From the moment you pass through those automatic doors, you get that special feeling — the Costco high. Eyes darting from shelf to towering shelf, stretching as high as the warehouse ceiling: pop-up tents, family-size granola bars, and so, so many diapers. You can’t resist the urge to lighten your wallet.
Costco has amassed a dedicated following in recent years. Die hard fans of the bulk retailer love nothing more than gobbling up a bunch of free samples and checking out deals. In the stupor of Costco bliss, it’s hard to notice the weirdness unfolding in plain sight. Out of context, the photo evidence proves the store is packed with a whole lot more than meets the eye…
1. They really do have everything, don’t they? No matter what’s on your list, somewhere, in the belly of Costco, you’ll find it. While nabbing some essentials, and some nonessentials too, this shopper caught a glance of the famously hard to track down Waldo.
2. Pulling into the parking lot, you see this bag of bones hanging out in the spot across the way. Hey, we’ve all been there, pal. It’ll be a quick visit, they said. Just need to grab a few things, they said.
3. Costco, you’ve won mass approval. There’s no need for employees to set traps to ensnare your shoppers. Those delicious samples keep everyone coming back for more. Jokes aside, this was one worker’s best attempt to trap a pigeon flying loose in the store.
4. Dare you to give this toilet paper a whirl smack dab in the middle of aisle five. Whoever decided to sample Quilted Northern must have had a grudge against this employee. Forcing a grown man to rip off individual squares of tp is cold blooded.
5. Wandering through aisle after aisle reading about mind blowingly good deals, a certain level of exhaustion sets in. They call this Costco fever. So that giant teddy bear at that table could be a mirage. Nevertheless, join him at the table and lean into the madness.
6. Before you pass judgment, remember that having to pee is a natural reaction to extreme excitement. This hungry customer hopped in line for a tasty Costco slice, and once that hot ‘za was in their hands, they made a gleeful dash to the can.
7. “Stan, we’re running low on chilled children. Down to our last one. By the looks of him, he’s reaching his shelf life.” Presumably, this is what the vested workers are communicating since no one made any moves to free the kid from the freezer.
8. Head on down to Costco for your enormous drinking vessel needs. You’ll find it in its usual spot, right next to the giant wall utensils and the comically large pencils. Now…if only there was something to fill it…
9. There we go. Pull your trunk up to the spigot and let ‘er rip. It has to be legal if it’s embossed on a plaque. Otherwise, all the employees would be walking past it day after day completely oblivious to this goof up, and that’s hardly likely.
10. After passing through the electronics, frozen foods, housewares, and everywhere else in between, it’s understandable that your dogs would be tired. This savvy shopper arrived at Costco with a plan of action. Browsing on a hoverboard meant lasting deal-chasing stamina.
11. Anyone who’s walked through the aisles of Costco has marveled over some of their more niche products thinking, “who in the heck needs that?” Rest assured, if a boat load of bread ends up on your doorstep, Costco will be there with the dip.
12. It’s pretty sound logic. Costco had one rotisserie chicken left. This person snagged it, bought it, and ran it out to the car. They made use of nature’s heat lamp and slapped that chicken on the dash.
13. Welcome to Costco, where fruits look gigantic and you nod in acceptance. Just imagine the amount of toast you’d need to accommodate an avocado this big. It’s guaranteed a customer took one of these home with extreme pride about expanding their palate.
14. Since Costco won’t let their most devoted fans move in, this guy did the next best thing. After the conclusion of his lengthy shopping trip, spending as much cash as he did energy, he purchased some mattresses and didn’t seem to plan on leaving.
15. Costco, we love you. However, this sign would probably be better suited for the break room. No customer wants to bear the guilt of on-the-job accidents while they weigh the pros and cons of lucky charms over frosted flakes.
16. Keep this in mind when you run to grab that family pack of toilet paper. Don’t worry, though. Costco’s got you covered. There’s a 20% off sale on inflatable rafts and canoes. Or better yet, wait out the storm while eating free samples.
17. Nothing makes the mouth water like the prospect of firing up the grill and getting a crispy sear on a tub of laundry detergent. The employee in charge of floor displays might need a 15-minute break.
18. Marty, we get it, you eat Tide Pods! First the grill display, now you’re sampling. You know customers will blindly accept anything free, you sudsy devil. Now we have to warn the bakery department to check for laundry soap snuck into pastries.
19. For your celebration sheet cakes, whether for birthdays, anniversaries, or company events, trust the Costco bakery to make that occasion a bit sweeter. You might want to triple check they’ve got the correct message to avoid this scenario.
20. Stepping into Costco is like entering a parallel universe. One with items in bulk that never really needed to exist in the first place and models that are dead ringers for Elijah Wood, just in a different gender.
21. It stings in a different way, eh, Costco? Wink. This labeling mix-up is all fun and games, but according to pricing error laws, stores have to abide by their posted signs. So, when your mom asks if you followed through on your flu shot, show her the receipts.
22. If the variety of products, oodles of free samples, and unbeatable bulk values don’t bowl you over with Costco love, there’s still some good laughs hidden around every industrial warehouse corner. This golden nugget is a prime example.
23. Costco wants you to get your money’s worth. When you order a hot dog, you bet that baby’s coming lined with a lethal amount of jalapenos and raw onions. Enough for each bite to burn into your memory.
The next time you head to the bulk retailer, keep your eyes peeled for oddities and bargains. Don’t let sensory overload or silly distractions knock you off course. It helps to know the ins and outs of Costco, so you can get the most out of your experience.
1. The very first Costco (which at the time was called Price Club) opened its doors in 1976. Six old airplane hangars once owned by Howard Hughes were used, and it’s still open today.
2. In the early days of Costco, items weren’t even taken out of their boxes and displayed on shelves and tables. In true warehouse form, everything was just sitting in stacks on top of palettes.
3. People love this place, and memberships keep growing in leaps and bounds. In 2016, 85 million people were registered members, and only one year later, five million more joined.
4. As an Executive Member, you get a whole more than just access to the store. For $120 bucks a year, Costco offers home loans, check-printing services, travel benefits, and car insurance.
5. Sure, you might not think Costco when you’re craving a slice of pizza, but the retailer is actually the fifteenth largest pizza chain in the country. It even has more locations than the popular California Pizza Kitchen!
6. As huge as Costco buildings are, they typically sell less merchandise than other big-box stores. While 4,000 pieces of merchandise might sound like a lot, Walmarts typically sell over 100,000 products.
7. Although most everything at Costco requires a membership to purchase, you can get away buying food so long as the food court is outdoors. Some states also require the pharmacy to accept anyone’s business.
8. Costco, like any business, wants to save as much money as possible as often as they can, so they do things like pack merchandise into old boxes and install skylights to save on electricity during sunny days.
9. A lot of people eat the pizza at Costco, so naturally, they need to pump pies out quickly to keep up with the demand. The machine they use that stretches the dough, adds the sauce, and finally bakes them churns out pies in less than one minute.
10. If you’re looking for a cheap lunch, you can shell out one and a half dollars for a hot dog and 20-ounce soda (with free refills). The price has been that way for 30 years, and Costco has no plans on ever changing it.
11. How exactly is Costco able to sell hot dogs at such a low price? They’re certainly not schlepping in name brands. They actually make their own hot dogs and serve up about 100 million every year!
12. Obviously, a place that sells anything you can imagine has a stockpile of bacon. How good is Costco’s own Kirkland Signature bacon? Consumer Reports found people enjoy the taste of it over most other brands. Plus, it’s cheaper than most as well, so eat up!
13. Costco has booze. Lots and lots of booze. And, the best part is that name-brand liquor is usually cheaper at Costco than liquor stores. Some locations even let you purchase their booze with a membership.
14. One of Costco’s biggest sellers is their rotisserie chicken and for good reason. A three-pound chicken costs $4.99, which is cheaper than anywhere else. They could easily increase the price by a little and make millions more every year, but they do right by their hungry customers.
15. Costco’s store brand, Kirkland Signature, is named after the city of Kirkland, Washington, where the retailer’s headquarters were located from 1987 to 1998. Now, the offices are in Issaquah, Washington.
16. For a place that has everything, you better believe Costco also prints a free monthly magazine for their members. Incredibly, The Costco Connection is the largest monthly magazine circulated in the United States.
17. If you’re the kind of person who shies away from technology, don’t let that keep a new gadget out of your cart. Costco has a special concierge service that helps tech-troubled people set up their equipment.
18. One of the most recent services Costco implemented was grocery deliveries. Same-day delivery on fresh food and two-day delivery on non-refrigerated products means one less trip while running errands.
19. Most of the people who run the free-sample stands scattered throughout Costco aren’t actually employees of the retailer. Most of them work for Warehouse Demo Services and Club Demonstration Services, and they’re on a different payroll entirely.
20. Costco takes care of their customers, but they also know the importance of treating employees well. Hourly wages can reach $21, and roughly 85 percent of workers have health insurance, which is way more than Walmart or Target.