A Decoder Guide To Scoring The Best Prices At Costco

02.15.18 6 days ago 2 Comments

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We’ve all been to Costco at one point or another. Sometimes we go just for a hot dog and refillable root beer. Sometimes we need enough paper towels to fill up a f*cking garage. It just depends.

The warehouse store has a staggering membership of 90 million people. Not bad considering you’ll have to pay $60 to join up. That makes Costco the second largest retailer in the world and the world’s biggest seller of organic food, prime beef, and wine. They’re a behemoth.

Since most of us are probably Costco shoppers, we’ve also all noticed that Costco prices things … oddly. There are items that end in configurations of $x.09 or $x.29 cents or are priced at exactly $x.00 all the time. There’s a method to this madness. And we’re here to help you figure it all out and save you some serious cash.

A couple big caveats here:

  1. Any item sold by weight — so meats, seafood, some produce, deli meats, etc. — will not really apply to this rubric. While Costco does have sales on those items, they’re still by weight, so the prices will vary.
  2. Costco is very seasonal. They rotate toys, furniture, barbecue grills, swimming supplies, and so forth by season. If you wait until the end of the summer season to buy your swimming gear, you’ll find it marked down, often with an actual marker or pen on the sign. Or, it’ll be priced more craftily like the ways listed below. It really depends on the management of that store.

Also worth noting, green signs are not indicative of price. They’re only telling you that that product is organic. So, a green sign will fall into the same rules as listed here. Lastly, some of these discounts might be a matter of a quarter or dime (or a dollar and a quarter or a dollar and a dime). That’s not exactly groundbreaking. So you have to shop these items and watch the prices.

Below is what you have to look for to get the steep discounts.

Ready for the free samples!

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Price Ends in .99 or .98

This one is straightforward. If a price tag is $8.99 or $499.99 or $7.98 or $1,019.98, it’s the retail price. That means Costco didn’t get a special deal from the supplier. It also means that the product is probably the same price as any other store (unless you’re buying in bulk).

It’s not on sale or marked down in any way.

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