Big Lots

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Some Info on Big Lots
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Hello all, I currently work for a Big Lots store and have for going on 3 years. I will say I agree with a lot of the comments people have made on here. A lot of the policies the store has are pretty ignorant, but if you (the customers) are to ignorant and irresponsible to keep a receipt for a short period of time then it's your own fault. I have checked out numerous people that will buy something for their car, go out to see if it fits, then it doesn't and then come back in for a refund, and have already lost their receipt somewhere between the front of the store and their car;then they whine and complain, " oh I just bought it", "You remember me don't you", Yeah I do remember you it's only been 5 minutes, but what people don't understand is the employees have to go by company policy. Do you think every manager likes having to say "No sorry sir, I know you were just in here but I can't do anything without the receipt". No we don't but and in some cases the manager will look the receipt up if it has been a very short period of time, but we also want to keep our job even if it is not the job we would really like to have right now. We are just enforcing their rules, and usually it's the customer that gets rude before any employee because they are upset they can't return something or get a refund because of policy.

It's not the managers fault or the cashiers fault, it's the fault of a company that should have some better policies in place for certain situations. We can't bend and shape the policies for every customer and every situation that arises just to please everyone that walks in because every situation is different in some way. I know my store manager does a lot more than he is supposed to when it comes to making sure the customer is happy and won't call corporate. It's a double edged sword in retail at Big Lots, if you try to go by straight forward company policy you piss the customer off and they want to call corporate, but the manager doesn't want that to happen because even though he/she is going by company policy they will still get yelled at because they didn't please the customers every whim.

So then, at my location anyway, the store manager usually winds up giving in even though most of the time the problem is the customer not having a receipt, and should not get a refund anyway. It states clearly on the receipt, Returns accepts for 30 days with receipt and original packaging, it's not the employees job to keep customer receipts, it's your job as a customer and a responsible adult. But when a customer is in our store literally acting like a little kid that didn't get an extra cookie after dinner our store manager usually lets them have their way. I know there are different refund/return/exchange situations that are more difficult/complex to deal with but this is the most common.

Another issue that the customer base just doesn't understand is that Big Lots is a close-out store which means that a lot of item/furniture /patio furniture is overstock or discontinued items from other retail store and manufactures. This is especially true when it comes to patio-furniture, most of this product is the manufacturers previous year model inventory, so when Big Lots runs out they may or may not get the product back in again before the season is over, we can't just crap out another one to please you. We can't call the manufacturer because nothing is ordered at the store level, all product is ordered at the corporate level. The most we can do at the store is call another Big Lots location and see it they still have any in stock.

And I at the store I work at moral, is and always has been since I've been there, very low, because the store does nothing to boost moral or raise the spirits of the employees and when most of your employees are depressed it's going to show when dealing with customers and work productivity is going to suffer. But with the economy the way it is and jobs very limited we all know we just have to try to keep out mouths shut and try and keep our jobs no matter how depressing it gets. This is just my two cents and I could say a lot more but I'll leave it at this for now.
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Anonymous on 04/06/2011:
Hey man very good and well balanced write up. You make some excellent points. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting it.
Anonymous on 04/06/2011:
YOur last paragragh is very true because I always notice tat big lots, that most of the employees are not very friendly.
azRider on 04/06/2011:
two thumbs up!
Ytropious on 04/06/2011:
I agree OP. Customers should NEVER get angry at a worker because THEY lost the receipt. I don't make the policy but I'm sure going to follow it to keep my job.
Starlord on 04/06/2011:
I totally agree. I may not agree with policy, but ina time when PhDs are flipping burgers or slinging a mop, I am not going to risk losing a job if I have one. I have seen some store employees that have the patience of a saint, dealing with a customer who is foaming at the mouth angry because the employee doesn't give them a ne TV becaushehey had got stolen and they don't have the receipt from when they bought it. that was a hypothetical situation, but the seen have been on that level of stupidity.
DebtorBasher on 04/06/2011:
I witnessed something interesting this past Christmas season at a Big Lots. Here is what happened:

I walk into the store and the guy walking in behind me reaches around and opens the door for me. Very nice. He has nothing, NOTHING in his hands when he enters the store.

I go about my business and do my shopping and go to the check out counter.

A customer in front of me has outdoor Christmas lights with him, and tells the cashier he needs to return them. The cashier asked him for his receipt and he told her he didn't have the receipt. She explained to him, that he needed a receipt for returns. Now, this customer didn't argue or anything, he was very understanding and said, 'Oh, OK...I'll check around the house and see if I can find it, thanks.' Very nice right? Well, not really...I left the store behind him and realized this was the same customer that held the door open for me EMPTY HANDED when he entered the store. So, yeah he pulled a fast one on her. He came in without anything, went down the aisle and picked up the Christmas lights, goes through the check out counter and walks out with free lights. Smart cookie, security cameras wouldn't really pick up on it because he didn't just walk out with them, and security wouldn't think he'd go through the check out if he was ripping them off so they really wouldn't have paid any attention. The guy robbed them and the cashier unknowingly helped him. (I priced them the next day when I was there and knew how many he tried to return he got away with about $30.00 worth of outside Christmas lights).

BTW: The Big Lots that I shop at has the bestest employees! They are always very helpful, friendly and I've never seen them in a bad mood, I love our Big Lots!
localgod on 04/07/2011:
DebtorBashor, thank you for pointing out what most of us in retail already know. They come into the store empty handed and try to return something they've stolen for cash, gift card, etc. It's the most common form of shoplifting currently; along with the shoplift, pass off, and return teams. It's very common and why most retailers are requiring receipts for returns currently. Big Lots usually has very low margins, so they are usually without LP officers; making them a popular target for shoplifting teams.
Buddy01 on 04/07/2011:
At my store (not Big Lots) the same people somewhat regularly steal a lot of expensive clothing at one store and go to another to return it. It is always the same people--it was a gift and they never have a receipt. Sometimes they demand corporate's number. Some nerve. The last time we actually returned the merchandise, called the other store and found they tried to return the merchandise there. So we just canceled the gift card after the fact. I imagine they got quite a surprise when they sold the gift card and found it had no value.
Venice09 on 04/07/2011:
If these comments don't make people understand why stores require receipts, then nothing will.
DebtorBasher on 04/07/2011:
I know most people are aware of the scammers who walk in empty handed and pick up something from the shelf and try to return it for cash...but the case I described was something different from me...because knowing you need the receipts and not having one, allows them to walk out of the store with the merchandise they didn't even pay for....whereas before, they would get the cash.
Venice09 on 04/07/2011:
DB, if someone is more interested in keeping the merchandise instead of getting cash, this would be the thing to do. Maybe this guy slipped and fell when he was hanging those lights and ended up with a hospital bill.
Nohandle on 04/07/2011:
I've never personally witnessed what DB did but I've heard war stories of folks stealing things within the store and going to the customer service counter and demanding a refund. Obviously no receipt, nothing. Those types of folks are not in the least intimidated by anyone. They have it down to a fine art.
Bob on 09/29/2013:
does Big Lots have a Senior Citizen DISCOUNT ???
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How Big Retailers Go Out of Business
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- Have you ever wondered what causes so many retailers to have to close stores, layoff employees and liquidate their assets? I don't have to wonder because I was at Big Lots today. It was at Big Lots that I realized that corporate America has fallen so very, very far.

I can remember when businesses hired people for employees that really wanted to work. I can remember when employees were trained. I can even remember when the people left in charge (management) were in charge because they not only had more experience but also were capable of directing other employees. I can remember when being a member of management meant that you had leadership skills, customer service skills and took pride in your work.

Imagine my surprise when I encountered a manager that not only didn't have ANY leadership skills, any customer service skills, any pride in his work or place of employment, very little if any training and very bizarre and disturbing behavior. Now I realize that sometimes businesses get so big that it is often difficult to monitor all of their employees. I even realize that sometimes some employees slip through the cracks but surely Big Lots has employees in place (like district managers or regional managers) that should be monitoring management and operations at the local level. I unfortunately discovered today that apparently there is not ANYBODY in charge of the hen house in my area of the United States. Now you might be asking yourself what in the world would make me say such a thing.

Today, after arriving at the college that my son will be attending for the next several years, I realized that there may be some additional things my son would need before starting school. Now since the college has grown so much that it has encompassed a large amount of property and has virtually taken over even a small strip mall at one end of the campus, I found myself at one of the two stores left in the strip mall, Big Lots.

I entered the store thinking I would be able to make the necessary purchases and maybe even get a deal or two. I was wrong!! The store was very cluttered with unattended pallets of merchandise and pallet jacks. I mistakenly thought that perhaps they were just putting out more stock. I soon realized the clutter and impassable aisles were just a small indication of an even bigger problem. While I wasn't pleased when an employee almost ran me over with a flatbed, I was even less pleased with his rude indifference. I was soon to discover that this encounter would be the highlight of my experiences at this store location.

I completed my shopping while watching out for any additional disgruntled employees. I thought when I had made it to the checkout that the unpleasant experience was almost over. I was wrong!! What could possibly go wrong? I was checking out and within 50 feet of the door. Finally, this was going to be over! Wait, what was that price? What?! Double the amount it was supposed to be? That's not what the sign said! Sir that is wrong, let me show you where I got it and what the sign says. So I thought, well surely once I show the "manager" where it was and what the sign said that he would realize I was being charged an incorrect price. But to my utter amazement after acknowledging that the sign indicated the item I was purchasing and indicated it was half of the price I was being charged he said but not for that one! What?? What do you mean not for that one? These are all alike items! Yes he replied but that one will cost you double. I told him that it was not right to indicate an item and a price but then change it when it was being purchased. I then asked for a corporate number. It was at this point that he began to tsk, sigh and roll his eyes. As he was towering over me in my wheelchair, he continued to tsk, sigh and roll his eyes then scared me half to death when he snarled at me " Well if you are going to make a big deal out of it, I guess I will have to give it to you at that price". He then walks up to the cashier and tells her to give it to me at the advertised price. By then I just wanted to get as far away from him as possible and I was afraid to give them my Big Lots reward card as I was scared that when he found out my address he would come to my residence. I can't help wondering how many people has he scared into paying the higher price with his antics. How many parents bringing their kids to the college has he pulled this stunt on? I am giving this experience a one only because there are not any negative numbers allowed.
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Constantly Given 3rd Degree by Employees
Posted on
Rating: 2/51
BRIDGETON, MISSOURI -- I went to Big Lots to do research. Customers are to give purses and backpacks to the cashiers or else they are not allowed to shop there. They probably want to cut down on shoplifting but truthfully you can shoplift without those things.

If you appear bulky, an employee will stalk you throughout the store, stop you, and tell you to unzip and take out all the things from within your bags. They'll tell you to search your pockets and take everything out. If you don't comply, they threaten to call the police so it's best not to cause a conflict.

The employee who did that never smiles. Never says "How are you?" Never seems to say anything nice to customers. She only talks to customers when she finds them suspicious. It's not race related either so don't worry, they do this to all bulky looking or purse/bag carriers.

But then again that same employee said in the usual rude, sassy tone "You do know you cannot wear that scarf around your head?"

She fails to speak in a polite way as usual. I think that comment would be offensive to Middle Easterns to be honest. She didn't even bother to know if I was wearing the scarf to protect a possibly balding head due to chemotherapy.

But I guess they don't want potential shoplifters to hide their identity. They're against wearing medical masks for that reason too and my relative has a respiratory problem.

The prices are some of the lowest I've seen for toys at least. The snacks and foods are priced OK... could be lower. Some of the things like iPhone cases and silicone coin purses are WAY overpriced and can be found on the internet for like 1/8th or 1/4th of what they're selling it for.

This store is full of mainly cheap items from China that you don't really need but are nice to have. For electronics, they're not reliable. The food is mainly candy and packaged cereal, junk food, things that are almost/beyond expiration. Big Lots sells lots of secondhand items that bigger stores cannot sell I hear. So you get what you pay for.

So... if you want cheap toys and headphones I suppose this is an OK store. Everything else is OK priced... I found My Little Pony toys (Traveling suitcase pony edition) there for $5 each when they're like $7 each on Amazon. I can't find other places that sell them for lower.

Thrift stores are better... But honestly you have to be tolerant about being treated like a criminal and being stared at. Shoplifters aren't tolerated in any store to keep prices low you know?

Sub par items, sub par employees...
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leet60 on 01/18/2013:
I find the post somewhat confusing. Initially it is indicated that you have to give purses, backpacks etc. to the cashier to shop. Later the post indicates you are followed and possibly stopped if you are carrying bulky bags, purses etc. Could they be left in the car? Are the items not being left with the cashier upon entry?

I have always understood Big Lots to be a reseller of overstock type merchandise, so I expect little more from them when I shop there.

I would not "turn out my pockets" on demand of a store employee, it is unreasonable to be searched by a store and were I asked to do so I would simply leave or let them call the authorities.

shayen on 01/18/2013:
I agree with the above poster. I would never leave my personal belongings with an employee and I would let them call the police if they accused me of anything or "demanded" I empty my pockets. I've never had this experience in the different Big Lots I've been in. In fact, I've never seen or heard of anyone having this experience before.
trmn8r on 01/18/2013:
As leet pointed out, there are some inconsistencies in the story, with both the question of whether bags may be carried around the store as well as unreasonable searches. My understanding is that unless you are seen taking something, they can't make you "turn out your pockets," but I may be wrong.

The thing that jumps out at me is that as described this store has a HUGE problem with shoplifting. Unlike a WallsMart, they can't afford to have 1,000 cameras running per store, and people monitoring them. I wouldn't be surprised if employees were lurking around being nosy, but there are limits to what they can do.

The OP's take away sounds like a good call - this store is good for shopping for a limited number of things - as many are. Personally, I wouldn't shop there. Helpful review.
Obsfucation on 01/18/2013:
If they threaten to call the police, invite them to do so. You haven't got anything to hide, right? Then if they really do call, let them explain to the cop why they called them in.
madconsumer on 01/18/2013:
how horrible is this? I agree, I would never leave my personal items for the cashier to hold while I shop. with them following you around like that, I would be concerned for my safety. this borders on stalking to me.
johnsonjane708 on 01/19/2013:
I'm the original poster, I just wanted to add that if you didn't experience this, your Big Lots must be way different from mine.

The Big Lots that does all the stalking and demanding purses to be left with the cashier is at:

10415 Saint Charles Rock Road St. Ann, MO 63074
(314) 429-6120

Employees do this with the nearby Family Dollar too.

At Big Lots I was really concerned when the employee KNEW where I kept my wallet in that backpack (was going from the library to Big Lots, so that was why I was carrying it) Many people would assume people carry wallets on their person right? I went to pay for the item and she said "You can get your money from here now." and pointed to the backpack. I was like RED FLAG RED FLAG but it didn't look like any thing was missing...

I had items I previously purchased from there like cosmetics. I had them in my bag. I hid it in my coat because I didn't want to leave my belongings at the cashier again.

I had the cosmetics because I like to put on make up on the go. I didn't have my receipt. I guess that was pretty dumb of me.

The employee threatened to call police and told me never to come again and if I do, the police would be called. She confiscated all the cosmetics I purchased. Even a can opener in my bag that wasn't even marked with a Big Lots sticker. (I kept one in my bag to open pet foods for stray animals nearby)

I felt really violated. But I did what the employee asked because I didn't think the police would believe me since I didn't have the receipt. I was scared so I complied with the employee.

None of the local stores gave me this treatment except for Family Dollar and Big Lots. Why is it that the cheaper and more poor quality the goods the stores sell, the more aggressive they are with potential shoplifters?

I'm never shopping here again. Prices on the internet are cheaper anyway. :/ Try eBay, Amazon... Newegg, whatever. Just not this place, my gosh.
Johnsonjane708 on 01/19/2013:
@leet60, to clarify, if you're bulky looking, they'll ask you to unzip and reveal yourself, turn out your pockets.

I meant that if you're hiding a bag within your coat, since some customers don't want to leave their bags by the cashier, they'll make you take everything out.

I didn't want to leave my bag by the cashier because she knew exactly where I had my wallet in there. I don't even know why she would need to know what was in the contents of my bag upon entering the store. I was creeped out.

But it could be because there are products placed at the entrance of the store before you even meet the cashier.

Again this place is at

10415 Saint Charles Rock Road St. Ann, MO 63074
(314) 429-6120
Soaring Consumer on 01/19/2013:
Personally I have never experienced anything like this at the local Big Lots stores in my area, I suggest possibly contacting Big Lots corporate office because this treatment might be a violation of some of their customer relations policies.
Johnsonjane708 on 01/19/2013:
You know what, I think I may have been discriminated against somehow. My other friends said they visited Family Dollar (they did the same thing) and Big Lots recently and they didn't receive this treatment.

It seems others didn't receive this treatment either.

Why is it that when I walked into Big Lots for the first time ever, they told me to leave my backpack up at the cashier?

Something is not right. My friend takes her huge purse there and they don't make her do this. Are they judging me by my appearance? I feel very angry and violated.

I have shopped at more expensive stores and they never gave me this treatment. cheap little stores are so dedicated to protecting their cheap little merchandise it seems. Gosh.

This happened at

10415 Saint Charles Rock Road St. Ann, MO 63074
(314) 429-6120

Don't forget it.
leet60 on 01/19/2013:
@johnsonjane. Thanks for the clarification. I find their treatment of you appalling and I would at this point "vote with my wallet" and never shop their again.
Johnsonjane708 on 01/20/2013:
You are welcome and thank you for being supportive, leet60.

I only stopped by there because I like to get out of the house and look at things, but not always buy.

I am sorry that I said they did this to all customers. I just assumed that because they told me it was store policy when I questioned why I should leave my bag with the cashier.

I didn't think much about it at first because I thought "If they do this to all customers, I guess it's OK."

I feel very offended and just sick to my stomach. I don't know why they did this to me but I will be asking someone to help me investigate this matter.

I will never shop there again. I only shopped there because I felt sympathy for all people in this economy and wanted to stimulate it by helping local businesses with my purchases.

They expected me to trust them with my bag which contains my bank debit card, driver's license and cash. They expected me to trust their word that it was "store policy" to leave my bags with the cashier. And I did.

But they will NEVER give me that kind of trust and that isn't right. They should be serving me, not expect me to serve them.

Even stores with few cameras like Big Lots never treated me like this and they were always so kind to me. I'm really sad that there are people out there who treat customers AND employees this way. (I have heard from other reviews Big Lots employees have been given this kind of intimidation treatment as well)
richeee on 05/26/2013:
I am a security specialist.In calif. they cannot force you to take everything out of you pockets while inside the store.They must wait until you are leaving the store and they can only stop you and ask you to remove everything after you get past the point of sale.I have done this many times.I use blue-tooth ear piece and am told by the employees that a shoplifter is leaving.
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Customer Issues with Signage
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
GREENACRES, FLORIDA -- As a Big Lots employee, one of the greatest stressors in my workplace is numerous complaints about signage.

1. An end cap of cookware was signed $4 TO $18. Many customers thought they could buy four items for $18. I had to explain over and over that the sign said that prices ranged from $4 to $18 per item.

2. On a recent Friends and Family Day, a sun shelter that normally sells for $105.99 was signed simply "$84.79". One customer insisted to me that she should get 20 percent off the $84.79 price. I showed her how it worked, scanned the item and showed the usual $105.99 price, then scanned the F & F coupon to show the $84.79 price, and explained that said price was for that sale day only and that she was indeed getting the item at the signed price. She lectured me for a few minutes about how misleading the sign was, which held up my line, and then, two weeks later, called corporate to complain about me, not the sign!

3. This week's ad features "sandals" for $2. The ad signage also says "sandals". The actual featured item is rubber flipflops like those most of us have worn since we were kids. One woman wanted to buy a pair of men's $10 sandals, a $6 pair of women's leather thong sandals and a $5 boy's pair of canvas camouflage sandals for $2 each. The MOD let me change the prices to please the customer. It cost us $15 shrink.

Customers, please read the signs carefully!

The vast majority of signage issues are from native speakers of English, not people who have come to the States from other countries. In light of this, there might be a problem with signage ambiguity, so I ask corporate to please review signage policies and procedures so that signs are easily understood.
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Treat Employees Like Trash
Posted on
RICHLAND, WASHINGTON -- If you become an employee of Big Lots you are always looked as a thief. They expect you to give 110% but they are not willing to give you 50%. You can only get a 25 cent raise a year. They expect you to be a company spy for minimum wage and give great customer service and work short staffed. There are no benefits at Big Lots so if you like being under paid over worked and told you cheat, lie, steal, and don't get paid for it go work for Big Lots. Yes I still work but I'm working at this store but have come to my senses for all the people who have had bad service now know why.

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trmn8r on 01/14/2012:
There are several allegations here that need details to support them. For example, how are employees looked at as thieves? In what manner are employees recruited as "company spies"?

25 cents an hour raise doesn't sound like much, but what is the hourly wage? If someone were making $8 an hour, that would be 1/32 or over 3%. From that perspective it would be good.
SteveWiginowski on 01/14/2012:
Trmn8r, to add on about the raises. There are many people working who have had to take pay cuts and/or go without raises for the past few years. It's just part of the economy that everyone is dealing with.
JayByJay on 01/14/2012:
25 cents a year? Sign me up.
trmn8r on 01/14/2012:
Great point Steve.
madconsumer on 01/14/2012:
many companies often give employees a 25 cent per hour raise yearly. not to often have I seen more per hour raises.

very helpful review.
trmn8r on 01/14/2012:
I found this review helpful also - it sounds like in this horrible economy Big Lots is giving out 2 to 3% raises ($.25 is 2% of $12.50/hr, 3% of $8.33/hr) PER YEAR.

If I were interested in working, and I am not, I'd run right down and fill out an application.
Mimi on 02/28/2012:
I can attest to the HORRIBLE treatment of employees at Big Lots. I've been an employee, and a CSS for over 2 years. Our store mgr. has had Corporate called on her and her practices numerous times. (Including taking no less than 6 smoke breaks in an 8hr shift)She once said "I'm the store manager, I can do what I want and if people don't like it they can kiss my as_." Each time an investigation was done, NOTHING changed. The Mrg. retaliated against those she believed 'told' on her. Some hours were dropped to 4 a WEEK, while 'favorites' received 25 . Also, the District Mgr. held a meeting and told all employees that problems with mgmnt. must be handled within the store and we were NOT allowed to call the 1-800 number available for such problems. I have finally had enough and am seeking employment elsewhere. I could write a book about the policies and procedures I have seen at this store.
Vanillagirl on 03/07/2012:
It is true Big Lots does treat all employees like they are thieves.I have been there many years now,and I have seen the corp. guys come in and pull certain employees into the office to question them on stealing....They even offer an employee $100.00 to turn in a fellow employee. They do bag checks daily and go through our lockers monthly, everything must have a green sticker on it, even if it brought from home, otherwise it is considered stolen.And on each sticker is the transaction number.And if you bought it there from home it would say bfo,brought from outside. I am the CSS and give out the green stickers everyday.

just me on 01/16/2013:
Big Lots does treat most of their employees like thieves. Statistics say there is more employee theft then customer theft so Big Lots rewards their LP's for catching employee theft. If they want to eat they better start catching some employees. I once witnessed an LP bring an employee into the office and told him he knew he was stealing he said he had him on video and threatened if he didn't admit to it he would call Police, The guy just got up and walked out. After the LP said how good he was he could make an innocent man quit his job. True Story. I finally got tired of the intimidation and left myself.
Angie on 09/04/2013:
I have worked for them two years and the hours suck and they only call one person in when they need help I've had complaints on me from nasty customers and been written up several times because they don't care of you are putting up with customers throwing things at u cussing at you and plain flat out lying I've also been written up because I missed three days and had a doctor's note o know this is not allowed and I am very pissed about this they do whatever they want sit on the office half the time even when they know you are the only cashier and backed up its poor management period and corporate doesn't give a. Crap! I've begged for hours and have given hour's away because of not wanting to work with certain employees
unfair on 01/28/2014:
I love the fact that as a asst manager I never get a lunch I work 4 10hr days and one 5hr day, there is never another manager on duty just one manager and one css. this is illegal but for some reason they get away with it.
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Deceptive Advertising/Rude Service
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ESSEX, VERMONT -- Big Lots had a 50% off Christmas sale. In the store were ad cards stating 50% off ALL CHRISTMAS STOCK. I went to purchase a Christmas decoration storage box marked at $20.00. The box was red, the cover was green, it had snow flakes on the label, and it said Xmas stock on the label as well. It was displayed on a table with Christmas trees and the sign under it said 50% off ALL CHRISTMAS STOCK. I went to the register and was told that the storage box was not on sale. The register girl was rude and condescending. I asked for the manager and was told he was out. I purchased the box at full price. I called the store the next day to speak with the manager and the Assistant manager was rude, and denied that the box had snow flakes on the label and that it said xmas stock on it, and refused to honor the stores stated sale policies. When I asked him for his name he hung up. I called the corporate offices of Big Lots and was treated the same rude way, with the man telling me that the label on the box did not have snow flakes on it, that it did not say Xmas stock, and that if fact the box was not red with a green top. I asked to speak with someone over his head in the company and was told he was it, there was no one over his head. I returned the box to the store and showed the manager the color, the label, and the display, and he just walked away from me. I got my refund and left to never return to this store or this company. Last year they swapped price signs in the middle of my purchasing a mattress (raised $100.00),but I caught them and they honored the original price. Frauds! Boycott!
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Jeff on 01/08/2012:
Once in a while I will visit my local big lots. I also find the employees not very friendly. Never had an issue with one though, yet.
sabletaz on 01/08/2012:
If I was treated that way, I would not have bought it the first place. I'd walk out of the store right then and there.
trmn8r on 01/08/2012:
It sounds like the company is taking the position that the box to hold decorations does not meet its definition of "Christmas stock". One would assume any decorations or cards would, without a doubt.

I understand it was sitting on the "Christmas" table, had a Christmas price tag (I am assuming), and was colored red and green, and I can see how you would assume it would be included in the sale.
onlooker on 01/09/2012:
if your phone has a camera, take photos of these things when in that store and let them tell you that a red and green with snowflakes box on a 50% off table is wrong.
It could have been dumped by a customer, stocked wrong etc. It has UPC number that identifies it to the checkout - then it might not have been in their definition and price point their Christmas stock.
Frustrating but come on the whole organization is not bad. Is it?
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Big lots...A lot of junk with a horrible return policy.
Posted by on
PENNSYLVANIA -- This place….I’ve never felt so manipulated in my life. I bought an mp3 player packed in a thick plastic wrap. To get it out of this plastic, it had to be cut. I turn on the mp3 player…it crashes. When I take it back within 30 days, with my receipt, all the accessories, the headphones not even touched in a clean zip lock bag…I was told because I didn’t save the plastic wrapping they could not help me. No exchange, no store credit, no refund. I ask the sales woman, “So I have to keep something broken you guys sold me because I didn’t keep a plastic wrapper?” “Yes,” she said then said carelessly.
Not to mention she didn’t know the store policy in the first place. She had to read the back of my receipt then go to find three others to read it and the policy board. She told me they announce the return policy on the intercom. I am a regular shopper…since when did they do this? The manager refused to come speak with us pretending to be very busy when there were plenty of workers and only three customers. The cashier walked away from the desk several times on her own mission while we were still asking could we call headquarters or anything to not lose our money. So not only a broken product, stupid excuse for no money back, bad customer service! I walked out without the rest of what I wanted to buy…not because I didn’t get a refund…but because the lady was so uncaring to the situation.
Now get this, I email a complaint about this behavior. Instead of even an apology for such treatment I am told that I need the original plastic. Plastic? When I have a receipt and the merchandise. Who keeps cut up plastic? This is a gimmick, I assure you. This is something they know everyone would throw away. It was very unapologetic. No apology, no sympathy, no exceptions. There is no other way to put this other than Big Lots sucks big time. I wouldn’t recommend it for anything over five dollars…and if you value even that, I would keep my money in my pockets. This policy is for items that are higher prices, cameras, mp3s, vacuums, etc. A scam if I ever heard of one.
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Venice09 on 12/21/2011:
I keep the plastic until I know the merchandise works, but I agree that most people don't. I don't understand why they want or need the plastic because it certainly can't be used to rewrap the product. They should have either given you a new one or a refund considering you had the receipt and all the accessories. I hope it wasn't too expensive.

Have you tried contacting the company that manufactured it?
At Your Service on 12/21/2011:
I think I can agree that one would normally keep everything included with their purchase until they absolutely knew they were going to keep it. To do otherwise is allowing this very issue to arise.
ok4now on 12/21/2011:
My wife loves this store because of the cheap prices. I keep telling her the prices are cheap because the merchandise is junk. The OP did everything right trying to make this return. She had the receipt, original packaging and all of the accessories. The plastic wrapping could not be saved. So what. Big Lots did not want their junk back. Had this return been made at Lowe's, Home Depot or Target it would have been accepted. All they care about is the receipt and you have 90 days to return it. This is good customer service.
onlooker on 12/21/2011:
you could gamble and buy another one and return the broken one in the 'new' plastic. It is possible that there is a code of chip in the wrapping somewhere. BUT to have receipt and product all there and not accept it - seems wrong.
you could escalate the complaint and go to the store and keep pushing the issue, let them know how much you really shop there - what did you spend there over the last year and speak to the DAY manager, the district manager and push.
Honestly I would question a week or two of delay of a defective Mp3, so I can understand the resistance you are meeting. I do not agree with it, but I understand it.
CowboyFan on 12/21/2011:
No, not everyone would throw it away. Next time you should keep everything related to the product, since even the plastic wrap is part of what you bought. If a product is defective, return it within 24 hours, that reduces a lot of the hassles, because it is clear the product will not work because of a defect, not the result of abuse.

Also, realize that Big Lot sells, in my opinion, lower quality products at cheap prices. The lower the prices, the harder the returns because the profit margins are thinner and the store may not be able to get a refund from the manufacturer for the defective product.
trp2hevn on 12/21/2011:
"I bought an mp3 player packed in a thick plastic wrap. To get it out of this plastic, it had to be cut."
Did that plastic part have the barcode on it?
trmn8r on 12/21/2011:
It sounds to me like everything that you were told by both the employees and your subsequent email is consistent, and it may be printed on the back of the receipt as well.

Maybe the reason that they want the packaging is to put it out as "open box" and get $5 for it if it is returned.

Personally, I would avoid Big Lots in the first place, like I avoid Overstock and these other places that hold the promise of everyday discounts. There is something to be said for "you get what you pay for."
Anonymous on 12/21/2011:
What a ridiculous return policy! I have never kept the plastic from any items and have never once been denied a return because I didn't keep the plastic wrapping.

This review really makes me wonder with Christmas coming in just a few days if we all need to clean out the garage/storage rooms to make room for all those boxes, outer plastic wrap, styrofoam, bubble wrap, twistie ties, little packets of silica gel, inner plastic wrap and the pieces of tape used to secure any of the inner plastic wrap.
trmn8r on 12/21/2011:
justcuz - the way I read this, the hard plastic *is* the box in this case. It isn't the thin wrap around a box.

My basement has a large pile of boxes that are the original packaging for things I have bought. I recall seeing warnings in places that "Items must be returned in their original packaging" which is why the pile is there. It could use a cleaning out...
MRM on 12/21/2011:
For me, I save those Amazon delivery boxes and I have stacks of those! I would use those as containers or organizers.
Anonymous on 12/21/2011:
Aha trm, that makes're talking about those items that come in the melded plastic that takes two people, a blow torch, safety glasses and industrial strength scissors to open, which usually results in a mangled mess. I don't save those either, and actually had to return an item to Best Buy once and while the receipt said must be in original packaging, there were no questions about why I didn't bring in the mangled plastic with possible way they'd be able to repackage it and resell.
tawana on 05/25/2012:
I work for biglots and I'm happy to say so my custemers are the best I would like to thank I am one of the strongest employees that push the rewards card I do beleave if you shop biglots reagulery you should have a rewards card because every time you make a purchuse over 20.00 dollars you receive a point now if you spend 500.00 dollars you still only get one point the trick is one point per day per store. but the card is free you get specials throughout the year and when you recive 10points on that card that's 10diffrent purcuses of over 20.00 dollars you get 20% off your total purcus how can you go wrong? as an employee for biglots I thank every one that shops there and if you have kids you should deffintly have a rewards card just think Christmas time you spend 500.00 dollars and have 10 points on your card and the casheir says your elegable for 20%off yahoo you just saved 100.00 dollars good for you thanks for shopping at biglots as an employee I still thank its one of the best family stores ever
walt on 11/30/2013:
I hate big lots. the stuff they sell is crap and falls apart within days of getting it home. However, in this case I must agree with the store. The plastic you are speaking of is the package just as a boxed item would need the box to be returned. You are making it to sound like it was wrapped in plastic when in fact it was packaged in plastic. Most store require original packaging as in box or plastic and not necessarily all of the stuff inside the package.
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Mistreated Employee
Posted by on
I went to Big Lots a few days ago to return a product and the I was greeted by a young man with an adorable accent. He took me right away and started the return, but something went wrong within the return itself. Soon after his line got longer and he called someone to take over a register so he could help me and figure it out. He then called a manager on a walkie talkie and asked for her help so he could show her what the screen was telling him. She literally told him, I'm busy so figure it out with yourself. I couldn't believe she said that to him! He was trying so hard to help me and give me the money back and she literally kicked him in the teeth! That poor young man didn't deserve that at all as he was so pleasant with me and polite. After 10 minutes he figured it out and I got my money back and he apologized that it took so long. I really wanted to get a look at who the manager was because I wanted to report her for what she "didn't" do and that was get off her rear and help out a fellow employee. Shame on her.
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jktshff1 on 10/08/2011:
"she literally kicked him in the teeth" that is an assault and the police should have been called, but that is not what happened. He figured it out himself and probably is a better employee with the knowledge he has. The supervisor could have handled it differently, but stuff happens.
2inform on 10/09/2011:
Is it possible the manager couldn't come because she was helping another customer or possibly completing a time sensitive task?
ChuhBaca on 10/09/2011:
I don't think it really matters what the manager's situation was, the manner in which she spoke to this employee was bad enough to where we have someone posting about their experience here. Even if she couldn't rush to an employee's aid, she should have done so in such a way that wasn't snippy to the employee and offensive to the customer.

In closing, please help stop the spreading of the misuse of the word "literally".
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Just mean!
Posted by on
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA -- Well, I went to this Big Lots store in Tyler Avenue last week to get a twin size mattress, they had the one I was interested in, they showed it to me it was at the back of the store and it was available. I asked them if I could pay for it on that day and go pick it up next day in the morning because I didn't have a truck. I just wanted to hold it because it was the only one available, well, the manager of that store said no! she said they could not hold it for me and I better come back next day for it, period. Next day, I got a truck and went to the store in the morning, guess what? she had the mattress on hold for someone else, I thought she said they could not hold anything, but she did it!

The salesperson told me the same mattress they showed to me was now on hold for someone else, of course I got upset, they didn't want to hold it for me but they did hold it for another customer. I am not going back to that store!
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Alain on 03/21/2011:
Contact Big Lots about this via (click on 'contact us' at the bottom of the page in fine print) or call their corporate office in Ohio at 614-278-6800.
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Refund policy
Posted by on
I have worked for Big Lots for 9 years and I feel the need to enlighten you all on the policies. First, on the back of EVERY receipt AND listed on the big policy board above the service desk, it states" no receipt, no return",that simple. Now, if you received it as a gift and don't have the receipt, be a nice person and give it to someone else or sell it. I have had loss prevention emails stating that we are NOT to do a refund without a receipt. Loss prevention is the one I listen to BECAUSE they can determine if I keep or lose my job. Since I have a family to support, loss prevention's request prevails over any customer who wants to pitch a fit or complain. Besides, if you received something as a gift, it's WRONG to want a refund, you did't buy it in the first place!
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raven2010 on 02/03/2011:
I agreed until your last statement. many large chain stores give git receipts for this exact reason.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a receipt for a gift, IMHO.
Anonymous on 02/03/2011:
Raven> I too was on board until the last condescending and judgemental comment. Everything else is pretty spot-on though.
Anonymous on 02/03/2011:
Customers tend to think that the sales associate is just being mean by saying 'no' and exceptions can always be made. They don't realize that the associates are not allowed to make exceptions and can risk losing their job. Either that or they don't care because they think they are more important than the employee
Anonymous on 02/04/2011:
I agree 100%. everyone should work retail just once in their lives to see how vile, petty, and truly mean a lot of people are. A lot of people with the empowerment of being a customer show their true colors thinking the customer is always right. They think it's their right to treat the employee as their serf. I understand the feelings of the OP.

Ytropious on 02/04/2011:
The thing is, I believe it's not the stores job to ask if you want a gift receipt, it's the gift givers problem. If you didn't get a gift receipt blame the person who gave you the gift.
heard it all on 02/04/2011:
Hello all, I have been a retail manager for over 20 years and I have heard it all.It is my job to make the customer happy and I always try my best BUT that invisible line exists between your satisfaction and my employment.I cannot afford to lose sight of that line.
Skye on 02/04/2011:
It's not wrong to want to return a gift you received. Once you receive it, it's yours to do with as you like. Receipts are just a fact of life these days, and a good one.

We all have heard stories of people who walk into stores, pick merchandise right up off the floor, to return it to customer service for a cash refund. Stores have every right to request a receipt.

I agree 100% with Yt's comment. The purchaser of the item is responsible for asking for a gift receipt. But Target rocks, because they always ask if we would like a gift receipt.
Starlord on 02/04/2011:
Crystal and I have both worked Loss Prevention, and she had a good case once. A gentleman brought a piece of merchandise to the customer service, stating he had bought it a couple of days before, and wanting a refund. Crystal sensed something not quite right and called the department manager where the merchandise came from. He told her to stall the guy until the police got there. Between her and the officer, they got the guy back to the security office. It seems the merchandise was brand new and had just been put on the shelf that morning. Slam dunk case, perp arrested and convicted.
heard it all on 02/05/2011:
I'll be saying this until the I turn blue in the face but in order to avoid all this trouble,keep your receipt.There were over $3 MILLION in fraudulent refunds in one year at my company.What if your company lost $3 million to fraud in one year,you would demand a receipt as well.
abaddon on 01/06/2013:
The middle ground is an exchange, but no refund.

@sStarlord - your scenario is full of holes. if you did't see someone steal something or cannot correlate them to the theft there is no case. sorry to burst your bubble but they let that guy go. nice try
Lou on 01/30/2013:
Clearly it is not the employee making the rules only following them. I do, however, think that Big Lots can identify their own products and see no reason not to issue a store credit. You get your merchandise back -- especially if it is unopened and can resell it, and you give a store credit and have a returning customer. Therefor I don't see you losing anything. Am I right?
Cr miles on 12/05/2013:
I will not shop at big lots anymore.
GrammyLu on 08/24/2014:
I buy a lot of merchandise at Big Lots and for the most part, I have been happy with it. Most recently, we bought a wardrobe that turned out to be a piece of crap. I called the store and the sweet manager, Shannon, at the Rising Sun MD store said to bring it back. I had the receipt and my son helped my husband return it. (It weighed over 200 lbs.) The employees were great and even thanked us for boxing it back up. I have spent a couple thousand dollars there in the last few months (moving into a new house) and I applaud the staff at that store for their professionalism. It is always a pleasure to shop there.
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