Comparing Costco To A Casino Couldn't Be More Accurate

While many food retailers use intense psychological tactics to make consumers stay longer and buy more, none appear to do it as well as Costco. At least, that's what's claimed by a recent TikTok, which seeks to expose the methods Costco employs to keep you present and disoriented enough to purchase hundreds of dollars of extra items you don't truly need.

According to the video, Costco's method follows a strategy similar to that of a casino. The company refrains from displaying clocks and offers no window views, forcing shoppers to forget what time it is. Furthermore, Costco provides many free samples, encouraging people to make additional, unnecessary purchases that weren't on their initial shopping lists.

This isn't just a coincidence, either. Per a write-up from Costco employees for Reader's Digest, the discount retailer frequently shifts its stock of staple items — eggs, milk, and bread — with the purpose of forcing customers to parse through aisles of highly-priced goods, like televisions and massage chairs, in order to reach basic shopping necessities. This echoes another classic casino tactic, which sees many such establishments designed to be intentionally difficult to navigate, in order to distract guests from predetermined goals and trick them into spending money longer than they originally planned. 

How to avoid falling for these tricks

Costco memberships are widely touted as money savers, helpful to those who wish to purchase groceries in bulk. However, Costco is able to employ casino tactics to entice those members into desiring Costco's wares more than they anticipated.


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♬ Quirky – Oleg Kirilkov

The TikToker behind this post claims the company knows "the average Costco shopper takes about an hour and spends an average of $114 per trip, meaning on average you spend $1.90 every minute you're on the premises." Therefore, if you're concerned about saving money in an enormous warehouse, it's important to go in with a clear head and a prewritten shopping list.

The comments section of this post is flooded with fellow TikTok users who agree their spending habits become unusually fluid when they enter a Costco. One user half-joked, "who's spending only $114 at Costco?! can guarantee that is ATLEAST doubled in Canada." Another shared, "Just yesterday my grandma and I went in for 2 things. TWO. 300$ trip."

For some shoppers, it may be a better idea to make online purchases through Costco's website, which allows for same-day shipping. This method could cause you to lose out on discounts and might not offer access to every single item on your shopping list, but it will surely prevent you from being lured into the depths of the warehouses' slick marketing. Good luck, and happy shopping!