Costco Wholesale - Real Pros and Cons | Glassdoor

Employee Review

Employee Review

Helpful (1302)

"Real Pros and Cons"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Cashier Assistant (Front End Assistant) in San Luis Obispo, CA
Current Employee - Cashier Assistant (Front End Assistant) in San Luis Obispo, CA
Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

I have been working at Costco Wholesale part-time (More than a year)

Pros

Very affordable high quality health insurance benefits even for PT employees. Great for working parents who split up child care and need coverage. The key to succeeding at Costco is to work hard, have a good attitude and be nice to people. It's hard work and fasted paced, you have to be down for that to succeed.

Cons

At this warehouse you are required to work 5 days per week, even if you are PT at 24 or so hours. This means lots of 4-5 hour shifts rather than fewer 8 hour shifts which is tough for those who commute a long distance to work or have to cover day care.

Advice to Management

Allow the PT staff at 24/hours per week or so to work 4/6 hour shifts or 3/8 hour shifts rather than 4 and 5 hour shifts. it gets expensive for those who commute a long distance to work or have to cover day care.

Other Employee Reviews

Other Employee Reviews

  1. Helpful (104)

    "Costco is awesome to shop at and work for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tire Technician in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Tire Technician in Fort Worth, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Costco Wholesale part-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I tell everybody that if you do not have a Degree or know a trade, or if you are going to school and need a part time job, you need to work at Costco. To anyone reading this considering working for Costco, know that you could be a part time cart pusher making $25/hr getting bonuses twice a year, with excellent insurance and a 401k. Getting sick/vaca, and all the benefits you can think off. Just for being a good retail employee.

    The best way to get in at Costco is you have to know someone already working there who can vouch for you. OR, do what I did and ask for the hiring manager and make sure they know your name and face. That way when they are hiring, and they see your name, they can schedule an interview. Costco main hiring season is March/April. They also hire extra seasonal temporary employees in October. But just know that they can just let you go in January when seasonal position is done. It is a temp job. BUT when March comes around, you can ask for the hiring manager and let him know you worked there seasonal and loved it and want a permanent position. It is best to create a relationship with either the dept manager or hiring manager while working seasonal so they remember you when permanent positions open up.

    You start off making $13, IF you can get in. You get benefits (incl. sick/vaca) after your 9 month probation. The thing about Costco, if you are reliable and a good worker, meaning you aren't calling in, hardly late, and give excellent customer service, you will make it past your probation. Its that easy. So as long as you make it past your probation period, you will make it at Costco. Costco does not keep bad employees. They have a strict tardy/sick call policy. They have a strict attitude policy. You cannot go to work with a bad attitude and show it. Hint, that's why every time you go to Costco, everyone seems like they love their job. its easy and Costco takes care of them.

    You get raises based on the amount of hours you work, not by your work ethics like most companies. Like I said earlier, if you are employed at Costco, there is no reason you aren't a good worker or have good work ethics. So raises are based on amount of hours you work. they reward based on how much time you put in. Typically its 50 cents for the first 3 or raises then its $1 after that. Top out pay is near $25. That's how you can be a cashier assistant making great money. It's just based on the amount of time you work. You start out part time, min 24 hours a week. But you can always pick up shifts, ask other dept. to be crossed trained to further your knowledge at Costco making you able to pick up more hours easily. Plus, it lets managements know you are serious about being employed at Costco. Once a full time position opens up, you can apply for it. But know, there are other part timers who are putting in for that spot too who been there longer than you. But if you have no tardys/sick calls, and great relationship with managements/supervisor, and the others have lots of tardys/sick calls, you can easily be picked. The same goes to applying for supervisor positions. I've seen 2 year employees go from pushing carts, to becoming a supervisor and go from $14/hr (24hr/wk) to $26/hr (40wk) because they took care of business.

    Once you put in enough hours, you start to earn bonuses twice a year (after each inventory). and bonuses are based on, again, the amount of time you work. And its for full timers AND part timers.

    Another thing that is true about Costco - Sunday Pay. Its time and a half. So if you are making $25 mon-sat, you are making $37.50 on Sunday.

    You do not get employee discounts. You do get a executive membership ($120 yearly value) and 3 basic members to give out to family/friends ($180 yearly value) The good thing about getting the executive membership free, is that anything you buy (other than gas, pharmacy, and tobacco) you get %2 back yearly. So if you shop there, every year, Costco gives a check of what you earned and you can use it there, or cash it out.

    SO the pay is great. And like I said before, if you are working there, you are good employee. Which translate to, the people working at Costco are great to work with. You make friends, sometimes long lasting friends. I've seen employees meet their wives there. It is a family oriented retail store. They have EAP (employee Assistant Program) if you ever need it. Costco does care about their employees. Costco have Christmas parties and give away things. You get all major holidays off. Costco is an excellent place to work at.

    Costco does not mind hiring students. If you are in school, they work around your school schedule. You have to turn in your school schedule and let them know when you can work. They will never make you pick Costco over School. A lot of Costco employees who went to school and graduate sometimes just stay at Costco. I know an employee who finished their teaching degree, but ended up staying at Costco because of pay and everything else great about Costco. That how great working at Costco is.
    But they will never be a secondary employer. Meaning, if you work for Costco, and have another job, they will not work around another job you may have.

    Cons

    I have not read any of the other reviews here, but I will I be honest as I can about any 'cons' working at Costco:

    Nights and weekends. you give that up. At least until you make it to the top of the totem pole in your dept.. That can be hard if you are in a big dept like 'front end' or in a dept. where employees have been there for a long time. You can ask to have more opening shifts and maybe a weekend off. But be careful asking for Sunday off (Sunday pay is time and a half). If you are trying to have a family, it is rough working nights and weekends. That is why I went to a different career path. Wife worked 8:30 - 5 m-f. and I wanted to as well. But I know Costco employees who make it work.

    Favoritism/Friends - I don't see that much. But I know it exists. Costco recognizes that. Their warehouse managers and warehouse manager assistance are rotated with other warehouses to prevent that. However, lower level management usually aren't. I can see how they can create a relationship with their employees. It's honestly just human nature. But it is also unintentional in my opinion. It is your responsibility to recognize that and report it if you feel like you aren't being treated fairly. Costco has an open door policy.

    Tardy's- That is the only thing that bothered me. If you are late more than 3 times in a 30 day period, you will get written up. This has bit me in the butt a couple of times being that I didn't get out of class in time for whatever reason. Its easy to loose track how many tardy's you have sometimes, but it is your responsibility.

    The upside to that is, write ups fall off your record after 9 months.
    Their policy is, if you get written up 3 times within 9 months for the same thing, you will get suspended. if you get written up 4 times within 9 months for different things, you will get suspended. They make it hard to get suspended. You have to be a joke to loose your job at Costco. If you notice you are not able to make your shift on times, it is your responsibility to let you supervisor/manager know to work with you on your shift so you are not late.

    No call/no show - this is also something that bothered me, but understood why it is like that. According to the handbook, you have to call in no later than an hour before your shift or it is considered a no call/no show. Which means, if you call in 30 mins before your shift, its a no call/ no show. And a no call / no show is an automatic write up. Again, it falls off in 9 months. no biggie. its just, even if you called, if it is within the hour, its a no call no show.

    Black out days for vacation - This was also annoying working there. But not a deal breaker. Costco busiest time of the year is November and December. You cannot request vacation during November or December. So if you have a family tradition, know you may not be able to attend unless you work something out with the warehouse managers. Sometimes they might work with you, but most of the time, they might tell you 'if I let you have vaca then I'd have to let everyone have vaca'.

    Inventory - Costco does their own internal inventory twice a year, and the week inventory falls on, you will not be able have that week off. For instance, lets say inventory for your building is the second week of February, more than likely, you won't be able to take that week off. And you for sure will work inventory day. Whether you are running the business, counting that night. So if you anniversary or birthday is on inventory day, the best you can do is just ask to run the business so you can celebrate that night instead of counting inventory after the store closes. If you are counting inventory, your shift will most likely be 6pm-2am. However, inventory is not miserable. It can be fun, especially if you like counting. They do feed their employees who are counting with good food. Also, know if you are eligible for bonuses, you get your bonus on your check shortly after inventory. Which is a good way to keep tract when inventory is, or when you get your bonuses.

    My cons are not really cons. Like I said, I haven't read any of the other reviews. I am sure most of the bad ones are from losers who couldn't hold a retail job and wanted to come here to talk down about Costco. Like I said before, It is hard to get in, but it is hard to get fired. You have to be a loser to get terminated form Costco.
    I know I wasn't going to make Costco a career because I was in college. So I wasn't striving to be a manager, even though I did become a part time supervisor in the end. I loved working at Costco. I always knew, had I needed to, I could have made Costco my Career and been happy. I just didn't want to give up my nights and weekends with my wife.

     Costco is a retail store, but it is not just a job. You can make it a career and become a manager in a dept. making about $60k a year. Or a supervisor making about $40k-$50k a year. you might have to just give up your nights and weekends for it.

    Advice to Management

    The only thing I wish Costco did was ask lower level employees (full timers-part timers) surveys about how they think the managers are doing. All level of management. From immediate supervisors to warehouse managers. Then have the warehouse manager review them. Just to get more input from the front line employees who almost matters most in Costco.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Overall Good Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Auditor in Issaquah, WA
    Former Employee - IT Auditor in Issaquah, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Costco Wholesale full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Costco is well established and there are a lot of opportunities to cross-train and move to other areas of the company. The employees are great to work with and there is an overall positive work culture.

    Cons

    There was a change in management in 2017. The manager, rules over upper management and subordinates with anger, fear, and vindictive behavior creating an emotionally unsafe, toxic, and unstable environment. From week-to-week, you can expect a pendulum of emotions and disruptive behavior. From openly demeaning and undermining the competence of upper management and peers, to openly gossiping and confiding in the team about each other's shortcomings creating a toxic environment and a level of disrespect amongst team members. While the feedback may be fair, the delivery is painful. Its not so bad if you can stay on her good side and she sees that you provide high quality work.

    Also, there is limited opportunity for promotion if you join the team as an inexperienced hire, so make sure you have a strong audit background.

    On the positive side, this does not represent the overall company culture. The work is challenging and I have grown a lot from my experience.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the company culture and care for the employees.

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