Get Through The Costco Checkout Line In A Flash With This Timesaving Tip

Costco shoppers often demonstrate a fierce loyalty to the big box store, and social media accounts attest to many members' obsession with all things Costco. But if there's one thing members are not so fired up about, it's the checkout lines. Costco is one of those places that somehow, always seems crowded. For instance, Costco's crowded parking lots can be difficult to navigate, with some locations worse than others.  

In addition, Costco has no express lines for people who are only purchasing a few things, so the shopping experience is always capped off by the daunting prospect of facing the checkout line. While there is no easy solution, there are some ways of speeding up the process. It helps to understand that Costco's cashiers must start the process by scanning your membership card. So it pays to have your card readily available when you start loading things on the belt. The last thing you want to do is fumble for your membership card in your wallet or purse once you made it to the front. 

While Costco has gone digital and offers a digital membership card on the app, many people still prefer a physical card. Fortunately, there's a perfect place to store it while unloading your shopping cart. 

How to check out faster

To smooth things along even further, you can use the divider bar as your shopping ally. By flipping it upside down, it becomes a perfect little card holder for your membership card. Putting your card in the divider guarantees that it will be available to the cashier — and that it will be the first thing they see when it's time to start scanning your purchases.

Another idea is to place the barcodes of all your items facing up so there's less time fiddling with your purchases and more time moving your new stuff into your cart. Some Costcos also feature a self-checkout option, which can ease the pain of the process. But be warned that self-checkout is not an option in all stores, since self-checkout stations sometimes pose inventory control issues. 

You might wonder why Costco doesn't have express lanes for customers with only a dozen or fewer things in their carts. It's part of a deliberate strategy on the company's behalf to make the process fast for all customers, and not waste cashiers' time. Fortunately, you can save a few precious seconds or minutes by having your membership card ready. Your fellow shoppers will thank you.