CHOICE membership

Refusing inspection when leaving Bunnings



We have exactly the same experience.

Almost every time my wife goes through security at an airport, she is called over for an explosives test, presumably because she appears to an easy going person.

I have never been tested as I appear to be tall, mean and grumpy.


Could be onto something I do laugh a lot and sometimes talk to myself


The only coded announcements I ever hear in various Coles stores are “Caroline 19. Caroline 19. Caroline 19”.

I asked a staff member what it was about and I was told that it meant that someone was required to attend the rear entrance, presumably to allow a delivery.

That is except for “Equipment A and B required to aisle X” when a mop and bucket are required.


I am willing to pay extra, in every walk of life we are paying extra because of someones wrong doings. Do I get to inspect the banks computers, petrol companies buying records or the councils books to see if I am being ripped off, there is a reason that I don’t and that could be related to privacy or government contracts do I get to go over them to make sure I am getting bang for my tax paying buck. If they have nothing to hide why cant they show them?

While showing whats in your bag at the shops is only small invasion 99% of the time, it can be a big invasion of privacy. Your privacy is yours to own and as long as you are not breaking the law it should be yours to choose what you want to do with.


There was an incident in the Cairns area a year or so ago whereby a person had printed their own barcode stickers and placed them over the genuine barcodes on expensive items at the Bunnings store at Smithfield.

When he was scanning the items at the self-service checkout, he was challenged by a staff member and he fled the store.

The police spotted him a few days later in the city and arrested him.

If it had not been for the diligent employee, Bunnings would have lost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on this occasion.


I would like to know the breakdown of theft by staff, owners & shoplifters, from my experience there is a lot of theft by staff but what percentage of total goods stolen I could not tell.


I agree Euey. Never been a fan of people asking to look in my bags. It seems far more prevalent here than overseas as well, in my ten years living in London I never had to do it. Maybe that’s the real reason why Bunnings failed in the UK – too many bag inspections! :joy:


The problem is everyone says this then gets upset when prices go up or it’s cheaper online.

Also I’d be interested to hear what makes you say staff theft is a major factor. All the major chains (and everywhere I have worked for) have detailed policies that make it almost harder for staff to steal than customers. I can see it being an issue in smaller businesses who don’t have that though.


On another occasion earlier this year, I was waiting in line in the queue to the one operating checkout in the garden section of our local Bunnings when one of the horticulturists approached the person who is usually stationed at the entrance to greet customers arriving and departing, and occasionally checks their receipts.

I overhead him say “XXXX, I’ve got a job for you”. He proceeded to provide the description of a female customer and said that he had observed her place something in her handbag.

Whilst I was tempted to hang around to observe the outcome so as to satisfy my morbid sense of curiosity, I departed the store so I am unaware of what happened.

When the Cairns Central Shopping Centre opened some 20 years ago, they would have regular P.A. calls for security in section “XYZ”.

They had a blonde plainclothes store detective who would wear a backpack and carry a basket so as to appear as just another customer.

When I heard the P.A. calls and observed her moving past each aisle, I would sometimes follow her discretely so as to see just what was happening, but usually without anything to see.

It reminded me of the monthly article titled “Spy v Spy v Spy” in the Mad magazines we used to read as teenagers.

However, on a few occasions, I saw her escorting persons through an entrance at the rear of the store and telling them that she was going to take down their details, and after that, they would be banned from ever entering the store again.


See the last place I worked at was the exact opposite. The idea was not to catch people shoplifiting because staff aren’t police and couldn’t touch anyone. The idea was simply to show there was plenty of uniformed staff around, which both discourages shoplifting and also means people never have to go searching to get assistance.

This also meant we never had to bag check. Shame the same idea doesn’t work for big stores.


yes one near me has a greeter also but bunnings are pretty hopeless they are only interested in getting someone through the door.half the time most staff are useless but some people are quite good.Hence the reason if you employ decent staff better outcomes for all. I still preferred the days before we had these massive stores. I liked our local mitre 10 but that was over 20 years back but i know they actually did really care and not having a million products to choose from. just my opinion.


At my local bunnings, the check-outs are rarely open and the only counter for purchases is right next to the main entrance. I go to the counter, produce my purchases, pay for the items and receive my receipt. All the time I am in view of the “meeter and greeter” who immediately asks to see my receipt, just having watched me make my purchase. Really annoying.


They ask for the receipt so that they can stamp it.

There was a shoplifting gang a few years ago that would purchase smaller expensive items (power tools, garden power equipment etc), show the person on exit they had paid, take them out of store then return shortly thereafter to pick up the same items again and depart using the same receipt. These items were either sold or one set were returned for a refund so that the remaining ones were obtained for “free”. This is why Bunnings stamp receipts on exit as I understand the value of the goods stolen were significant.

Unfortunately systems are set up to catch the very few who think it is okay to steal from a business, either small or large.


I usually refuse a bag check because I am a customer, not a thief, and I expect to be treated like a customer, not like a thief.

Bunnings rarely care if you smile and say “no thanks”. I’ve had Costco staff get quite upset but they don’t stray far from the door.


If that was the reason, why not stamp the receipt at the time it is generated? The person operating the register can clearly see the goods are being taken.

For self-checkout, they could move the door stamper to the self-checkout area and stamp the receipts there.


Is stamping a receipt essential? Perhaps not.

I think we will find that if we look carefully at our store receipts, they all have a date and time stamp on the bottom or top indicating when they were issued. To the second!

It’s just convenient for stores that do so to stamp a receipt, and as others have suggested it may be part of a general visible security culture. Any one caught out recycling an unstamped receipt can’t be thinking very clearly at the time?

If I don’t want my bag checked I don’t take it into the store or I don’t go to that store. It really is very simple. I keep my “imaginary right” to privacy and the store keeps it’s real and legally supported right to check my imaginary bag.

Any argument about privacy I reserve for the next time I get to communicate with my local state member of parliament, where the laws can be updated if needed.


I guess I’m just one of those people who doesn’t like to make a fuss. I’ve never been made to feel like a thief.


My understanding is that many shops use code words for such matters. That said, I have seen people walk out of Coles self-service without having scanned or paid! One one occasion I pointed them out to the staff and yelled after them, but the attendant was not permitted to leave her post at the self-service area and they just strolled off with their takings.

That just means I pay more because someone is stealing stuff!


It’s a condition of entry. If a person is not actually stealing anything, I can’t see what the problem is.


The problem with this view is quickly seen when the thief says

“I usually refuse a bag check because I am a thief, not a customer, and I expect to be treated like a customer, not like a thief.”