One of the joys of shopping at Costco is the chain’s tendency to give out free samples of the products it’s selling.
These “free sample” stations are a popular area of internet discussion. One TikTok user filmed themselves reviewing a variety of free samples. Others have simply complained about how they feel the free sample policy has changed over the years, with that discussion recently coming to a head after a different, unmanned style of “free sample” kiosk began appearing in stores.
While this is not official policy, there does not appear to be a limit on the number of free samples one can take. However, that doesn’t mean that actually getting them will always be easy.
TikTok user @bayareafoodz recently demonstrated this in a video with over 52,000 views. The TikToker shows himself being called out for reaching for a sample too early.
“It will be there when it’s ready,” an employee says after the TikToker reaches to take a sample. “I’m serving right now, sir. It is hot, so you can’t just take it.”
The item in question is Better Than Bouillon, a popular base. The sample appears to simply be broth.
“I ain’t want one no more,” the TikToker says in response to the employee’s statements. Later, he jokingly adds, “I’m scared that she might beat me up. I thought she was ready to hand it to me.”
The TikToker and another person then walk away, with the TikToker considering another sample before deciding against it.
“I need to learn better costco etiquettes lol i was so embarrassed,” the TikToker writes in the caption. “I thought she was handing it to me im sorry.”
In the comments section, some users tried to explain the woman’s behavior.
“I was a lunch lady for my first job. Can’t hand it out cus she’ll have to change gloves every time. Tray is to prevent cross contamination,” detailed a user.
“Yay I learned you have to wait for them to finish putting all samples on tray before grabbing 1,” added another.
@bayareafoodz I need to learn better costco etiquettes lol i was so embarrassed 😂 i thought she was handing it to me im sorry #bayareafoodz #costcosamples ♬ original sound – Bayareafoodz
Some users simply shared their Costco experience.
“Sam’s club sample lady slapped my fiancé hand away,” said a commenter. “I was laughing for like 20 min.”
“I had a lady ask me where my parents were and I was like… girl I’m 24? TF…?” recalled a second.
Update 7:42am CT, Dec. 28: In an email to the Daily Dot, the TikToker said he was “surprised” by the interaction.
“I thought she was going to hand me the sample, but when I reached out her response was as if I was doing something wrong which I didn’t mean to,” he wrote. “Also, her words weren’t very polite and made me uncomfortable as she explained to me the process, that the item was hot and assumed I was trying to take it from her.”
“I’m a single male so I don’t usually shop at Costco; however, I organized my first toy drive event this year and wanted to award a free PlayStation 5 for best report card giveaway, so I decided to shop at Costco for their bundle package,” he added. “Me, being a food reviewer/content creator, I was interested in tasting the free samples following my friend. After the interaction I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable so I decided not to bother with the samples and cut my shopping experience short.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Costco via media request form.