There are pro’s and con’s to self check out. But I am beginning to feel that when compared to regular check out, the idea of controlling my own experience is more important than I previously presumed. In the last few months on regular intervals, my partner and I have had to return to the service desk at major department stores and grocery chains after checking out the old fashioned way, either because a price that was advertised wasn’t plugged into the stores computer, because the same item was rang twice, or because a bag of merchandise was left behind on one of those bag carousels accidentally. And while I surely want to see people with jobs, I’m becoming more and more convinced that I can do a better job of it. When I go through the old fashioned checkout, I’m too busy fumbling around getting my debit/credit card out …. or attempting to keep up with the clerk as the bags are loaded. During this process the most important thing that needs to take place, scrutiny of each price that is rang … is not possible.


  1. Using self check you will always be presented with how much you are being charged, and you actually have time to pay attention and really focus. When an erroneous price pops up it can be rectified prior to your card being charged, which is time/hassle/stress saving. You are also aware of any ‘double beeps’ instantly, allowing you to have them removed.
  2. Also, since you are bagging your own minus that aggravating carousel, you won’t be accidentally walking out on items you just purchased.
  3. Investing in self-check-out units saves money in the long run, because they work for free, which saves the merchant money, which SHOULD, in a logical world, save the consumer money as well.


  1. Each self-check unit takes a position that could be filled with a person, although … many stores only utilize the machines during peak store hours.
  2. The machines have become more and more difficult to deal with it seems. What started out as a simple device has now become a complex max headroom characterization that loves to repeat the words “please wait for an attendant” constantly.
  3. If you are buying produce, booze or tobacco, it get’s more complicated.
  4. No assistance with bagging.

The bottom line for me is simple: buying in smaller quantities more frequently allows me to use self-check-out whereas had I purchased a weeks worth of groceries or merchandise,  I would not be able to self check because of the sheer amount of items. It is in that scenario, when you have large amounts … that confusion and the loss of control happens. You will be much less likely to scrutinize the receipt afterwards because it will be 4-5 feet long. And once you leave the store, you are less likely to realize that you have forgotten some of your items. You can also offer a wider variety of fresh foods in your kitchen that have never been frozen if you make a daily or bi-daily run to the market.