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Wal-Mart Lets Online Shoppers Pay Cash

The one place cash isn’t king is online. But Wal-Mart, and other retailers, may change that.

Next month, WalMart.com reportedly will start “Pay With Cash,” which lets customers reserve items online for in-store pickup. Although the target audience may be the estimated 20% of Wal-Mart (WMT) customers without a bank account or credit card, but experts say the service could also benefit consumers trying to stick to budget or wary that keying in their credit card numbers online exposes them to fraud. “It’s good for the reconnaissance shopper who wants to get in and get out,” says Gail Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “They don’t need to tempt themselves further.” Wal-Mart did not respond to requests for comment.

Online ordering with in-store pickup continues to become more common. Wal-Mart already offers site-to-store shipping, for example, although customers must pay for those orders online. Best Buy, L.L. Bean, Payless and Radio Shack are among the other retailers offering similar options. As we’ve previously reported, those policies help even credit-paying online shoppers avoid shipping fees and stack more valuable discount coupons.

Still, reserving items online for in-store pickup isn’t without its pitfalls, says Cunningham. Most stores require the person who ordered to be the one who picks up an item, with photo ID on hand as proof. Stores may also arrange pickup at the customer service desk, where lines can be nearly as long as those at the register. “We don’t yet know with Wal-Mart’s program what hoops you’ll have to jump through,” she says.

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    • Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is really frustrating. A good site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

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    • I’ve done the in store pickup with mixed reviews. The first time, as “Goodgold” writes, without issue. The second time I showed up to have them tell me the item was not available (I’ll admit I did not wait for the confirmation e-mail)…so I walked over to the shelf and found it, brought it to the back of the store and checked out. Not flawless and probably slower than just going there and getting it yourself. The only advantage to on-line/pickup orders is you don’t have to search the store for the items…you know where you’re going to pick them up. If they can’t get that part right…..

    • As to your comments about long lines to pick up orders, I have placed 2 orders with Walmart dot com and had the items sent to the local Walmart. You do not pick it up at the regular Customer Service counter, but in an area towards the back of the store. There is no waiting and I get the items in less than 5 minutes. Perhaps Ms. Grant should research her stories a little more so as not to put a negative spin when none is warranted.

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