The enormous members-only warehouse club is certainly a place where someone could spend hours and hours looking at the different products, scouring the shelves for deals, likely buying things they don’t need, and getting lost for an entire day. And as it turns out, that’s exactly what Costco wants you to do.
According to Reader’s Digest, who compiled a list of secrets from store insiders, Costco really loves to mess with its customers to keep them in the store just a little bit longer. Here a few of the juiciest tidbits sources shared with Reader’s Digest, and a few more we found on Reddit.
The store really is designed to mess with you
“Our stores constantly move their stock around, so you won’t necessarily find the peanut butter in the same spot it was last time,” Reader’s Digest wrote. “The company touts it as a ‘treasure hunt,’ but it also knows the more time you spend scanning the shelves, the more likely you are to notice (and buy) other items.” NPR even did a full-length investigation into the practice of making the store a maze.
Everything goes on sale at some point
“Wondering if you should stock up or wait? Most items will go on sale eventually, so it’s worth holding off if you can be patient,” an insider stated to Reader’s Digest.
Don’t bother asking for things high up on the shelves
Reddit user revealed. “If something is up high and there's none on the floor, just go back the next day for it.”
The store-brand products are actually made by fancy brand names
“Store brand items are made by name brands for us,” one Costco employee shared on Reddit. “I think it's Grey Goose that makes our French vodka that costs $20 less than name brand.”
You can literally return anything if you aren’t satisfied
“Non-electronics are 100 percent satisfaction guarantee,” the same employee additionally shared. “Can't tell you how many sun-rotted playsets have come back or how many 10-year-old mattresses have come back.”
Costco will warn you if its not restocking an item with a secret code
See an asterisk in the upper right corner of a price tag? That means the location will not be restocking that item, according to Reader’s Digest. So you’ll either have to find it somewhere else or stock up while you can.
You can still buy booze even if you aren’t a member in some states
While most of the goods are off-limits to non-members some stores do in fact allow people to come in and buy alcohol without a membership card.
“That depends on the state laws where you shop. In my state, no membership for alcohol or pharmacy,” a Costco employee stated on Reddit. So check your state laws, and if you can, get to shopping (and saving).