Producer Michelle's Costco Tips

posted by Producer Michelle -

We did a story earlier this week about how millennials might 'kill' Costco.

Since we got to talking about Costco, I asked Producer Michelle, who is my self-proclaimed 'Queen of Costco' to put together some of her tips about shopping there, because, well, she knows people 'in the know.'

These tips were compiled all on her own, with no help from anyone affiliated from Costco.

Now, she says she's only doing this because she's surprised that some people don't know some of this stuff because it's out there for people to find if you're looking or you know the right people to ask.

You can listen to her tips below!

Producer Michelle notes: One quick correction in the audio on the warranties, Costco offers a 'Two Plus Two' warranty.  The manufacturer gives you a one year warranty on an item at Costco, then Costco gives you an additional year, extending that warranty to two years.  

THEN, if you use your Costco Visa, you get an additional two year warranty on the item (I had said one). Now some exclusions apply. It's a little confusing but here are the details.

Producer Michelle's Costco Tips

  • IF YOU SEE IT, BUY IT, IT MIGHT NOT BE BACK!  Costco works on buying bulk items as cheaply as possible, giving you the best deal.  So if they get a great deal on Levi jeans this week and the next week the company sees them selling as well and wants to sell it to Costco at a higher price, Costco will say 'no thanks!'
  • COUPONS TYPICALLY START ON THURSDAYS.  Keeping in mind Tip #1, remember this when you're planning your trip to Costco to avoid the busiest crowds
    • Get your prescription at Costco (although being one will get you the best price) 
    • Buy Liquor.  Technically, you're supposed to get a temporary card to buy liquor, but no one ever feel free to buy your liquor at Costco IF you are in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Vermont.  Why? In these states it's against the law to charge a membership fee to someone buying liquor.  Also, Kirkland brand liquor is just as good as name brands and HALF the price!
    • Prices ending in .99 are regular price at the price set by Costco
    • Prices ending in .49-.89 are also regular price at a price set by the manufacturer
    • Prices ending in .97 are manager discount, meaning these items are on the way out
    • Prices ending in .88 or .00 means they're deep discount, and managers want them out of the store could be it's a returned item, there's only a few of this item left or it's just not selling well and it's been there for awhile
    • If you see an asterisk * on the sign, the item has been discontinued!
    • Keeping in mind this info, when you see any of the discounted numbers ASK a manager if there may be an additional discount. It doesn't hurt to ask, especially if it's a large item, you could score a 20-40% discount on an item they're looking to get rid of to make space for something else! 
    • When you see a sign price on a large ticket item like an appliance, many people don't know that prices INCLUDES: Delivery, installation and haul away of your old item.
    1. When the store is changing out display items (especially appliances and furniture) they're apt to get rid of the perfectly fine display item at a significant discount. Never hurts to ask! 

    • Almost everything you see in the store you can buy online and the large items you come to check out (appliances, etc) you can buy online in the store!  Costco is setting up in store kiosks and employees walk around with iPads to help you purchase these items and and them delivered to the store nearest you or your home!
    • You can get groceries delivered to your home in under two hours via Costco through Instacart, AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A MEMBER! I tried this out yesterday. at 3pm, I placed a purchase using my phone for: 20 cases of water, two cartons of milk, a carton of eggs and Kirkland toilet paper via the link at using my Costco Visa card.  10 minutes after making the order, I got a text saying Mauricio was shopping for my items. 20 minutes later I got another text saying Mauricio was on his way.  At 4:35, Mauricio pulled up to my house and unloaded my items.  I tipped him in cash, but you don't have to do that, when the driver leaves, you get another text with your receipt and asking for a review of the delivery and it gives you the option to tip then! 
    • All appliances at Costco come with lifetime technical support and a 1-year manufacturer warranty.  Costco adds ANOTHER one year to that warranty, just for purchasing at Costco! Then, if you purchase with your Costco Visa, you can get 2 more years of warranty for the item...and if you want more warranty than that, you can purchase 3 more years of warranty for as low as $80
    • Not to mention if you use your Costco Visa, you get a percentage back on purchases: 4% back on gas/ 3% back on travel/ 2% on Costco purchases / 1% back on all other purchases.
    • Did you know that you can also buy home mortgages through Costco Finance, a new or pre-owned car through Costco Auto, home and car insurancetravel packages (airfare, hotel, excursions, rental cars) through Costco Travel that include a Costco Travel Concierge so if you end up with a problem on your trip, they take care of it!
    • As evidenced by the woman who returned her Christmas tree to Costco in Santa Clarita recently, their return policy is generous and you can even get a refund on your membership fee if you feel like Costco's not your thing.