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Here’s why Sam’s Club and Costco check your receipts as you leave the store

sam's club
Sam's Club

If you shop at warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club, you know that you never put your receipt in your purse or pocket as soon as you get it. Why? There will likely be someone waiting to check it at the door before you can leave.

Obviously, these employees are just hoping to catch you smuggling out 40 rolls of toilet paper, right? Not exactly.

The reason for checking receipts at the exit isn’t just about with stealing. In fact, the purpose is also to help the customer, both warehouse stores say.

MORE: 8 Things You Should not Buy At Costco And Sam’s Club

According to Costco, the practice of checking receipts is to “double-check that the items purchased have been correctly processed by our cashiers.”

Costco says checking receipts is the most effective method they have of “maintaining accuracy in inventory control,” which in turn ensures that their members are charged properly and there were no mistakes with the checkout process.

Costco Wholesale Location

MORE: Costco is cracking down on people who share their memberships

Sam’s Club gives roughly the same reason for checking receipts, telling Simplemost that having an exit greeter is an opportunity for the customer to speak to an employee before leaving in case they had any issues they need resolved.

It is also helpful for the store’s Scan & Go App, which allows you to scan the items you’re buying as you shop and avoid the line and cashier. You could, however, easily forget to scan something or scan something twice by accident, but if that is caught, you could end up saving money.

“At Sam’s Club, we are member obsessed,” the company told Simplemost in a statement. “That means ensuring our members have a delightful experience from the time they enter to the time they exit the club. During the receipt check, exit greeters ensure that experience was met with an additional touchpoint while also reviewing purchased items and receipts.”

Sam's Club app

The exit greeter experience seems to be going away, however, as Sam’s Club will be doing away with the manual receipt checks in 2024, instead opting for new technology that uses artificial intelligence to scan your cart as you walk out the door. The new scanning technology uses AI and computer vision technology to “see” carts and verify your payment. It works for both paper receipts from the traditional checkout or if you used the Sam’s Club app to buy what’s in your cart.

MORE: You can get a whole case of 144 ready-to-bake cookies at Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club says the main benefit of the new technology include speeding up the process, as you will no longer have to wait for an employee to look at your receipt — you simply walk through the scanner on your way out the door. The company says the technology will also free up their employees that typically work as exit greeters to help customers find items, answer questions or help out with any other problems.

The new technology is currently being used at 10 locations, with the warehouse club saying it will be expanding to all 600 stores by the end of the year.

New scanner to check receipts at Sam's Club

MORE: Costco And Sam’s Club Go Head To Head—And The Winner Is…

Do you shop at warehouse clubs? If you’re not already a member, you can get a Costco membership for $60 a year right now, or join Sam’s Club for $50 a year.

About the Author

Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a degree in journalism and psychology. Along with Don't Waste Your Money, she also writes for Simplemost, where she covers new product and food launches and overall general news. You can email her at kaitlingateswrites@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/KaitlinGatesWrites. More.

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