We’re all pretty familiar with our local big box stores. We’re talking about stores like Target, Walmart and Best Buy. Especially during the pandemic when online shopping surged and delivery and curbside pickup became more appealing than ever, we have turned to these types of stores for so many purchases.

You might know exactly where everything is in your local Target, for example. You might think that you’re an insider if you’re there so often that you notice when the new seasonal decor is being stocked for sale. You probably don’t know as much as you think you do.

Reddit user yo_gabby_gabby asked, “Ex-Big Box Store (Target, Walmart, Best Buy) Employees, what’s some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that happens that the public doesn’t know about?” Many Redditers responded with serious answers to the question, and these answers might surprise you. They definitely surprised us.

Scroll down to discover 17 inside secrets you probably don’t know unless you have worked at a big box store.

  1. Market Pantry Is a Good Deal

    Reddit user BebopBarbecue wrote:

    Market pantry (target brand) is literally delivered in Tyson boxes. You’re getting Tyson chicken for a cheaper price than Tyson even though it’s the same stuff.

  2. Sale vs Real Price

    A secret shared by she_rahrah:

    There are often laws (depending which country you are in) that dictate how long a “promotional” price can be displayed before it becomes the “normal” retail price. Other comments mention inferior product being bought to sell at clearance prices but it can go beyond that. Let’s say a toaster is “normally” $100. For the next two weeks, it’s on a half price sale. The two weeks after that, it’s buy one appliance, get another free. Two weeks after that, it’s buy two appliances, save 50%. That toaster’s retail price is $50, no matter how it’s worded.

  3. A Fun Job

    Obscure_Teacher wrote:

    I worked at Supertarget a decade ago. Working in the warehouse was one of the most fun jobs I had in my young life. My boss used to walk around with a boxcutter and “slip” next to bags of cookies and chips resulting in the product becoming “defective” so it was up to us to “dispose” of the product.

  4. Price Check

    Shared by Jamesbondinator:

    Worked at Target and if there is any price dispute at all with what’s rung up and what is posted they will take the customers word for it (within reason) for example I worked in the food and we had meat for sale at 2.99/lb the sticker on the food said /lb but the signage in the aisle said “2.99”. A woman disputed it and got $40 of meat for 6 bucks.

  5. Black Friday

    Some inside info from _MKUltraViolet:

    Many of the Black Friday deals are items made with inferior quality compared to the original product. They change the SKU number to protect themselves legally.

  6. Sales

    Arluza shared:

    Stores like Kohl’s or other discount retailers ship products with the”sales” price in the truck. “Was 49.99 now 34.99” means it came to the store in the truck with a real retail price of 34.99. the big “you saved 100 bucks shopping at Kohl’s” at the receipt? That’s BS. You paid the normal retail rate, and they add like 20-40% and claim you are “saving” money.

  7. Returns

    Reddit user bcm315 wrote:

    Former JCPenney employee. They’ll take almost anything back. A lady came in wanting to return a pair of pants but didn’t have her receipt because she had bought them a few months prior. She explained that she had worn and washed them several times since buying them but one of the legs got a small hole in it, and she “just didn’t think they should be tearing up already.”The manager accepted the return and gave her store credit.

  8. Wash New Clothes

    Advice from jackstar1107:

    This is probably common sense, but just in case: You really should probably wash your new clothes before wearing them. I spent a year doing overnights at Target in softlines (the backroom aisles of clothing, shoes, and baby), and when I’d wash my hands at the end of the shift, the water would truly be deep charcoal gray.

  9. Food in the Break Room

    Puppinbake shared:

    When I worked at Target, they’d always feed us. I’d go into the break room and it would be pb&j day, or cereal day, or ice cream sundae day. On bigger days like holidays or Black Friday, they’d cater anything from pizza on smaller holidays to full blown BBQ rib buffet dinners from a local BBQ joint. Summers were popsicles in the freezer, and even a cook out once a summer. I mostly hated the job, but the people I worked with were great, all the way up the chain.

  10. Part Time vs Full Time

    CrazyCatLushie added:

    Walmart regularly hires people to work full-time hours but calls them part-time so they don’t have to give them benefits. They say you’ll be working 25ish hours per week and then book you for 40 and say it’s “temporary”. It’s not.

  11. Do You Have One in the Back?

    Written by bezosdivorcelawyer:

    When you ask us to double check the back and we go? We’re just sitting on a box looking at our phones for a few minutes before coming back out. We know it’s not back there.

  12. Facial Recognition

    Bellstjohn explained:

    Current team member at Target. All cameras in the store have facial recognition and at my store we usually have a good bit of security walking around pretending to shop. Oh and here is a little known tip for everyone, yelling and making a scene at guest services does not help when we deny a return (which we have the option of denying for any reason)

  13. The Back Room

    Shared by gil_beard:

    I worked at Wal-Mart for a year back in the day. They spent an insane amount of money and time keeping the sales floor clean and organized. The back room on the other hand was a hoarders dream. It was a room about the size of a small gymnasium and it was just piled to the roof with boxes and merchandise going back to the 90’s. Plus it stunk to high heaven from the rotted food and the dead rats.

  14. The Real Price

    rakshala shared:

    The diamond ring you just bought for $800 that was marked as $999. We paid $99 for it.

  15. We’re Out

    Another Reddit user wrote:

    A lot of times when workers say “Sorry sir we are out of XYZ” what they really means is “The computer says there is 1 or 2 left but i have no idea where they are or how to even look for it”Also workers drop merchandise ALL the time. It’s a miracle anything ever gets sold in one piece

  16. Huge Markup

    Written by levivillarreal:

    I worked at Best Buy in high school and the markups for chargers, cases and accessories were insane. A $20 HDMI cable would be about a dollar with employee discount (10% more than Best Buy paid for it IIRC).I was saving money at the time so I didn’t take full advantage of it, but I would often scan it with employee discount just to see how much profit Best Buy made off of products.

  17. Rain Checks

    Shared by iamthenewspaper:

    When I worked at Target, we had little pads of Raincheck tickets that could be taken to a register and scanned to print out a raincheck for that item at the sale price. People didn’t realize, if the item the rain check was for was 40% off, for example, a customer could use that raincheck on any like item and get 40% off. A certain TV was 35% off and out of stock and had a raincheck available, take that 35% off of another similar TV.