Can Walmart Check Your Receipt? [Simple Answer]

Do you have to show your receipt at Walmart? Do they have the rights to do it? Here's a simple guide with all your questions answered.

When shopping at Walmart, there are more than a few customers who have been asked by staff to show their receipts. This is a common way different stores and retailers deter crime and shoplifting, but do you have to show your receipt at Walmart?

Is it legal for Walmart to check receipts at the door?

The short answer is, yes, Walmart can check your receipt.

Walmart staff are allowed to ask customers for their receipts before they leave the store. However, customers are also within their rights if they refuse to show their receipts.

Due to various Shopkeeper’s Privilege laws in the United States, Walmart can force you to show receipts if they suspect you of shoplifting. Additionally, they can even detain you in the store for refusing to show your receipt.

In this guide, we’ll get into all the details of the Walmart receipt checking policy.

You will find the answer to common questions such as “Why does Walmart scan your receipt when leaving?”, “Why does Walmart check receipts?” and more.

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Why Does Walmart Check Receipts?

receipt in hand

When Walmart employees are asking for receipts, it is usually to prevent, catch, and deter shoplifters.

In the past, receipt checking wasn’t that common in Walmart. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in shoplifters, theft, and crime in Walmart and other stores, prompting companies to take action.

Another reason Walmart checks receipts more often is because of the self-checkout protocol. Walmart’s self-checkout allows for a much easier and quicker shopping process, but it also increases the chance of theft.


When customers check out their own products, it’s much easier to sneak a couple of items into your bag. To prevent this, Walmart employs receipt checking to make sure that everything in your bag has been paid for and you aren’t shoplifting.

Can Walmart Scan My Receipt?

On top of checking your receipts, Walmart may even scan your receipt upon leaving. This only happens at some stores, and usually only when something in your bag sets off the sensors.

Walmart will not scan your receipt all the time, but staff may occasionally ask to do this. When receipt scanning occurs, that doesn’t mean they suspect you of theft. More likely, a cashier may have forgotten or missed an item when scanning, resulting in you not paying for it.

If I’m Asked To Show My Receipt, Am I A Suspected Shoplifter?

Walmart Return Policy Without Receipt

As we mentioned earlier, if a Walmart attendant asks for your receipt, that doesn’t mean they suspect you of shoplifting. However, Walmart has stated that they try and ask every single customer for their receipt to check that everything is paid for.

So, don’t panic if an attendant asks you for a receipt. If you refuse to show your receipt to an attendant, you are also well within your rights.

However, if the staff suspects you of shoplifting, you may be required to show your receipt. If you refuse and you are a suspected shoplifter, the store may take further action to prove you aren’t shoplifting. This could involve detaining you at the store until you show your receipt.

For this to happen, you have to qualify for “reasonable suspicion.” Depending on your state and location, requirements for qualifying for reasonable suspicion may vary.

But under shopkeeper’s privilege laws, anybody that falls under reasonable suspicion may be asked to show their receipt or asked to stay in the store until they prove that they aren’t a shoplifter.

What To Do If You Lose Your Receipt Before Exiting Walmart

At times, you may be asked to show a receipt that you lost before exiting the store. What should you do if this happens?

Don’t panic, you can show your payment card instead.

Walmart has a receipt lookup tool that you can use to find a digital copy of your receipt. You can show the digital receipt to a Walmart associate and it will be just as valid as your physical receipt.

To find a receipt using the receipt lookup tool, you need to input the purchase location and some purchase details. Alternatively, you can also bring the attendant to the staff member who served you to verify that you paid for all your products.


receipt and pen

If you’re asked by a Walmart attendant for your receipt before leaving the store, you are well within your rights if you refuse. However, if you fall under reasonable suspicion, the store can demand your receipt and take further action if you refuse to show it under Shopkeeper’s Privilege.

Walmart states that they encourage their staff to check everyone’s receipt before leaving to catch shoplifters. So, if you’re asked to show a receipt, that doesn’t mean you are under suspicion. The staff is just checking if every item is paid for because, at times, cashiers may miss an item or two during checkout.

Being asked for your receipt is a common occurrence at Walmart, and it could happen to you from time to time. You can always refuse to show your receipt, but if your receipt shows and states that you paid for all the products in your bag, there should be no problem.

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Arthur Beringer

Arthur graduated in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration from LSU Alexandria. After working in the retail industry for almost 20 years, he decided to quit and write full-time to help readers who are searching online for consumer-related answers.