Learn “insider” lingo from Costco employees. Our favorite: Snot Rockets! 😂

The Front End: This is the area of the store where customers check out and pay for their purchases.

The Steel: This refers to the metal shelving units that are used to store products in the warehouse.

A Steel: The very top row/shelf of the product racks. B Steel = middle row. C Steel = lower row. D = the floor.

Board: Large wooden skid that merchandise is shipped, displayed or stored on. i.e. Pallet

Short Board:  A pallet from which some product has been removed.

Bad Board: A broken pallet.

The Back Room: This is the area of the store where products are stored before they are put out on the shelves.

The Floor: This refers to the sales floor where customers shop.

Deleted: This means the item isn’t being ordered anymore.

Action Alley: This is the main aisle in the store where seasonal items and promotions are displayed.

Snot Rockets AKA Ghosts or Cobwebs: The strands of plastic hanging down from pallets on the shelves.

The Cage: This is a secure area where high-value items such as electronics and jewelry are stored.

The Fence: An impulse-buy area located just inside the front door.

The Whale AKA Flat: This is a large, flatbed cart that is used to transport large items around the store.

Grazing: Opening up or eating food that hasn’t been paid for.

The Beast AKA Big Joe or Skateboard or Double Jack or The Boat: This is a pallet jack that is used to move heavy items around the store.

The Endcap: This is the display at the end of an aisle that showcases a particular product.

Block down: This is the process of cleaning, squaring, and leveling off a pallet of merchandise.

Fall Zone: This is a “danger zone” that must be clear of people when a forklift is dropping merchandise out of the steel.

Back door: This refers to the truck deliveries/receivings and back entrance to the warehouse when closed, also known as docks.

Cooler: This is a big refrigerated box where “cold” products are located.

Code 99: This is an emergency announcement that requires all employees to drop what they’re doing and respond immediately.

Code Adam:  This is a missing child alert. This code is not specific to Costco – other stores use it.

Death Star: Used by members to refer to the asterisk in the top right corner of the price tag which means the item is being discontinued (often accompanied by a x.97 price!)

DNI: Means Do Not Inventory and tells employees not to count that item inventory because it is being RTV’d (Returned To Vendor)

Gentle Sweep AKA Gentle Push: Refers to employees walking through the warehouse reminding members that closing time is approaching.

Pulling Weeds: Relocating merchandise that has been moved from its proper spot in the store


These fun facts are inspired by the new book “The Joy of Costco – A Treasure Hunt from A to Z” by David & Susan Schwartz.  This is such an awesome book and obviously a lot of time, care, and research went into making it.

Pick a few up on Amazon (or you may also find it at your local Costco) and give them as Holiday gifts to the Costco lovers in your life.



Check out all our Costco Fun Facts here