Costco is cracking down on non-members using members’ cards to shop its low-price and exclusive products.

Costco’s Membership Isn’t Transferrable

Costco Membership cards are not transferable, but that’s not stopped people from borrowing their family members’ or friends’ to cop some savings and it’s not going down well with the wholesale club that’s been struggling with weak sales.

The membership-based warehouse retailer said Tuesday it has increased photo ID enforcement for shoppers who choose to use the self-checkout option, after noticing an uptick in unauthorized card-sharing.

“We don’t feel it’s right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” the company said in a statement. “As we already ask for the membership card at checkout, we are now asking to see their membership card with their photo at our self-service checkout registers.”

Netflix Paved The Way

News of the company doing so comes as streaming giant Netflix recently made it so that U.S. accounts can largely only be used by the account owner and people who live with them, unless they pay for an “extra member.”

Members Only

Costco members can “assign [their] free household card to one other person” that lives with them, according to a customer service webpage. Otherwise, cardholders can have two guests tag along on their trips to the wholesale retailer, though “purchasing items is exclusive to Costco members.”

Membership-based warehouse clubs have attracted more customers and won more of their wallets over the past three years.

Shoppers are now going there for cheaper gas and bulk-sized food during this period of inflation.

Walmart-owned Sam’s Club has seen a similar lift in business, and it’s membership count hit a record high.

Shares of Costco have risen nearly 16% so far this year, outpacing the approximately 14% gain of the S&P 500.

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