally can't stand them, retailers are like it's convenience but I say having someone behind a checkout to serve me is convenience! Consumers already have to pack the trolley, pack it when they get to the car, then unpack it when you get home and now they want us to pack it at the checkout as well. Maybe there should be a discount for using them? I know for a fact coles bosses were like that's 6 fulltime staff I don't have to pay for in each store they apply


    • +27

      You can scam it for some of the fresh stuff (Getting premium tomatoes for the price of the cheap ones) but not sure if it's easy to scam in any other way.

      That's theft.

      I use them occasionally. If you have 1 or 2 items it is fine. I also have noticed the Coles ones are a bit of a pain to use.

      • +8

        Yea definitely stealing shop goods if you scan an item knowingly it was not the right item.

      • -1

        And executives using tax loop holes to avoid paying tax isn't legitimised theft?

        • +9

          And that justifies theft how exactly? Or how would stealing vegetables solve tax loop holes? Why not just straight-out shoplift?

          If you have a problem with the tax code take it up with your local member. Start a petition. Don't give them your business.

        • If u go down that path I can argue 50% of everyone are no different by using negative gearing, it's a "loophole" too if u want to argue why some people on the same wage as another don't pay tax.

          The legislation is there, if ur not happy with the tax act, it doesn't mean u it's stealing.

      • +1

        I'm the opposite. I vastly prefer coles/kmart over woolworths/bigw self service. The woolworths self service checkouts always have delays that slow you down for small purchases.

      • +4

        Agree. Plus I prefer spending some quality time with the nice check out chicks!

  • +2

    Horrible things, I thought I'd get used to using them but i still find it an annoying experience.

  • +11

    Yeah, and you have to open the food containers before you can eat. :P

    I like them simply because there are usually no queues for them.

  • +2

    Good for small amounts… but often at all my local supermarkets there's never enough check outs open, so the lines extend to the back of the store and the self serve staff are often away from their post when you need them…

    As for scamming them, it would be really easy. I've heard stories of people pretending to scan roasts etc while scanning another cheaper item as the Woolies ones don't measure the weight like the Coles ones do… but my town is too small so I don't S#@t where I eat… Also my friend who works at Woolies said their undercover shopper guy caught 7 or 8 people in one day trying to scam them.

  • +46

    Unexpected item in bagging area. Grrrr.
    It is rare for me to use them for more than two or three items as they always need manual intervention for discount labels etc.

    • +7

      And then there's:

      Please take your items……..please take your items………please take your items.

      I can't help it if I'm slow.

      • +4

        Pushy, aren't they? I always feel a little used and abused when she says that :(

        • +1

          I know, it's like a constant nagger in computerised form. I'll will be taking the damn items, I just paid for them!

        • Assistance required?

    • agree, hate this when you try to use your own bags or you are a bit slow in putting your purchase in the packing area and then you have to wait for the operator to clear the message.

    • +4

      I also hate it how you scan something and bag it, then 5 seconds later you remove the bag and put it on the floor / back in your trolley to get the next bag ready, and it flips out that you've removed the bag.

      What does the machine expect me to do when my bag is full? Just leave it there?

      • +7

        If you look above the Bar Code Scanner, you will see Light indicater with Red/Green. When bags full wait for indicator to turn green and you can remove your bag.

  • I was shown how to use them by Coles staff, but haven't used them since. Either I only have a few items and use the staffed express lane, or I go shopping at quiet times when there's usually a staffed checkout available with little waiting.

  • +2

    I love them. I definitely exploit the 'select an item' option. I scan every item and have never even tried not scanning things properly.

  • +1

    I Try to avoid them if possible

  • Not a fan of Coles self-serve but I always use it at Woolies and actually prefer scanning myself compared to the checkout experience at Aldi.

  • +3

    Much prefer an express lane as long as there are staff behind the checkouts which doesn't happen too often

  • +11

    Prefer self scan. Quicker. I bag my items exactly how I want. Can put all cool items in one bag and just the whole bag into the fridge when I get home. Then deal with it later.

    • +30

      Also can take an extra few bags for the bins at home :)

  • +2

    LOVE them, it's much quicker than staffed checkouts and I can pack things the way I like, started using them since day one and never looked back.

  • +1

    The staff are trained and they do their job everyday for hours. I find it hard to believe that some people claimed to be quicker than the staff!

    • It's quicker when there's a queue at the manned checkout and its for a few items only

    • +3

      I must be gifted, I'm just as fast as most unmotivated teenager behind the check out, I think might be because they are paid per hour, and I want to get in and out as fast as I can. So it is nearly always faster. But it difficult to stockall the iitem if I buy a lot.

    • At my local Coles the self serve checkout line always move faster than staffed checkouts. Like Cloudy said above, some staff tend to be slow and disinterested whereas shoppers tend to want to get their shopping done quickly.

      • +1

        I don't think it's a matter of staff being slow, it's because they can fit 2 or 3 self-scan checkouts in the space of 1 normal checkout making the line move quicker.

        I work in a different supermarket and the bottleneck at the tills (in my store anyway) is ALWAYS the customers packing speed. Cashiers (even "disinterested teenagers"!) can scan items far quicker than they can be packed.

  • +18

    Where else can you play out your fantasy job as a checkout chick?

  • +1

    I can get how people can be faster on self serve if a checkout has a long line at it but if the retailers opened the closed checkout with people we wouldn't have to wait

    • +2

      Has anyone ever seen all checkouts open, even 90%?

      I think I've seen around 70% but that was back in the 90s, during peak period of course on a weekend

      Usually these days peak means 40%-50% checkouts

      • +2

        Yea come to Woolworths Mac Ryde on Saturday. But its annoying coz no one knows where to find parking due to all the construction.

        • But its annoying coz no one knows where to find parking due to all the construction.

          Agree 100%
          It's a bloody mess atm, instead of 80 days around a westfield, it's 80 days around Macquarie Centre Carpark.

      • The past few weeks my local woolies (disclaimer: where I happen to work) has had many occasions (during busy periods) where we had around 70% of the registers open. Then again, we don't have self-serve so I guess it is more common.

        I was in NZ and there was a supermarket there (their woolies) which had 3 express and 8 self serve, that was it. Needless to say, the line was a mile long, however the self serve one moved very quickly.

  • +3

    I find self serve in other areas of life to be quick friendly and efficient. ;-)

    • +1

      Nothing wrong with a bit of DIY…

      • +2

        especially when there are no staffed checkouts in your life

        • +2

          Or intermittent availability and inconsistenot performance. Take the bull by the horns. Your expectations will be met and sometimes exceeded.

  • +5

    Coles one always seems to get upset. Woolies one I've never had a problem with.

    I prefer using them, but the Coles one seems far too sensitive. Maybe just our local Coles

    • +1

      Woolworths were terrible when they first rolled out, they would fault on every item. It was so bad that they all but removed all the checking which is why they are easier now.

      • My woolies is awesome, i'm pretty sure there is no checking whatsoever. Massive increase in convenience for me I love it.

      • Which is also why they have much greater loss than the coles ones.

    • I prefer using them, but the Coles one seems far too sensitive. Maybe just our local Coles

      Nope. Always goes please remove item from bagging area. This is the one on King St and George in Sydney CBD.
      Woolies selfserve machines are fine for me.

  • +3

    I am OK with the concept but find the way they are implemented insulting.

    The weighing items business is insulting and wastes my time. If I want to steal something weighing the bag won't stop it.

    The ergonomics says to me they care about staff but not me. Height is wrong, no conveyer belt and multiple purchases of same item must be scanned individually as must be placed in bag.

    This area is usually always understaffed so have to wait every time stupid red light flashes.

    There is usually a queue anyway as checkouts are still understaffed.

    I think one good checkout operator should be able to move people as fast as 3 self serve.

    The self serve needs 1 staff member for each 3 machines to check coupons /
    signatures / weight errors etc

    • +2

      Insulting? Are you under the impression that the machine that you use is there purely for your use? Or is everybody else assumed to be just as moral as you?

      • What are you talking about. I never said I was moral.

        Are you under the impression the average shoplifter is suddenly gonna empty their pockets to be weighed. The only people putting their stuff on the scales to start with are the honest people and this wastes their time.

        If I was a professional shoplifter I'd still be insulted. The ergonomics is an insult to the elderly and disabled.Those with whom I have discussed find the bending painful. If you had training in ergonomics you would know it is insulting to anyone who uses them.

        If you didn't understand my comment you should not reply.

  • +2

    I do use them, if I'm only buying a few things - it's no big deal and it is quicker.

    I don't like them as a concept, because I'm already paying for the product, and now I'm also doing their job to process the transaction for them. If we'd all organised a boycott of the self-serve machines when they first rolled out, maybe Colworths would've been forced to offer a discount for using the machines. Is it too late for that?

    What I don't get is when half the self-serve checkouts are CLOSED when there's nothing wrong with them! Can someone tell me why?

    • +6

      What I don't get is when half the self-serve checkouts are CLOSED when there's nothing wrong with them! Can someone tell me why?

      Because Computer says Nooooo.

      • I've actually never ever seen any self serve checkouts closed at any Coles or Woolies in Perth, but on a recent trip to Melbourne a few weeks back I noticed they had blocked off a whole heap of self serve checkouts at the Coles next to Spencer St Station.

        I just assumed it was because they didn't have enough staff to 'police' them at the time. The store was busy and there were queues at the self serve that were open + the staffed checkouts as well.

    • I always wonder why I don't get a discount paying cash when everyone else that pays with credit cost the retailer a 3% fee. But that's life, I get over and go for what's most convenient, and usually, self check out is.

      • +7

        I highly doubt the big supermarkets are paying a 3% fee to process credit cards. I worked for another large chain before and it was around 1.05% for visa and mastercard. With Woolworths and Coles pushing the marketing for paypass so much I'm sure they were given an even better rate than that.

        Processing cash payments is not free either. It involves cash being lost, armoured trucks, extra security, high risk of burglary, etc. That's why they encourage people to take cash out when paying by eftpos.

        • I speak of all retailers in general, from big to small.. No one provides a cash discount.
          I used to work in a tiny fruit shop, cash only!

        • AND the important thing to note is that these overheads have always been built into the price of goods. I didn't see prices go down across the board by 1% or 3% when they were given the green light to charge extra for credit cards.

          Same with Target etc charging for bags but that's for another thread.

    • Someone needs to be on duty to look after them. If there is only one person available then only the amount then one person can handle will be open.

    • +2

      I work for Coles and occasionally self serve coach, the reason they are sometimes closed off is to stop the front ones from overuse which then results in very low cash in them. We try to get an even spread between the machines, though if its busy they should be opened up, unless there is a problem with the machine, which may or may not always be evident to the customer.

      • Interesting, how does that happen, do customers somehow prefer the front ones?

        • +1

          Yep and you'd be surprised at the odd looks I get when they are closed even though there are another 4 empty.

        • +1

          This should be an interesting puzzle for an industrial psychologist. I'm guessing it's because people are used to picking up and leaving at a staffed checkout and having to walk some more after purchasing feels a bit unnatural.

  • +10

    I usually use them as I buy in small amount. If there is an attractive check out girl I will go to the counter.

  • -1

    I use them 2 3rds of the time. I once also accidentally scammed them. had two of the same items the first one scanned and the second one didn't Cause I did it so quickly

    • "I use them 2 3rds of the time. I once also accidentally scammed them. had two of the same items the first one scanned and the second one didn't Cause I did it so quickly", then?

  • +2

    Woolworths is good, coles is terrible. Stupid scale system. :\

  • +3

    Self checkout for small shops, good old fashioned human being checkout for the big shops.

    I've seen people lining up 10 deep for the "Express" checkout, when the self service lane right next door is empty. It's a no brainer. So much quicker, plus you can pack your own bags properly.

    I know the checkout staff have been "trained" to pack your bags properly, but the truth is most of them can't be arsed or aren't capable of making sure your bread isnt being squashed by your laundry powder.

    now they want us to pack it at the checkout as well

    Simple solution - don't use them. It's more convenient for some people, less convenient for others. And I'd wager that the majority of people aren't you.

    • +2

      "I've seen people lining up 10 deep for the "Express" checkout, when the self service lane right next door is empty."

      I'm one of those people, unless the express line is stupidly long and I'm in a big hurry. Why? I already pay someone else to do it, and eventually they'll all lose their jobs.

      Edit: Oh, I use it at 24hr Kmart because they've already completely removed checkout staff at night. The ones left sit around AMD talk.

  • I actually find quite a lot that there is a bigger queue to use these than there is for staffed checkouts.

    Strange, but there ya go.

  • +3

    I don't use them, and will not use them, unless there was a discount for using them.

    • Not going to happen, just saying.

  • +1

    they are kind of forced on you, at least in my case at the woollies i visit there is only 1 or 2 staff on express lane then self serves and if you're lucky and come at the right time of the day there is 1 normal lane open, this store is in a westfields so it gets quite annoying waiting in the lines.

    • Sounds like u still have a choice, I don't understand the fact there is more choicenow with tthe option of self serve or not, but people think something is being forced.

      What was being forced upon us was when there was no self check out.

      I wonder if anyone attends servos with someone that has someone out petrol in ur car?

  • +6

    Even on the busiest of nights I have noticed that the checkouts are understaffed at my two local stores. The self-service section is backed up by at least 5-10 people, sometimes with trolleys worth of groceries.

    I don't understand the whole self-service thing. I much prefer to be greeted by a human being when I can and the transaction is usually a lot smoother than the self-service solution. I know exactly how they work and the most random of errors still pop up sometimes. The staff member usually just comes over, puts in a code and it's fixed.

    I still use them when I've got a few things but in this hustle and bustle world where everything's becoming automated and streamline, it's still nice to be welcomed with a smile and set off with a 'Have a good day!' that doesn't come from Microsoft Samantha.

  • +1

    Personally I like the option to choose. If everything is self checkout I tend to avoid the shop but then in shops like Aldi where there is no selfcheckout/express checkout (at least in any of the Aldi's I've been to) I find things move slower than a snail in quicksand.

  • +16


    You too can save 2c on every shop! Just select Split payment and pay via eft and round down I.e. $20 total payment enter a split payment for $19.98 via eft or cc and then BAM Thanks to rounding you'll have to pay nothing or insert a 5c piece which is pragmatically returned. Scanning your own groceries has NEVER been more worthwhile.

    • +7

      Don't forget you can add 3 cents cash out to your eftpos transaction and score yourself 5 cents.

      • +5

        These tips are going to make millionaires of us all.

    • +1

      Omg!!! Hilarious!! :D

    • +1

      Wow, your time is worth something like 4c/minute. :)

    • +1

      The true OzBargainer style.

  • Like and Love them!

  • +2

    I love waltzing past the line of people waiting for a checkout chick to go straight to an auto.

    Is it just me or are the Coles ones much fussier than the Woolies ones?

  • They annoy me. If I got a discount for doing the job myself, it would be better.

    • +4

      discount comes in time saved.

      • +7

        Not with the unexpected item in bagging area shit.

    • Discount will come over time as less employees needed. Like IKEA's reasoning for not having trolley boys.

      • How does this result in discount? More likely they will just hire less staff and then pocket the profits for themselves without actually passing savings to consumer…

        • They'll have higher capacity to compete on price.

  • I love them at Woolworths, expect for when PayPass is not working, because the chip on my card is damaged, and I always need to ask for assistance, in order to swipe the card instead.

  • I use them all the time, even when I'm pushing through a trolley of stuff, reason being:
    1. When I pay by cash I hate it when the cashier hands me my change and has to wait for me to put them back into my purse before calling on the next customer - I feel like I have to leave the counter immediately whereas at the self-serves I can take my time.
    2. I can bag the groceries anyhow I like
    3. I actually like scanning stuff

    The only time I use express lanes is when I buy discounted baked goods that usually needs a staff member to enter the price.

    • +1

      You should work there.

    • Try not to feel pressured re: #1. You're there to shop how you want. I doubt you're holding them up more than 10 or so seconds - if that's a bother to the people behind you then they have their own issues.

  • +4

    I use them all the time as it's simply faster and no need to make conversation with the checkout person.

  • +7

    they are awesome for getting rid of all my 5 and 10 cent pieces.dumped 30 bucks worth in the machine the other day.

    • +3

      Haha that's brilliant, I'm always a bit embarrassed paying with a bag full of pennies, but when u deal with a machine who cares! Love it

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