Have you ever looked at all the numbers and codes on the big price signs hanging over an item at Costco and wondered what it all meant? Well, luckily, Len Rapoport at HubPages has created a handy little guide so that it is all clear. All of this information is a great way to help you learn the secret pricing language at Costco so that you can save a little extra money. And even though Costco already has pretty terrific pricing, who wouldn’t like to save a bit more on their next shopping trip? There really is a wealth of information in those simple little black and white signs: mark downs, rebates, special prices, discontinued items, or items that will not be restocked. So, you’ll know when to stock up, when you’re saving the most and when that product you like is about to make its final appearance at Costco.
This is an extremely detailed article about how to read the signs at Costco, as well as where to look in the store for the best deals. I know all of this stuff has been talked about at some point on my blog over the last 5+ years, but mostly in comments, so it is great that someone has compiled all of this great information into a single article that you can reference to understand it all. There are several key areas on the price signs that have really significant information for shoppers. I’ve made a little diagram with a price sign to try to make it a bit more clear, but in the article you’ll see there are several images showing examples of all the price sign variations. Hopefully, it’ll all be clear with the pictures as a guide.
So, as you can see, the image to the left is your typical Costco pricing sign. But I’ve highlighted the areas where you can find out extra information, if you know the Costco-ese of pricing. I’m going to summarize the big points, but I really do encourage everyone to read the article at HubPages for way, way more information and lots of example photos.
- The last two digits in the price can tell you a lot. Regular priced items usually end with a .99 ending; though sometimes this might not be the case. However, the ones with the .97 endings are those items that did not sell and must be cleared out. The mark downs on close out items might not be huge, but at least you’ll know that they are somewhat discounted and that they won’t be in stock much longer. Once they sell out, that’s it. Also, look for prices ending in .79, .49, .89 (or similar, except for .99). These types of prices indicate special deals that Costco was able to obtain from the vendor or manufacturer.
- Is there an asterisk (*) in the upper right hand corner? The asterisk in the upper right hand corner of the pricing sign indicates items that will not be restocked. So, once they’ve sold out of the current stock this item is gone gone gone. If it is something you really like, this is your tip off to buy extra because chances are it will not be on the shelf the next time you’re at Costco. These items may, or may not, be marked down, but now you’ll be able to tell that from the the price, right?
- Are there special rebates on this item? If there is an instant rebate or a manufacturer’s rebate, you’ll see a line for it on the sign here. If there’s a coupon deal for a product it might show up here too (this isn’t always the case and seems to vary by location). The instant rebates will be taken off at the register automatically as you check out; no muss, no fuss.
- The little date in the lower right hand corner, below the price, is the last time the price changed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the price is lower now, (however that is probably the case) but there was a price change of some type. This tidbit isn’t in the article but was passed on to me by the person that sent me the link to the article, so thanks for that extra information.
The article also has a ton of extra information about where in the store to find special markdowns and things like that, as well as an assortment of other Costco shopping tips; excellent reading for all Costco shoppers.