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This Costco Price Tag Guide Will Give You the Retailer’s Pricing Secrets

The outside of a Costco is surrounded by greenery.
Juan Llauro/Shutterstock.com

For bulk buyers, Costco is basically the end-all, be-all of retailers. From its own Kirkland’s Signature brand to its discount pricing, everyone loves Costco. For frequent customers, there might be an even more effective way to shop—understanding some Costco’s price tag meaning.

Costco uses price tags to communicate internal processes, and they can clue shoppers into everything from what’s on sale to what’s being discontinued.

In an Instagram post, content creator @CostcoDeals posted a handy key that helps Costco lovers understand exactly what all those back-of-house signifiers are. According to the post:

  • Items with prices ending in .99 are full-cost
  • Items with prices ending in .97 are on clearance
  • Items with prices ending in .00 are manager markdowns and are typically priced as low as possible
  • Items with prices ending in .49 or .79 are trial-run items or manufacturer deals
  • Items with an asterisk on the tag are up for discontinuation

Why does this matter for shoppers? Well, first of all, if you find an item you love marked with an asterisk, it’s time to buy it because it could be discontinued soon, and you’ll want to stock up while you can. As for items with .49 and .79 price tags, those are also buy-now items as they could have limited runs as part of a test for a larger potential launch.

Of course, those looking to save cash can specifically locate items with .00 and .97 prices as they’re on sale and might not be so forever.

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So are these tips legit? LifeSavvy reached out to Costco about these price tag signifiers, and the retailer explained that they were originally meant for inventory processes and that they are subject to change. As a result, the brand did not comment on them.

The next time you’re shopping, though, you can check out those Costco price tags and find out for yourself. You might save yourself a buck or two.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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