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What Is the Costco Death Star? And Why You Should Know About It

Time is ticking down for these items, and you don’t want to miss them.

The average shopper may not be aware of Costco's best-kept secrets, but observant Kirkland members know there's more than meets the eye when you're looking at that price tag. After all, getting a good deal requires research. Here's the reason you should pay attention when you're browsing the pallets in your local warehouse—especially when it comes to your favorite items.

You can figure out more than just the cost of goods from the label on a product at Costco. Look closely at the sign! You may see the occasional asterisk in the upper-right-hand corner of the item's tag. This is what some shoppers have dubbed the "death star."

Want more Costco news? Read here for six popular Kirkland items that should never be discontinued.

The Costco Death Star is the asterisk (*) found on an item's price tag.

If you ask about the "death star" to Costco employees, they may not be clued in. Facebook page Costco Fans gave the asterisk this nickname to signal that the warehouse won't be reordering the item. In other words, the product has been discontinued at this location.

But it doesn't always mean the item is gone forever. Avid customer and Quora user Dimitri Vulis notes that some "death star" products are seasonal offerings that are usually brought back around a particular time of the year. Other times, Costco is getting rid of it altogether.

If one of your go-to products gets marked with the Death Star, you might want to stock up on it before it's all gone.

Either way, you'll need to act fast. TikTok user @newmoneynate says that anything you still see on the shelf is the last of the remaining stock and is unlikely to still be there during your next shopping trip. Your best bet? Buy it while you can.

But it's tough to know if you should stockpiling bags of your favorite discontinued cookies. Sometimes it's better to cut your losses and start finding a replacement. If you're on the fence, check the end of the price tag.

The ending on the price tag can tell you if you're getting a good deal.

A Reddit post reveals the hidden meaning behind Costco pricing. For items that end in .99 cents, you can be sure you're paying the full retail price—no discount here. A price tag that ends in .97 or .00 cents, however, indicates a markdown to offload the inventory that's left. We recommend you take advantage of the deals when it comes to your household staples, because they're bound to save you money and likely to sell out quickly.

Sarah Wong
Sarah studied at Northwestern University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and experimented with mixing tech and journalism. Read more about Sarah