Yahoo did some research and dug deep into the archives of Reddit for find some of the best unknown facts about the big box store from the people who know it best: current and former employees.
1. They're not checking receipts just to annoy you.
A lot of the employees who work the door are confirming that the number of items on your receipt is the same number in your cart. They also check expensive items, which can benefit you just as much as Costco. Reddit user jes3se once saw a customer who was accidentally rung up for a $1,000 item rather than a bag of avocados (the key was one number off). "Everyone just swipes and moves on," he writes.
2. You should watch for the secret price codes.
Rumors about Costco's pricing strategy have been swirling for years, but last year, the big box store's CEO finally confirmed what everyone was wondering: If a price ends in 97, like $9.97, it means that item has been marked down. And if there's an asterisk in the corner, you better act fast: The little star indicates that those items are the last ones in stock.
3. Kirkland Signature products are made by brands you know and love.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek revealed to Clark.com that KS batteries are made by Duracell, but they sell for a fraction of the price of the ones with Duracell's name on them. What's more: Reddit users have hinted that KS vodka is distilled from the same water source and by the same people that Grey Goose employs.
4. If you sweet talk the sample employees, they'll give you more food.
Kylebear (a former member of the Costco team) shared his: "I always sweet talk the older ladies. They tell me I remind them of their grandson = more food. I know they're bored standing there all day. Just talk to them and they'll give you plenty."' data-reactid="41" type="text">There's a strategy, and Reddit user Kylebear (a former member of the Costco team) shared his: "I always sweet talk the older ladies. They tell me I remind them of their grandson = more food. I know they're bored standing there all day. Just talk to them and they'll give you plenty."
5. No, they don't think their clothes are trendy, either.
But they do stand by their quality. Jelinek admitted that the pants and shirts are mostly impulse buys. "Your purpose wasn't to come to Costco to look at clothes," he told Clark.com.
6. You can return literally anything.
The return policy is hyper-lenient, so Costco employees have been trained to take back even the craziest items, like a half-empty bottle of wine or birthday cake with a few bites missing. What they really pay attention to is repeat returners and expensive items: "If you are returning expensive liquor on a regular basis, they start to catch on. Same with electronics. If you are buying a new laptop and returning it the day before the return policy is up on a consistent basis, we take note," says Reddit user jes3se.
7. Their fresh-baked goods are the same as the frozen.
According to Reddit user 84awkm, Costco bakes things like cookies and bread, then sets some aside to package and freeze. The frozen are a far better score: You'll get 24 fresh ones for $7.99, but for $34.99, you'll get 180.
8. When the lines at the food court are long, the food is fresh.
It indicates that they're going through food fast, and cooking it even faster. "When the lines are long, then the churros are good," shared Reddit user Kylebear.
9. The best time to score free samples is Sunday morning.
Costco opens at 10 a.m., and Reddit user 4077 reveals an hour or so later is the best time to go for free food. "On Sunday mornings before church lets out. Lots of samples, and by the time I'm leaving, it's starting to fill."