We all shop at Costco for good deals in bulk. But what if I told you that you could save even more money on what you put in your bulging shopping cart?
Here’s the trick: Scan the product signs for an asterisk and prices that end in seven. The symbol – affectionately referred to as the “death star” in Costco groups on Facebook and Instagram – signals the item is about to exit the wholesaler’s inventory. The seven often means the item has been marked down.
When you see both, it’s time to swoop in for some savings.
“It’s like a treasure hunt and you need to buy it when you see it,” Mhyla Borkowski, one of the administrators at the Costco Fans Facebook group, told me about the coveted clearance items.
►Labor Day 2021:What stores and restaurants are open Labor Day? Here’s a list of businesses open or closed Monday
►Sephora at Kohl’s grand openings:More locations open ahead of Labor Day and throughout September. See which stores are getting a makeover.
Here are my top three tips for making the most of clearance shopping at Costco. Learn more of my Costco adventures in my recent column.
Join Costco fan groups: I follow Costco Fans groups to see what death star deals other members are finding. Markdowns and selection can vary by location. Aside from the main account, there are regional groups, a travel account, a lifestyle group and even a Keto group.
Be on the lookout for prices ending in .97 and .00: The items with .97 are usually the death star items and the others are called manager specials or manager markdowns and often also have an asterisk on the price tag. Most of the price tags at Costco are on white paper, but sometimes these specials are printed on color paper or are highlighted in neon on the price tag.
Watch for further price drops: If the item is discounted again within 30 days, ask for a price adjustment at customer service. Borkowski said she’s heard of some clubs that only make adjustments within 14 days and some require receipts to refund the difference. Other clubs request members bring the product back in, too. Costco.com also offers price adjustments within 30 days through an online form.
Ready to shop? Remember, Costco is closed on Labor Day just like it is on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day and July 4th. Also, take note of twice-weekly senior hours and temporary limits on select items amid the delta variant rise.
►Save better, spend better: Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here
►Best Buy is driving sales:Best Buy now selling electric bikes, scooters and mopeds online, launching in select stores soon
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group.