Never thought I’d use this at the supermarket

Mobile scanning devices at the super – have you played with one of these yet? Gone fewer are the days when I looked forward to weekly markets full of fresh seasonal produce, local food vendors, cheap clothing and household items. Now it’s all about simplifying and doing tasks asap, and if by chance it’s done without too much stress, then all the better.

mobile scanning device

Voila! The portable barcode scanning device at Esselunga. Self-service checkout counters are so yesterday. This new style of purchasing goods was introduced at another big supermarket (Auchan) months ago, but we were too lazy to jump on the tech wagon. The way it works is pretty straightforward: activate a device with your loyalty card (one will light up green among the whole bunch), insert in holder, and start scanning away with a simple point and click of the [+] button. If you change your mind about an item, point and click the [-].

The device keeps score with each item addition so you never need fear of going over budget. Right. The procedure for checking out is just as effortless. Point scanner onto the barcode at one of the dedicated kiosks to light up the screen panel. Follow directions for payment, take the receipt, and access the exit swing door by inserting the bottom of the receipt (there’s a barcode printed at the end) into the reader. Every now and then a clerk will double-check if everything is in order, and that means taking all your stuff out of the cart and putting it onto the conveyer belt like a normal checkout. If it turns out that the items are accounted for, an extra 20 points goes onto your loyalty card for all your trouble. Out of the 3 times we’ve used this, we’ve been “checked” only once, but I have to say that this beats standing in a slow line at the cashier.

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8 thoughts on “Never thought I’d use this at the supermarket

    1. Rowena Post author

      I suspect that in the future, “shop and scan” will be the norm, be it with a device like the one above or with your smartphone. To buy in bulk (like a bunch of pears), bag and place on the digital scale provided in the produce section. Press the corresponding item# (written on each product card) and it spits out a printed label that you stick onto the bag of fruit (which you then scan). It’s just WEIRD to see this here in Italy where (we as a country) are still considered to be among those who are behind the rest of the pack. Italian bureaucracy is still in the stone age. 😯

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    1. Rowena Post author

      It’s so much easier because at the self-checkout counter, you can only use it if you’re shopping with the hand basket (few items). With the cart, we just about roll out the door and then bag our stuff at the car. Speaking of bagging items, it’s bag-it-yourself over here so when someone has a ton of stuff, they take forever to sack items and get out of the way. Plus the cashiers quite literally fly items across the scanner so it’s kinda funny to see people scrambling to bag their stuff.

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  1. annieparis

    We have those at our local Waitrose.. so much easier , I just have to remember to use it. We register it with our bank card ,,, and then zap as we go round, and at the end we go to a special till , hand over the card registered and pay , and then go . 🙂

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    1. Rowena Post author

      Zap as you go, that’s exactly what I saw one young boy doing while his mother had her attention focused elsewhere (and he wasn’t even putting items in the cart). I’m sure the store had adults in mind when they implemented this new system, but I have seen parents hand the device over to their little ones as if it were a toy!

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      1. annieparis

        Can you imagine the bill at the end, NO they are not toys , some parents don’t have brains , Absolutely for adults ,, but a very good idea.

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