You’re probably used to showing the receipt to an employee when you leave your Costco store. Why does Costco verify receipts? This experience is so different from other grocery stores. Let’s reveal this little secret.
There are two official and one unofficial reason why this is happening at Costco stores in Canada. By the way, this practice is used in all Costco stores around the world.
Costco wants to make sure customers are being charged the right price for the product they purchased. Costco employees know the prices of a wide variety of products in their store. They, therefore, perform random checks by visually scanning each receipt to ensure that the products in the cart have the correct prices.
The employee will usually choose 2-3 largest products in your cart, find them on the receipt and check the price.
Costco knows that customer complaints and returns are costly. That’s why they want to reduce errors before customers leave the store. In addition to inventory control, employees who verify receipts also perform quick scans to detect any errors. Such errors may include double charges for the same product, for example.
Costco employees admit that they collect hundreds of dollars from customers being mistakenly charged. Once they find an error, they direct the customer to the customer service desk or call a supervisor.
Signal of confidence
The unofficial reason, which you won’t find on the Costco Canada site, is psychological. Costco asks its members to show their membership card at the entrance, which is a sign of membership: Costco is reserved for members only. At the exit, they check our receipts as a sign of commitment.
In other words, these two actions – 1) showing membership cards at the entrance and 2) receipts – are the virtual “hello” and “goodbye” for members. These actions build trust and send signals to us that this store is committed to authorizing only its members and preventing error or wrongdoing.