Unpopular Opinions About Costco That Make You Think

Human beings have created a lot of hot takes, spicy opinions, and superheated complaints. Now, that being the case, not every one of these dissenting arguments is worth your time or attention. For instance, according to a poll by Gallup, four percent of respondents believed that Elvis Presley was still alive in 1999. To be clear, Elvis definitely died on August 16, 1977. 

However, every so often, someone will come up with an unpopular opinion that still makes a valid point. In the world of grocery shopping and food, quite a good number of those calls are about the iconic warehouse chain Costco.

Yup, that's right. While this corporation has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, some of their patrons have thrown controversial beliefs about them into the internet ring. Furthermore, not all of these arguments are absolute trash. Indeed, there are a few of them that are actually worth pondering. But what could these opinions possibly be? Well, hold onto your metaphorical tastemaker hats, folks, because we're about to chow down on some spiced up Costco takes that are bound to make you think twice.

One Twitter user felt Costco treated them like a criminal

If you had to choose between exiting a Costco and escaping from an alligator-infested prison, you'd hopefully choose to leave the place that sells groceries. Nevertheless, while this is surely preferable to the gators, leaving one Costco can be slightly more complicated and frustrating than departing other stores. This is because Costco requires that you show them your shopping receipt on the way out of a joint.

But why does Costco do this? In SFGate, a store's general manager outlined his company's apparent reasoning. "It's pretty simple," he stated. "We want to make sure they're not getting overcharged and they're not getting undercharged." Heuer also claimed that this practice wasn't about accusing customers of any wrongdoing. "It's not to target shoplifters," he said. "Invariably that could happen without someone paying for something, but if there's an extra item in their basket, that's not their fault. That's our fault."

It appears as if many Costco employees and customers support this policy. In a Reddit thread about how they check each customer's receipt, multiple users all seemed to support this measure. Yet some have legitimate grievances here. On Twitter, Kerry Lebel wrote that they don't like showing their receipt when exiting a Costco because it makes them feel like a criminal. Lebel then alleged that this establishment doesn't even check their list properly for potential discrepancies. If Costco employees aren't even that committed to the practice, is it all that necessary anymore?

Some people wonder if bulk buying at Costco is always worth it

Costco has garnered a good reputation for selling some of its food in bulk. In an article on Good Cheap Eats, Jessica Fisher declared, "I buy a lot of food. A lot. There are some things that it just doesn't make sense to buy in small packages. The bulk buying — and the bulk pricing — [at Costco] really works for me." Better Home and Gardens also reported that "Costco is the place to go if you want to save money by buying in bulk."

However, not everyone is a total fan of these item's sizes. "It's not that I hate Costco," admitted a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News. "It's that 12 of the 14 cans of tomato sauce I impulsively purchased at the store two years ago are still in my cupboard [...] Costco's prices are generally lower, but overspending and being unable to eat the massive portions before they go bad could erase those gains."

While the take presented in the Los Angeles Daily News isn't necessarily a popular one, it's definitely worth considering. If you're buying a lot of food and not getting through all of it before the dread expiration date arrives, then you're clearly wasting your dough. So, Costco shoppers, it could be worth rummaging through all of your pantry cupboards and drawers to check your own stocks and see if you're really getting your money's worth.

A few people have blasted Costco's long lines

While Costco is lauded for a lot of different reasons, a large number of people just aren't a fan of its queues. On Twitter, one user called Costco's checkout lines "terrifyingly long" and advocated for an app-based solution. And on the same platform, What's On Liverpool joked that "There's queues. And there are @Costco queues." These commentators aren't just lone voices in the world of internet complaints. Consumer Reports surveyed over 26,000 of its readers about their retail experiences at ten differing chains, finding that some of their respondents claimed that Costco's checkout queues were too big to be endured for very long.

Having said that, not everyone agrees with this consensus. For instance, Rather-Be-Shopping mentioned the Consumer Reports' findings before expressing their own Costco line opinion. "I actually think this one has gotten better in recent years as many smart Costco shoppers avoid the weekend if at all possible," they wrote. "Unless of course, they shop late in the afternoon on a Sunday during the NFL season when the warehouse is practically empty." 

Thus, if you hate standing in a human traffic jam at your local Costco, you should avoid weekend shopping trips at nearly all costs. Better yet, this strategy may even allow you to spend more time unwinding on the weekend instead of slowly losing your mind in an endless line.

Costco's return policy garners plenty of critique

According to a lot of folks on the internet, Costco has a pretty glorious return policy. For instance, both Huffington Post and RetailMeNot claims that Costco has one of the best return policies amongst similar retail centers. So, what exactly makes Costco's return policy worth remarking upon? Well, a consumer analyst named Julie Ramhold told Huffington Post, "For most items, you can return anything at any time, no matter how long it's been since you purchased it." In fact, some stores don't even need your original receipt to complete a return.

Yet, even though this return policy may seem absolutely stellar, Business Insider has some issues with it. Firstly, it's possible that ill-intentioned people can easily take advantage of this laissez-faire return policy. People really have tried to score some pretty wild Costco returns, from twigs to used toilets. Furthermore, some stores told Business Insider that they'll cancel your membership if you return too many items, while others said that they won't. Costco's response here isn't completely consistent, even when patrons are trying to fleece the store. 

Still, if too many people abuse this system, then Costco might go ahead and change their return policy. A few bad eggs could very well ruin a good thing. After all, in 2019, L.L. Bean said that they were terminating their lifetime return policy because a small number of its customers were giving back their old and clearly very used merchandise (via Business Insider).

Costco's pizzas aren't universally loved

If you're craving a slice of cheesy Italian food glory, then there are a plethora of places you can head to. And one of those joints is a Costco food court, which many believe sells top-notch pizza. In 2018, The Sage exclaimed that Costco's pizzas are "the perfect thickness with perfect proportions of cheese, bread, sauce, and toppings." Adding to the acclaim, Business Insider wrote that "There's nothing better than grabbing a $1.99 slice of pizza at Costco [...] By the end of your journey, the perfectly browned cheese and crispy crust on every mouthwatering slice is a well-earned treat."

Nevertheless, there are some patrons that just don't get all the hubbub over the much-adored Costco pizza. On the Unpopular Opinions subreddit, one user claimed that Costco's pizzas don't have any flavor and that they possess a one note texture.  "It's not even comparably cheap either," they said. "I can go to dominos or pizza hut for the same price and even though they have mediocre pizza, it's much better than costco's."

So, if you ever have a chance to taste-test a Costco slice, be honest with yourself. Is it actually all that good, or are you just buying into the hype? Perhaps that pizza contrarian is on to something, after all. You might even decide to never spend your pie bucks there again.

A Twitter user wasn't taken with Costco's oversized bears

In 2014, Seattle Refined reported that Costco would start selling teddy bears so gigantic that they would loom over anyone shorter than Andre the Giant. Shortly after their debut, these seven-foot beasts became downright iconic. They even starred in a segment on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, for one. Seemingly everyone loves these teddy giants. When Fatherly discussed this Costco product, they said, "Kids love teddy bears of all different shapes and sizes. That's no secret. If you're looking for a stuffed bear that's loved by all, however, look no further than Costco's famous giant teddy bear."

But while there is a multitude of people that love these stuffed animals, there are also some critics of this product out there with some valid points. On Twitter, one of the site's members wrote, "Ok those big Costco bears are so overrated. They're heavy, impossible to cuddle, and take over the entire bed." Therefore, if you're thinking about getting a seven-foot bear for your household, maybe consider if you can actually move it or if you really have enough room. Sometimes, the spectacle just isn't worth wrangling with practicality.

Some people really don't like Costco's hot dogs

Over the years, many people and major news outlets have commended Costco's hot dog game. Yup, even The Washington Post stated that Costco really has the "best store-bought hot dog in America." Meanwhile, Business Insider said that the mega store's hot dogs are simply "just better" than four other major chain offerings. These reporters are not the only ones who believe that Costco sells excellent hot dogs. On Twitter, a user there declared, "Everytime I get a #Costco hot dog & soda it tastes like THE best $1.50 I ever spent in my life." Plenty of shoppers flock to the reportedly delicious Costco hot dogs day after day, surely cementing its high hot dog rank.

However, on the show Good Mythical Morning, hosts Link Neal and Rhett McLaughlin gave this item a surprising negative review after trying one while blindfolded. "That tastes awful," McLaughlin baldly stated. "I feel like this is the rejected meat from other hot dogs." The pair agreed that the skin of a Costco hot dog is too thin, the middle is too thick, and the overall dog is just too big. After taking a bite into Costco's iconic staple and expressing his thoughts, Neal awarded it a paltry four out of 10.

Some of Costco's samples aren't so coveted

Inside of the walls of an open Costco, you might be able to find some of their vaunted free food samples that are revered by a lot of folks. In 2017, Delish said that "Half the reason to purchase a Costco membership is the free samples." Moreover, later that same year, Don't Waste Your Money echoed Delish's sentiments by claiming, "One of the best things about taking a trip to Costco — besides the chance to shop in bulk — are the unlimited free samples."

This info notwithstanding, there's at least one person out there who has declared that not every free sample is worth your time. In 2016, one Twitter user questioned why Costco was dishing out lentils, a product which they truly disliked. Now, you might be a fan of lentils, but nevertheless, this person raises a query that's worth considering. This query being, "Is receiving a terrible freebie truly better than getting nothing at all?" Plus, it's just plain odd that Costco would be offering up some cooked lentils instead of more popular options. So, the next time you're lining up for a subpar-looking sample, it could worth asking yourself if the mere fact that something is free is worth the taste of an odd and ultimately unwanted snack.

Costco's gas stations can cause harmful traffic jams

If you're a Costco ultra-fan, then there's a chance that you really vibe with this corporation's gas stations. Of course, you'd be far from the only person to do so. In Readers Digest, Morgan Cutolo stated that "the one thing that tops the list for the majority of their customers is the low Costco gas price. In fact, Costco's gas prices are the lowest in many states."

Nevertheless, not everyone is a fan of these gas stations. In 2011, the Toronto Star reported that some Scarborough, Ontario residents were unhappy about the fact that was one built in their area. This is because they correctly foresaw that it would create traffic jams, thanks to the high demand for low priced gas. "I told them I didn't think it was a good idea," declared local councillor Michael Thompson. "I didn't think there was sufficient space there, and I felt it would have a negative impact on the community with too many people wanting to buy gas causing congestion."

Therefore, if you enjoy fueling up for cheap at a Costco gas station, take a moment to think about how these joints can impact their surroundings. There's a chance that the one that you head to is hurting a local community just by contributing to frustrating gridlock. Is cheap gas really worth it if it's ruining another person's day?

Costco employees don't always feel like family

In 2018, Business Insider reported that multiple Costco workers felt like their fellow employees were their kin. "I love how everyone is your family," an interviewee noted. "I spend a majority of my life at work, so I see them more than my actual family." And another noted, "Most of us feel like a family. Brothers and sisters working as a team."

Yet, while these individual employees might feel this way, some folks have claimed that Costco hasn't consistently looked after everyone who works for the shopping chain. In a 2008 article published by Bohemian, P. Joseph Potocki exposed the fact that this chain's sample dispensers received low pay-rates. In fact, some sample employees weren't even official Costco workers. That's correct, these in-house demonstrators were paid less than the chain's legitimate staff members and were employed by either Warehouse Demo Services or Club Demonstration Services. They also receive far fewer benefits than Costco employees.

"We are poverty-level paid employees," said one worker. And a different in-house demonstrator expressed a similar sentiment, saying "We got nothing. No overtime for working Sundays. No Christmas bonus. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing." Potocki also declared that Costco was negatively impacting the lives of these workers by acquiring their labor without hiring them. In the final line of their article, they wrote, "Is this any way to treat family?"

Some shoppers really like Canadian Costco's chocolate milk

If you were to go on a scrumptious adventure to taste and rank the world's chocolate milk brands, then you'd potentially head to any number of places. You might end up in Kansas drinking Hildebrand Farms' Dairy Chocolate Milk, a beverage that afoolzerrand declared was  full of "perfectly executed malty flavor." Or, you'd try a bottle of Vitasoy's soy-based version in New Zealand, which The Spinoff called, "Everything [you] have ever needed from a chocolate milk." However, there's a chance that you wouldn't go to a Canadian Costco, though a lone Twitter user exclaimed that the Canadian Costco locations have chocolate milk that's well worth your time.

As Twitter user Tyler Harper reported, "Hot take: Costco (in Canada) has the best chocolate milk. (In Canada)." Now sadly, this account didn't explain why these dessert beverages are a step above the rest of its competitors. So, if you ever find yourself in a Canadian Costco, you should maybe think about giving this chocolate milk a whirl. Will you love its flavor, or will your findings disagree with this unpopular Twitter opinion? Perhaps you'd like to report back for the edification of everyone else. Certainly, if you're curious and local to a Canadian Costco, there's only one way to find out if this hot take is worth taking seriously.