Why It Can Be Nearly Impossible To Buy A Cake At Costco In Mexico

Cakes at Costco
Cakes at Costco - The Image Party/Shutterstock

If you have a Costco membership, you may have spotted half-sheet cakes in the bakery. They are sold in both chocolate and vanilla varieties, and you can place an order in-store to request a custom-decorated cake. The desserts have hit another level of popularity in Mexico, though. At some stores, shoppers have been waiting in lines outside before the store even opens in the hopes of acquiring cakes.

There was even a fight in the parking lot of a Costco in Juarez over the dessert in December 2020. After waiting in line for several hours to acquire dessert ahead of the holidays, tensions rose, and customers began arguing with the store's employees. Employees and police officers wouldn't allow customers into the store, and things got physical outside.

Some Mexican Costco locations have since begun taking measures to prevent resellers from overbuying the baked goods -- and to hopefully put an end to parking lot fights. Stores now place limits on how many cakes can be purchased by one person. Depending on the location, shoppers will only be allowed to purchase between two and five cakes per day.

Read more: All The Benefits Of A Costco Membership

Who Is Buying The Resold Costco Cake Slices?

Slices of vanilla sheet cake
Slices of vanilla sheet cake - N K/Shutterstock

However, the purchase limits don't deter those who are determined to acquire the cakes. According to Bloomberg, chat groups exist specifically to help others get their hands on the desserts. Members of one WhatsApp group will even stand in line at stores before they open just to buy the store's sheet cakes. One member of the group, Karen, reported that she pays for chemotherapy treatments with the money she earns from selling cakes. Another member, Ana, said she could earn nearly USD 1,700 in just a few days from selling the slices.

Some of the resellers get the cakes for those who don't have a Costco membership. The cakes may be sold whole, or sliced up and sold by the piece. The sheet cakes are typically cut up into about 48 evenly-sized pieces. According to one Reddit comment, some people will set up stands in public to sell slices of the dessert.

Some coffee shops and bakeries will even sell Costco bakery items, according to another Reddit user. This isn't a unique concept in Mexico, though; other commenters shared that they had seen coffee shops in the United States selling Costco baked goods, too. So if the establishment's owner is unable to acquire a cake from Costco, they may wind up purchasing one from a reseller who snagged one -- or several.

Social Media Users Aren't Happy About The Resellers

Customers browsing frozen cakes
Customers browsing frozen cakes - Bloomberg/Getty Images

For those who aren't interested in selling the Costco cakes, though, the situation can be frustrating. Some social media users have taken to the internet to express their unhappiness. "This has become a nightmare," wrote one Reddit user in a post. "Families like us who just [want] ONE for birthdays or special events, cannot get them." That same user shared that their local Costco had raised the cake prices to $25, up from $10 -- though the price shift didn't seem to deter the resellers from clearing the shelves.

Some Reddit commenters blamed social media for the frenzy in the first place. One commenter shared that they had seen TikTok videos promoting the idea of selling cake slices to make a profit. Once the idea went viral, others jumped on the trend to make money for themselves. Another user said that they "will never understand why someone would spill their secrets to making money like this. Now they have an entire country competing with them."

While your Costco membership will work worldwide, it may not be worth it to try to snag a cake at Costco while vacationing in Mexico. Still, with the newly implemented purchase limits, it may soon be easier for more people to acquire Costco cakes without having to deal with resellers. The limits might hinder resellers from profiting off the desserts, but other store members will likely be happy about having their own chance to snag the sweets.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.