Woman goes ‘secret shopping’ at Costco, is asked to spy on sample givers

@eldestmillenial/TikTok Sundry Photography/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I don’t want anyone to get in trouble’: Secret shopper heads to Costco. She gets asked to spy on the sample givers

‘I feel really bad now…’


Melody Heald


Secret shoppers are workers who masquerade as customers to observe a business. Their focus is to watch how company employees interact with customers and evaluate their customer service and the quality of items. Afterward, they write out an evaluation and send it to their job. TikTok user @eldestmillenial takes her 1.2 million followers on her secret shopping adventure at Costco in a viral video.

Before embarking on her journey, the content creator sits in her car, revealing the itinerary as a secret shopper. “I’m going to be auditing all of the sample people. So, I literally have to, like, every single sample station and see how they’re displaying and interacting with people and if they try to get a crowd together and how they talk to me. I have to, like, covertly take pictures,” she says. “So, come with me, and let’s do this.”

Secret shopper at Costco tests samplers

When she walks inside, @eldestmillenial scours the area in search of sample workers. To her disappointment, she has no luck.

“Alright, I found a second one and even though my instructions is to come between 11 and 4, it’s almost 12 and they’re still not ready. They’re still, like, getting set up,” she says, wandering through the store. After an unknown amount of time, the content creator got her first sample from a worker named Dot. “My first sample was gummy bears. They were delicious but they didn’t interact whatsoever or make eye contact or offer me anything,” she critiques. “I feel really bad now. I don’t want anyone to get in trouble.”

However, things turned around after the content creator had the pizza. “The cauliflower pizza and Natalie were amazing,” she said. There is something Natalie did that stood out. “She actually talked to people and they were some folks who were autistic that were here shopping with their caretakers and they asked for some more and she gave it to them five times. That was very sweet,” she shares. 

Next is the Italian dressing. “Alright, there was an Olive Garden Italian dressing and it came with a salad and chicken and it was really good,” she says. Then, @eldestmillenial gives her thoughts on the coffee. “The coffee lady was really sweet and an older lady,” she says. “I don’t know her name. Her name tag was flipped the wrong way but she was cute. She’s very nice and told me how she would’ve made the coffee at home.”

Finally, she reveals her final review inside her car. “Overall, so much fun. I love Costco but I just hate dealing with people cause it’s really crowded even on a Wednesday at noon.” However, @eldestmillenia has a negative opinion of the customers; not the workers. “And people are very, in my opinion, disrespectful. They don’t say ‘excuse me,’ cut you off, push right through you, and just act like you’re not there,” she says. “Other than that, I love it,” she concludes. 

@eldestmillenial elaborates more about the customers in the caption, “Come on my first ever mystery shop at Costco and audit their sample employees. Also the shoppers hovering for samples are so annoying, and I’m reminded of why I hate being in public.”

@eldestmillenial Come on my first ever mystery shop at Costco and audit their sample employees. Also the shoppers hovering for samples are so annoying, and Im reminded of why I hate being in public. #mysteryshop #mysteryshopping #costco #costcotiktok ♬ original sound – Eldest Millenial

In the comments section, viewers sympathized with @eldestmillenial. The video garnered over 210,000 views.

“I’m not a mystery shopper, but I pretend I am with every customer service experience I have,” one viewer wrote.

“I love costco but the crowds always stress me out too, and the fact that everyone has their own shopping etiquette rules that sometimes clash with others’ rules,” a second commented.

On the other hand, some self-described mystery shoppers enjoyed the job.

“I signed up to be a mystery shopper too because of Kayla on here. But I haven’t done one yet. I’m nervous lol,” one user revealed.

“I’m doing my first mystery [shop] tomorrow! Mattress Firm and Wendy’s. I’m nervous!” a second stated.

Even viewers asked how to become a mystery shopper themselves.

How to sign up to be a secret shopper

There are different websites to choose from, such as Secret Shopper, and Market Force. Just click “Become a shopper” on Secret Shopper and “Sign up to shop” on Market Force. From there, you fill out their application on their website and go from there.

The Daily Dot reached out to @eldestmillenial via TikTok comment and direct message as well as Costco via media contact form.

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot