Skip to content

The Secret Costco Trick That Will Blow Your Mind

If you see this at the store, grab it!
outside costco

We've all been there—mulling over whether or not to impulse buy an item to add to our growing haul at Costco. Sometimes if you're lucky and you pass on something and regret it, you can go back to the store and find it again, but sometimes it's gone forever. That's why looking at the Costco price tag is so important!

At Costco, if you see an asterisk on the item's price tag, that means it's one of your last chances to swipe the item up. Once gone, Costco will be out of the supply and the item is discontinued.

Look for the asterisk and the end of the price tag.

The asterisk isn't the only marker on a sign that shoppers should take note of. When an item's price tag ends with .97 cents, it's a corporate markdown and when it ends with .88 cents it's an in-store markdown, according to Reddit user and Costco employee jes3se.

While those can indicate great deals, asterisks indicate that an item will be leaving the shelves for good according to Quora user and Costco employee Tim Sullivan, who says that an asterisk on the upper right corner of the sign means that once the item is out of stock, it's gone.

"If there is [an asterisk] on the sign, it is deleted from the system and that's likely all we have left," Sullivan says.

While they will not be stocking the current items, Reddit user FreydNot said that the store maybe replacing it with an improved version of the same item.

"Sometimes they are getting an upgraded item (Q-tips in a 500 count box instead of a 400 count box, etc.) so the [asterisk] means they won't be getting the old one anymore but it might be replaced by a better version of the same item," FreydNot wrote.

If you're not ready to take a chance on waiting for an improved version of an item, when you see an asterisk on the sign, it's time to take the plunge and purchase.

For more clever Costco tricks, be sure to check out our list of 14 Best Ways to Save Money at Costco, Straight From Employees.

Erin Yarnall
Erin Yarnall is a freelance food writer. Read more