6 Things Costco Employees Say Shoppers Are Doing All Wrong & Should Stop ASAP
Do NOT bag your rotisserie chicken! 😵🛒
Are you guilty of doing these things? Two Costco Canada employees have dished on all the frustrating things customers do in the store on a regular basis and yikes — it sounds like we’re doing some things totally wrong!
Narcity spoke to two employees Beth* and Hannah* for some insight into all of the ways shoppers are messing up at the global big-box store.
From shopping off the rack and abandoning your cart to putting hot rotisserie chicken in plastic bags, here are six things you might be doing at Costco that you should stop right now. The more you know, right?
Shopping off the rack
Ok first off, don’t touch the deli racks, pick up products from the counters only!
Hannah explained, “So we bring out racks of food from the deli, right? To stock the counters. And so people are like, ‘Oh, I'm just gonna grab it off the rack. So I don't mess up your display.’”
This is a bad idea, she said, “Because we could be taking out the product, we could be re-pricing the product — they don't really know, they just think that they can run and grab and take.”
Beth added that sometimes products with upcoming expiry dates end up on the rack too when staff members are moving them, so it's a risky move to grab from there. Stick to the counters, people!
Ripping the saran
This might seem like an obvious one, but keep your hands off any plastic wrap!
“You don't have to rip the saran to try and get that one box of whatever you need — it's on the [store] floor,” Hannah said.
Instead, Beth urged customers to find an employee to help, “then we can assist with directing you where exactly that is on the floor.”
Even if you’re almost certain the product you want is not out and readily available, check with staff members to be sure.
“[Costco] will not put it up in the steel if it’s not on the floor,” Hannah revealed. “It's bad, because [...] if you were to rip the saran and grab, it could cause a domino effect.”
“You don't know what else is on the pallet,” Beth added. “Then you’ll be upset when it hits you."
Abandoning your cart
One of the most annoying things that Costco customers apparently do is abandon their shopping cart in random spots around the store, especially in the middle of shopping aisles.
“Okay, so there's people that will take their carts and they'll be going along in the middle of the aisle, and they'll stop. And they'll see something they want,” Hannah explained.
“And they'll walk all the way over to it. And then leave their cart in the middle of the aisle. Where there's people like walking and trying to navigate around instead of pushing their cart all the way over to that product. Or like they'll park it outside the produce cooler, run in and grab things with their arms.”
“Just push the cart in and go around,” she advised.
Doing this can cause a traffic jam in the store, according to employees, even if it’s just one cart.
“I know it sounds ridiculous. But the one cart in the middle of the way …” she said.
“It's a backlog,” added Beth. She noted that this issue happens a lot in the fresh department sections, as it's usually a smaller space. “It's just a backlog of people trying to navigate around a cart instead of just pushing it off to the side.”
Underestimating your shopping list
Underestimating your Costco shopping list is also a big no-no if you want to avoid causing chaos at the store.
It’s frustrating for employees because customers often refuse a box or cart, only to pick up way more things than they can carry and ultimately drop stuff all over the floor.
“They have their arms full walking up to the front and they put the eggs on top of everything that they're walking with,” Hannah shared. “And then they fall off of everything and make this huge mess. Or blueberries. You know what, it’s blueberries. It's not even eggs, it's blueberries.”
In general, they simply suggest grabbing a free box from the produce section to help carry your items.
“We have a lot of boxes," Beth added. “The best time to get the good boxes when you're moving is in the morning at the front of the registers. Just grab them and go, grab and run. Pick them, they're free!”
If you do have an accident, she said you should ask a staff member for help ASAP.
Putting hot chicken in plastic bags
This one is pretty specific but it’s definitely worth knowing if you pick up hot meat products from Costco.
Beth explained that when customers put their hot rotisserie chicken in the store’s plastic bags (that are meant for leaky meats), it actually causes a real issue for the people that work there.
“When they put their hot chicken in [the bag], they're putting it over the hot merch. So when they sit the chicken in the bag, it melts and then it takes us three days to scrape it off [shopping carts] — it's such a nuisance."
Beth noted that using a plastic bag in this instance doesn’t help to prevent chicken-juice mess either, as a hole will melt through the plastic and customers will still have potential spill issues.
Instead, they recommend using a box. Simple!
Ok — don’t do this, shoppers!
Beth explained that while shopping, some customers open products that they have no intention of buying. Or, sometimes they’ll open one product and then go ahead and purchase another that has not been opened.
“[Customers] do it all the time,” she said. “They open up a packet of tights to see what the tights look like. And then they'll take a different pack. And then that means that that employee now has to have a whole full buggy of rewrapping, all of those tights, all of that underwear.”
“Honestly, it's the worst, especially for clothing,” Beth continued. “Nine times out of ten, there's usually a sample or something. Just ask somebody who works there. Let them properly take it out and then you can get your proper size. And it won't be as bad.”
Now you know, eh?
*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Narcity has verified their identity.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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