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Costco shoppers absolutely hate these 5 things about its stores

Shopping at Costco would be better with these 5 changes, according to customers

Don’t lie — your weekend errands probably include a trip to your local Costco. And whether you love the Costco samples or get aggravated by the annoying hordes of scavengers, you plan to take advantage of the Costco food court hot dog deal, or you’re just looking for some healthier options for your weekly meals, you probably agree that, on the whole, shopping at Costco is pretty great.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Redditor AGreatMystery recently posed this question on the r/Costco subreddit, which has more than 200,000 members (all Costco enthusiasts): “We all love Costco…But if there was one thing you could change about it, what would that be and why?”

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And Redditors delivered. Here are the five most agreed upon responses.

Person grocery shopping with a Costco membership
dennizn / Shutterstock

1. Costco should have handheld scanners in self-checkout

Redditor catfishion had the top answer when they posted this and others readily agreed.

Raimeiken said, “[It] would be so much easier not having to unload stuff and reload. Even Home Depot has these — why not Costco?”

But there is good news. Some users reported their locations have them, so maybe handheld scanners at all self-checkouts when you’re shopping at Costco is a possibility someday.

2. The technology

 More specifically, the website and app, which had two main comment threads about it that plenty of Redditors upvoted. Redditor My1stTW thinks the website feels like it was “built by some 19-year-old designing his first website in 2003. It’s also slow.”

User justacpa would like to see “warehouse inventory count/product availability on the website and app.”

One Redditor called the app “ridiculous” while another reported they deleted it because it was “practically useless.”

Others, however, did point out some benefits of the app. “It’s good for checking the price of gas at the warehouse,” not_caffeine_free said.

Redditor ftmbaltimore52 added that they liked the membership card feature. “I don’t carry a physical membership any longer; but otherwise [there’s] no value from the app.”

3. The food court

 No, the complaints weren’t about the food itself, but the layout.

Redditor rememberpogs3 said, “It’s always hell trying to leave the store with people ordering, waiting, and eating with full carts. Possibly there could be “cart parking” spaces, or just a wider seating area.” 

Oakroscoe pointed out that “the kiosks for ordering have made it so much better. I am really happy with that.” 

And Dogma6684 reported a “fairly new Costco in my area has a completely separate food court that you can access without going into the store. The future is here.”

4. Get rid of vendors

 “These people ruin the shopping experience,” RepresentativeYou172 complained, with plenty of others agreeing that it’s something they loathe about shopping at Costco.

ADAWG10-18 had this bit of advice for their fellow shoppers: “’ No thanks, have a good one’ is an incredibly easy way to get them to leave you alone.”

5. Having to buy multiple packs of certain items

 Redditor brent20 started off the conversation, noting they didn’t like “having to buy two packs of six muffins — sometimes I just want one pack of six.”

Others agreed, wishing there were more mix-and-match options. User cucumberswithanxiety said, “Let me buy one pack of muffins and one pack of Danish” while illiterally added, “I’d love it if they would let you mix and match the muffins and bagels. You have to buy two either way; why not price them the same and let you get one of each?”

Some think it’s wasteful. Redditor reximilian said, “I’ve tried purchasing just one loaf [of bread] and when they stopped me and said I needed two, I told them to just charge me for the two; they wouldn’t. I finally just asked them to put the loaf back. It’s just my wife and I… we barely finish a single loaf before it goes bad. I didn’t want to be wasteful.”

Some suggested freezing the extra loaf of bread, while others didn’t exactly see the problem. Redditor LegitimatePower pointed out, “The whole point of Costco is bulk purchasing. The thing you want is a grocery store.”

Even with some of the issues people have with shopping at Costco, it’s not enough to get them to stop. Could we see changes in the future? One user noted that this sort of thread is exactly the kind of information that companies have spent millions on focus groups for — so here’s hoping Costco insiders are reading.

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