Shopping Discussion

What’s the real reason Costco employees check receipts at the exit?

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 12th, 2018 1:34 pm
[OP]
Deal Guru
Jan 7, 2002
14348 posts
6731 upvotes
Waterloo, ON

What’s the real reason Costco employees check receipts at the exit?

What’s the real reason Costco employees check receipts at the exit?
Given the high-ticket items a person can buy at Costco—$3,000 TVs, laptops, engagement rings—I always assumed the receipt-checkers stationed near the exits were tasked mainly with preventing theft. But at my local Costco, these employees give my cart a cursory glance, at best. There’s no checking under boxes or peeking inside cardboard carriers—so how hard could they really be checking for pilfered jewelry or hidden rotisserie chickens? Turns out, that’s not their primary job...

[spoiler alert]

They’re mainly checking to make sure I haven’t been charged multiple times for an item, which presumably would make me unhappy once I returned home and checked my receipt.
veni, vidi, Visa [!Brim]
36 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 18, 2005
18132 posts
2824 upvotes
GTA West
OK, I'll participate. 🤣
I think that's baloney. It's loss prevention.

Just spread out a jacket over most of the inside of an empty cart and you'll see whether or not they care about theft.

Another former Costco employee on here talked about people buying a cooler and trying to use it to smuggle out DVD movies.

Also, they mark your receipt so you can't walk in and get the same items again.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
Newbie
Nov 23, 2014
18 posts
7 upvotes
Regina, SK
I think the psychological effect helps them the most by eliminating potential theft before it starts. Otherwise, the only thing I usually see them check is when you have something on the bottom of your cart they usually have a closer look to make sure it's on the bill.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 7, 2017
7056 posts
4540 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Loss Prevention ... Theft DETERRENT

Plus it’s just one more way to drive home the idea that Costco Customers BELONG TO A CLUB

You show your MEMBERSHIP info on the way in and out in one form or another

Personally, both practices... drive me crazy. And I especially like to ignore the entrance check.

Leaving, I am in a far better mood, and am both polite & cordial with the door staff, and show my receipt
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2006
4510 posts
484 upvotes
Markham
What I don’t like is once they checked my backpack. We went there for passport pictures and when I left, they checked my backpack
Newbie
Nov 23, 2014
18 posts
7 upvotes
Regina, SK
PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 5:17 pm

You show your MEMBERSHIP info on the way in and out in one form or another

Personally, both practices... drive me crazy. And I especially like to ignore the entrance check.
I think the way in part is partially to keep non-members out but mainly so they don't have a whole bunch of people each day at the tills who cannot find or forgot to bring their membership card. Just makes things run smoother.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 21, 2010
10109 posts
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Montréal
Pretty naive assumption in the OP. Corporations are rarely altruistic, if ever. Cmon, we live in the real world.
The richest 1% of this country owns half our country’s wealth, 5 trillion dollars, one-third of that comes from hard work, two-thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons, and what I do.. <find the rest>
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
15768 posts
3550 upvotes
Toronto
Was there today and the receipt checker was drawing something on the receipt for the kid thus holding up the line. Just check the receipt and move along, no need to act like a clown and pretend you are in a circus.
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May 9, 2009
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carmaster wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 6:20 pm
Was there today and the receipt checker was drawing something on the receipt for the kid thus holding up the line. Just check the receipt and move along, no need to act like a clown and pretend you are in a circus.
You sound like a fun guy. I'll bet that 90 second delay really threw off all your plans for the rest of the day.
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
15768 posts
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psyko514 wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 6:47 pm
You sound like a fun guy. I'll bet that 90 second delay really threw off all your plans for the rest of the day.
Yup big time
Deal Fanatic
Mar 10, 2004
5816 posts
1746 upvotes
It's for theft protection to prevent someone from purchasing stuff - taking it out to their car and then going back in and trying to exit with the same items as the first time using the original receipt.
Years ago we used to buy diapers at Costco and the cashier actually slit open the top of the diaper pkg checking to see if we had stuffed valuable items in the pkg. She said they had to start this practice after a customer was caught trying to sneak items out in a pkg of disposable diapers.
Member
Aug 4, 2006
458 posts
158 upvotes
GTA - Gwill
plymouthhater wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 7:13 pm
It's for theft protection to prevent someone from purchasing stuff - taking it out to their car and then going back in and trying to exit with the same items as the first time using the original receipt.
Years ago we used to buy diapers at Costco and the cashier actually slit open the top of the diaper pkg checking to see if we had stuffed valuable items in the pkg. She said they had to start this practice after a customer was caught trying to sneak items out in a pkg of disposable diapers.
That's hilarious!
Jr. Member
Jul 26, 2007
190 posts
75 upvotes
I once got charged for a case of water I hadn't purchased. Pretty easy to have spotted, but I was happy they caught it. I once almost left with raw chicken breasts that hadn't been scanned properly. I went back to the cash before going to the door checker and they were very grateful and told me they would have gotten in big trouble for that, especially since I only had 2 items. I think some of them are very good and some of them....not so much.
Banned
User avatar
May 12, 2004
9759 posts
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Ottawa
PointsHubby wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 5:17 pm
Loss Prevention ... Theft DETERRENT

Plus it’s just one more way to drive home the idea that Costco Customers BELONG TO A CLUB

You show your MEMBERSHIP info on the way in and out in one form or another

Personally, both practices... drive me crazy. And I especially like to ignore the entrance check.

Leaving, I am in a far better mood, and am both polite & cordial with the door staff, and show my receipt
Believe it or not they don't give a rats ass about your actual card on the way in. They're counting CARDS (not people) going in and sending that info to the manager at the cashes every half hour so they know how many tills should be opened at a particular time and staff the right amount of cashes if they have extra cashiers working or at the end of their shifts so they can have them stay later. Having accumulated this data over the last 30 years they can pin-point pretty damn accurately how long the average person will spend in the store on a rainy April morning or on the last weekend before Christmas. So congrats, all you're doing by ignoring the entrance check is being selfish and causing extra lineups for everyone.

Source: I worked at Costco for 6 years during HS and University
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
- Mark Twain
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Aug 18, 2005
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GTA West
psyko514 wrote:
Nov 6th, 2018 6:47 pm
You sound like a fun guy. I'll bet that 90 second delay really threw off all your plans for the rest of the day.
90 seconds, 4 times per hour, with 15 people in line, over an 8 hour shift:

90 sec * 15 ppl * 4 times/hr * 8 hours
= 12 person hours wasted

What does it cost to pay a whole person's wages for 1.5 days?

Just a thought.

I don't wait for receipt checkers at other stores, I just walk right by them.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?

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