9 Things You Should Never Do at Costco, According to Employees

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Not-So-Common Courtesy

If you want to know what war feels like, head to Costco during the holidays. Armed with large metal carts, hordes of deal-hungry shoppers fly through the aisles, snatching up pumpkin pies, leaving trash, and ruffling up displays. And if it feels like shopping at Costco is a battle, imagine what it's like to work there. (Hint: It's hard.) 

But as a Costco consumer, there are several irksome behaviors you can avoid to make employees' lives a bit easier. Here are nine things Costco members should never do, according to employees on Reddit.

Not already a Costco member? You can apply here.

woman with shopping cart at Costco
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1. Don't Leave Your Cart

Costco superfans and employees agree that members need to return their carts, with one Redditor calling it a "non-negotiable" courtesy. "It makes life easier on everyone," another user writes.

Costco on Maui 23 Dec 2017
Costco on Maui 23 Dec 2017 by ross6606 (CC BY-NC-ND)

2. Don't Leave Boxes Behind

If you take a box to carry your groceries at checkout, don't leave it behind in your cart, an employee writes. Take it with you, or forego the box entirely — especially during the holidays when stores run out of boxes.

Costco Before Hurricane Iselle
Costco Before Hurricane Iselle by Ryan Kawailani Ozawa (CC BY-NC-SA)

3. Don't Hold Up the Line Looking For Your Membership

Be prepared with your membership card when you grab a cart to avoid clogging the entryway. "People pushing carts are trying to get through to refill the main corral and you sitting there when you grab a cart fumbling for your card slows everyone down," an employee explains.

Costco by Anderson Depp (CC BY-NC)

4. Don't Leave Products Scattered Around the Store

Retail employees often complain about shoppers who leave unwanted items (even perishables) strewn across the store, and Costco workers are no different. "Just bring (an unwanted item) with you to checkout and let us know! We are happy to take it back for you. Someone else may want the item," a Costco worker writes.

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Costco Business Center checkout area
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Costco Tire Shop
Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi-Billion Dollar Global Retailer.

7. Don't Try To Get Into Costco Early

"Stop trying to access the warehouse before they open," one Costco Redditor writes. Businesses have store hours for a reason, and employees who don't let you in early are just following the rules.

Related: Costco by the Numbers: 22 Surprising Stats

Costco Shoppers browse clothing items
Scott Olson/Getty Images

8. Don't Leave a Pile of Unfolded Clothes

While this complaint comes from a frustrated shopper, there's no doubt that folding (and refolding) piles and piles of clothes is a pain for Costco employees. If your folding skills are subpar, just bring the unwanted items to the register, one commenter suggests.

Woman housewife looking check in store

9. Don't Be Rude to Costco Employees for Doing Their Job

If you're stopping for a post-shopping snack at Costco's cafe, "stop being rude" while waiting in line, and be sure to "pay attention to your serve number," so you don't hold other customers up, says one user

Likewise, when you're exiting the store, you'll likely encounter employees who are tasked with checking your receipt. While this might seem like an inconvenience or even an intrusion to some, it's important to remember that these workers are just doing their job and aren't trying to target you specifically. "Stop being rude to the receipt checkers," writes the user, adding, "They're just doing their job."