What You Need To Know About Costco's 'Go-Back' Cart

Sure, we've all been there — stocking our shopping carts with things we want, and changing our minds on certain items during the shopping trip. Or maybe seeing the final bill at the register and realizing that the "eyes were bigger than the stomach." In this case, shopping desires are too big for the wallet. 

Regardless, if you find yourself regularly changing your mind at the register, or while shopping, then maybe take this into consideration. Every time you decide to put an item back on a shelf where it doesn't belong, it's more work for employees to hunt down these misplaced items throughout the store and put them where they do belong.

Applying this mentality is even worse when online shopping. According to Drip, the average cart abandonment is 69% across all industries, resulting in a loss of $18 billion in online sales revenue. While these companies don't have to deal with necessarily putting these items "back on the shelves" where they belong since they didn't go in physical carts, the same mentality applies here. Abandoning items, both in-store and online, is annoying and does cause unnecessary work and waste.

Here's where Costco's "go-back" cart comes in.

Costco's go-back cart is there for a good reason

Listen, there is nothing wrong with changing your mind, even if it comes down to the minutes before checking out. And if there's any grocery store that understands this, it's Costco.

Did you know that Costco has a whole cart dedicated to your changed mind of not wanting to buy certain items anymore? According to Insider, Costco usually always has a "go-back" cart located near the check-out registers that allows customers to put any items they don't want anymore in it. And if you don't use this, employees might get annoyed.

"Obviously we understand that sometimes you might not want an item anymore — that's perfectly fine. But it is way better and easier on us if you put the item in the 'go-back' cart at the register or bring the item with you to checkout and just let us know you don't want it anymore," Tess Robison, a Costco employee said.

While you probably won't lose your Costco membership by not using the "go-back" cart, there are real reasons to utilize it.

The go-back cart is handy for shoppers and employees

Clearly, customers might change their minds about certain items while shopping. And it's not unusual that while strolling down the aisles one might put a cereal box next to the soda, exactly where it doesn't belong. The same goes for handing the cashier multiple items that you changed your mind about. The go-back cart is there, right near the registers, for that exact reason.

This idea especially rings true for refrigerated or frozen items. These items are obviously kept cold for a reason, so carelessly placing them on a regular shelf where they can get spoiled and leak water among surrounding dry items and food is a big no-no. "It's especially annoying when members leave cold or frozen items in hidden places and by the time an employee finds it the item has spoiled. This costs us more money, time, and energy when members do this rather than just bringing the item up with them to checkout," Robison said (via Insider).

Think of the handy go-back cart as just another benefit that comes along with holding a Costco membership, making it easier for customers who change their minds and for employees, too. We say shop smarter, not harder.