The business world is a savage one. Many companies cut corners in order to make a profit. It seems they are not heeding the immortal words of Henry Ford (via BrainyQuote), "A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."
Even big names like Pacific Gas & Electric Co. as well as BP have been reported by U.S. News & World Report to cause disasters by being "grossly negligent" and guilty of "willful misconduct." But a business doesn't need to be a major petroleum company to get into some shady corporate practices.
According to Buzzfeed, there are loads of unethical but common business practices. Aldi famously creates knock-offs of popular brands, though many of these manage to outshine the original, often at a fraction of the price. However, the fine people on Reddit will only tolerate so much before they start calling businesses out. It's happened before with the Chicago Steak Company.
In this case, many took to the comments section of a Reddit thread showing what appears to be Costco cookies being sold by a bakery as if they were made in-house. The commenters discussed the sketchy ways they've seen smaller, local businesses make a profit off of reselling goods.
One of the first places that Redditors said they had seen people reselling Costco merchandise was at farmers' markets. "I've seen 'farmers' sell mangos at markets in Colorado," said one Redditor. Another offered a tongue-in-cheek response, saying "The big giveaway is if the fruit still has a plu sticker on it."
Many pointed to smaller operations that used Costco as their main supplier. "A donut shop literally across the street from my Costco sells our muffins for $4 each and our croissant for $3 each," offered a Redditor who claims to work at Costco. According to Business Insider, the Costco muffins retail for $7.99 for two six-packs. Instacart lists the croissants as being $7.45 for a pack of 12. If these figures are accurate, a company could make a significant profit using this strategy.
On the other hand, the Reddit thread also discussed many businesses that tried this trick only to have it cost them. "There used to be a mom and pop coffee place nearby that used to resell everything Costco at Starbucks prices ... they don't exist anymore," noted a person on the thread.