How Much Does A Shopping Cart Cost?

Anyone shopping in a super shop such as Walmart, Kroger or Albertsons, chances are pretty high that you have used a shopping cart to pick and keep products securely. Although the shopping cart may appear a simple tool, it isn’t so.

Also, information on how much does a shopping cart cost might seem overwhelmingly surprising to you since it often exceeds our imagination. Yes, make no mistake that these little carts come at a lower price.

Hence, today, we are going to discuss some unknown and interesting facts about shipping cart costs.

So, let’s begin it.

A Brief History of Shopping Cart

Although we are all familiar with the shopping cart, how many of us know its history? I guess almost none. I admit, even a week ago, I was in the same league as you.

So, it’s better to put some light on the topic first.

A shopping cart is also sometimes called as a shopping trolley. Usually, supermarkets supply the carts to their customers within the premises of their stores. Customers walk around the shop with the cart and keep their purchased merchandise on the cart before heading towards the billing point.

In some supermarkets, the carts are designed to go in the parking lot where customers can easily pick their goods and keep them in their vehicles. A cart serviceman will then return the cart to the shop’s premises again.

The first official record of a supermarket using a shopping cart was registered on June 4, 1937, in Oklahoma at Humpty Dumpty Supermarket. Sylvan Goldman, the owner of the supermarket, had invented the shopping cart to help his customers move freely with their picked goods within the shop premises.

His first built cart was inspired by a wooden chair that has added wheels on the leg and a basket on the chair. He, along with a repairman, helped to transform the idea into a metal cart.

How much Does A Shopping Cart Cost?

The shopping cart cost varies severely, thanks to its array of added features, design, and convenience. However, we found that an average shopping cart will cost around $75 to $150. It is high-end pricing compared to the simple design that carts have.

However, surprisingly, some high-end shopping trolley will cost as much as $300-$400. You will see them in expensive supermarkets and have some added features.

However, some plastic shopping baskets are also available in superstores. They will cost about $25 to $40 average.

Reasons for Shopping Cart Expensive Pricing

You see that the carts used in the shops for merchandise product picking are no cheap things. So, what makes them so costly? The reasons may include:

  • Most shopping carts structure is made with stainless steel to prevent corrosion. Therefore, the cost of such high-end steel adds up to the pricing.
  • Also, cart designers focus on the maximum mobility of the cart with the least effort of the customers. Designing such a mobile and portable cart is no cheap alternative.
  • Also, the plastics used on the upper head and, at times, a carrying handle further intensify the cost of the carts.

Problems with Shopping Cart Pricing

Since shopping carts are an expensive item, these days, many supermarkets face some practically severe problems with these carts.

The first problem they encounter is the theft of the carts from the premises and outside. In fact, it is estimated that around annually, $800 million equivalent of shopping cart costing is theft across the globe. And it is way higher than we have imagined earlier.

And it is a significant loss for supermarkets. Moreover, due to the harsh handling of the carts, their wheels break down even before their possible lifespan. It further causes hassles and profit loss for the shops.

These days, various supermarkets have invented some unique ideas to prevent cart theft. These include:

Authorities use magnetic and electronic strips. This system allows the authorities to enable the cart to go to the parking lot, where customers usually pick their groceries and merchandise in their vehicle. After that, the carts are electronically locked and are limited to leave the designated area. It prevents theft.

Some supermarket allows carrying their carts to a specific area within a limited range from their store location. They do so to help customers maintain their merchandise to home who have come without any vehicle support. These supermarkets then use ‘cart retrieval service” to get back the carts in their premises by paying a low price to the service providers.

Some stores use a vertical post in their store entrance. It impediments the movement of the carts out of the store premises.


So, here goes our observation on the costing of a shopping cart. An average cart costs $75-$150 while the expensive ones may reach up to $400. Due to such high pricing, thieves are interested in this somewhat simple tool. And guess what, worldwide estimation of theft cart expense in $800 million. So, supermarkets use various techniques to prevent theft. Also, the pricing of the carts limits them from changing the carts even when necessary.

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