Costco seems to have a love-hate relationship with a lot of its customers. People love it since it's the go-to place for amazing deals. Costco seems to have anything you could imagine and there's also their free samples. But since their warehouse is huge and packed with people most of the time it can be hard to find those deals.
But some avid Costco shoppers and employees have shared some information for helping you with your shopping experience. Like knowing what the barcodes mean to which warehouse is best.
You Don't Need A Membership
If you don't want to get yourself an annual membership but you have a buddy or a family member who does then that's all you need. Just get them to get you a gift card the next time they head on down to Costco.
Membership isn't needed to use gift cards and you'll be able to get any items in the store without any hiccups.
Don't Worry If You Miss A Sale
If you don't go to Costco often and you never look through their fliers you might miss out on a few prices. But don't worry, you can always get an upcoming price cut as long as you bring the goods back up to 30 after you bought it.
It's a simple as going online and requesting a price cut. Costco knows how to satisfy its customers.
Learning The Store Layout
While Each Costco may be unique, they do still go by some general placement rules that you can follow. Household items and food items will be on opposite ends of the warehouse.
At the back of the store, you'll find the bakery, the deli, and all the produce. In the middle of the store, you'll find clothing, snacks, gift cards, and books. If you remember all of this you'll never get lost.
Costco Is Thinning The Herd
Remember when Tide Pods were all the craze and teenagers were consuming them by the dozen? Other stores were keeping their Tide Pods away from them but Costco was handing out free samples.
Nobody knows why they did this since fewer people will result in fewer customers overall. Less people shopping at Costco seems like something they wouldn't want.
Tuesday And Wednesday Mornings Aren't Busy
What puts a lot of people off Costco is that it's normally cram-packed with people. Right before holidays and weekends is definitely the worst time to go visit Costco.
If you want to be able to shop with barely another person in site, then Tuesday and Wednesday morning will suit you well. You'll be able to look at their deals without any other customers bumping into you.
The Asterisk On The Price Tags
If you look at the barcode of a Costco good and you see an asterisk it means that that item won't be restocked anytime soon. Knowing when an item if about to be scarce can help you make that decision on whether or not you need it.
It's normally seasonal items that get this asterisk so look out for them and you won't wonder where anything went.
The Gift Card Section Is Underrated
Nobody can say confidently that they know where the gift car section is in their local Costco. But apparently the deals are amazing. There's 2-for-1 theatre tickets and discounts at theme parks.
If you plan on visiting a restaurant or a movie theatre why not check out if you can get a good deal at Costco?
Costco's Gas Bar
If you plan on going into Costco anyway, you may as well fill-up on some fuel right? The lines can be long but their pricing is great. In the long run you could save a bit of time and money.
Trust us though, fill up before you head into the store. So you don't have to wait in line while your frozen goods are dripping all over your car.
Yes, You Can Take More Than One Sample
Now, whenever you go to Costco there seems to be an unspoken rule that it's only one sample per customer. That's not the truth though! As long as you don't mind looking desperate you can go eat as many samples as you'd like.
Just don't mind the stares from both the employees and the shoppers when they see that it's the third time you've been in line for a sample.
The Better Deals Are Down The Aisles
The items placed at the front of the store and on the ends of aisles may seem like the best deals, but they're really just there to get your attention. The best deals are usually found in the aisles.
That means you'll have to do some searching to find the best bargains.
Don't Bother Buying Brand Name Household Products
Yes, Costco has incredible deals on brand name items, but their discount brand Kirkland is just as good, if not better. People swear that the Kirkland toilet paper is better than Cottonelle and half the price. Even the Kirkland batteries are made by Duracell.
You're already buying in bulk, why not buy the bargain brand too? One of the most famous Kirkland products are the hot dogs in the food court, but that's not why they're so cheap at Costco.
Why They Check Your Receipt When You Leave
While many Costco customers may assume that a store employee checks your receipt and cart upon leaving to make sure you didn't shoplift, that's not the case. As it turns out, there are two reasons that Costco checks your items and receipt at the exit. The first is that they want to make sure that they stay on top of their inventory, and the receipt correctly matches the number of items in your cart.
The second, is that Costco wants to make sure that you're not overcharged or undercharged at check-out. A former employee shared on Quora, "Surprisingly, in my 12 years working at Costco, the receipt checkers prevented theft at the door by checking a receipt a grand total of zero times... They did, however, discover a discrepancy on the receipt about two times an hour."
They Move Items For A "Treasure Hunt"
Yes, that's the actual word Costco uses to talk about the fact that you can never find anything in there. They choose to move the stock around so much so that you have to scan a bunch of items just to find the peanut butter.
If you don't want to risk making impulse buys, ask an employee to direct you to where the item is now.
Never Buy Soda From Costco
One of the few things that are better to buy in a normal grocery store is soda. Soda is what most supermarkets call a "loss leader." That means they sell it way below cost just to draw people into the store.
Even though it's incredibly cheap, Costco is still selling the soda at cost.
Ask The Roadshows How Long They'll Be There
Roadshows will go in and out of Costco, and they all stay for different amounts of times. Lindt, Krispy Kreme, and even items like specialty bedsheets will set up roadshow displays that rarely last more than a few weeks.
Either stock up now, or ask how long they'll be in store so you don't miss the deals. Coming up: the dangerous product that Costco hands out like candy
Costco Hot Dogs Are So Cheap To Attract Customers
Half the point of making a trip to Costco is to get the super cheap jumbo hot dog and soda combo for only $1.50. Costco doesn't exactly make a huge profit off the deal, but they know it gets customers in the doors.
For many people, having such a cheap meal on hand (especially if shopping with kids) helps justify the annual membership fees. There's one place in Costco that you can enter into without a membership OR gift card.
You Can Fill Your Prescription Without A Membership
There's no membership required to go in and fill a prescription at the Costco pharmacy. Just walk in and tell the greeter what you're doing, and you'll have no problem.
The Costco pharmacy also touts lower dispensing fees than any other drugstore, so you'll be saving money in the long run.
Dry Goods And Frozen Foods Are The Best Deals
Costco is great for bulking up on fresh produce or meats, but they aren't exactly door-busting deals. The non-perishables and frozen foods are the best deals because, of course, they last the longest!
Hopefully, this makes you feel better about buying that 100-pack of Oreos or 1 kg bag of trail mix.
Decode The Price Tags
Just like may other retailers, there's a rhyme and reason behind the prices at Costco. If a price ends in .97, then it means the item is on clearance.
If the price tag ends in .00 or .88, then it means the manager cut the price for a special reason, like it could be the last one in stock, doesn't have a box, or has pieces missing.
You Don't Need A Membership To Buy Alcohol There In Some States
There are a few things you can buy at Costco without a membership. In a handful of states, Costco's Kirkland-branded alcohol is one of those. Costco hasn't provided an official list, but there are several internet message boards about the topic.
The states mentioned in these forums include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Vermont. However, you'll definitely want to contact your local Costco before making the trip.
What You See Is What You Get
It's common to ask a normal store if they "have any more in the back" but don't even bother if you're at Costco. They are a warehouse store, which means they're stocked like a warehouse.
There's no backroom at Costco hiding the best deals. They're all out on the floor for you to see.
Shop Online To Find The Strangest Items
Costco is known for stocking just about everything imaginable, and you can find even more weird things online. Go to Costco.com to buy a funeral casket, a $1,000 doomsday emergency-food kit, or even coupons for local car dealerships.
The best part? They'll ship these strange things to most states across America.
Don't Even Think About Stealing
It might sound hard to steal a 76-pack of dish detergent, but people still try to steal from Costco. Every store employs a couple secret security officers.
They walk around in plain clothes "shopping" like a normal member, but in reality, they're keeping an eye out for people stealing. Aside from smart shopping hacks, Costco has plenty going on if you take a closer look. You'll see what we mean...
Strangest Things Captured At Costco
Costco is a massive establishment so it's always a good idea to keep an eye on your kids. It can be like a giant playground for little kids but instead of swings and monkey bars, it’s full of food and forklifts.
If you’re not worried about something bad happening to them, you may just find them stuck behind a freezer door like this guy. Chances are he was hot from running around and needed to cool off for a bit. Remember when people were eating Tide Pods? Costco sure does.
A 20-Year-Old's Dream Come True
If you've ever been inside a Costco, you know that their alcohol section contains more than a fraternity could drink in a lifetime. It’s a great place to buy booze, only if you’re over 21. However, apparently the rules are different at this Costco, and you’re only allowed to buy alcohol if you’re under 21.
We’re sure it didn’t take long for the college freshman to take their chances buying alcohol here. The sign clearly says it’s okay.
Costco Rotisserie Chicken Is Best Served Hot
It's no secret that Costco’s rotisserie chicken is pretty darn good. Although eating it cold is an option, it’s worlds better is served hot right out from under the heating lamp. Yet, if you have more errands to run, it’s critical to keep that chicken at the perfect temperature.
Lucky for us, nature has blessed us with a giant heating lamp that works perfect for keeping Costco chicken nice and piping hot. We wonder if this person has been picking away at it all day.
A Different Kind Of Remedy
While alcohol is known to kill bacteria, we don't think that exactly means that it will help to cure an illness, especially the flu. While some people might go to the doctor to get a flu shot, it looks like Costco wants people to pick up a handle of Kirkland vodka and ward off the flu by getting drunk.
Most people probably wouldn’t go this route but maybe the people that do know something that we don’t…
When Your Mom Says She Has To Run Into Costco Real Quick
We've all been there. You’re driving in the car with your mom and the next thing you know, you’re in the parking lot of Costco. She claims that she just has to "run in" and get a few things, but we all know what that means. You definitely don’t want to go in with her, but you also know you might die of boredom in the car.
Looks like this poor soul made the decision to stay in the car. Legend says their mom is still shopping in Costco today.
Safety in the workplace should always be a concern. Nobody wants to get hurt while at work and nobody wants to get hurt on a trip to Costco. The fact that this Costco has only gone two days without injury is a little concerning. The real question is, was it an employee or a customer who was injured?
If I saw this I'd probably take my business somewhere else, for fear of a Kirkland car tire falling on my head. Check out which items at Costco are better left unsampled.