Costco customer speaking with caption 'no thank you' (l) Costco customer with receipt and card outside in front of Costco building (c) Costco customer speaking with caption 'because it messes up my ability to scan it in OCR' (r)

dennizn/Shutterstock @kerneldump/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I’ll throw it in the trash’: Costco shopper shares why he never lets workers check his receipts on the way out

‘Can't costco just choose to revoke your membership?’


Braden Bjella


Posted on Jul 19, 2023

A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after sharing how he avoids showing his receipt to checkout attendants at Costco.

For those who are unaware, some businesses like Walmart and Costco will check customers’ receipts as they exit the store. This can cause issues; for example, one customer claimed that an employee prevented them from leaving the store after they failed to show a receipt.

In a video with over 35,000 views, TikTok user @KernelDump reveals his reasons and methods for avoiding the receipt check.

@kerneldump You will have to pry my sales receipt out from my cold unalived hands. #LossPrevention #Costco #Receipt #OCR #Scanner #infosec #cybersecurity #socialengineering #kerneldump @@CryptoKnight ♬ original sound – KernelDump

In the video, the TikToker explains that he usually avoids the receipt check because he scans and logs all of his receipts. As receipt checkers can sometimes mark receipts with permanent markers, this can make the receipt scanning and logging process more difficult, as prices can be obscured.

At stores like Walmart, the TikToker says he simply walks past the receipt checker, which usually works without incident (Walmart employees have said that it is not policy to pursue someone who does not show their receipt).

However, while this method may work at Walmart, it does not work at Costco, as per the “terms and conditions of the membership, you have to surrender a receipt when asked by an employee.”

“That just eats me up inside, because I still don’t want to do it on principle,” @KernalDump says.

Instead of showing the receipt, the TikToker simply scans the receipt using his phone, then he’ll “rip up the receipt and…just throw it in the trash.”

This, he says, is effective in satisfying the employees in their need to check receipts while preventing them from marking his receipt and taking up more of his time. He also noted that, if an employee was truly concerned about whether the receipt was valid, they could take his information and look it up for themselves.

In the comments section, some users backed the TikToker up in his quest to not have his receipt checked.

“Haha and they are so concerned with loss and prevention but they won’t bother to go check if the receipt is real,” wrote a user.

“My problem is when there’s a really long line at Costco and the line is to get your receipt checked,” added another. “sorry I already paid I’m leaving.”

“tbh stores need to get off this check receipt thing and either pay for employees to do a job and or security if you really think theft is a prob,” shared a third.

That said, some commenters claimed that this trick won’t always work as planned.

“the thing about Costco and Sam’s club is you’re literally a member not a customer,” explained a commenter. “you have to do what they ask or you don’t get to be there.”

“Just a heads up as a Costco employee, I know our Costco would make you go to Membership and get another receipt printed,” detailed a second.

The Daily Dot reached out to Costco via media contact form and @KernelDump via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jul 19, 2023, 3:00 pm CDT