Who else remembers when price scanners were first introduced in Walmart stores? Back in the 90s, big yellow signs were hung from the ceilings, pointing the way to the nearest price check machine, where you could hold a barcode up in front of the scanner’s flashing red lines and the monitor with its green digital print would tell you the price. Those were the days.
Over the years, those machines have gotten more advanced. The old timey scanners were replaced with mounted Android tablets with code readers attached. But the format remained the same - if you found an item and didn’t know the price, whether you found it at a random spot in the store, or in a bin where you weren’t sure it belonged, or if the price as marked seemed too good to be true, you could look up and find one of the price checker signs beckoning you.
Walmart stores are sadly doing away with their price checking scanners scattered throughout their stores. To be sure, most of the time, the machines you found were turned off, broken, or disconnected from the Internet. They were obviously costly and time-consuming to maintain, so it’s easy to understand why they’re being phased out.
But before you go stand in line in the fishing section to have an associate scan the price for you, we have good news!
As the sign above implies, price checking functionality is now available in the Walmart mobile app! And it works great.
If you don’t have it already, go ahead and download the official Walmart app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
When you have the app, open the menu by clicking the hamburger button in the top-left of the screen, and scroll down the menu until you see “Price Check.” (You will have to give Walmart permission to access your phone’s camera.) You can also access the price checker via the barcode button in the top right menu.
We recently visited the seasonal aisle in our store that has all the summer pool toys and floats. Seasonal aisles are notorious for products lacking price stickers since the products therein are constantly being circulated. We found these arm floaties without a price sticker on the shelf and decided to try out the price checking capabilities of the Walmart app.
You simply hold the barcode up in front of your phone’s camera, and as soon as the app detects the barcode, it instantly pulls up the product listing and price. You don’t even have to press a button to take the picture - the app does everything for you, just like the in-store scanners used to.
So although we’re sad to see the barcode scanners of yesteryear disappearing from Walmart stores, the Walmart app price checker is better in every way. You no longer have to trounce through random aisles looking for a scanner, only to find the machine is out of commission. You simply pull out your phone, wherever you are, and you can check the price where you stand using Walmart's free wifi. It’s a win-win for both the store, which no longer has to maintain those breakable machines, and you as the consumer, now having an added level of convenience. Walmart is even working new ways to improve upon its widely adopted Price Check feature, such as AR tools to help shoppers look up reviews and compare prices on the go.
Give the Walmart app’s price checker a try, and let us know on Twitter how it works for you!