How To Get Your Hands On Popular Trader Joe's Items Before They Sell Out

Trader Joe's frozen section
Trader Joe's frozen section - Corinna Haselmayer/Shutterstock

Seriously, who is buying all the kimbap at Trader Joe's? There's positives to the internet community the grocer has built — including easy access to recipes, firsthand product reviews, pre-made shopping lists, and, not to mention, free marketing (which is part of the reason why things are so affordable). But there's always that one viral product you can't get your hands on. The reason why isn't as important — maybe it's seasonal, or it's a special item, or it's just that good. If it's not there when you need it, you're going to be disappointed.

We all have those things we look forward to from Trader Joe's. It could be the soufflé cheesecake, the apple cider, the black garlic cream cheese, or, in my case, the kimbap (I will forever curse whoever got their hands on them before me, no matter the day) — when things go viral online, they fly off the shelves. You'll be lucky to see them, let alone eat them. But, there is a way to up your odds of getting your hands on popular Trader Joe's items before they sell out. For it to work, though, you're going to need the employees on your side.

As if anyone needed a reason to be nice to their local Trader Joe's team members, there is one: They can help you get your hands on anything, and I mean anything. Unless it's a location-specific item, then probably not — but, knowing them, they'd still try.

Read more: 30 Absolute Best Snacks From Trader Joe's, Ranked

Trader Joe's Employees To The Rescue

man shopping at Trader Joe's
man shopping at Trader Joe's - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If there's something you've just been dying to taste, or have and loved but haven't seen in awhile, let one of the store employees know. Every Trader Joe's has a service counter, and it's usually located at the front of the store near the cash registers. Just wander up there and inform them of your predicament and they'll do what they can to get you sorted. If you feel weird about this, don't. I've done it before. Yes, it was for the kimbap — and they were much more helpful than I expected. The employee informed me of shipment schedules, how much they got, and about what time of day they usually sold out of them.

Obviously, the earlier you get to the store, the more likely you are to get your hands on popular items — and you're sure to see a lot of people there for the same reason if you arrive right on the dot. But, if you ask nicely enough, they might even hold some aside for you to pick up. You can also call the store before you go and ask them to check if what you're hoping for is in stock. They'll likely offer all the same information over the phone. But, in some cases, products could be hiding. I once asked a team member to check if there were any kimbap left in store after searching for it, and they found it hiding underneath the Mandarin orange chicken.

Read the original article on Tasting Table