21 Secrets Costco’s Free Sample Employees Wish You Knew
Yes, we see you coming back for seconds.
We know you come back more than once…
“I’ll have customers come up six times and ask me each time if I think [my sample] tastes good. Usually, around five or six, I’ll say, ‘You tell me!’” —a former Reddit user who spent six months as a Costco sample employee. Check out these amazing Costco shopping perks that only members know about.
…and yes, it’s ok
“Feel free to take more than one sample, especially if you take the time to talk with us. As long as you don’t take an entire tray or take three when there’s a crowd, you’re more than welcome to take multiple samples. Our job is to give them out, so don’t feel bad for taking them.” —Reddit user rivanio, a former Costco free sample employee
Don’t ask me where the bread is
“Costco rearranges their products almost daily. And the actual reason is because they want to provide a ‘treasure hunt atmosphere’ to their members. This leaves them wandering around aimlessly, and before they know it, their cart is full and they don’t know how it got that way. This is an actual Costco marketing scheme. We’ve all fallen victim to it.
“Because of this, we do know where the basic things are (milk, deli, chips, etc.), but they move everything else around as much as they can. This is why we’re usually clueless. Most actual Costco employees are clueless as well. They just send you in a direction with confidence. Whereas we’re honest with our cluelessness.” —Reddit user Number1dad, a former Costco free sample employee. Learn some more surprising secrets Costco employees aren’t telling you.
Working with all elderly people can be great
“I was one of the first younger people to get hired on at my store, so… I did [feel young] with all the elderly workers, but most of them were super cool! It was like I had 15 grandmas looking after me. I still go back and visit them regularly.” —Reddit user ROBaddict, who worked as a Costco free sample employee for two years
“I’m 20. The majority of my coworkers are 60-plus-year-old women. And they’re all golden girls. Love ’em.” —Number1dad
We know some of the samples are gross
“I had Lactose Free milk, which was awful, and no one tried it. Also, Purple Carrot baby food.. .no one will try either of them.” —former Reddit user. Gross samples are just a small portion of some of the bizarre things you didn’t know you could get at Costco.
Pressuring you to buy stuff makes us uncomfortable, too
“We have to [do that]. And if we seem forceful, a manager is nearby and watching us. We hate that part of the job.” —Number1dad
We’re never fully out of salesperson mode
“I’ve had a friend mention cinnamon bread… that I’ve sampled, and it sort of triggered something in my head and I accidentally starting talking to them as if they [were] a customer.” —former Reddit user
We don’t make more money if you sample more
“We could literally sell every unit Costco has of a product and we wouldn’t see a dime more. We get a pretty good hourly wage though… If we personally sell over the warehouse goal on average throughout a pay period (two weeks), we get scheduled more. If our warehouse (the sample team) collectively is above the warehouse goal, our supervisor gets a bonus. We do not get any monetary commission for doing well.” —rivanio. Here’s the truth about how much Costco employees get paid.
Yes, we do eat them
“Oh of course [I eat them], but only when I’m on my break. At my store, you can be fired for eating a sample while you’re working.” —former Reddit user