Getting my Costco receipt checked before I leave the store has always given me a bit of anxiety.

Costco Store Front

Since the majority of the time I do self-checkout, I always panic thinking I may have forgotten to scan something and the nice person at the door will think I intentionally tried to steal something (when of course, this is not the case).

have you wondered why costco checks receipts?

With that being said, I’ve always wondered exactly why Costco checks your receipt in the first place and if your first guess was like mine, to prevent theft, I’m sorry to say, you are wrong.


Why Does Costco Check Receipts?

Costco does not check your receipt to make sure you didn’t steal anything.

After all, the employee checking the receipt is only checking for a few seconds and they wouldn’t be able to compare that to what is inside your basket that fast.

Instead, there are actually two main reasons why Costco checks your receipt before you leave.

The first reason is to ensure the cashiers scan everything that crosses their belt otherwise it can throw off the inventory count.

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Secondly, it is to ensure you aren’t overcharged or undercharged for something. Sure, that’d mean that employees would need to know roughly the correct price but they quickly scan the receipt to ensure nothing seems out of the normal price range.

While those reasons may seem silly, it is true.

In fact, right on the Costco website, their explanation is:

It is standard practice at all our warehouse locations to verify purchase receipts when customers exit our buildings.

We do this to double-check that the items purchased have been correctly processed by our cashiers. It’s our most effective method of maintaining accuracy in inventory control, and it’s also a good way to ensure that our members have been charged properly for their purchases.


So, the next time you hand over that receipt at Costco, just know, that employee is probably doing you a favor! Oh and a smiley face or doodle on the receipt never hurts either!

What do the different color Costco receipts mean?

  1. Yellow receipt = entry biz receipt: food stand, pharmacy, optical center, tire center or photo center
  2. Green receipt = return receipt
  3. Blue receipt = self check out
  4. White receipt = regular Costco receipt color

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  1. there in another reason costgo does this. some people buy things stored in the controlled storeroom (jewelry, electronics) and then leave without picking them up.