Here’s the Real Reason Costco Checks Your Receipts Before You Leave

front of a Costco store iStock

Costco’s exit greeters will even draw a happy face on your receipt if you’ve got kids in tow

Here’s something you’ve probably wondered at least once or twice: why does Costco check receipts? You just spent the last four hours shopping for bulk for all your bulk good needs and now that your cart is full and you’ve paid your due, the smiling exit greeter gives your receipt the once over. What’s the deal?

So it might seem like the Costco exit greeter and receipt checker is trying to catch you shoplifting. But that really isn’t so. Imagine trying to “sneak” a case of ramen noodles out. Not so easy, right?


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Related: 17 “Secret” Costco Hacks & Membership Perks You Need to Know About

Instead, the exit greeter’s job is to actually save you money. They’re not looking at the receipt to make sure the gallon of ketchup filling your cart is actually listed on your receipt. Instead, they’re looking for duplicate charges, promotions the cashier may not have caught, or other similar errors. They’re also looking for products that you purchased but may not have received by way of a mis-scanned item or items held at checkout. In fact, Costco has been providing this service since they opened their first store in Seattle in 1983.

A recent Reddit thread illustrates this point completely. After one Reddit user asked, “How much is caught at the exit receipt check?” another responded, “I sometimes get the $100 for $80 gift cards and they always ask if I remembered those, since you have to go to the lock-up to pick up the gift cards after you pay.”

Before you give the exit greeter that sideways, “Hey, what are you really searching for?” look, remember—they’re here to help.

Related: 11 Ridiculous Things You Can Buy on Your Next Costco Run

 

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