Considering the number of people constantly talking about Costco, there’s bound to be at least some nonsense. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common Costco myths.
1. Nothing but a bargain
The first thing that comes to our mind when we think of warehouse stores is negotiations. “I’ll buy huge barrels of stuff for pennies per pound and save money A lot of money!”
Are there any bargains in these endless Costco aisles? Definitely. Will everything you buy from Costco save you money? No. You can never guarantee a bargain when you buy something. This is true for Costco as everywhere else.
Most items at Costco potential to save money. For example, if you can actually drink two liters of olive oil before it smells (or if you’re one of the 44% who consume it). like stinky olive oil), then Kirkland Signature olive oil might be a bargain. On the other hand, if you throw away half the oil when it explodes, that’s not so good for your finances.
2. Free samples are available wall to wall
The media makes you think of warehouse stores as these sampling havens with aisle after aisle of free treats. Unfortunately, the reality is much less cinematic.
While you’re shopping, you can definitely find delicious examples at Costco. But don’t think skipping lunch will be enough, especially if you’re there midweek.
Regulars say the best time to sample is on the weekend, especially in the afternoon. This is when the crowds are thickest; This is a double-edged sword. Of course there will be many examples, but there will also be many customers competing for those examples.
3. You can return anything at any time
Costco does indeed advertise its “Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee” without broad limitation. When For many products, you must return them to get your money back. However, this is not an unlimited policy and there are a few important limitations to consider:
- Most electronics and devices can only be returned within 90 days.
- Tires, batteries, and other items with “limited life” may have product-specific limits.
- Special order items and custom assembled items cannot be returned outside of warranty.
- Store Cards (Costco’s own gift cards) are non-refundable.
If you’re unsure of the return policy for a particular item, you can always ask an employee or contact Costco directly. If you have any concerns, be sure to clarify the policy before purchasing.
4. There are ridiculously large portions of everything
Okay, sure, that’s kind of true. Walking down the aisles, it’s easy to assume that everything in the store comes in containers with volumes in liters and weights in pounds.
But it’s not true everything. Costco’s famous $5 rotisserie chicken, for example, is, you know, the size of a chicken. And for a seasonal example, Costco’s Halloween costumes are only human-sized.
Similarly, some of the items Costco sells aren’t particularly large portions, just lots. For example, if you buy an assortment of chips, the packages will likely be a reasonable 1-ounce snack size—50 in all.
Some bonus information
We’ve looked at a few untrue rumors today, so why not take a look at a few of them:
- The hot dog combo has been the same price since 1985. TRUE! The hot dog and soda combo has cost just $1.50 since it was first introduced in 1985. Costco’s leaders have repeatedly promised that the cost won’t increase for the foreseeable future. (If it had kept up with inflation, it would cost over $4 today.)
- You can only use Visa credit cards at Costco. Unfortunately this is true. Although you can use any type of cash or debit card, Costco only accepts credit cards that operate on the Visa network at its warehouse stores. (You can use visa And Mastercard at Costco.com.)
- Costco has its own credit card. Like many brands, Costco has a co-branded card (and yes, is Visa card): Citi’s Costco Anywhere Visa® Card. Even though it’s a throwaway card for Costco purchases, it’s actually a pretty great gas card, earning 4% on gas and EV charging and having a $7,000 annual spending limit. In fact, you can only pay for your Costco membership with gas rewards from the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi.
Fact or myth: Is a Costco membership worth it?
This is one of those things that’s hard to say one way or the other because it depends on your needs and spending habits. A Costco membership can pay for itself in savings for many types of members, whether through small savings on everyday items or a few great deals on larger purchases.
However, not everyone will get their money’s worth from membership. But the nice thing about Costco is that if you’re not happy with your membership, you can get a refund under the company’s satisfaction guarantee. This makes trying it a fairly risk-free experience.
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