The convenience of buying in bulk now comes with stricter barriers to access for some Costco shoppers.
In 2023, Costco ended its practice of sharing memberships between friends and family. Now, to further protect its membership program, some Costco locations are asking customers to scan their cards and prove their membership before they even enter the store.
In a video posted to TikTok that has drawn over 1.5 million views, a Texas-based content creator posting to the @costcotv account shared her experience of being asked to scan in at her local Costco store before asking an employee to clarify what the new policy is.
The video captures a sign indicating where customers can scan their membership cards to enter, as well as a store employee clarifying to the TikToker that cards must be scanned to access not only the regular shopping experience in Costco but the store’s iconic food court as well. Customers will not need to scan their cards to pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy, the employee says in the video.
“They have to tell us when they come in if it’s for pharmacy,” the employee says. She also says that the scan takes the place of checking for membership cards at self-checkout.
When the TikToker asks how customers are responding to the measure, the employee says most are responding positively.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @costcotv via Instagram direct message, as well as to Costco via contact form.
Some viewers shared frustration with the lack of ability to share memberships with family members.
“I get them not wanting people to share their cards with friends but as a college student who still lives at home and has been turned away from costco for using my parents card, this is extremely frustrating,” one commenter wrote.
“My mom and husband have a membership and I go with either one at times, I was not allowed to pay for my mom’s order even though we are in the same household,” another said. “I get their policy, but…. Really?”
“It shouldn’t even matter if you’re sharing your card with somebody else as long as they’re spending money in your store,” a further user argued.
@costcotv The change has arrived here in Texas! 🎉 Get used to it!👍 : : #costco #costcofinds#costcoshopping #costcotv #costcohaul #membership #fyp ♬ original sound – Costco TV
However, others wrote that they understood the need for tightening security when it comes to store memberships, which start at $60 per year.
“Still love Costco though! I don’t mind these extra measures, and will still continue to shop their warehouse,” one commenter wrote.
“I’m happy they are doing this,” another commented. “Food court used to not require membership and a it would be even more packed than it is now.”
“I see no problems here at all, well thought out,” a third shared.