Costco Etiquette

How I wish all my fellow Costco shoppers could have attended a cotillion class on shopping the aisles of Costco when they were growing up.

Alas, this did not happen so I am going to present to you a few rules my fellow Costco shoppers can abide by for all future visits to that wonderful store.

1. Samples. Every one loves their Costco samples, but no one loves a stalled shopping cart in the middle of the aisle while you mosey on over for another bagel bite. Get your butt and your cart to the side of an aisle so people shopping at Costco aren’t blocked by people just there to eat enough free samples to constitute a lunch. I’m looking at you, retirees.

2. Stay to the Right. Just like on the freeway, if you’re not passing anyone, stay to the right. This way, when I close in on you I can move into the middle and smoothly pass. There is no reason to claim the middle lane at a mall-saunter pace.

3. Baby on Board. When you see a fellow Costco shopper with a baby recognize that he or she is not at Costco today to spend two hours walking up and down every aisle and buying every item that remotely piques their interest. He is there to get crap done. He has a list. He knows what he needs. Now stop looking at that kayak like you are going to buy it and move out the way!

4. Book Table. From now on, all perusing of books shall be done in a clockwise direction around the table for better flow, for better access for those arriving at the book table, and for an easier exit for those leaving the book table.

5. Receipt Check. That second Costco employee stationed at the exit of the store is not just there as a joke. He also looks at receipts. Form two lines, using both receipt-checking employees and we all get out of here a little sooner.

6. Gas Station. Most gas tanks are located on the driver’s side so people line up on the right side of the gas pump even when there are spots open on the left side of the gas pump. What these people do not know or what they are nervous to experiment with is that the hose on the Costco gas pump reaches most gas tanks, no matter what side the opening is located on. I was at Costco last week and I saw the worst example of this. Everyone seemed in a rush to top off with $1.83 gas that there was a deep, six-car line at the station. It looked horrible. I almost turned around, but I noticed two open pumps on the left side. I slowly drove forward, wondering if these pumps worked, looking at all the people sitting in their cars and waiting. What for? I arrived at the pump, pulled the nozzle around to the opposite side of my car and filled up while people who had been waiting when I arrived watched me finish up and drive home.

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3 thoughts on “Costco Etiquette

  1. You and I have the same gripes about Costco shoppers, it seems. However, I will say that I love how many people refuse to use the other side of the gas pump. It frees up traffic in the left lane for people like us who don’t mind pulling the nozzle across the car. The gas tank on my wife’s car is on the passenger side so she typically has the benefit of going down the left side anyway. My car’s gas tank is on the driver’s side, though, and I have no issue pulling the nozzle around.

    As for the rest of your concerns, I agree completely. Costco should have a list of… not rules, but rather suggestions, in order to facilitate the best shopping experience possible.

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