Secrets to saving money at Costco
Last updated 8/21/2014 at 9:19pm | View PDF
While it can be hard to find a great deal these days, sometimes knowing a few 'secrets' can help. Even at a place like Costco.
Although most shoppers know that buying in bulk on some items can certainly save money, there are a few tips you can use at the giant retailer in south Visalia. Certainly there are savings to be had at their basic price, like the store's top seller, its Kirkland toilet paper, an item that moves at the rate of $60,000 per week according to a store spokesperson.
But by knowing what to look for while browsing the aisles, specifically the price the item is marked at, can be a source of even greater savings. For example, items that have an asterisk on the price tag are marked down and once that store's supply is sold it will not be reordered, said the spokesperson, who requested anonymity.
Additional savings can be found on items showing a price ending in 97 cents, which are close out items. "They can be seasonal items that we have a quantity remaining that we need to sell before the season ends," he said, using the spring planting season as an example.
If a store has a quantity of an item remaining and the arrangement with the wholesale supplier calls for it to be 100% sold, an individual Costco store may reduce the price on an item. That's when a product might be sold for the full price at one store, and yet a different, discounted price at another nearby Costco. While those situations are individual to each store, and usually happen with seasonal items as opposed to year-round products, the discounted price from one Costco will not be honored at a store where that same item is selling like hotcakes.
In addition, if an item such as a television or piece of furniture, has sold well and only one remains, the price on a floor sample could be reduced and marked on the tag as being the last one in the store. "The same warranty and Costco return policies apply to all items, including floor samples," the spokesperson said.
Items ending in 79 or 49 cents are indications of special purchase items, and can represent sizeable savings compared to the standard retail price charged for the item. Beyond the special offers that come in the mail to members, occasionally managers create their own markdown specials, with these rare finds ending in either 88 or 00 cents.
Placement of any specially priced products in the store will generally be in the same area as like items, although the store may strategically place items so as to generate sufficient visibility.
Finally, there's a price protection guarantee. If prices in the store drop lower on the close-outs, or items you originally purchased at full price, you can bring the items back and repurchase them at the lower price. Remember, the price adjustment policy on most items is 30 days.