18 Costco Tricks That You Should Be Aware Of

Costco is a shopper’s paradise, offering bulk items at discounted prices, making it a favorite for many households. However, navigating the sprawling aisles and numerous deals can be overwhelming. Understanding some insider tricks can help you maximize your savings and ensure you get the most out of your Costco membership. Here’s a guide to the best Costco tricks you should be aware of.

Know the Pricing Codes

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Costco’s pricing codes are a treasure trove of information. Regularly priced items typically end in .99, but other endings can reveal more about the product. For example- an asterisk (*) means the item will not be restocked. Understanding such codes helps you identify true bargains and know when to buy in bulk.

Shop During the Right Times

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Weekday mornings and early afternoons are generally less crowded, allowing you to shop more comfortably and avoid long lines. Avoid weekends and the first few days of the month, as these times are usually the busiest.

Take Advantage of Costco’s Generous Return Policy

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Costco is known for its customer-friendly return policy. Most items can be returned at any time if you’re not satisfied, with a few exceptions like electronics, which have a 90-day return window. Keep your receipts and don’t hesitate to return items that don’t meet your expectations.

Use the Costco App

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The Costco app is a powerful tool that can enhance your shopping experience. It provides access to current promotions, allows you to create shopping lists, and offers a barcode scanner to check prices and product information. Additionally, you can use the app to find the nearest Costco and check gas prices at Costco stations.

Compare Unit Prices

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Bulk buying can save money, but it’s essential to compare unit prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Sometimes smaller packages in other stores might be cheaper per unit than Costco’s bulk options. Take the time to do the math or use a unit price calculator to compare prices accurately.

Don’t Overlook the Kirkland Signature Brand

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Costco’s private label, Kirkland Signature, often offers products that are as good as, if not better than, name brands but at a lower price. Many Kirkland products are made by well-known manufacturers but are sold at a discount under the Kirkland label. Always consider trying Kirkland Signature products to save money without compromising on quality.

Look for Seasonal Sales

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Costco frequently rotates its inventory, especially for seasonal items. After the season ends, these items often go on clearance. For example, buying Christmas decorations in January or patio furniture in late summer can lead to significant savings. Keep an eye on these cycles to take advantage of the best deals.

Use Costco’s Price Adjustment Policy

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If an item you purchased goes on sale within 30 days, Costco will refund the difference. Keep your receipts and monitor prices to take advantage of this policy. Simply bring your receipt to the customer service desk to get your price adjustment.

Shop the End Caps

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End caps, or the displays at the ends of aisles, often feature some of the best deals. These areas are designed to catch your eye with special promotions and discounted items. Always check the end caps as you navigate the store for potential bargains.

Buy Gas at Costco

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Costco’s gas prices are typically lower than those of nearby stations. If you have a Costco membership, fill up your tank at a Costco gas station to save money. The savings can add up significantly over time, especially if you drive frequently.

Sample Before You Buy

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Costco is famous for its free samples, and these can be a great way to try products before committing to a bulk purchase. Take advantage of the samples to discover new products and ensure you like them before buying in large quantities.

Check Online-Only Deals

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Costco’s website often features exclusive deals that aren’t available in-store. These online-only deals can include electronics, furniture, and other high-ticket items. Regularly check Costco’s website to take advantage of these special offers.

Consider Executive Membership

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If you shop at Costco frequently, upgrading to an Executive Membership might be worth it. Although it costs more than the standard membership, it offers 2% cashback on most purchases. If you spend enough annually, this cashback can cover the cost of the membership and more.

Bring a Friend

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Costco allows members to bring up to two guests per visit. If you have friends or family who aren’t members, invite them to join you. They can see the benefits of membership firsthand and might decide to join themselves. Additionally, shopping with a friend can make bulk purchases more manageable by splitting items.

Don’t Forget About the Food Court

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Costco’s food court is a hidden gem offering incredibly affordable meal options. From the famous $1.50 hot dog and soda combo to pizzas and salads, you can enjoy a budget-friendly meal during or after your shopping trip. The quality and value of the food court offerings are hard to beat.

Be Wary of Impulse Buys

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Costco’s layout and deals are designed to encourage impulse purchases. While it’s easy to be tempted by the array of products, stick to your shopping list to avoid overspending. Take a moment to consider if you truly need an item before adding it to your cart.

Take Advantage of Special Events

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Costco often hosts special events featuring products from various vendors, such as cookware, mattresses, or electronics. These events can offer unique items at promotional prices. Keep an eye on Costco’s event schedule to plan your visits around these special promotions.

Explore Costco’s Travel Packages

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Costco offers a range of travel services that can provide excellent value for members. From vacation packages and cruises to rental cars and hotel bookings, Costco Travel often features exclusive deals that aren’t available elsewhere.

These packages are known for their competitive pricing and added perks, such as resort credits, complimentary breakfasts, and free room upgrades. By booking through Costco Travel, you can save money and enjoy a hassle-free travel planning experience, all while taking advantage of the trusted Costco quality.

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