Costco employees share 31 things they'd love to tell shoppers but can't
- Costco membership can go to some people's heads, according to workers.
- Business Insider reached out to 49 Costco employees to find out what they wish they could tell shoppers but can't.
- Common requests were to control your kids, hang up your phone, and help unload the cart.
But according to dozens of Costco workers who spoke with Business Insider, being a member doesn't entitle you to do whatever you want.
Business Insider spoke to 49 Costco employees about the things they want to tell members but can't. Some of their responses focused on obvious problems, like members being mean and inconsiderate. But some of the tips were more instructive.
Here's what they had to say.
Have your membership card ready at the door. "Concentrate on handing me your membership card instead of telling me a story," a Costco employee in Minnesota told Business Insider.
Don't trash the warehouse. A Costco employee from Arizona told Business Insider that they wanted to tell members to stop leaving "sample cups all over the floor." "Don't be rude," the employee said.
Put back items you've picked up. "Please put back that item that you just threw there," a Costco worker from California told Business Insider.
That sale price might not be the best price. Want to know you're getting the best deal possible? Learn to read Costco's price tags. Asterisks indicate that an item isn't going to be restocked.
Produce might not be the best deal for everyone. A total of six Costco employees told Business Insider that they tend to avoid buying produce at the store.
Don't be gross. Nine Costco employees told Business Insider that they judge customers who exhibit unhygienic behaviors like putting their membership or credit cards in their mouth or failing to wash their hands in the restroom.
Drop your sense of entitlement. "I'm an executive member too. It doesn't make you more special than me," a Costco employee from Ohio told Business Insider.
Don't blame employees for things they can't change. "What you're complaining about is likely above the pay grade of everyone in this building," a Costco worker in California told Business Insider.
"Please be patient, especially on the weekends!" A Costco employee in Illinois told Business Insider. "We can only move so fast. And there are far more members than employees."
If you're not nice, don't expect stellar service. "As soon as you're an a------ to me, I don't care about actually helping you," a Costco employee in Canada told Business Insider.
Don't be selfish. "The people in line behind you are as important as you are," a Costco employee from Hawaii told Business Insider.
Check your coupons before you shop. "Pay attention to the coupon-book dates," an employee who said they'd been working at Costco for "too long" told Business Insider.
Educate yourself about the store rules before swinging by. "No, this isn't a family card," a Costco employee from Florida told Business Insider. "There is no such thing as a family card." Costco membership cards include a photo of the member themselves, which is meant to prevent people from swapping cards.
Control your kids. A Costco employee from New York said that they wished they could tell members "... that they are responsible for their kids, not us."
Put your phone down while you shop. "Please help us help you," a Costco worker based in Illinois told Business Insider. "Please get off your phone and help unload the cart onto the belt."
When it comes to unloading, teamwork makes the dream work. "Just because I'm helping you unload your cart doesn't mean you can stop helping me," a Costco employee in Oregon told Business Insider.
You should have known it's not going to fit ... A Costco employee from Ontario said their "No. 1 cringe" was dealing with members who don't plan ahead for transporting heavy or large purchases.
And that you'd need help to lift it. "Please bring help with you if you are buying huge items and know that you're physically limited," a Costco worker in Florida told Business Insider.
Don't make assumptions about employees' happiness. "Costco is an ideal kind of job," a Costco employee from Oregon told Business Insider. "I really enjoy working at Costco. They are a very supportive and try to take care of the employees, as well as the members."
Give good reviews. "I would love to tell members to write me good reviews about the help I gave them, but I can't," a Costco employee from Ontario told Business Insider.
Know that managers sometimes put the kibosh on cake-decorating. "A lot of the people in the bakery are trained to write on cakes," a Costco employee from Washington told Business Insider.
You're not as funny as you think you are. A Minnesota-based Costco employee said they often cringe when members joke around about how products that fail to scan "should be free."
Over-the-top returns are not appreciated. Costco employees told Business Insider about a number of bizarre returns they've seen members make, including dirty toilets, stained mattresses, and dead plants.
The cheese pizza has a ton of cheese. There's a lot of cheese in Costco's $9.95 cheese pizza pies. A pound and a half of a mozzarella and parmesan blend, to be exact.
Don't hog the samples. A Club Demonstration Services employee from Pennsylvania told Business Insider they wished they could tell members, "One sample per customer, please."
Employees might get exasperated if you dig around for the freshest produce. A Washington-based Costco employee told Business Insider that they got a bit annoyed whenever people pulled produce from the bottom of the pile in order to get the freshest possible fruits and vegetables.
Handing out samples is a slightly less stable job than working in the warehouse. A Pennsylvania-based Club Demonstration Services employee told Business Insider that employee "turnover is much higher in Club Demonstration Services than in Costco."
Some employees want more from the food court. Costco's food court may have some delicious options, but it's not for everyone. One Costco employee told Business Insider that "Costco needs vegetarian items in the food court."
Some warehouses could use more employees. "Understaffing is a large problem at our warehouse," a Costco employee of two years told Business Insider. "We consistently lose employees that are never replaced, and then we all struggle to keep up with what is expected."
Many Costco employees are truly happy to be there. "Costco is my second family," a Costco employee from Ohio told Busines Insider. "They really take care of their employees and look out for them. Anytime there is an abusive member, management is awesome about stepping in and taking over so we don't have to stand there and get screamed at."
Employees get a free turkey on Thanksgiving. The holiday season is notoriously chaotic for most retail workers, but it also comes with a major perk for Costco employees. But they might not want to boast about this particular benefit to members, especially in the run-up to Thanksgiving.
- A new Star Trek NFT is stored on the DNA of bacteria, and there are billions of copies already
- Best 2K ultrawide monitors for gaming and streaming
- Best budget smartphones for gaming
- Best gaming keyboards with macro keys
- Best ergonomic mice for long working hours