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11 things Costco employees wish shoppers knew about working during a global pandemic

3. The limits are a good thing

3. The limits are a good thing

Costco recently placed purchase limits on certain in-demand items to curb the practice of overbuying. The company also barred returns on items like toilet paper, soap, and rice.

"The limits on certain items is to provide the best service possible to as many members as we can," an employee at a Texas warehouse said. "We understand you might be also buying bath tissue for your elderly mother but if we make one exception, we have [to] make one for everyone."

An employee at an Illinois store said it has been a challenge to deal with customers getting upset about limits on essential items.

"Took a lot of explaining to ensure people understand in this crucial time everyone deserves a chance to come to the store at anytime and be able to purchase what they need," this employee said.

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4. Employees also have limits on purchases

4. Employees also have limits on purchases

Despite what some people might think, Costco employees have to adhere to the same quantity limits as shoppers do. They also do not get employee discounts, though some stores have been offering special employees-only hours for workers to get their own shopping done.

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5. Employees do not always know when the high-demand items are coming back

5. Employees do not always know when the high-demand items are coming back

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted multiple levels of the supply chain, which makes certain aspects of the job a bit more unpredictable than usual.

"We really don't know when toilet paper, baby wipes or other items are coming in," an employee at a Utah store said. "Under normal circumstances yes we would know but during these times we have no idea."

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6. There is likely no extra stock in the back of the store

6. There is likely no extra stock in the back of the store

The Utah employee also debunked a common misconception he noticed in his store — that is, that the store is keeping extra stock in the back.

"We really do not keep high demand items in back," this employee said. "Once a shipment comes in, it's all hands on deck and we get it out ASAP."

To avoid coming to Costco only to find empty shelves, an employee in an East Coast store recommended that shoppers call their store in advance to inquire about the availability of high-demand products.

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7. It's a problem when you bring the whole family along

7. It's a problem when you bring the whole family along

To keep the number of people in a store at a time to a minimum, a Costco employee on the East Coast said that shoppers should come alone to the store or with as few people as possible.

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8. Employees need shoppers to work with them to avoid touching

8. Employees need shoppers to work with them to avoid touching

The Illinois employee said that his store is actively working to avoid touching between members and employees.

"For example we ask that each member have their membership ready with barcode up so cashiers can scan it without touching the card," the employee said, explaining how this practice helps promote safety for employees and shoppers.

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9. Employees prefer card payment as opposed to cash

9. Employees prefer card payment as opposed to cash

The World Health Organization warned that cash could be spreading the coronavirus.

The Illinois employee said that he hopes members stop using cash to pay in stores and resort to using cards instead.

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10. Employees want shoppers to stay home if they are sick

10. Employees want shoppers to stay home if they are sick

"If you are sick, or have knowingly been around someone who's sick, PLEASE stay home," a Texas employee said. "We are an 'essential' business so we don't have control over who we come into contact with at Costco. Please respect that we have families and would like to keep them safe from this virus."

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12. Showing respect goes a long way

12. Showing respect goes a long way

Three Costco employees said most of the shoppers at their stores have been polite and understanding.

"Almost all of our members practice social distancing while shopping," the Texas employee said. "They understand the gravity of this situation."

The Illinois employee also said that the shoppers in his store seem to be observing the safety measures and are overall appreciative of the employees' efforts to keep the store safe.

The Utah employee said he also feels appreciated by the shoppers.

"It goes a long way when someone takes the time to look me in the eye and tell me thank you and they appreciate me being there," the Utah employee said.

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