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26 Life-Changing Things You Need To Know About Costco

There is no limit on samples. I repeat, there is no limit on samples.

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1. In most states, you don't actually have to be a member to buy booze.

If the liquor store is a separate entrance, you can walk right in. If it's inside the store, just go to the customer service desk and ask for a "Temporary Alcohol Shopping Pass" which will let you buy (only) booze.

2. Kirkland is the store's name brand, which is usually the best deal.

These products are a a kind of "private label" and often made in the same factories as higher-priced brands. The Kirkland Brand Straight Bourbon Whiskey, for example, is made in the Jim Beam plant.

3. Costco has a travel program with discounted trips to places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, Disney World, and Europe.

4. Some of the best deals are bulk movie tickets and gift cards for other locations.

5. Technically, Costco is one of the largest pizza chains in the country.

Though no one would call it that, with more than 400 stores, it's only slightly behind CiCi's and Chuck E. Cheese.

6. Many stores have a pizza hotline that's just for pizza orders.


7. Costco is also the largest importer of fine French wines in the U.S.

8. They sell four times as many hot dogs as all Major League Baseball stadiums combined.

9. The price for a hot dog and soda has been $1.50 for almost 30 years, and they don't plan on raising it.

10. You can get a refund of your membership price at any time.

No questions asked.

11. There's no limit on samples.

12. Members also get discounts on large items. Like cars. And boats. And caskets.

Among other strange things.

13. Non-members can get Costco groceries delivered to their home using Instacart.

So you can get an 87-pack of toilet paper and not even have to carry it home yourself.

The app-based service currently operates in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

15. Non-members can also use the pharmacy, which is the cheapest place to get generic drugs.

Federal regulations require these services be available to everyone. This also includes mail-order prescriptions and vision centers.


17. The plainer the display, the better the price.

The best deals are often just on pallets in the middle of the store. Those displays are less work for the store, which often equates to deeper discounts for the customers.

19. You can get your printer ink refilled for only $7.50.

20. The "secret price code" that's been going around isn't always accurate.

While items that end in .00 and .07 are technically markdowns, they're not necessarily better deals than those ending in .99 or anything else.

The asterisk on a tag does mean it's been deleted from stock and won't be reordered, but this also applies to holiday items that just won't be reordered until the next year.

21. The store has big closeout sales after the holidays, but that's not the only time.

They also clear inventory at the end of every season, when they put things like patio tables and other big items on mega sale to make room.

22. Costco employees are some of the best paid in the retail industry.

The average rate for employees is $20.89 an hour, and 90% of employees take advantage of the company health care.

23. They move necessities like lightbulbs and toilet paper around the store on purpose.

PAUL J. RICHARDS / AFP / Getty Images

That way you'll have to go past lots of other things to get there, even if you're a regular. They call it a "treasure hunt."


24. They provide free tech support for all electronics purchased in the store.