Ever wondered how you can make the most out of your Costco shopping experience? Or simply wanted to know a few of the secrets about Costco that you never knew about? Well, let’s see what we can find out with the Top 10 Costco Secrets You Did NOT Know About!
10. Employees Get A Free Turkey For Thanksgiving
This is definitely a great way to boost employee morale. According to an ex-Costco employee, workers not only received a minimum pay of around $15 dollars an hour, but would also get a free turkey to bring home to their families for Thanksgiving dinner. While a lot of large companies offer interesting perks to their employees, this one takes the cake for being the most unique. Not only is it thoughtful to the employee’s family, it also saves them the trouble of looking for a turkey at the grocery store in the midst of holiday chaos — and saves them quite a bit of money in the process! There’s a lot more to the perks of being a Costco employee than just a seasonal turkey, though: a few of the other benefits that come with working at Costco include healthcare for all employees, full or part-time, and paying all workers time and a half for working on Sundays. With around 250 employees working at the store on any given day, it’s good that Costco is placing such a high emphasis on not only the satisfaction of customers, but the satisfaction of their staff.
9. They Can Tell if You’ve Returned a Ton of Stuff
If you have a habit of buying things and returning them often, chances are your local Costco employees already know. Costco has a notoriously generous return policy, with some employees reporting that customers have returned items years after buying them and saving the receipt. However, if you’re guilty of trying to get a full refund for a purchase without bringing them the receipt, they’ll definitely be able to tell it was you. Costco’s records can recount purchases from up to ten years prior, making it super easy to tell how many things you’ve returned – or bought. However, they won’t even need to check your account to know you’re a habitual returner if you make a point of having figured out how the system works. By telling a Costco employee to check your account information, you’re basically giving away the fact that you’re a serial returner who exhibits difficulty holding onto receipts and has been to the return counter enough times to know that they can check your records on the store’s computer. If you do this too much, they may even be able to revoke your membership; if you’ve made lots of returns, it’ll likely be written down as a “comment” on your specific Costco account. Too many of these comments, and you might risk losing your membership entirely.
8. The Items Are Moved on Purpose
The next time you’re at Costco and have trouble finding an item you swore you remembered the location of, it might have changed spots without you realizing it! According to its employees, Costco changes the locations of items on a regular basis, dubbing the process of finding the items a “treasure hunt.” In reality, it’s a clever marketing scheme to get you to search the aisles more, tempting you to buy more than what you intended on purchasing as you search the store for the item you came in for. It’s definitely a smart move for Costco to move their merchandise around, but it’s super annoying if you’re just shopping for one or two items or are on a strict budget and can’t buy more than what you’re looking for. If you’re devoting an entire day to Costco, though, hunting down the items you need may be a fun activity for your family to partake in, especially if you have kids. It makes shopping fun, and will definitely be a good way of exercising while still picking up the items you need. However, Costco won’t move an item if it’s selling well in a specific location, so more popular items will likely be easier to find. With that being said, the whole “treasure hunt” idea is still a good way to get yourself moving while completing your shopping. Who needs the gym when you can get your groceries and work out all at the same time?
7. Costco Employees Can Do Their Shopping After Hours
Another benefit of working at Costco, aside from the good pay and free exercise, is the ability to pick up your groceries in bulk without having to wait in line at checkout or deal with crowding in the aisles. While the registers are closed after hours, a member service desk remains open to help employees check out their items even after the store closes its doors to the public. After a long day at work, it makes sense that you’d want to shop in a quiet environment with no one else around to bother you, so for Costco employees who spend lots of time on their feet every shift, this system works perfectly. Costco workers also get complimentary memberships to Costco, also saving them some money. Couldn’t make it to Costco before their doors closed? Don’t fret! Sales cycle through most items eventually, so they won’t disappear forever if you miss one. If you’re willing to be patient, whatever item you were looking for that day will go on sale again after a little while.
6. Costco Has Lots of Healthy Options
Since everything at Costco seems to be sold in bulk, it comes as no surprise that some people would be led to believe that they only sell packaged junk food. Though you’ll find lots of chips, cookies, and other unhealthy snacks in huge boxes at Costco, they actually carry quite a few health foods as well. Their produce section is stacked with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, along with other healthy options like yogurt, hummus, and coconut milk. If you’re looking to build some muscle, Costco may be a good place to pick up protein powder, too; they have huge containers of protein mix for pretty reasonable prices — not to mention, carrying the enormous container around the warehouse ought to be a workout in and of itself! If you’re looking to buy healthy foods in bulk but don’t want to spend an astronomical amount of money, Costco is a good option, whether you’re buying food directly from the store or not. Even if you’re looking for a branded dieting plan that can deliver straight to your doorstep, Costco may be able to help you save some money because of the discounted gift cards it carries: news sources online report that you can buy an $100 gift card for the South Beach diet for only $79, which saves you money while still offering the convenience of a specific food plan delivered straight to your door. If you’re searching for some equipment without wanting to pay a monthly gym membership fee, you can also buy exercise gear from Costco for pretty reasonable prices. With items like inversion tables, treadmills, and ellipticals being sold for under $1,000, you can get professional gym equipment in your home without breaking the bank.
5. Listen for the Chicken Bell
Ever wondered how you can get your hands on the freshest $4.99 rotisserie chicken possible? Costco has a bell that will go off when they’ve just put out a new batch of chickens out for sale. Since they’re such a good deal, they’ll sell quickly, but don’t worry! If you can’t get your hands on one right away, you can simply wait for the next bell and head to the deli department to grab a freshly-cooked rotisserie chicken later on. Costco’s $4.99 chickens are such a great deal that you might be wondering if there’s a catch, seeing as cheap chicken usually tends to be chock-full of nasty chemicals or simply tastes awful. Although Costco’s chickens are pre-seasoned in factories — and thus can be considered a “processed” food — and contain a lot of sodium, they’re actually one of the healthier rotisserie chickens on the market because they don’t have any preservatives, MSG, artificial colors or flavors, and have had their skins removed to cut down on fat content. You won’t have to worry about them not tasting good, either; the rotisserie chickens are so delicious for the price that they’ve earned themselves a cult following. With Costco Rotisserie Fan Pages amassing thousands of fans online, there’s a reason why Costco chickens have gained such a good rep among customers everywhere. They’re also a great pick if you don’t feel like making dinner yourself!
4. There’s Much More to Costco Than Groceries
If you’re a self-proclaimed Costco superfan, you’ll be happy to know that Costco has a presence in much more than just brick-and-mortar stores. A lot of the time, Costco’s other services seem to be overlooked by customers who think it’s simply a chain for buying wholesale groceries and everyday items. However, Costco has dipped its toes into other services as well, which could help you save a ton of money in other areas of your life. If you’re looking to save a lot of money on your next vacation, for example, the Costco Travel website offers a long list of well-priced vacation packages for your next getaway for reasonable prices that you wouldn’t find at a travel agent’s office; with a week-long trip to Hawaii being just under $2,000 with comfortable amenities. If you need help buying or refinancing your house, the Costco Mortgage Program may also be worth looking into: it won’t sell you a mortgage directly, but you’ll be able to get hooked up with reliable lending services that can save you a ton of money. If you’re dealing with a death in the family, Costco also carries caskets for more affordable prices and can ship to 36 states across America. Whether you’re looking for help with your home, vacation, or unexpected circumstances, Costco has you covered.
3. People Actually Buy the Giant Bear (and Other Ridiculous Things)
You’ve probably seen the infamously ginormous Costco teddy bear before — seriously, it’s nearly impossible to miss — but you probably didn’t know that it has become a popular gift among parents and grandparents for the kids in their family. The teddy bear is a massive 93 inches tall and sells for $289.99, making it one of Costco’s pricier items. For people whose grandchildren simply won’t settle for a small teddy bear, this huge one makes a great, if not outrageous, Christmas or birthday gift. Costco’s giant plush is so well-known that it’s actually gained quite a following on social media: with some meme accounts on Instagram gaining thousands of followers. People online have even been removing the stuffing from the bears and hollowing them out to make DIY huggable bear suits for kids’ birthday parties or special events – or to prank unsuspecting family members. Huge, fluffy bears aside, there are lots of other crazy-expensive things you can actually buy at this wholesale chain; a luxury SUV for around $75,000, eleven pounds of authentic Japanese wagyu meat for around $900, and a 10-carat engagement ring for around $420,000, to name a few. It may seem ridiculous to pick up such expensive items from a place like Costco, but if you’re looking to save money on a big investment, these otherwise impossibly-priced picks may be worth a second look.
2. Secrets of the Price Tag
Although Costco is renowned for its reasonable prices and incredible customer service, there are still ways to maximize your shopping experience and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck during your visit. One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your shopping trip is to pay close attention to the price tags of certain items and familiarize yourself with the “codes” depicted on them. For example, a price tag with an asterisk signifies that the item won’t be getting restocked later, which is a good way to figure out which items should be bought on your current trip and which can wait till next time. Another way to discover the status of an item is to look at the last few numbers on the price tag. Numbers ending in .09 ($19.99, $10.99, etc.) signify normally priced merchandise, which means you aren’t really saving all that much. However, an item ending in .97 means that it’s been marked down, which may indicate that now is a good time to stock up on that item specifically. Similarly, an item ending in .88 or rounding out to a solid dollar will tell you that the local manager has marked the item down for this store specifically. Usually, managers will do this when they’re on their last box of product, if the product has pieces missing, or even if they simply want to clear the product from the store. Though you’re probably saving money by shopping at Costco already, these price tag secrets will help make every penny count!
1. Navigate the Store Wisely
While shopping at Costco is arguably an expedition in and of itself, knowing your store well is one of the best ways to save the most money. According to Costco employees, the best deals are nearly always found towards the back. To get the most for your dollar, the best route is to start in the center of the store — often called “center court” by Costco workers — and work your way towards the back of the store. If you have to buy something from the front, be sure it’s only the stuff you really need, as the markup for the front of the store is often higher than that of the back. Don’t fret too much about the markup, though; Costco’s prices are still mathematically better than a lot of other grocery stores out there. While most grocery stores will jack up the price of meat by nearly 30 percent of what they paid their suppliers, Costco’s products are said to be marked up no higher than 15 percent, with an average markup of 10.6 percent for all items. This means you’re not paying much more than the store does for the items, so you’ll still be saving money in the long run. You can also take a peek at websites like the Costco Subreddit for more tips and tricks from other Costco fanatics on how to save big during your next visit. Whether you’re a savings junkie or a casual Costco member, it’s still good to know where the very best deals in the entire warehouse are!