4 Reasons Why Costco Checks Your Receipt When You Leave

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Costco routinely checks customer receipts before members leave the store.
  • The company states this is standard practice at all club locations.
  • Employees are looking to ensure your receipt was printed that day, that you weren't overcharged or undercharged, and to verify that high-end purchases and larger items in your cart were scanned correctly.

Costco is a warehouse club with locations throughout the U.S. and the world. To shop there, you'll need to pay a yearly membership fee. For many people, shopping at Costco can provide savings on everyday essentials like groceries and household supplies.

There's one routine that every shopper must go through after going through the checkout process: Every member is asked to show their receipt before exiting the store. This practice is standard at Costco and other warehouse clubs. Have you ever wondered why?

This is why you show your receipt before leaving Costco

After loading up your cart with essentials and paying, you'll notice employees waiting near the exit doors. As you make your way closer, a staff member will ask to see your receipt. After verifying the details of your receipt, you'll then be able to leave the store.

But what are the reasons behind this practice, and what are employees looking for when they quickly scan your receipt? A 2019 Business Insider article examined this practice. After speaking with employees of the popular warehouse club, Business Insider learned that staff members look for several things when reviewing Costco receipts.

Here are four things Costco employees check your receipt for before you leave your local club.

  1. A code printed on the top and bottom of the receipt, which changes daily to show staff members the receipt was printed that day
  2. An item count on the bottom of the receipt to ensure you weren't undercharged or overcharged for your purchases
  3. High-end items like electronics, stamps, jewelry, and items over $300, which need supervisors' initials on them
  4. Large items, which have signifiers on the receipt to ensure employees do a final check of the bottom of the cart

Costco's explanation for this routine practice

On its website, Costco notes that this practice is standard and is done at all locations to ensure that cashiers have correctly processed purchases. The company continued, "It's our most effective method of maintaining accuracy in inventory control, and it's also a good way to ensure that our members have been charged properly for their purchases."

Should you join a warehouse club this year?

If you've been feeling sticker shock at the grocery store, you may wonder if a warehouse club membership could save you money. Becoming a Costco member may be a good personal finance move for you if you have a club near your home and don't mind buying items in bulk.

While not all items sold at Costco are sold in bulk, many are. You want to make sure you have the space to store what you buy and you can put everything to use before expiration. Before investing in a membership, you should look at the Costco website or mobile app to see if the products you usually buy (or similar alternatives) are available at your local club.

Finally, consider the cost of a yearly membership and make sure it fits your budget. If you can afford a membership and get value out of it, you may save a significant amount of money on the cost of groceries and everyday essentials. The more money you can save, the more plentiful your checking account balance will be.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow