Man Shares "Life Hack" for Free Water at Walmart: It May Not Be Illegal, but It's Not Ethical Either

This social media user shared a way to get free bottled water from Walmart — it may not be illegal, but it's certainly not ethical either.

Pretty Honore - Author

Aug. 1 2023, Published 2:13 p.m. ET

Some life hacks you find online can be very helpful; however, many can be downright unethical.

Let’s take this Target security tag removal tag trick, or better yet, this years-old Walmart water bottle hack posted by @tripsti7 for example.

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In a short video, the TikTok user gives his followers the scoop on how to get free water bottles in perpetuity.

However, many argue that @tripsti7’s hack isn’t a hack at all — it’s just stealing. So, what is the water bottle hack that’s sent everyone into a tizzy? Read on to find out!

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This man just showed the internet how to get free water from Walmart. But is this life hack illegal?

TikTok users have watched @tripsti’s TikTok video more than 7 million times as of this writing. In the clip, T-Rip shows us a little-known loophole. The label on the bottle says: “Return the package for replacement or money back. 1-877-595-2267 or visit us online at"

Because the text is not very specific, T-Rip says it’s pretty much left up to interpretation. The label doesn’t say return if it’s damaged or tastes bad — it just says bring it back and you’ll get a replacement.

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For @tripsti7, that means saving all of his empty water bottles and the package they came in to take back up to Walmart for a fresh set.

But before you start stocking up on 36-packs, you should keep in mind that what you’re doing may or may not be illegal.

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This isn’t the first time someone has taken to the internet with this hack. The poignant discussion about sipping and dipping even made its way to Reddit.

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Additionally, a few people actually did the research to get to the bottom of this whole water bottle debacle. Come to find out, T-Rip’s assertion wasn’t entirely correct.

This life hack isn’t technically illegal, but it’s not entirely ethical either. Walmart’s policy doesn’t necessarily state that you can drink water free of charge just because you brought the empty bottles back to the store.

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“I just looked it up. And it didn't give me any information so I called the help number,” one commenter wrote on the Reddit thread.

“And I got told by the employee no you will not get a refund or replace that unless the water [tastes] bad. They don't have a recycling program or anything like that,” their comment continued.

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“And when you do a return, they likely take down your ID, and habitual returners will eventually get [a] notification that they will no longer be allowed returns,” another user added, and they make a pretty good point.

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A user named Dylan wrote under tripsti7’s tutorial: “I've done this with something else, I forget what. The key is being nice. If they think you're just exploiting a loophole, they'll turn you away.”

Given that a pack of water from Walmart only costs a couple of dollars, it’s best you only use this life hack for a very rainy day. After all, it’s probably better you’d stay safe than be sorry!

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