Why Most Costco Locations Don't Have Self-Checkout Stations, According To Reddit

Costco is one of those places that never seems to not be crowded. But if you've ever been to Costco during primetime — like on a Sunday afternoon or a weeknight after 5 p.m. when everyone's just gotten off work — you are likely all too familiar with how much of a zoo it turns into. The aisles are a maze of shoppers searching for items that are intentionally hard to find. The checkout lines are cart after cart laden with groceries, toiletries, household items, pet food, and assorted other must-haves. MyRecipes contributor Stacey Ballis claimed to have observed firsthand how busy Costco can get and declared, "Weekends are madness, full-stop. Avoid when at all possible." With some 4,000 products to choose from on the shelves, the average customer is thought to spend $114 per trip (via Insider).

It's moments like these — when you've been standing in a long Costco line for what feels like hours — that you might ask yourself, "Why doesn't Costco offer self-scanning devices like many stores do these days?" You aren't the only one wondering that. A recent Reddit thread revealed why some people think you won't find self-checkout stations at most Costco locations across the country. (Costco declined to comment to Mashed on the state of self-checkout and self-scanning devices at its stores.)

Some Redditors claimed Costco was losing inventory with self-checkout stations

While self-checkout stations might benefit customers — you'll get in and out of the store faster — they might not be so beneficial for Costco as a business. In a Reddit thread about why most Costco locations no longer have a Self Scan checkout option, the original poster said it "was ended due to inventory loss." That means that customers were taking advantage of the system and stealing merchandise through the Self Scan. "This is why we can't have nice things," one person commented, while another hypothesized it was "most likely due to people scanning cheaper items to get the right count, but putting more expensive but similar items in the cart."

Yet Costco's competitors BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club both currently have self-scan and express checkout options, which some Redditors say give the other stores an edge over Costco because they allow customers to skip lines. It's worth noting that while Costco doesn't seem to have self-scan scanners, it apparently has some self-service lanes. And more could be coming to the popular retailer at some point. Costco's customer service page says, "We have implemented the use of self-service lanes at select locations and may expand to more warehouses in the future."