Shopping cart (also called a trolley in British and Australian English; sometimes referred to as a carriage or shopping carriage in the U.S. region of New England; also known as a bascart in some regions of the U.S., basket in others, and buggy in Parts of B.C, and the American South.) is a cart supplied by a shop, especially a supermarket, for use by customers inside the shop for transport of merchandise to the check-out counter during shopping, and often to the customer's car after paying as well. Often, customers are allowed to leave the carts in the parking lot, and store personnel return the carts to the shop.
Almost all shopping carts are made of metal or plastic and designed to nest within each other in a line to facilitate moving many at one time, and to save on storage space. The carts can come in many sizes, with larger ones able to carry a child. There are also specialized carts designed for two children, and electric mobility scooters with baskets designed for disabled customers. 24,000 children are injured each year in shopping carts according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some stores have child carts that look like a car or van where a child can sit in the seat while shopping. Such "Car-Carts" or "Beans", as some people call them in the cart business, may offer added protection for children by keeping child restrained, lower to the ground as well as protected from falling items while they are kept amused.
Shopping carts are almost always fitted with four caster wheels and legs which can point in any direction to allow "easy" maneuvering. However, when any one of the wheels jams, the cart can become extremely difficult to handle. Some carts only have swivel caster wheels on the front, while the rear ones are locked. This presumably improves the steering life of the cart, at the expense of maneuverability.
An alternative to the shopping cart is a small handheld shopping basket. A customer can often choose between a cart and a basket, and may prefer a basket if the amount of merchandise is small. Small shops, where carts would be impractical, often supply only baskets. A third options is a collapsible utility cart. The basket of the collapsible utility cart is pivotally mounted to a forward facing, C-shaped cart frame. As the lower portion of the C-shaped cart frame is moved under a truck bed, the upper part containing the basket slides onto the truck bed. The frame is then pivoted upward around the truck bumper and about the basket and conveniently stored around the basket.