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Can Trader Joe’s Hold Items? (Explained)

Can Trader Joe’s hold items

Trader Joe’s is known for its unique selection of products that tend to come and go incredibly fast. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for a customer to come to the grocery store just to find out that their favorite food items have been sold out or discontinued. 

To avoid such an unpleasant situation, you might want to try to place your beloved product on hold – some stores would be able to set the item aside for you, if you contact the crew members beforehand.

About Trader Joe’s Item Holding Policy

The item holding policy at Trader Joe’s is store-specific. Some locations would be happy to set aside your favorite item, while others would politely say ‘no’.

Certain stores stopped offering holds, and there are locations that still do not place holds on popular or seasonal items simply because they want to give everyone a fair chance of buying a particular product.

Furthermore, Trader Joe’s stores have limited storage space, so the decision to not place any holds on products might be completely justified from the practical point of view. 

With that being said, there are stores where the employees would agree to set a few items aside for you if you’re planning on picking the product up soon.

How to Request Item Holding at Trader Joe’s 

Some store Captains will allow holds on various products (sometimes, even seasonal items) that are in limited supply. To find out for sure, however, you would have to speak to the Captain or any other staff member directly.

The easiest way to do that is to call your local Trader Joe’s (you’ll find the phone number on the official website). Employees are not allowed to set flowers aside, but they might agree to place another item on hold.

You can also ask the staff members to place a hold on some products while you’re in the store. Just make sure to provide your contact information and tell the employees exactly when you’ll be able to pick up the item. Do bear in mind that this might not work with perishable goods or limited-stock items. 

Are There Any Exceptions to the Item Holding Policy?

If a member of the crew says that they are not allowed to place a hold on items, you might want to try talking to the Merchant or the Captain who are real customer service champions.

Even if your store does not typically offer item holding, you might become an exception, if you mention that you would have to drive for 2 hours to get to the store or if you need the items for a celebratory dinner, for example.

If you are unable to shop in-store due to health issues (the stores are often small and overcrowded), make sure to mention that to the staff member, and the chances are high that they’ll try to come up with a solution for you.

You can also, in some cases, place an order for a full box of a certain product, but you would have to, once again, find out if it’s allowed beforehand. Some Trader Joe’s stores prefer to not sell their items in batches as they don’t want them to be resold on third-party websites for twice the price when the items get discontinued. 

Tips on Always Getting What You Need at Trader Joe’s 

• Stock up on what you really like. Unfortunately, TJ’s won’t provide advance notice of what it’s planning on discontinuing, so it might be worth getting a dozen of your favorite items before it’s too late.

• Leave reviews about the items that you adore. TJ’s can even decide to make seasonal items permanent if quite a few customers request that via the feedback forms.

• Plan with the Fearless Flyer before going grocery shopping. It is always a great idea to check out the company’s website and newsletter before heading to the store. This will help you find out if the item that you’re after is still in stock.

Final Thoughts

Some Trader Joe’s stores won’t agree to put items on hold, and customers typically respect that. Such a policy encourages fair trade and helps the store save valuable space.

However, there are stores that would be happy to place your favorite product on hold, if you call or ask in-store in advance.

Employees might also agree to set aside a few items for you even in the stores that have a strict item-holding policy if you manage to provide a good enough reason for that. Just don’t be shy to ask.


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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