Fact Check

Did Costco Discontinue Dungeness Crab?

An online advertisement had been misleading readers since at least 2021.

Published Jan 25, 2022

SEATTLE, WA, UNITED STATES - 2021/03/02: Shoppers leave a Costco store in Seattle. The retail giant plans to announce its second quarter earnings on March 4. (Photo by Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Image Via Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Claim:
Costco discontinued Dungeness crab in its seafood department.

Since at least 2021, and likely long before, an online advertisement appeared to claim that Costco discontinued its Dungeness crab and perhaps even crab legs. The ad read: "Costco Won't Sell These 24 Items Anymore."

An online advertisement claimed that Costco stopped selling and discontinued its Dungeness crab and maybe even its crab legs from the seafood department.
We clicked the ad.

It led to a slideshow article with multiple pages that was titled, "Costco Won't Sell These 24 Items Anymore."

Costco often sends members and fans into a frenzy when news breaks of a popular item’s discontinuation.

Some departing products have inspired online petitions, while others quietly disappeared from store shelves or the food court menu.

Once a product enters the warehouse chain's graveyard, there’s often very little indication it’ll rise again. Take some time to mourn and remember Costco items that have come and gone throughout the years — although a few items have disappeared for good reason.

Here are 21 things that Costco won’t sell anymore.

The same picture of what appeared to be Dungeness crab at Costco showed up on the first page of the article:

An online advertisement claimed that Costco stopped selling and discontinued its Dungeness crab and maybe even its crab legs from the seafood department.
We were unable to find the origins of the picture on Google Images, Getty Images, or Flickr.

While the ad and first page did tease the idea that Costco had stopped selling its Dungeness crab and maybe even crab legs, the truth was that the rest of the long article didn't even mention crab. It was all nothing more than misleading clickbait.

As of January 2022, according to Costco's website, the company was selling a variety of Dungeness crab items such as whole crab and sections that included legs.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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