How to read a Costco receipt: Costco is one of America’s favorite retailers and well-known for their generous return policy.
If you change your mind about something or find that an impulse purchase didn’t meet expectations, no penalties or returns fees apply within certain time limits.
As you leave the store, a final review of your receipt ensures that you received what was purchased.
How to Read a Costco Receipt
Check for Significance
Costco is known for being one of the most generous retailers in America, and that generosity extends to their customer loyalty. Yet what do those employees doing near the exit with receipt checks and giving you that sideways glance mean?
Also read: “Money Serial Number Lookup For Value With Star Notes.”
While some might assume they’re trying to catch shoplifters, that isn’t actually the case – rather their employees check your receipt for various reasons such as:
- checking if you received your item(s) that day;
- counting items to ensure no over/under charges;
- high-end items (requiring supervisor initials);
- large items (such as tissues/water) as well as checking all receipts against various codes that change daily;
- checks of item counts for over/under charges – all to ensure a smooth shopping experience and any possible discrepancies.
Costco receipt-checking policies exist primarily to save the company money on returns. With Costco’s lower than average retail shrinkage and its importance in keeping track of what it sells and doesn’t, most don’t take their receipt-checking policies personally; most know that gallon-sized containers of ketchup and slabs of steak can’t easily be hidden away in bags; yet, with smart use of your receipt you could use it to take advantage of some amazing offers too!
Check for Date
Costco relies on high volume sales with minimal time per customer at its registers to reduce inventory loss (known as shrinkage ). Therefore, employees regularly check receipts upon exit from store to prevent shoplifting as well as ensure each shopper takes home what they paid for. This practice helps protect both sides.
Final Receipt Check. Sam’s Club and BJ’s both follow this same procedure for final receipt checks, providing quick glances over item counts and verifying there are no mischarges while checking for various signifiers such as initials of supervisors for high value items.
Note that although food that has gone bad can be returned, and special order items that do not meet expectations cannot; this fact often goes unnoticed until people try out something they later decide is disgusting and throw it out.
Further, electronics cannot typically be returned after having been opened or used; most electronics only qualify for refund within 90 days; to return an electronic item to Costco customer service desk you’ll need your membership card and item(s).
Check for Quantity
Costco may have some unusual and bothersome rules when it comes to shopping there, but did you know they also check your receipt prior to leaving? Apparently this practice exists for several reasons.
Business Insider reports that this final receipt check aims to ensure that you received exactly what was ordered. This may involve using codes on both ends of the receipt that change daily to indicate when it was printed; item counts to ensure no products were missed out, or overcharges weren’t accidentally applied; high-end items (like jewelry, stamps and electronics) require supervisor initials before signing them off; as well as large items like tissue and water with different signifiers so the final check also covers what lies at the bottom of your cart.
FSA-eligible members will appreciate that Costco includes tax in their total so their employer can reimburse them for purchases they made – this small touch makes perfect sense as no one wants to return home from a shopping spree and realize that something important was forgotten or incorrect sizes were selected for certain products.
Check for Discounts
Costco members know that their store offers extremely liberal returns policies (even partially consumed food is accepted!). You also likely know that you can receive money back for items which go on sale the day after purchasing them–no receipt necessary!
However, while it may seem unusual to see employees reviewing your receipt as you exit a store, their goal is simple. They want to prevent shoplifting from occurring; as Costco sells bulk merchandise this helps cut operating costs such as less time per customer at registers and easier restocking with forklifts, which allows Costco’s inventory losses to remain much lower than many of their retail competitors.
Staff reviewing receipts don’t specifically look for anything specific when reviewing receipts; rather, they observe some habits or indicators that could point towards any potential issues. They might check for a code that changes each day to verify a receipt was printed that day; count items to ensure all has been charged appropriately (they won’t blame your math skills!); make sure high-value items were marked appropriately and make sure large items such as tissues or water weren’t accidentally left off the cart.