Here's what Costco workers are actually looking for when they check your receipt at the exit

Tim Boyle/Getty ImagesWhat’s that final receipt check about?

Since it first opened its doors in 1983, Costco has become one of America’s favourite retailers, a place not just to get your favourite items but to get them in bulk.

Die-hard fans, regular shoppers, and Costco members will probably have noticed one curious thing about the checkout process at the stores, however. Even after cashiers have rung up their orders, bagged their purchases, and customers are almost out the door, there’s still one more receipt check just before the final exit.

So what’s this last receipt check all about? Business Insider reached out to a number of Costco employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, to get the scoop on that final receipt read-through.

Read more: 13 things you can get at Costco for under $US10

In the broadest terms, a Costco employee of one year said, “it is to make sure you have what you paid for, but it is also to make sure you don’t have what you did not pay for.”

More specifically, however, another elaborated that Costco employees are checking for the following things when customers leave the store:

  1. A code on the top and bottom of the receipt that changes daily so employees know the receipt was, indeed, printed that day.
  2. The item count on the bottom of the receipt to make sure there were no under or over charges.
  3. High-end items such as jewellery, stamps, electronics, or items over $US300, which need supervisors’ initials on them.
  4. Large items like tissue and water, which have various signifiers on the receipt to ensure final checks include a look at the bottom of the basket.

One Costco Canada employee recounted an attempted theft while doing this final receipt check. Someone exiting the store attempted to steal, “a produce box full of clothes,” the employee said.

“He was walking very quick past me, and I quickly asked him if he had a receipt for the clothes. He said, ‘my wife has it and is waiting in the car.’ I asked him to leave the clothes here with me until he gets the receipt, and he gave me a hard time until he started seeing my manager walk towards me – he threw the box on the ground and bolted out the store.”

Clearly, for customers and employees alike, this one last check of Costco shoppers’ receipts is key!

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