It's almost too easy to make an entire lunch out of free Costco samples. But will the employees judge you for it? Turns out, they're not judging you as much as you think they are, and they have more tips up their sleeves to help you get the best sample-eating experience possible. Costco employees who have managed the popular counters have spilled their secrets on Reddit, and there are a few things they want you to know the next time you're passing the free-sample section pretending to shop for your favorite Costco groceries.
Avoid the crowd by not going on Sundays.
"Try to avoid coming on Sunday. Everyone and their dog comes into Costco on Sunday, usually after church. Unless you enjoy waiting for ten minutes in a crowd of people, of course."
But if you don't mind the lines, the weekends have the best options.
According to one employee, the best time to go for Costco samples is the weekend. "Saturdays and Sundays will always have the most. If you want unlimited amounts of samples and no lines go on a Monday or Tuesday, but there are less to choose from. On the weekends go right around 1 or 2 p.m. because all shifts are out at that time. If you don't feel like you have eaten a full meal through sampling, you're not doing it right."
They're not judging you if you take more than one — most of the time.
Feel free to take a couple . . . just don't overdo it. "You can have more than one sample. Really. You don't need to ask. As long as you don't shove an entire tray of cookies down your shirt, feel free."
Yes, people really have taken the whole tray.
"Once I was giving out Ferrero Rocher and this 15-year-old took nine trays worth. That was 63 candies and about 50 bucks worth of product, right into his pockets." Technically, the employees can't say "no" to you. "We can't say no. It's worth our job to tell someone they can't have something."
If you take more than one sample, take the time to listen to the sales pitch.
"We are obligated to try to sell our samples to you, not just give them out for free. If you're going to take a sample, and especially if you take two, just humor us and listen to our little speech."
Employees can be fired for eating samples on the job.
One customer asked a question we're all wondering: do employees ever eat their own samples? One employee responded, "Oh of course, but only when I'm on my break. At my store you can be fired for eating a sample while you're working."
Costco is really strict about keeping the stations clean.
For anyone wondering about the cleanliness of Costco sample areas, rest assured the company has strict rules. "We have annoyingly strict hygiene policies. All the equipment is sanitized before we use it, we change our gloves every five minutes, and any time a member touches something they aren't supposed to, we throw it away or change it for something clean."
Remember to say "thank you!"
"There's nothing nicer you can do than say 'thank you.' You'd be surprised how many people just waddle over to us, shove things in their mouth, and stumble away. We thrive on the rare times people treat us like human beings and not human vending machines."