Costco Finds Item You Accidentally Left In The Parking Lot And Holds It For You

Reader Chris bought an item at Costco, accidentally left it in the parking lot and figured that was that. Little did he know that Costco employees had found the item, made a note of it, and were just waiting around for him to return so he could grab a new one off of the shelf.

I wanted to let you know that Costco customer service is awesome. Last Sunday, My family went to Costco to shop. I saw they had a good deal on a chair mat. Right before we checked out, I went back to get it. As we were headed to the exit, my wife figures out they overcharged her for something. So (with help from a CSR) we split up so I could load the car. Well, I put the chair mat somewhere and forgot about it. (probably against the car) I realized it later that night that I had forgotten it, and had written it off. Today, I went to Costco to get a prescription filled and I thought I would ask about it. Apparently an employee found it, logged it, and put it back on the shelf. The CSR told me to get another one off the shelf and gave me a note to get through the cashiers with it. The cashier then radioed to the receipt checkers, so I didn’t even have to wait in the exit line!

Well, damn. That’s really nice! Good job, Costco.

(Photo:Rick Takagi)


Edit Your Comment

  1. headon says:

    Nah, I’m not buyin it, you work there or something.

  2. dollywould says:

    I love Costco.

  3. tylerk4 says:

    A similar event happened to me when I was moving into my new apartment in June. I had purchased a set of steak knives from costco, and left them in the shopping cart in the parking lot. An employee had brought it to the customer service desk, and I was able to return that afternoon and pick up another set off the shelf.

  4. elroyerni says:

    Wow, that’s awesome. That’s indicative of my experience in the past. My wife needed a copy of a old receipt for school and they were able to look it up and print it out right away. They’re also great at ‘no-hassle’ returns; although they did change their electronics return policy, which was a major bummer. BUT, can’t blame them from all the rampant abuse of their policies i heard about.

  5. SOhp101 says:

    I love Costco as a company but many of their employees irk me, which is something that I’ve consistently noticed among employees belonging to unions.

    I was returning some supplement because it actually had the opposite effect to my test results compared to something I purchased at the pharmacy. I used up 3/4 of the supplement and the lady gave me a hard time returning it, claiming that “We’re only allowed to take returns on supplements if there’s half or more, but we’ll make an exception for you this time.”

    Which is completely BS, because they offer a 100% guarantee on anything they sell, excluding electronics which have 90 days. I felt like confronting her on her continued bullshitting response, but refrained.

  6. lastfm says:

    If this is above and beyond, we must have the most spoiled customers around. When a customer forgets an item, and we tell them to pull another one of the shelf, they complain about shopping (albeit for one item) again.

  7. mrjimbo19 says:

    I love costco, if I had a bigger family I would probably buy more there but I just can’t seem to eat my way through 10 lbs of butter no matter how hard I try.

  8. wordsmithy says:


    I thought Costco employees were nonunion.

  9. Monkey4Sale says:

    Umm, most retail stores teach their employees to do this, it’s pretty standard.

  10. bnpederson says:

    Keep in mind the Pharmacy isn’t staffed by Costco employees. If they were, however, you should have reported them. As I recall there’s a policy in place that any employee of Costco goes under review after three complaints.

  11. Binaryslyder says:

    You get what you pay for at costco. Literally. Since you are paying to be a member there you tend to get better service.

    I’ve had several instances where i’ve been in the store and the staff will actually help me find things. But I just assume that’s because of all the money we pay them every year for the privilege to shop there.

    Aren’t free samples above and beyond?

  12. Binaryslyder says:

    @Monkey4Sale: Something tells me that this doesn’t happen at Wal-mart

  13. Parting says:

    @SOhp101: You wanted a full reimbursment for something that you used 3/4? Was there ”satisfaction guarantee” on the label? Because, if not, I can understand why the employee was irked.

  14. Parting says:

    @SOhp101: It’s like eating 3/4 of a chocolate bar and then returning it =P

  15. goodkitty says:

    Come to think of it, I’ve never actually seen a Costco employee run and hide like their more common retail brethren. Where does Costco find these people, and why can’t anyone else?

    On the flipside, Costco is slowly becoming a little too rich for my blood, so I don’t shop there anywhere near as much as I used to.

  16. Monkey4Sale says:

    @Binaryslyder: It happened when I worked at the Walmart in Falmouth, Maine on many an occassion. As well as a few other times at stores here in Corvallis, Oregon.

  17. zolielo says:

    I still love Costco.

  18. Amry says:


    Costco pays employees a living wage. Like, $17 an hour. I’m guessing that makes all the difference.

  19. Annath says:

    I keep hearing a lot of good things about Costco. I wish there was one near me.

  20. char says:

    According to this costco is at least partially unionized []

    I hate shopping there on saturdays after 3, the free sample mob is
    basically out of control, still despite this huge rush of people the
    stores remain tidier and the lines are moving faster than a
    walmart/target/kmart that only has half the crowd. One of the few BB
    chains that helps to improve a local economy, not wreck it.

  21. XTC46 says:

    This is what happens when you pay your employee’s decently (cashiers here start at 15 I think), you have paying customers only, and you charge for a service. At normal stores you pay for food, not for the service of the staff. at costco you pay to use the store, that money goes to pay for good service.

    I find it funny that one of the few stores that CAN legally stop you and check your receipt chose not to :)

  22. rachaeljean says:

    @xtc46: What do you mean about the receipts?? I thought it was illegal for everyone… and my Costco checks them too.

  23. arcticJKL says:

    Happened to my wife at Target.

    Whats a ‘living wage’?

  24. ferris209 says:

    Well, I’m getting to where I cannot stand Costco. I’m having hell getting what I order online. I ordered a Garmin Nuvi 680 on Nov 18th, received a Garmin Nuvi 650 on the 27th. After arguing with customer service, I got my money back and ordered another Garmin Nuvi 680, if it is another Nuvi 650 this time, will have my story listed I’m sure.

  25. stevebmd says:

    Why is this “above and beyond”?? I would have done this in any retail setting I’ve ever worked in, and I’m sure most of my coworkers would have done the same.

    Are our expectations of big retailers so abysmal that service like this actually stands out?

  26. Charles Duffy says:

    @rachaeljean: It’s in the membership contract. They still can’t stop you against your will — but they can revoke your membership if you don’t play nice.

  27. scoosdad says:

    @rachaeljean: Not illegal if you agree to permit it as a condition of becoming a member. Check the fine print of your membership agreement.

  28. EtherealStrife says:

    I’ll stick with the “underpaid” workers at Sam’s. Costco’s despicable tire department destroyed any good feelings I had for the shopping experience there. Lifetime* Warranty on tires, and 0% liability for vehicles in their custody. It’s Costco policy to fill out the pre-existing damage report AFTER the servicing is complete. . . .
    (* not actually lifetime)


  29. SOhp101 says:

    @bnpederson: Actually the return was done at their customer service counter since it was a supplement (red yeast rice), not a prescription. I didn’t know about that review policy though, I will keep that in mind, thanks.

    @chouchou: I’ll just assume you’ve never, ever heard of:
    1. a complete satisfaction guarantee
    2. you’ve never shopped at Costco
    3. you’ve never taken anything to help improve your numbers on a blood test

  30. photomikey says:

    You were taking bullshit “nutrition supplements” and they didn’t work? SOMEBODY CALL CONSUMERIST!

  31. zolielo says:

    @ferris209: I did buy a $299.99 After $150 Off Garmin Nüvi 650 GPS 4.3″ from (not the brick and mortar store). I did not even know they also sold the 680…

  32. alice_bunnie says:


    You have got to be kidding me. My friend was trying to get university jobs that were running that much. She has years of experience and an MFA. You’re telling me Costco pays that much for punching numbers at a cash register? That’s ridiculous.

  33. donnie5 says:

    I have been a member there for a couple years and I love it. We let our membership laps for a month and spent way too much on groceries that month.
    In other news, their return policy is AWESOME! You have 90 days on computers and electronics. I even bought coffee beans there that tasted like the dirt they grew them in. They returned them, no questions, and gave me cash back.
    We had the executive membership and were told we were supposed to receive a 2% refund by mail and never got it. I asked the CSR about the check, she looked it up, saw it was never cashed, and issued us a new one, ON THE SPOT.
    I <3 Costco. But I may be gushing now.

  34. Razzler says:

    Umm, most retail stores teach their employees to do this, it’s pretty standard.

    First of all, this snotty use of the “umm” really has to stop. It’s wasn’t cute when you were 15, and it isn’t cute now.

    Second of all, in what fairyland do you live that “most” retail stores do this? I certainly was never taught anything of the sort when I worked retail.

  35. Crumbles says:

    Costco donates to Democrats. Keep on supporting Hillary you suckers!

  36. donnie5 says:

    What if the people who shop there are Democrats? Would they not be encouraged to shop more?

  37. beavis88 says:

    @Crumbles: You mean just like every other company of moderate size? Even Wal-Mart donates to Democrats. If they can’t buy Republican love outright, at least they can buy a little goodwill when a Democrat gets elected. But then, being a snarky Internet pseudo-conservative type, you probably already knew that, right?

  38. Crumbles says:

    @beavis88: Sorry, but Walmart/Sams donates to the pubs. Don’t worry, keep voting Democrat, you’ll get your socialistic society soon enough. It’s almost here, then you can relax and let the government take care of you with other people’s money.

  39. Abisteen says:

    @Binaryslyder: It may not happen at Wal-Mart but it does happen at Sam’s Club. I worked there for 2 years during college.

    Sam’s Club keeps a log at the exit door detailing the date, approximate time, and the item that was left behind. If we get a call asking if something was found and it is in the log, then they can come by and pick up another one.

    Once, when I was a cashier, I was pulled off my register to go help gather carts from the lot. I recognized a cd that someone had purchased from my register in the past half hour or so and I remembered the member’s name. I had the member service desk look up their phone number and we called them to ask if they forgot anything. The lady said they had forgotten a cd and figured it was long gone. She was able to come by and get the cd she left.

    It’s great that Costco does this too, but it really should not be something that is considered above and beyond.

  40. readerator says:

    Cashiers make $40K after 3 years.

  41. beavis88 says:

    @Crumbles: See, now you’ve insulted me. I don’t vote for Republicans or Democrats lately (which means I don’t do much voting). Not sure if I’d rather have a socialist society or a police state, but looks like I’m getting one of the two soon enough whether I like it or not – maybe a sweet combination of both if we’re really lucky. But go on, keep thinking the “pubs” care value you or your family or even their country ahead of a couple bucks. I wouldn’t want to spoil your little fantasy.

  42. NeoteriX says:


    You probably don’t want to know about the fact that Trader Joe’s employees average an income of $50,000 a year then… =D

    Google it.

  43. KJones says:

    Getting any help from the staff with a particular item requires a trip halfway across the store to the “customer disservice” desk (I call it that in all stores), but I’m willing to accept the trade-off of lower prices for less personal service. I really don’t like attitude of the “free samples” people; I’ve never met one who was willing to help or was ever willing to call someone and get help.

    The most annoying thing about Costco for me is, when Costco builds them, they put narrow escalators in stores with multiple floors. If you’re walking in without a cart (say you’re buying one big ticket item) and you are going up or down a floor, you can’t get past the other customers, even if they stand to one side.

    Customers are my other annoyance about Costco, though it’s not the company’s fault: worse than regular department stores and supermarkets, some customers at Costco will block the aisles with those oversized carts. I’ve lost count of the idiots I’ve seen who park the cart across the aisle and stand at the end of it while looking at products, effectively blocking the entire aisle; it’s as if they’re trying to do it. To top it off, some of them get pissy if you ask them to move or if you try to move their cart and get around them. Are they that stupid or that arrogant?

  44. MMD says:

    @ Crumbles:
    Actually, if you were paying attention, you’d see we’re veering much closer to a police state…

    But I digress…

    I tried to buy a diet Coke out of a Costco vending machine, but a Sprite came out. I don’t like Sprite, so I went to the service desk – not to complain, but just to let them know so they could get the machine loaded right and to give the unwanted soda to any thirsty employee who may have wanted it. The Costco rep insisted on refunded my money even after I said it wasn’t necessary, then went to the employee breakroom to buy me a diet Coke with the refunded money. That was truly above and beyond!

  45. bonzombiekitty says:

    @arcticJKL: A living wage is a wage that is enough to meet the basic costs of living. Which is different than a minimum wage, which won’t necessarily do that.

    @alice_bunnie: It’s not ridiculous. You want good employees, you pay them well. Costco pays it’s employees well and gives them good benefits, the CEO even makes significantly less than other CEOs (on purpose). And it works well for the company, they do good business and has very high customer satisfaction. I also take a bit of issue with thinking that sort of pay for cashiers is ridiculous in general, as if they do an easy job. Being a cashier can really be quite exhausting both physically and emotionally. Really, try standing in a single place for 4 hours straight, then add to that dealing with the public.

  46. karry says:

    Actually, I’m paid $11 an hour. But I just started in Nov…

  47. Sidecutter says:

    @Monkey4Sale: Teach? Maybe. This sort of thing was never given any kind of policy coverage at Toys ‘R” Us, K-Mart, or Wal-Mart during the period I worked those places. There was no instruction or requirement that anything at all be done, they apparantly just assumed the employee would handle it appropriately.

    And good luck on seeing anyone else actually keep records of the items not taken home, whether they should or not. Mor eoften than not you’ll never be able to find the item because they didn’t make a note, or have sloppy logs.

  48. theblackdog says:

    I cut up my Sams Club card four months ago and switched to Costco. I don’t regret it, especially when I can get gas 20-30 cents a gallon cheaper than the area gas stations.

    I have to agree with others about the friendly staff. Last week I purchased a gift membership for my dad, and after I paid for it, the cashier realized that if I had gotten one of the special “yellow” cards to purchase a gift membership they were holding a promotion to give a tin of chocolates and coupons to send along with the membership. She immediately got a floor manager over, explained that I had bought a gift membership not knowing about the promotion, and the manager immediately went and got the chocolates and coupons.

    They were under no obligation to give me the better deal, but I was very glad they did.

  49. coan_net says:

    It is not the store, but the employees.

    Heck, a few months ago my wife bought a DVD for my birthday, but when she got home – could not find it (assumed she left it in the store) – went back to store, told customer service – had her go back and get another one and that was that.

  50. Anonymous says:

    that’s Seattle customer service for you – just like Nordstrom.

  51. freshyill says:


    What’s with the more link on stories when there is no more? That’s pretty shady, for the Consumerist. Look, if I care enough about the story to read/write comments, I’ll click through and do that. You don’t need to bait and switch like some shady retailer.

    The links says more, but there is no more. S H A D Y !

  52. ARPRINCE says:

    @SOhp101: I agree that Costco has a very good satisfaction guarantee but after consuming 3/4 of your supplement then deciding to return it because “it had the opposite effect to my test results” is just mind boggling to me.

    There has to be some sense of decency on the consumers part. Unbelievable!

  53. Squeezer99 says:

    a couple of months ago when I was at Sams Club, I found someone’s debit card laying on the ground. So I turned it into customer service and they looked it up on their computer, the person was a sams club member, and they were going to call that person so they could come pick it up.

    woot, go sams club!

  54. muckpond says:

    the exact same thing happened to me at IKEA last year. i left a part of a shelf kit in the loading area and didn’t discover it until i got home.

    the awesomest part was that they shipped the piece to me since i live about 4 hours from the nearest IKEA. they were really cool about the whole thing.

  55. Mary says:

    You know, I’ve worked retail for about eight years, off and on.

    I’ve never been taught or trained or even told to do anything of the sort. At the bookstore, if somebody left something at the counter we would put it on the hold shelf for them and give it to them if they came back for it. But since there’s been a change of management, I’d say even that has probably stopped.

    It really is store, management, and employee specific.

  56. arcticJKL says:


    So minimum wage would be jobs for teens, temps and such and the higher wages jobs (enough to meet cost of living) would be for adults.

    If a store has living wage jobs then it is looking to hire more competent long term employees then.


  57. megaradjenni says:

    I have never been to a Costco. I never knew there was a Costco in my area until this morning; the nearest is 30+ miles away. I decided to take a gander at their website to see what made Costco so great. I don’t get it! They charge you $50 to be a member and their merchandise appears to be pretty expensive by Wal-Mart/Target standards. They also sell caskets and urns! CREEPY. If there is something more benefical to the Costco (besides the fact it’s not an evil Wal-Mart), let me know. Maybe I just didn’t research enough but it appears to be a rip-off to me.

  58. rjstsas says:

    I did the same thing at my local Sam’s club, but with a case of beer left in the bottom of my cart. Went back in to see if anyone turned it in and of course no one did. The clerk (not a manager) said just go get another one… no charge.

    mmmmmm beer….

  59. arsbadmojo says:

    The receipt checkers at Costco destroy any good will I could muster over something like this. And reading the story, I saw that the wife noticed she was overcharged for something. Why didn’t the receipt checker notice that? Oh, probably because they are a useless annoyance.

  60. snowmentality says:

    I was just impressed when I left my purse in the Costco cart as I put it in the cart corral, got all the way to my next errand before I realized it, then found that someone at Costco had returned it directly to customer service — nothing missing from it. Don’t know if it was an employee or a shopper, but that was awesome.

  61. mynamehere says:

    I love Costco because their people are helpful, stores are clean, and they carry quality merchandise. The fact that their return policy is exceptional doesn’t hurt either. I have the executive membership which pays for itself based on usage in the form of cash back. With a family of five, it isn’t difficult to get this return. I’ve been shopping there for ~14 years and have never had a bad experience. Hard to say that about most stores.

  62. Boy Howdy says:

    I had a similar experience. I left a case of beer on the bottom shelf of cart in the parking lot, realized it when I got home, went back, and even though the store was closed at that point (it was only a couple minutes after closing), they just gave me a new case of beer.

    Hooray beer!

    Hooray Costco!

  63. Boy Howdy says:

    @rjstsas: Now I’m concerned that between the two of us, we’re giving unscrupulous college students ideas on how to fund parties.

  64. Parting says:

    @SOhp101: Like I said : eating a chocolate 3/4 and then returning it.

    I shop as Costco, and it’s because of people like you that prices are steeper. Complete satisfaction does not absolve you of abusing the system. And going 3/4 through a bottle, you have no idea how it influenced your blood count. It takes 120 days to produce red cells to your body.

    You bought a ”naturopatic’ (well kind of) product, so if your return it, you should pay for what you used. Unless the manufacturer gives a ”complete satisfaction” policy. If not, it’s Costco who eats up the loss.

    Plus, I sense that you acted like an @ss while returning it. The service rep was trained to say ” we’ll accept only this time”, same thing at Walmarts, Target, etc. It’s company policy. And it has nothing to do with employee. It’s to prevent repetitive customers abusing the system.

    Get over it.

  65. Parting says:

    @megaradjenni: Costco puts more expensive products on the web. Most of cheaper stuff is in the store. And besides food, there also great deals on electronics, jewelery. For example, an ”executive leather chair” that sells at Staples for 400$, I’ve got the same at Costco for 80$.
    Like all stores, not everything is a good deal, but in my case, membership pays for itself in savings. And some other stuff (brands, gifts,…), that you cannot find in regular stores.

  66. Beerad says:

    @megaradjenni: The attraction to Costco is that generally you buy products there in bulk so prices are pretty good (not an attraction to all; not everyone wants 50 frozen taquitos in one purchase), and they carry good quality merchandise — if you do a fair amount of shopping there at all, you will easily save more than the $50 fee.

    Costco tends to have some rabid supporters, who tend to love the good merchandise at reasonable prices, as well as the fact that it’s the “Anti-Wal-Mart” (for lack of a better term). As noted in this thread, they pay their employees good wages, stores are well maintained, and customer service is overall excellent.

  67. Trai_Dep says:

    They’re sort of the Anti-Wal-Mart, proving by example that you can build a great business while treating your employees, customers and shareholders with equal respect. Oh, and have some minimal set of standards: I read of some of the unmitigated, useless crap that Wal-Mart sells and I ask, “Why?!”

    Then I pause for a moment, then think, “Wal-Mart customers: know the price of everything, the value of nothing. Got it. Check!”

  68. Trai_Dep says:

    @Beerad: Heh. I think we typed our comments at the same time. :D

  69. bigduke says:

    I have shopped at Wal-Mart, Costco, Sams, K-mart and many other ‘discount’ chains. The difference is palpable! People at Costco actually help you. They make it easier for you to get through the drudgery that is shopping. I lost count of the times that a Sams or Wal-mart was rude or disinterested when I shopped there. This is a direct result of paying their employees a wage that they can be happy with.

    Those things may mean less to many of you then the 10 cents you could save on a product by going to Sams. However, this shopper likes the experience, and likes the fact that the people helping me by my crap may actaully be able to afford it themselves.

    Lastly every time I shop at a store owned by the Waltons, I am always overcome with the feeling that I am sending my money directly to china.

  70. nevesis says:

    I honestly have never been to a place I prefer to shop at more than Costco. Their employees are extremely friendly. They give away food samples. They have the best return policy ever. And they actually sell very decent clothes, which saves me from going to the mall often. (Kirkland Signature Italian Wool dress pants ($50) are easily comparable to $150 pants at the men’s store)

  71. DeliBoy says:

    @stevebmd: It’s Above and Beyond because:

    1. Costco took the time to figure out who left a random chair mat in their parking lot. They would have had to search against all purchases made in the past few hours or so – nice that they have and can competently use this capability.

    2. A log was made somewhere that Chris may have left an item in the parking lot on a certain date. They would have had to do the same for anyone else who purchased the same mat in the past few hours.

    3. The pharmacy actually sought out this information and wrote a note about it for the cashier.

    4. The cashier notified the receipt checkers to expedite his exit (I’m not sure why this was necessary).


  72. Monkey4Sale says:

    @Razzler: Yes I’m 15…and you make all word-related rules. To clarify, I’m still right, this is normal practice in the Retail world.

  73. ideagirl says:

    @Crumbles: REally? Because where I live, the Republicans are out in force registering voters at Costco twice a year, minimum. I am pretty sure that, just like ALL big businesses, they contribute to whoever is going to benefit them the most.

  74. ideagirl says:

    @arcticJKL: hehe..keep thinking that, it leaves more for the rest of us : )

  75. gingerCE says:

    This happened to me at Raley’s (supermarket). They’d put a couple bags of groceries on the underneath part of the cart–I loaded my car and went home–then realized I’d forgotten to load the 2 bags underneath. I went back but the bags were gone BUT the store allowed me to go inside and get all the groceries that were in the bag–and were very nice about it and of course, I didn’t have to repay anything.

    I actually think the people in my situation were much nicer than the Costco story. The employees didn’t see the bags (someone in parking lot must have took–mostly vegetables) but they immediately offered for me to get replacement groceries.

    As for Costco, I had a nightmare return story with them and though I still shop there, I dislike their customer service greatly.

  76. bonzombiekitty says:

    @arcticJKL: That’s usually how it’s seen. Although some people want the minimum wage to be a living wage.

  77. gingerCE says:

    Well since I started I’d like to add one of my two Costco return horror stories. My mom has a Costco membership and bought me a present from Costco. She gave me the receipt because Costco does not do gift receipts.

    I went to the Costco store to return the item, with the receipt, and MY Costco membership card. I have membership as well. Let me also add the item was never opened–in it’s original packaging.

    They would not let me return the item because I didn’t buy it since the receipt had a different membership. I said that is my mom’s and they could look up her name and see it matches my last name. And they looked up her name based on her ID number and saw we had the same last name. I told them it was a gift she gave me. I asked for the manager and the manager said no, I could not return the item at all because the receipt had my mom’s ID and not mine.

    I called the 1800 number, they told me they didn’t know why I wasn’t able to return the item. I called the district manager–and he told me, “You should’ve never shown the receipt. Had you not shown the receipt, you could’ve the returned the item and gotten a refund right away.” (I tried that while I was thereand again, no).

    I had to drive an hour away, pick up my mom, take her with me to Costco, so I could return the item. I was so angry when I returned that item. It was a 80 dollar item, not cheap but not worth Costco jeopardizing a customer relation with them.

    But my other Costco return story was much worse–but it’s a longer story so I’ll save it for another day. It was on a 10 dollar item. They treated me like a criminal over a $10 item and again, refused to let me return an unopened item that cost $10. I contacted Corporate Costco over it. To this day, it makes my blood boil how badly they treated me.

  78. gingerCE says:

    Oh, I’d like to add that part of the problem they claimed was she paid with her Amex/Costco card. I told them (when returning) just charge it back to her card (since they refused to let me return the item for a gift card or cash). No. They refused to credit the return back to the card it was purchased on because the receipt had a different membership ID than my number.

    My point is when you have an unopened, unused item to return WITH a receipt, forget the receipt. You’re better off without one. They won’t let you return an item you received as a gift, even when the item was bought by a family member, if you have the receipt.

  79. gingerCE says:

    Oh year, I forgot to add (sorry I know ranting about Costco) they told me if my husband had bought the item they’d let me return it (I’m not married) BUT since my mom bought the item, I couldn’t return it.

  80. BugMeNot2 says:

    Yes, I can believe it. I have had similar experiences at Costco.

    I have left items at the checkout, or in the cart, and they log it in a book. So when you go back and ask, they will credit you and give you the cash refund so you can go get another one, or not.

    They will tell you to leave your cart or large items at the entrance, and go get your vehicle. They said that if someone took them, they will be responsible.

    Although customer service varies from location to location. The costco nearest me, has nasty policies, and harasses me at every return, and even the customers in the parking lot are pretty mean (steal your parking, block your way thru, etc.).

    So i go to the farther but largest costco in the chain…

    But I no longer send people to them for PCs, as you can find cheaper and better notebooks and desktops at many other retailers. Costco is trying to stick to the near $1k mark for pc purchases, and you can get brand name machines for $399+ elsewhere. Especially if you don’t need a bundled display.

    I also shop more at Sams now, because they carry a varied selection, like Dell, and don’t have the 90 day return limit and still honor until six months. No, I do not abuse the return priviledge.

    Good shopping!

  81. iaintgoingthere says:

    @Monkey4Sale: yeah, but I have never heard of other store employees doing this so called, “normal practice”.

  82. arcticJKL says:


    Living wage as minimum wage…
    But wouldn’t that mean that all high school students would be able to move out of the house and living on their own?

    (assuming that inflation wouldn’t reverse it)

  83. megaradjenni says:

    Thanks for the info guys. I don’t know if I’ll never need to buy anything in bulk however. Do they let you into the store without a membership? For someone who is unfamiliar with Costco it might be helpful to be allowed to walk around to check out merchandise before purchasing a membership. I probably will not do this because, like I said, my nearest Costco is 30+ miles away. Just curious.

  84. jvance says:


    Glad to hear that Costco allows voter registration in its stores. It doesn’t matter who is doing the registration, because by law the registrar CANNOT REFUSE to register anyone – certainly not on the basis of party affiliation. If Republicans want to register a bunch of Democrats (or vice-versa) that’s fine by me.

  85. Beerad says:

    @megaradjenni: Don’t know about the official policy, but at my local Costco you can certainly get in and walk around without a membership, they only need your card at the register. I’m sure if they were checking membership at the door and you said “Well, I don’t really know if I want to join, I’d like to look around the store first” they’d let you.

  86. Geekly says:

    This happened to me once when I left a case of water on the bottom shelf of the cart. When I came back a few days later and checked in at customer service, the clerk referenced a sheet where they were keeping track of items left behind. Sure enough, there was a listing of a pack of water next to the date we came shopping. We were pleasantly surprised when she told us to grab more from the shelf. I love Costco.

  87. megaradjenni says:

    Thanks, for some reason this whole Costco phenomenon really peaks my interest. :)

  88. alice_bunnie says:

    Actually, I have been a cashier before, and I had an accounting degree while I had it. I took it as a side job just to kill time, and as a no brainer job. There is no skill involved in running bar codes over a scanner, pushing a few buttons to enter amount received or swiping a credit card. IT professionals I know sometimes start for less than this and they have degrees. And, as I said, I know people who have degrees and work in academia who work longer hours and don’t make that much.

    There are reasons some jobs pay less and that’s because they don’t have skills that people have put time and effort into acquiring. To put equal pay into a job with little skill and giving it some silly name called “living wage” is devaluing the effort others have made and just causes inflation in the costs of everything else in the scope of things. So “living wage” – in essence raising minimum wage – just makes everything else go up in price to pay for those wages, which means that that new minimum wage is once again devalued and you don’t have that “living wage” anymore and it’s all back to where it was before. So “living wage” is just some silly word for “overpaid”.

  89. Lazlo Nibble says:

    @alice_bunnie: You’re right, there isn’t much skill involved in scanning codes and swiping cards. The hard part is consistently dealing with every customer they encounter in a pleasant and efficient way. I suspect quite a few of those IT pros you know couldn’t manage that aspect of the job no matter how advanced their degrees are.

    I’ve been shopping at Costco for so long that I still call it “Price Club” by mistake, and in all that time I can’t recall ever having any of their employees be anything less than helpful. I don’t encounter that at any other chain business…except maybe In-N-Out Burger, another company that pays their employees more than the prevailing wage to do what’s often treated like a meaningless dead-end job.

  90. MMD says:

    @alice_bunnie: So, in your view, someone who works full-time at Costco shouldn’t make enough to live on just because the job doesn’t require the same kinds of skills as other jobs?

  91. edwardso says:

    @alice_bunnie: So, the only was to put forth effort and aquire skills is to get a degree? People have a right to earn enough money to live. If more people made a living wage perhaps public assistance would decrease. Underemployment is a serious issue.

  92. gingerCE says:

    It’s ironic that I commented earlier on my problems with Costco. Just tried to order an advertised sale item (good until the 10th of December)–and it’s sold out. will not offer rainchecks at all. My beef is that nowhere in the ad does it say while supplies last or that they had a limited number of items. I thought this was an item they stocked year round.

    When I talked with them on the phone they said they knew they had a limited supply and would not be getting more. And yes, their blanket policy is that everything is subject to change but I just feel when they know they have an item with limited supply and that they will not be getting anymore–I feel they need to disclose on the site under that item or in the ad regarding the sale of that item, that the item is available while supplies last in the ad and that supplies are limited.

    I also think they should allow those who tried to purchase the item a way to know when the item, just in the rare case it’s restocked, is available again.

    I have had a lot of bad experiences with Costco and I just think I’ve had enough with them. What makes me so mad is they pretend they have a great return policy when the only store I have ever had a problem returning items (unopend and in original packaging) was Costco.

  93. swalve says:

    @edwardso: “People have a right to earn enough money to live.”

    No, they don’t. They have the right to pursue happiness.

  94. asten77 says:

    I worked at the first SuperTarget store for 5 years, and we probably averaged doing this 5-6 times a week. Stuff left in carts in the lot, etc.

    I don’t find this as something that should be extraordinary.. but sadly, perhaps it is these days.

  95. devinburn says:

    costco, like any company that big is going to have issues. but overall i think their policies are the best.

    i friggin’ love costco, i used to go there every friday with my hs friends eat all the free samples and rarely buy anything. no one seemed to care, we even went back for 2nds and 3rds

    I don’t understand how they can do so well paying such decent wages, having a decent return policy, and paying multiple people per hour to give away products, with such reasonably priced products.

    i guess thats what an MBA can do

  96. devinburn says:

    one other thing, they don’t need to advertise. i don’t think i’ve ever seen a costco ad outside the store

    thats impressive, i think it means their members do the advertising -personal referrals, which is a lot cheaper and a lot more effective

  97. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    @Binaryslyder: yes it does happen at walmart. They even have a book to write forgotten item in when something gets left behind.

  98. anmlStyl says:

    @KJones: I think the sample folks are not employed by Costco, but with a contractor company, thinking I’ve seen a different company info printed on their apron and/or hat. Still, there’s no excuse for them being rude or indifferent as they are representing the company.

    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly about the cart issue. It’s as if the bigger the cart, the more oafish people act. And with folks acting snippy if you need to get around, most definitely a space-control issue. If I could, I’d roll over their feet with the big flatbed-type carts. But I think that would be against membership policy.

  99. meeroom says:

    I LOVE Costco, and I also still call it Price Club. The employees are friendly, the products are great, and I have never had a bad experience there. I had to go to Wal-Mart the other day, and I haven’t set foot in one in about 7 years. I was appalled at how dirty and disgusting it was, and the staff was an ugly disgruntled looking mess, as were most of the customers. TRAI DEP, I love your saying about people who shop at WalMart and will be using it a lot, I’m sure.
    Alice Bunnie sounds like she sure would have been a chipper and friendly cashier.

  100. Mary says:

    @Monkey4Sale: “Yes I’m 15…and you make all word-related rules. To clarify, I’m still right, this is normal practice in the Retail world.”

    Wow, that’s a really mature response.

    To clarify: Since this is subjective, you can’t be right, just as no one can be right unless they say “In my experience…” And even then it is only true IN THEIR EXPERIENCE.

    As I said, I’ve worked all kinds of retail jobs in the last ten years. It is store and management specific, it is NOT a standard across all retail outlets everywhere. So this has happened a lot where you’ve worked. It isn’t always true, it isn’t always false.

    Generalizations are always wrong ; )