4 things you need to know about Costco price tags

Young man checking prices in supermarket.

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Don’t shop at Costco again without reading this.


Important points

  • Costco offers many great deals for Warehouse Club members, and you can get even better deals if you know what to look for.
  • Costco price tags give you all the information you need to find bargains.
  • Examples of price tags representing a discount are those ending in 0.97 and 0.88.

Costco offers many popular products, including branded and Costco merchandise Kirkland house brand. And you can often score great prices when shopping at Warehouse Club. But if you want to be really smart about maximizing the savings your Costco membership offers, it’s a good idea to know how to decipher the store’s price tags.

By understanding what the different numbers on the labels mean, you can decide if it’s time to buy a particular item or if you should wait until they release it Credit card see you later.

You pay full price for items with this number on the price tag

If you’re looking at a Costco item and the price ends at $0.99, there’s no rush to buy the item unless you need it now. The 0.99 numbers mean this is a full price item and is unlikely to be discontinued anytime soon.

You’ll get a bargain if the price tag ends with these numbers

Price tags ending in 0.00 or 0.88 indicate that the item has been returned or that the item is running low on stock. Managers mark these items to get them off the shelves so you can count on a lower price.

If you’re dying to get the item, when you see these numbers, it might be time to act. That’s because this tag usually means that the only inventory available is the items you see in front of you, and the store won’t be receiving any more items for the foreseeable future.

Price tags ending in 0.49, 0.79 or 0.89 can also be good deals as these numbers generally mean that the manufacturer is offering a special promotion. Unlike .88 or .00, stock is not necessarily limited to these items. However, the deal might not last forever as it depends on how long the manufacturer keeps the sale going.

You should look for more information when you see these numbers

Tags ending in .97 also indicate a bargain, but the specific amount you save varies by item, so you’ll need to do a little more research.

You see, these numbers indicate that the article is a manager’s special. They can be heavily discounted, or the savings can be as little as a dollar or two, depending on the circumstances. You can ask the store for the original price to see how much you’re saving, or you can estimate the remaining stock to see if the item is likely to be discounted even further.

When checking out items on Manager’s Specials, it’s also worth checking the lower-right corner of the price tag to see the date the price was last discounted. If it was recently, there’s a good chance the price will drop again — although there’s no guarantee.

You should act quickly when you see this on a Costco price tag

Finally when you see an asterisk

, which means the item may be discontinued or not restocked once current stock is exhausted. If you want the item, you must buy it now, otherwise you might miss your chance forever.

Knowing these Costco price tag rules should help you make more informed decisions on your next shopping spree, so you can make sure you’re not missing out on items you want—or pay more than you need for those items.

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