Is Costco Cheaper In-Store Than Online?

Is Costco Cheaper In-Store Than Online?

Is Costco Cheaper In-Store Than Online?

Costco, an American membership-only warehouse club, stocks just about anything you need in bulk for a tremendous bargain.

Costco offers members unbeatable prices on over 300,000 items ranging from furniture to electronics to clothing to kitchenware, besides supplying fresh groceries and having the world’s best hotdog and hamburger bar.

Not only does Costco have great deals on all kinds of products, but it also gives its employees better hours and wages than most retailers.

Costco is cheaper in-store than online. This is because of the membership fees that the company associates with.

Yes! If you are a Gold Star member or above, you receive 2% back on all your purchases made online. This 2% also applies on top of the manufacturer’s coupons. If you are a Costco Visa cardholder and pay your bill online, you will receive 1% cashback on all online purchases .

The prices for Costco will vary depending on what you are buying. You can buy bulk products at cheaper rates than you can buy them at smaller stores or online.

If you are not a member of Costco, you cannot buy anything online through their website.

However, if you are a member, you can purchase some items on their site for less than they are in store. You need a membership to make purchases both in-store and online.

You do not have to have a membership to visit the store and make purchases online.

There is also a free Costco Cash Card, but it has a combined total of more than $1500 per year. You can earn money with this card by spending at Costco in-store and online.

Thus, even non-members can save money at Costco, either as members or individuals.

Once you are a member, you can use the Costco App to find what items are available in-store or online. This way, you can always know if you are getting a deal on what you buy.

You can still find good deals on items that are not necessarily in your store by checking out items online at the website and comparing them with what is at your store.

The prices may be different, but the selection may be better online.

How Much More Expensive Is Costco Online?

Costco online costs $2 extra per item. It’s about eight cents more than its in-store price for non-members, but 21% of Costco members shop online.

In recent years, sales from Costco’s online stores increased 43% from the previous year.

Other websites have reported that buying items online, even with a membership, can be more expensive than buying those same items at a local store (Costco).

Before jumping to conclusions, let’s look at the facts.

There are three types of membership available from Costco: Gold Star, Gold Star Executive, and Business. Each membership has distinct pros and cons.

These memberships are $55 per year for a basic household membership. The Gold Star membership costs $55 per year for one person, whereas a business membership costs $110 per year.

No matter what type of member you are, online purchases do not incur extra charges (Costco).

It’s true that Costco online is more expensive than its local stores. The price difference can be as much as 8¢ per item.

Although, online shopping saves the consumer a monthly fee one pays to enter the store (Costco).

People who do not have a physical Costco near their home should not let this extra fee deter them from shopping online. There are plenty of ways to avoid paying extra charges.

If you are a Gold Star member or above, you receive 2% back on all your purchases made online. This 2% also applies on top of the manufacturer’s coupons.

Additionally, if you are a Costco Visa cardholder and pay your bill online, you will receive 1% cashback on all online purchases (Costco).

If consumers can shop around for discounts and coupons, they can eliminate the extra per item charge.

A basic Gold Star membership includes free shipping for a lifetime.

If you are shopping online for oversized items like televisions and appliances that require delivery, then the free shipping would be an extra perk (Costco).

Costco’s buying power makes it such a market leader. They can get lower prices than their competitors because they buy in bulk.

Thus, you get items at low prices shipped right to your home when you shop online.

Basic membership to Costco includes free shipping for a lifetime. Additional charges apply for bulky items, such as furniture and appliances that require delivery (Costco).

The item’s value determines if the item will incur any additional charges.

For example, televisions are free shipping if shipped alone; however, if you add a stand or furniture to your order, you need to pay $125 for the delivery (Costco).

In these cases, the consumer can pay more than the item. Minor items such as food and electronics do not have an additional charge when shipped online.

Are Costco Prices Different In-Store?

No. Costco hasn’t changed its prices online. The price listed online is the same as what’s listed in-store.

This means that if you’re only going to shop at Costco once a week or less because of your work schedule, it won’t cost too much more for you to order and have it shipped.

To find out the Costco price for in-store purchases of the same item, you need to use the Costco price finder.

You can also call customer service, and they’ll tell you what it costs at the actual store. There are a few things to note before you use this tool:

The prices you find online may not be closer to store prices than prices found in customer service.

Sometimes, the Costco price finder won’t always be accurate, especially on bulk items.

Some prices you see here may not be exact matches for your local store.

The “Estimate” setting below gives you a ballpark figure that’s close to what you’d pay if you went there and bought it in-store yourself.

The “True” setting is an exact match, including the tax and any other fees that apply locally.

Is Costco Online Cheaper For Members?

Yes. Buying online at Costco is cheaper for members. Costco’s online prices are 5% to 15% below warehouse prices.

The exceptions are in cases where the store determines that an item is too heavy for shipping, too large to fit into a box or not cost-efficient in specific markets.

They also won’t ship alcohol, cigarettes, TVs over 32”, or tires over 26” in size.

Most warehouse prices are for a few items, but offers most of Costco’s products in virtually unlimited quantities.

For example, the warehouse might stock only a dozen of a particular item, which means only a few people can buy it at that price.

In contrast, the online store could have thousands of items available at any one time.

Members are also more likely to find deals on than at the warehouse store. They also update online prices every 15 minutes to reflect current information.

The website also allows members to create their shopping lists and print them on paper or online.

The online store is great if you need multiple items in bulk, such as a few dozen cases of wine or hundreds of dog food bags at a reduced price.

Is It Worth Shopping At Costco Online?

Yes. It’s worth shopping at Costco online because the shipping charges are not bad, and there is also less chance of scams that often appear at other online retailers.

Costco is one of the few online retailers that does not have a problem with fraud.

The issue only came up after Amazon, which has a reputation for scamming customers, got involved with selling Costco items in their marketplace.

Costco has since sued Amazon over this alleged misleading business practice.

Costco does not trick you into buying items that they might have marked up more than they should be.

When Costco sells off-brand products, they are visible on the label with: “Online Only” or “Cash & Carry” or “Only at Costco” on the label.

Does Costco Have Different Prices At Different Stores?

Yes. Costco prices vary by store depending on:

– Distance (far away stores offer better deals)

– Selection (stores near different cities will have different products available)

– Promotions are currently running.

They do this because they want to leave room for other retailers in the area. They also want to make sure there’s enough product for everyone, so they don’t sell out of certain things.

Officially, all prices are the same, but they are different in practice. The result is that people have less incentive to shop at Superstore because they can go to Costco instead.

The calculation they do depends on your postal code.

They know how much you will want to pay, and they price the products right there to match that number and make sure it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Costco tends not to overprice things by over 1%. They want all of their members to be happy with the price, so they’ll practice this same policy on a larger scale with what they call regional pricing.

The regional pricing ensures everyone has reasonable prices on products.

How do I find out Costco prices?

You can find out Costco prices by looking at the products in the store.

It will be on the shelf with the product. You can also visit their website to see current pricing, which will be on the shelf in the same section as the product.

If a product is not on sale, you can use their website to find out what it would cost if Costco sold it.

When pricing a subscription, look for promotional deals on their website for discounts and gifts that can save you $$$.

You can sign up for their emails as well to get coupons in your inbox before they expire.

Are Costco Online prices the same as in-store?

Yes. Some stores have lower prices than others. The northwest corner of the daily market may be a couple of dollars cheaper than the southeast.

Costco also sells pre-packaged warehouse foods, so they always have sales and deals on those items.

It might not make sense to stock up on gallons of milk when you can buy them by the 12 pack for less at Costco anymore, but it’s easier to get free shipping with a Costco membership.

Costco membership is $55 per year, and it’s best to be a member if you use Costco regularly. With the membership, you get 2% cashback on gas or dining out products.

You also get an extra 2% on electronics somehow, but it never hurt to have an excuse to buy more electronics.

Is Costco Membership Worth It For Online Shopping?

Yes. Costco memberships are the perfect answer for online shoppers. These stores offer customers special deals when buying in bulk.

Maintaining your membership costs $55 per year, and providing a member with endless benefits – including free shipping on orders of $60 or more.

Costco also has a variety of items such as electronics, clothes, toiletries, toys, and more.

You should think of buying a Costco membership if you’re looking to save money on shopping where ever you are.

However, you need to check whether you can become a Costco member. You can become a member by fulfilling some requirements or introducing a current member.

Is Costco Online More Expensive Than The Warehouse?

Yes. Costco online is more expensive than warehouse prices. The main reason is that online shoppers have to pay for shipping.

Warehouse shoppers do not have to worry about this cost because it’s already in the price of their items.

Costco’s prices are often higher than other stores that carry similar products available for cheaper at stores like Walmart, Target, or Kohl’s.


Costco online is worth it for people who cannot travel. You can add the Costco membership to your registry and ship directly to a future address.

It’s also worth it because it will be easier to get specific items that may not be at local stores or that you may want to buy in bulk.

Costco is also beneficial for those that work from home. Costco is a perfect option for those that want to save money in the long term.

You may have a Costco membership, including it in your registry. This adds a bit of prestige to your shower gifts or baby gifts.

Someone who’s on a budget would love the prices at Costco online because they are less expensive than other stores with the same products.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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