The Hive Law

Do You Have To Show Your Receipt At Walmart? (Laws You Need To Know)

Do You Have To Show Your Receipt At Walmart - Is It Legal For Walmart To Check Your Receipt - Is It Legal For Walmart To Check Your Receipt

Do you have to show your receipt at Walmart?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • the states you have to show your receipt in
  • the laws you break for not showing your receipt
  • what Walmart employee’s rights are
  • what your rights are
  • what you can expect if you DON’T show your receipt

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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Key Points & Statistics

  • You do not have to show your receipt at Walmart.
  • You only have to show your receipt in 5 states (see below).
  • Walmart can only detain you with probable cause of theft.
  • Walmart had 1,543,000 incidents of theft last year.
  • Walmart had $3.7 billion in losses from theft last year.
  • Walmart’s theft increases by 3.2% per year.

Do You Have To Show Your Receipt At Walmart?

No, you do not have to show your receipt at Walmart.

Greeters will ask you to see your receipt when you’re leaving.

But they are really asking for permission to search your cart.

You are not legally required to show your receipt.

But, there are 5 states where you are legally required to, like:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Washington

In these states, not showing your receipt is probable cause for shoplifting.

Walmart employees in these 5 states can:

  • detain you
  • call the police on you

In the other 45 states, you’re not breaking the law.

Lawsuits against Walmart claim that receipt checking:

  • violates the 4th Amendment
  • discriminates against the shopper

Walmart receipt checkers are able to call the police on you.

But they cannot call the police if there is no probable cause of:

  • theft
  • fraud

Walmart employees have to adhere to the law.

They are not legally allowed to call the cops without probable cause.

And they cannot detain you against your will if you haven’t stolen anything.

This only pertains to people who have not shoplifted.

If you have shoplifted:

  • you have to show your receipt
  • you have to prove you purchased the items
  • you have to show your ID
  • you can get detained by Walmart employees

States It’s Illegal To Not Show Your Receipt At Walmart

In most states, you don’t have to show your receipt at Walmart.

But, there are 5 states where it’s illegal.

And not showing your receipt is probable cause for shoplifting.

These 5 states where you have to show your receipt are:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Washington

Consequences Of Not Showing Your Receipt At Walmart

There really are not any consequences.

You’re not legally obligated to show your receipt.

Walmart greeters cannot call the police without probable cause.

Let’s say that they accuse you of shoplifting.

They need to have probable cause to make that claim.

In that case, they can:

  • stop you from leaving the store
  • call the police on you

But, let’s say that you’re someone:

  • who is innocent
  • has not stolen anything
  • is just a paying customer

In this case, you won’t get in trouble for not showing a receipt.

They may hassle you, make a big deal, and claim you have to.

But there is not any legal obligation that you show them.

In fact, they cannot enforce anything on you.

But, they can ban you from the store if you don’t cooperate.

Walmart Receipt Checks

Walmart is known for checking the receipts of shoppers.

They will ask for receipts to prevent:

  • shoplifting
  • fraud
  • theft

Walmart associates are legally allowed to ask for a receipt.

In this section, you’ll learn about:

  • Walmart’s policy on checking receipts
  • what Walmart employees are not allowed to do
  • if it’s legal for them to ask for your receipt

What Is Walmart’s Policy On Checking Receipts?

Walmart’s policy on checking receipts is that they:

  • reserve the right to check customer’s receipts
  • reserve the right to ask you to show receipts
  • can conduct random receipt checks

Let’s look at Walmart’s policies and laws.

And scenarios where Walmart employees cannot ask you to show your receipt.

They cannot ask you to show your receipt if you:

  • have already left the store
  • have not made any purchases
  • are purchasing items with cash
  • are purchasing items with a gift card or store credit
  • are purchasing items that are not in the store
  • are returning items without a receipt
  • are purchasing items using a third-party payment method (i.e., PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.)

Prohibited Behavior From Walmart Employees

Here is a list of prohibited behavior from Walmart employees.

They are not allowed to:

  • detain you in the store until you show your receipt
  • do anything besides ask you for your receipt
  • say that you’ll be detained if you don’t show your receipt
  • ask for your receipt in a threatening or aggressive tone
  • refuse to let you leave the store after showing your receipt
  • ask for your ID to verify the receipt
  • demand to see a receipt for items you already paid for
  • discriminate against race, gender, age, or protected classes

Is It Legal For Walmart To Check Your Receipt?

Yes, it is legal for Walmart to check your receipt.

This allows Walmart to prevent shoplifting and theft.

What Happens If You Refuse To Show Your Receipt At Walmart?

There is no law requiring you to show your receipt to Walmart.

Not showing your receipt is not probable cause for theft.

Walmart cannot detain you for not showing your receipt.

But Walmart can ban you from the store if you don’t cooperate.

Walmart’s only leverage is the ability to ban you from the store.

Shopkeeper’s Privilege

Shopkeeper’s privilege gives Walmart the right to detain you.

But only for a reasonable length of time.

Basically, long enough to investigate the suspected shoplifting.

This protects Walmart from theft and fraud.

It gives Walmart the right to:

  • ask for proof of purchase
  • search for stolen items
  • refuse to let customers leave until the situation is resolved

Shopkeeper’s privilege does not give Walmart the right to:

  • use excessive force
  • falsely imprison you
  • use other forms of coercion

Shopkeeper’s privilege only applies to suspected shoplifters.

Walmart must have probable cause that you have shoplifted.

To use shopkeeper’s privilege, Walmart has to:

  • see you approach merchandise
  • see you select merchandise
  • see you conceal the merchandise
  • watch you until you get to the register
  • see you fail to pay for the merchandise
  • approach you outside of the store, but on store grounds

They can also stop you if the theft sensors go off.

Basically, the only place that Walmart has any rights is:

  • outside of the store
  • in the parking lot (on store grounds)

Consumer Rights

Even with the shopkeeper’s privilege, you have consumer rights.

As a consumer at Walmart, you have the right to:

  • refuse to show their receipt at Walmart
  • question Walmart’s policy on asking to see receipts
  • leave the store without showing a receipt

Note that this is only if you haven’t stolen anything.

If you’ve committed theft or fraud, you lose these rights.

Under consumer rights, Walmart:

  • can only detain you for a short time
  • cannot use unreasonable force or coercion
  • has to present the reasons they are detaining you

Walmart store employees can only detain someone in-store:

  • if there is reasonable suspicion they stole something
  • until the police arrive (a reasonable amount of time)

Walmart store employees cannot use force to detain you.

If they do, you may claim false imprisonment.

And false imprisonment is a civil violation you can sue them for.

False Imprisonment: Walmart Associates Preventing You From Leaving

False imprisonment is when someone is:

  • unlawfully detained
  • restrained against their will

This includes Walmart:

  • holding someone against their will in a room
  • retrains someone from leaving a certain area (the store)
  • detaining a customer without proof of theft

(Not showing your receipt is not proof of theft.)

False imprisonment by Walmart is a:

  • civil violation (a lawsuit)
  • criminal violation (gets them criminal charges)

Let’s say that a Walmart associate falsely imprisons you.

And they don’t have any proof of theft.

They are the one who gets charged with false imprisonment.

Walmart does not get charged with false imprisonment.

Can Walmart Detain You In The Store?

Yes, Walmart can detain you in the store for suspected shoplifting.

They can only detain you for a reasonable amount of time.

Basically, until they can get law enforcement to show up.

They will call the police to come and press charges against you.

All they can do is:

  • detain you for shoplifting
  • act as a witness to the shoplifting

What To Do If Police Get Involved?

If the police get involved, you should cooperate.

Show them your receipt to prove that you bought the items.

Walmart Receipt Check Lawsuits

There have been several Walmart receipt-checking lawsuits.

They allege that Walmart broke federal and state laws like:

  • violating their 4th Amendment rights
  • discriminating on race, gender, religion, and protected classes

Many of these plaintiffs argue that Walmart receipt checks are:

  • overly intrusive
  • violate their constitutional rights
  • are discriminatory

Walmart stands its ground on receipt checking, though.

They claim they have a right to protect their property.

Some of the Walmart receipt-checking lawsuits are:

Can Walmart Look Up Receipts?

Yes, Walmart can look up receipts.

There is a receipt lookup on your Walmart.com account.

This will give you a digital copy of your receipt.

Or the Walmart associate can look up receipts for you.

This is true even if you used self-checkout machines.

To issue you a refund, they will:

  • give you store credit if you don’t have a receipt
  • put the refund back on your credit card or debit card

Showing Receipts At Costco And Sam’s Club

It’s a condition of your membership to show your receipt at:

  • Sam’s Club
  • Costco

They will terminate your membership if you don’t show your receipt.

Getting Charged With Shoplifting

If you are facing a conviction of shoplifting, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience you need to defend your rights.

This way, you don’t:

  • get wrongfully convicted of shoplifting
  • spend months in jail needlessly
  • get wrongfully accused of a crime by police officers

You deserve a fair trial in the criminal justice system.

We can provide you with that.

Talk soon.

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