Member FAQs

The Coop’s Membership Office, staffed by a combination of paid Coop staff coordinators and member workers, can answer your Coop and Membership related questions, take photos for Coop Membership Cards, and assist prospective members with the joining process.

The Membership Office is located on the second floor of the Coop. Reach us in person or by phone at 718-622-0560 during office hours.

The information on this page could help you to answer some of the most commonly asked questions on your own.

Q: I used to be a member. How can I rejoin?

Former members may rejoin the Coop by coming to the Membership Office during office hours. When rejoining you must provide proof of identity and address (see below for acceptable forms of address proof). If there are other adults in your household they will have to provide ID and address as well and will need to rejoin at the same time that you rejoin.

You will not have to attend another orientation or pay the joining fee a second time. However, if you were refunded the $100 investment when you left the Coop, you will have to reinvest. You can request a payment plan and/or reduced payments.

Q: What does the Coop accept as a valid form of address proof?

To join or rejoin the Coop you must present one of the following, dated within the last three months:

  • Utility Bill (electric, gas, cable, water)
  • Mortgage Bill / Statement
  • Renter’s or Homeowner’s Insurance Bill / Statement
  • Student Loan Bill / Statement
  • Any Official Federal or State Document
  • Paychecks / stubs from business accounts, must show mailing address of payee

Q: My friend/partner moved in with me. How can they join the Coop? 

They can join by going to the Membership Office with a photo ID and a separate proof of address (see above for acceptable forms of address proof). Their proof of address must match the address the Coop has on file for you.

Q: How do I cancel my membership?

You may cancel your membership using your Member Services account. The Coop will process the return of your member investment (this takes approximately two weeks), or you may donate it to the Coop. If one member of a household is leaving the Coop permanently, we will need a new address and phone number for this person. If we do not have a new address, we cannot process the leave. Please note that permanent leaves will not be processed because one member of a household does not want to be a Coop member anymore. The member going on permanent leave has to move away from the household or the whole household will be required to take a leave.

Q: Can I put my membership on hold for a while?

If you need to leave the Coop for eight weeks or more, you may take a temporary leave of absence from your Coop work. During this time your membership will be put on hold, and you will not be allowed to shop, work or enter the Coop, even as a visitor. If you are part of a Coop household, you must be leaving your residence to take a leave of absence. If you are staying home and want to take a leave because you cannot meet the work requirement, all members of your household have to go on leave as well. You can request a leave of absence in Member Services.

Q: How do I make member payments?

Member payments must be made at a checkout or cashier station. To make these payments you must present your member card or a printed entrance slip to the checkout worker or cashier and tell them that you are making a “member payment.” You may pay by check, cash or debit card, and you must specify the amount you wish to pay and whether you want it to go toward your joining fee or investment. If you are paying for another member, you must know their member number. Save your paid-in-full receipt every time you make a member payment.

If you’re not sure how much you owe, you can check your Member Services account or ask at the entrance desk or Membership Office.

Q: But I’ve paid my member payments, why am I on “alert” or “suspended” for fees?

Remember, there are a few types of member payments, along with the possibility for payment plans. If you are on a payment plan for your investment you will go on “alert” every month when the next installment is due. Other charges you might incur include a $3.50 “card” charge for replacing your membership card, and a $15 “bank” charge if you bounce a check. If you believe you’ve paid all that you owe but your account is still alert or suspended, contact the Membership Office.

Q: I increased my member-owner equity investment (MOEI) to help the Coop during Covid but now I need that money back.

Thank you for increasing your investment when the Coop needed it most! If you’d now like to have that money back, contact the Membership Office. Your investment will be returned to you in approximately two weeks.

Q: How do I opt-out of the recent markup increase?

In October 2020 the General Meeting voted to temporarily increase the Coop’s markup from 21% to 25%. If you’d like to opt out of the markup increase due to financial hardship you can do this in your Member Services account or by contacting the Membership Office.

Q: How do I get a new membership card?

If you lost your membership card, go to the Membership Office and they will print you a new one on the spot for $3.50. If your card becomes damaged or unusable, bring it to the Membership Office and it will be replaced for free.

Q: Can my child shop at the Coop without me?

Children under the age of 18 cannot shop without their parents unless they have their own Coop-issued photo ID. If you’d like your child to be able to shop at the Coop without you, bring them to the Membership Office and we’ll make them a card free of charge. Because they are not yet old enough to be a member, their Coop card will be linked to your account. Coop children must always have their cards with them to enter the Coop alone, since the parent’s photo, not the child’s, will appear at the entrance desk.

Q: When does my child have to do a workslot?

When your child turns 18 and is out of high school, they will be required to join the Coop as a working member. Children of members are exempt from paying the joining fee, but they are required to pay the investment. Coop “children” who have turned 18 should contact the Membership Office about initiating their own membership. If your child is leaving for college, or traveling, contact the Membership Office to discuss or initiate a leave of absence.

Q: When is childcare reopening?

We don’t know. We understand that many members relied on the Coop’s free childcare to either work their shift or to shop. However, reopening Childcare right now is complicated due to Covid. As soon as we can reopen safely we will let everyone know.

Q: I had a baby! Can I take parental leave?

If you’ve given birth or adopted a child within the last 12 months, congratulations! You qualify for the Coop’s new parent work exemption. New parents get 12 months of parental leave from working at the Coop after the birth or adoption of a child (12 months per child, not per parent). For current members, parental leave is normally calculated from the baby’s birth/arrival date, or the due date. For new members joining with a child who is less than one year old, parental leave will be calculated from the join date to the baby’s first birth/arrival date and may result in less than 12 months leave. To request this work exemption, go to the “Virtual Office” in your Member Services account.

Q: Can I take a break from working due to a health issue?

If you can’t work (either temporarily or permanently) because of an illness or health issue, you may request a work exemption through your Member Services account or by contacting the Membership Office. Once you have submitted this request we will mail you a form to be completed by a licensed healthcare practitioner and returned to the Membership Office within four weeks.

Q: Can I send a non-Coop member to shop for me?

If you are on a health work exemption or have just begun a new parent work exemption and are unable to shop on your own, we suggest that you first try to ask another Coop member to shop for you. Any Coop member in good standing can shop for another Coop member in good standing; nothing special needs to be done by the office. If you do not know another Coop member who can shop for you, you may authorize a temporary non-member shopper. To authorize a non-member shopper, use your Member Services account or contact the Membership Office to request an “Authorized Shopper” form. A shopper can be authorized for the length of the disability or for a specified period of time up to six months, whichever is shorter. New parents can have an authorized shopper for up to two months from the start of their work exemption.

Q: How can I find out if I’m eligible to retire from working at the Coop?

The Coop’s General Meeting approved the workslot retirement program as an optional benefit for longtime Coop members. The program allows members who qualify to enjoy all the benefits of Coop membership without having to contribute their labor. You may apply for this benefit in your Member Services account or by contacting the Membership Office.

To be eligible you must be “active” for work, provide proof of age and fit into one of the following categories:

  • 70+ years of age and 10 years of membership
  • 69 years of age and 12 years of membership
  • 68 years of age and 14 years of membership
  • 67 years of age and 16 years of membership
  • 66 years of age and 18 years of membership
  • 65 years of age and 20 years of membership
  • 64 years of age and 22 years of membership
  • 63 years of age and 24 years of membership
  • 62 years of age and 26 years of membership
  • 61 years of age and 28 years of membership
  • 60 years of age and 30 years of membership

The following will not count toward years of membership: time spent on a leave of absence (either temporary or permanent), on Unassigned or “Dormant” and/or any time during which a member was temporarily barred from the Coop as the result of a disciplinary proceeding. The following work exemptions count toward Coop membership: new parent, health and bereavement.

Q: How do I return a product? How do I exchange an item? 

If you need to return an item, bring the item and your “PAID IN FULL” receipt within 30 days of purchase to the Second Floor Service Desk, which is located outside of the Membership Office. Second Floor Service Desk workers will receive your returned items and generate a “store credit” that can either be used toward another purchase or exchanged for cash at the cashier. Credit slips expire 30 days after the date of issuance. (The expiration date is not printed on the credit slip so please be aware that the 30 days includes the day the slip was issued.) The Coop does not offer exchanges.

Q: Where do I find the return policy? 

To see the Coop’s return policy, go here.

Q: How much is…? Do we have…?

We request that members do not call or message to pre-check the availability or prices of the items on their shopping list. The Membership Office simply cannot respond to such queries for 13,000+ members. To check whether or not the Coop carries a particular item, please use the Price Lookup Computer mounted on the side of the ice cream freezer on the shopping floor.

Q: Is the Coop accepting SodaStream returns?

Yes. Bring your empty SodaStream canisters to the Second Floor Service Desk to receive a deposit refund. You will receive a store credit that you can either put toward another purchase or redeem for cash at the cashier.

Q; Is the Coop accepting bottles and cans for deposit refund?

Yes. Cans and bottles sold at the Coop with a 5 cent deposit can be returned at the Coop’s Second Floor Service Desk. You will receive a store credit that you can either put toward another purchase or redeem for cash at the cashier.

Q: Is the TerraCycle program back up and running?

No. Our TerraCycle program has been on pause since the Covid pandemic began.

Q: Can I place a special order?

No, not at this time. When we resume special ordering, we will post it here.

Q: How do I make a product suggestion?

Product suggestions can be made through your Member Services account under the Contact Us button.

Q: Can I bring a visitor to the Coop?

No, visitors are not allowed into the Coop right now. Due to Covid, the Coop only allows a certain number of people in the store at one time. For this reason, we prioritize members over non-member visitors. Thank you for understanding.

Q: How do I get a paid job at the Coop?

When the Coop is hiring we post notices here. Only current Coop members are considered for paid employment.

Q: How do I update my email and/or phone number?

You can update your email address or phone number here.

Q: I moved. How can I change my address?

If you’ve moved and need to change your address, contact the Membership Office.

Q: Do I get workslot credit for attending the General Meeting?

General Meetings are currently held on Zoom, and advance signup is required. However, you will not receive workslot credit for attending General Meetings at this time.

Q: How do I submit an item for the General Meeting agenda?

Any member can submit an agenda item for consideration at a GM by completing an Agenda Item submission form, found here. You may suggest at which month’s meeting you would like to present your item. The Agenda Committee will attempt to place your item on the agenda of the meeting you requested whenever possible, but in general items are scheduled in the order in which they’re received. You are expected to present your own item at the GM for which you are scheduled.

If you need help developing your agenda item, go here.