Discover the Costco Secrets No One Wanted to Tell You
First opened in 1983, Costco quickly became a premier retailer in the grocery world. With almost 800 warehouses and almost 100 million members, Costco has earned high praise from countless publications and consumers. The company doesn’t have plans to slow down building new warehouses anytime soon, either.
With its great reputation, most people already know the deal behind Costco’s deals. Fortunately, a few hidden surprises are waiting for customers. Check out these secrets about shopping — you might never look at Costco the same way again.
Pass on the Soda
When you're having a party or a cookout or simply love fizzy beverages, soda is always the go-to drink of choice. With so many flavors available, it can be tricky to determine the right one for the moment. Fortunately, major deals can keep soda lovers happy.
Grab Unlimited Samples
When it comes to buying new food, trying samples can be an important factor in your decision. At shopping malls, many restaurants deliver samples for passersby in the middle of the food court. While some people might not initially be interested in a product, one sample can change their minds.
Walk for Better Deals
When you head into a store, you're surrounded by a slew of its biggest deals. Placing sale items in the front entices people to purchase them right away. Folks who weren't thinking about grabbing five bags of potato chips for $10 will find themselves tossing those bags into their carts, because who doesn’t love a deal?
Get Tires on the Cheap
You can't — or at least you shouldn’t — take your car out for a spin without having some great tires. They keep you safe on the road, and they help hold all that extra weight after a Costco trip. Most Americans have spare tires to accommodate the occasional flat, too.
Listen to the Bell
When you're looking for something quick for dinner, chicken is always a great choice. While it might get a bad rep as a "processed food," rotisserie chicken can be good for your health; Costco’s cooked chicken has vitamin A, iron and calcium.
Try an Eye Exam
Costco's eye exams can help you find out what’s going on with your vision. Unfortunately, many people find themselves unintentionally avoiding eye exams. Only about half of Americans get their eyes checked annually; people just don’t want to believe they need glasses, even if they do.
Remember That Bulk Isn't Always Better
When it comes to shopping, people love buying things in bulk — and Costco certainly makes this easy. This is kind of the whole premise of the store, after all, and there are always weekly and monthly deals plastered around the warehouse. And while you might not actually need 20 oranges, getting them for a lower bulk price can be tempting.
Get Cash After Price Drops
When you walk out with your purchases, you feel like a million bucks. Things can get sour when the items you bought go on sale the next day, though. Knowing you could've saved a few bucks by waiting another 24 hours isn’t the greatest feeling.
Bring Your Visa Card
Credit cards are everywhere these days, and some people believe the United States will turn into a cashless society. They couldn’t be more convenient, but some stores only accept certain companies’ cards. Costco is one of those stores.
Call for Technical Support
Every few years, you might head out to get a replacement for an electronic item, such as a TV or laptop. Costco delivers some of the biggest tech brands for reasonable prices, and it’s a great place to head to purchase these items — not just because of the good deals.
Don’t Forget the Two-year Warranty
When it comes to buying electronics, the warranty is one of the most important elements. If your item turns out to be defective, you can get it repaired or trade it in for a new one when you have the right warranty. Because used electronics often come without these protective policies, purchasing electronics new gives you security.
Get Sneak Peeks at New Items
Costco stands out from other stores with Costco Roadshows, which take over a portion of the store. These special events showcase some rising manufacturers in various fields. Whether you're into fitness or coffee, a Costco Roadshow will probably have something for you.
Refill Your Ink Cartridges
If you're doing a lot of printing, you can find yourself running out of ink in no time — probably right when you have an important document to print. Ink refill kits are available, but they can lead to a mess if you're not using them properly.
Stock Up on Medication
Trying to buy prescription drugs for a reasonable price can be tough. Many stores intentionally raise the prices, leaving consumers in a stressful situation. This can leave some people unable to access their medication for days at a time.
Say the Magic Word
Ground beef is always a big seller in the meat department. From spaghetti sauce to tacos, this is a staple in various cooked foods around the world. It's hard to attend a cookout without seeing burgers on the grill, right? And let’s not forget Mom’s famous meatloaf dinner.
Get in With a Gift Card
Costco is famous for its tremendous membership. For around $60, a Gold Star membership can land you benefits such as cheap vacations, medical insurance and discounts on movie tickets. A Gold Star Executive Membership has even more benefits and discounts.
Eat at the Food Court
With so much shopping and walking, you might feel famished after a Costco trip. Fortunately, the store is equipped with a marvelous food court. While there isn’t a huge menu selection, there are some super-tasty quick bites to get, including churros and pizza — and, because it’s Costco, everything is affordable.
Learn About Availability
Not everything in the store is available on a consistent basis. Some special items, such as limited-time candy, only last throughout the winter holidays. Some things, including sports-related memorabilia, only last for a couple weeks. Other items are new, and Costco is doing test runs to see how well they sell.
Gas is one of those essentials that we all hate paying for but can’t live without. That’s why most of us are always looking for a good deal when it’s time to fill up our tanks. One excellent way to find that good deal is to head to Costco.
Buy Great Organic Food
One of the most popular areas of stores is the organic food section. Over the years, organic food sales have risen to unexpected heights thanks to a surge in healthy eating. In 2018, the organic food market earned $52.5 billion. As expected, fruits and vegetables were some of the top sellers.
Use Costco Deals Elsewhere
Competition can be healthy, and Costco has plenty of stores looking to take away its crown. Because of Costco's excellent reputation, many competitors try their best to draw Costco shoppers with deals of their own. Some will sell unique items that aren’t available at Costco or have eye-catching flash sales.
Return Just About Anything
There's nothing worse than purchasing something only to realize you don’t like it, and trying to handle a return can be tricky at most stores. With ever-changing policies, you might miss out on a return and get stuck with your item.
Make Room for Boxes
After purchasing food, getting it home is easy — from a regular grocery store. Those small shopping bags have been the norm for decades. And these days, customers bring their own reusable shopping bags to help save money and the environment.
Don’t Bring Coupons If You Don’t Want To
For decades, coupons have been the tried-and-true way to walk away with some big savings. You might still see them in the Sunday newspaper. Over the years, however, physical coupons just don’t have the same presence they used to.
Get Alcohol Without a Membership
Whether you’re having a party or stocking your new home bar, alcohol can be a big expense. But before you decide to forego a bubbly beer or stiff cocktail, consider heading to Costco — you could get some great deals.
Shop Online Without a Membership
Many outsiders see what's happening at Costco and wish they were part of the action. Some of them might be tight on cash and can't afford a membership card just yet. Others might not be within driving distance of a Costco warehouse.
Shop on Certain Days
Shopping for groceries can either be a breeze or a complete disaster. You'll never know when the store is completely packed with shoppers looking to stock their pantries. While self-checkout exists, that doesn’t make things much easier during holidays or around big events.
Don’t Get Sticky Fingers
When it comes to shoplifting, stores like Costco are some of the biggest targets. In 2017, shoplifting accounted for 35.7% of industry shrink across the United States. This crime leads to prices going up across the board, which can hit consumers where it hurts most: their wallets.
Go for the Store Brand
Buying store-brand items is usually a good way to save money; they’re almost always cheaper than name-brand items. However, they’re not always known for being as high quality as the name-brand goods, either.
Look for the Manager Special
When it comes to shopping, one thing people keep their eye on is the sticker price. This lets buyers know if a big sale is happening at that very moment. Very few people make the mistake of ignoring price tags while shopping.