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False Costco Facts You Always Thought Were True

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Jun 05, 2019

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False Costco Facts You Always Thought Were True
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  • While there are a ton of Costco secrets the megastore tries its best to keep hidden, there
  • are also some false assumptions that you can easily debunk if you do a little digging.
  • Here's a real rundown of Costco folklore that people consistently mistake for the truth.
  • Just because those $4.99 roasted birds are popular doesn't mean they're a profit turner.
  • Costco sold a whopping 76 million rotisserie chickens in 2014, but didn't exactly see dollar
  • signs from their golden-hued poultry.
  • In 2015, Costco CFO Richard Galanti told the Seattle Times:
  • "When others were raising their chicken prices from $4.99 to $5.99, we were willing to eat...
  • $30 to $40 million a year in gross margin by keeping it at $4.99."
  • They could easily make a lot more money if they raised the prices, but there are no plans
  • to do that any time soon.
  • There are plans to start sourcing their own birds, though.
  • Costco is building its own hatchery, feed mill, and processing plant in Nebraska.
  • Consumers are going to have a real farm-to-Costco experience.
  • The goal is for the plant to crank out two million chickens per week.
  • With an ability to supply its own $5 chickens, Costco will no doubt slowly reverse the trend
  • of losing dollars on one of its biggest sellers.
  • Unfortunately, the rumors about non-member shopping are not true.
  • There isn't a magical golden ticket you can use to have a free-for-all in Costco sans
  • membership.
  • If you want those deals, you're going to have to fork over those membership fees — or
  • reimburse a friend who is a member and is kind enough to buy your bulk items for you.
  • And just a tip, it's definitely a better idea to join them in the store or send them with
  • a list, rather than borrowing their card.
  • One alleged Costco employee said on a Reddit thread:
  • "We don't offer day passes and haven't for at least a decade.
  • You'll get shut down hard at the register if you're borrowing someone else's card."
  • While there is no such thing as a "trial membership," Costco will refund a membership fee if you
  • take the plunge and decide it's not worth it.
  • And here's another loophole for the no day pass rule: If a member gifts you a cash card,
  • you can purchase your heart away in those checkout lines.
  • While it's accurate that Costco has an overly generous return policy, it does draw the line
  • for some items.
  • For example, cigarettes and alcohol can't be returned.
  • Also, if you're unhappy with electronics you purchase there, you have a 90-day window you
  • can return during.
  • After that, you're out of luck.
  • The superstore is also particular about how you return your bling.
  • Diamonds over one carat have to be inspected by a professional jeweler to make sure they're
  • legit, and the returner gets a "Jewelry Credit Memo" if everything is kosher.
  • The rules also state that items with "limited useful life expectancy," such as batteries
  • or car tires, are not eligible for return unless their warranty says otherwise.
  • So just remember while Costco usually welcomes its merchandise back with open arms, it does
  • have some boundaries around that policy.
  • This is another loophole rumor for the Costco outsiders.
  • Yes, you can order items from Costco's website if you are not a member.
  • Unfortunately, you will not be scoring the same stellar in-store deals.
  • In fact, you're gonna have to pay for that warehouse to doorstep service.
  • There is a five percent surcharge on the posted prices when non-members check out on the Costco
  • website.
  • The only exception is if you are buying prescription drugs.
  • “Remember, all I'm offering is the truth.
  • Nothing more."
  • Some non-members might still think it's worth it to buy from Costco online, even with this
  • added fee.
  • But if you're willing to spend that extra cash every time you order something, you might
  • as well just spring for a membership.
  • To put it simply, you'll have to pony up some extra green if you want to shop at Costco
  • from the comfort of your own couch.
  • While Costco does offer eye exams to non-members, the buck stops with the actual purchase of
  • contact lenses or eyeglasses.
  • That's a members only perk.
  • Oh and, of course, Kirkland Signature has its own line of contact lenses too.
  • The same rule goes for your ears.
  • You can get a hearing test at Costco as a non-member but if you end up needing a hearing
  • aid, you're going to have to go to another venue to get it.
  • In terms of other health needs, prescription medications are available to non-members,
  • but not at the same discounted price that members receive.
  • So while the eye exams are open to anyone at Costco, just be mindful of the potential
  • hassle of having to cart that prescription elsewhere to fulfill your eyewear needs.
  • Costco cashiers are pretty efficient when it comes to putting your scanned items back
  • in your cart.
  • Sometimes, they even have helpers that load your items onto the belt from your cart.
  • But just because this is a service they provide doesn't mean you shouldn't step in when needed.
  • A Reddit user claiming to be a Costco supervisor confirmed:
  • "It is not acceptable to not put member items back in their carts.
  • It is also not acceptable to have less than one person working the registers."
  • But another supposed Costco staff member countered that while it's not ideal, less than two people
  • working does happen.
  • The worker said on the same Reddit thread:
  • "[It] just sometimes happens when we don't have enough staff, people go on bereavement
  • leave, vacation, etc, front end just gets overwhelmed and don't have enough people to
  • work the assistant position."
  • This is when you should probably step in.
  • Remember, they're being paid to go the extra mile but don't be afraid to go the extra mile
  • yourself and the Costco cashier will likely appreciate it.
  • In actuality, Costco outsources the delivery and installation of large appliances like
  • washers and dryers.
  • And the reviews of this system aren't stellar.
  • One Reddit user commented:
  • "Costco uses local companies for delivery and they a) take forever to actually bring
  • the stuff — like WEEKS! and b) can be quite complicated solving an issue if the item comes
  • damaged… it seems Costco themselves often aren't helpful when there are problems."
  • On the same Reddit thread, another Costco customer reported:
  • "I have ordered multiple large appliances from Costco… the prices and (theoretically)
  • warranty are amazing.
  • But every.
  • single.
  • Time.
  • The delivery is awful."
  • So if you get a sweet deal on an oven, you've been forewarned: the Costco glory might not extend to the folks
  • they hire to bring you your household loot.
  • You may have thought Costco offered steals on every type of cleaning item out there,
  • but this isn't necessarily the case.
  • It makes sense to buy cleaning supplies in bulk since you're always going to need them.
  • But if you're going to stock up on laundry detergent, Amazon might be the better retail
  • giant to consult.
  • According to a price comparison study conducted by Business Insider, if you're an Amazon Prime
  • member who enjoys free delivery on all your purchases, two 100-ounce containers of Tide
  • is cheaper than one 200-ounce Tide container at Costco — not to mention a lot easier
  • to hoist up to your washing machine.
  • An eight-count pack of Dawn dishwashing soap is less expensive on Amazon too, but only
  • if you have Amazon Prime.
  • So if you're stocking up on the cleaning supplies you need, make sure you do a side by side
  • price check before assuming Costco will always be the thrifty frontrunner.
  • Consumer Reports rated several of Costco's most popular items, and Kirkland Signature
  • toilet paper did not come out on top.
  • It received props for its softness but got a major thumbs down for "so-so strength and
  • tearing ease."
  • They even suggested spending twice as much on a brand of toilet paper Walmart sells because
  • they deemed it superior to the Kirkland rolls.
  • The ratings for Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue on its Consumer Reports product page are pretty
  • dismal too.
  • Apparently, there was once a golden era of Kirkland toilet tissue — a lot of reviewers
  • reminisced on better days.
  • One reviewer wrote that:
  • "I have happily bought Kirkland toilet paper for many years, but the new version is unacceptable.
  • It falls apart while you are wiping.
  • Time to switch brands."
  • Another reviewer added:
  • "I have been using Kirkland toilet paper by Costco for years.
  • Costco recently changed their toilet paper but uses the same packaging.
  • The new toilet paper is softer and leaves tons of lint on you…this product switch
  • is really bad.
  • I wish they would return to what they were selling a year or two ago."
  • It seems like nothing lasts forever.
  • Especially high-quality toilet paper.
  • Believe it or not, they care more about making sure you got everything!
  • A general manager for a Costco in San Francisco gave a breakdown of the policy to SFGate:
  • "It's not to target shoplifters.
  • Invariably that could happen without someone paying for something, but if there's an extra
  • item in their basket, that's not their fault.
  • That's our fault.
  • Sometimes checkers forget to ring up items placed on the bottom of the basket."
  • There are also those not-on-display items customers might forget like movie tickets.
  • Basically these exit greeters make sure what's in your cart numbers-wise matches up to what's
  • on your receipt.
  • If the receipt has 17 items and your cart only has 15, they know something's up.
  • They're also making sure you didn't pay too much.
  • It's not uncommon for a customer to find out at the door they were overcharged, or charged
  • twice for the same item.
  • It's also a means of keeping the cashiers in check.
  • The receipt checker notices if there's a large item under the cart that maybe wasn't scanned
  • for whatever reason.
  • A Reddit member claiming to be a Costco employee explained:
  • "We're literally just trying to make sure our cashiers do the job right, and when we
  • DO catch it, all the information gets stored.
  • Who did it, what time, etc… and those cashiers get spoken to.
  • This is not to benefit anyone but the member to improve the experience overall."
  • So let the exit greeters do their job, and never assume they're accusing you of having
  • sticky fingers.
  • So this is one of those rules that's technically true, but rarely enforced.
  • According to one supposed Costco employee on Reddit:
  • "I have been explicitly told by my warehouse manager and the pizza kitchen manager that
  • people must have their membership to use the food court."
  • But yet another Reddit member claiming to be in the Costco-know argued:
  • "It's pretty difficult to enforce members-only at locations with outdoor food courts, so
  • they generally just don't bother.
  • For locations with indoor food courts, access can be restricted but that's really dependent
  • on each location's management and how strict they want to be."
  • If the food court is indoors, you might have to enter through the exit.
  • Bottom line: In most locations, non-members can enjoy churros, pizza, and the infamous
  • Costco hot dogs from the food court, but it's recommended that they pay with cash.
  • It's still worth it, though.
  • "I mean, a dollar fifty for a quarter pound hot dog.
  • And a drink!
  • Tres bien, right?"
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Description

While there are a ton of Costco secrets the megastore tries its best to keep hidden, there are also some false assumptions that you can easily debunk if you do a little digging. Here's a real rundown of Costco folklore that people consistently mistake for the truth.

Just because those $4.99 roasted birds are popular doesn't mean they're a profit turner. Costco sold a whopping 76 million rotisserie chickens in 2014, but didn't exactly see dollar signs from their golden-hued poultry. In 2015, Costco CFO Richard Galanti told the Seattle Times:

"When others were raising their chicken prices from $4.99 to $5.99, we were willing to eat... $30 to $40 million a year in gross margin by keeping it at $4.99."

They could easily make a lot more money if they raised the prices, but there are no plans to do that any time soon. There are plans to start sourcing their own birds, though. Costco is building its own hatchery, feed mill, and processing plant in Nebraska. Consumers are going to have a real farm-to-Costco experience. The goal is for the plant to crank out two million chickens per week. With an ability to supply its own $5 chickens, Costco will no doubt slowly reverse the trend of losing dollars on one of its biggest sellers.

Watch the video to learn more false Costco facts you always thought were true!

Their chickens make big money | #
They offer day passes for non-members | #
Items are always returnable | #
Non-members get deals online | #
Non-members can buy glasses | #
Cashiers don't need your help | #
They deliver and install large appliances | #
The cheapest cleaning supplies | #
Their toilet paper is the best | #
Receipt checking is to prevent theft | #
The food court is members only | #