We’re ex-Costco employees – the things you should never buy & a gross shopping habit that will make staff judge you | The Sun

NEXT time you visit Costco, you can skip several aisles that might be on your list – and stay away from a popular part of the store that will raise employees' eyebrows.

According to former staff members, specific items in the food, automotive, and home goods sections aren't worth buying.

Ex-employees of the warehouse megastore have shared their shopping advice all over the internet, and the best tips were compiled from multiple threads and videos by Best Life Online.

A clear trend emerged from the reports: every dedicated shopper knows the best deals at Costco, but few realize their behavior frequently makes store staff cringe.

That includes shopping with food in hand, a common practice for anyone who loves Costco's affordable, accessible food court area.

Eating while shopping is one activity store staff will "judge" shoppers for, the outlet reported, citing a former employee who shared their ire on Reddit.

Some staffers said it's not just customers pushing carts around who they've spotted with hot dogs and other items.

"I saw a lady and her daughter eating pizza on a display couch two days ago," one person wrote. "Yikes!"

"I've only done it once and I felt weird doing it," another admitted.

There's one exception to this "unwritten rule," which is the free samples you'll find at stations throughout the store. Those bite-sized portions are meant to be eaten, so snack away.

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When it comes to finding the best deals, there are a few specific purchases you're better off making at your local grocery or supermarket.

The first is ground coffee, which many caffeine lovers might be tempted to stock up on. But employees warn that bulk-buying this staple is a waste of time, according to Best Life.

"You won't use it before it goes bad," the outlet explained. "They say the same thing about spices, which come in enormous amounts."

Weirdly enough, the other grocery item to avoid at Costco is bottled water, though it's actually a specific brand you need to keep out of your cart.

"While Costco's in-house Kirkland brand is famous for selling everything from vodka to button downs, one Redditor described the bottled water as 'musty,' as opposed to name brand bottled water," the outlet explained.

In fact, shoppers have raised a stink about the weird-smelling water, too, with several social media users calling the water "oily" or saying it smelled like a "fish tank."

Even if Kirkland is the bargain brand of your dreams, employees advise choosing a different brand of bottled water when you shop.

Book lovers should be aware that Costco's meager offerings aren't much to write home about.

You're more likely to find a selection of children's books than novels or nonfiction bestsellers, and what you do find will likely cost less at a specialty retailer, like your local indie bookstore or Barnes & Noble.

A Costco Tire Center employee also advised drivers steer clear of a popular in-store brand.

"​​I'd personally recommend avoiding Goodyear altogether," the employee shared on Reddit. "I know some of our stores sell them, but I will never put them on any car of mine."

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Instead, choose from the many other brands available in Costco's auto department.

If you need a recommendation, ask your friendly neighborhood Costco employee – it seems like they'll have plenty of shopping secrets to share.

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