In late January 2023, a TikTok user posted a video that claimed Walmart would begin charging money in order to use a shopping cart. The person recording the video said, "Starting Feb. 1, Walmart is going to charge you a dollar to take out their carts."
The video showed what appeared to be a Walmart cart that required a $1 deposit in order to use it to shop. In other words, the money would be refunded to the shopper once they returned it to the corral.
Facebook users heard the Walmart rumor and shared the news in public posts.
"Do you know Walmart is charging $1 for the use of their carts? Lmfao!," one user posted.
A different person remarked, "Walmart charging a $1 to use their shopping carts starting February 1st."
Another user located in Indiana said, "So Walmart charging a mf a dollar feb 1st for they shopping carts it's not a lot but damn that's what they on."
We reached out to Walmart's corporate communications team to learn more. By email, they indicated that the TikTok video had not been recorded in the U.S.
"The clip is from a Walmart Canada store and is a common practice among many Canadian retailers," the statement read.
In other words, we haven't yet found any indication that this practice of Walmart charging a deposit for carts was spreading to all stores across the U.S., at least not anytime soon.
One story about this subject from Newsbreak reported about a second TikTok video from a different user. The article said that @travel_life_mama had recorded a video on Jan. 15 that purportedly showed the cart-deposit system being "used in an American Walmart."
We noticed the front of the weekly shopping ad that was visible below the sign in the video and matched it to a similar one on shopping-canada.com (archived). "Cara Cara Oranges 3lb. or Blood Oranges 2lb. Each. Product of USA," the Canadian flyer said, which matched the flyer in the video, although with a slightly different price.
From what we could tell, this meant that @travel_life_mama appeared to have recorded the video in Canada, not the U.S.
The idea of charging a deposit to use a shopping cart might remind some readers of Aldi stores, which ask for a quarter in order to pull out a buggy. "Aldi uses the system to reduce the time it takes workers to bring carts in from the parking lot," The Associated Press once reported.
This story will be updated if we learn more details.