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This Insider Secret Will Save You Money Every Time You Shop at Costco

This is how to read a price tag at Costco to know you're getting the best deal possible.

Shopping at Costco can be overwhelming. The aisles are filled with tons of items with prices that seem too good to pass up. But the truth is, not every buy at Costco is worth shelling out your hard-earned cash for. Some are better than others and there's an easy way to tell the good deals from the great ones: It's all about the last number on that Costco price tag.

The shopping pros at Tip Hero explain that every big box store has a complex markdown system. If you know how to decode it, you can ensure you're getting the best deal possible. At Costco, any price tag that ends with a .99 is most likely the original price. So while it may be a deal due to the nature of a bulk purchase, the truth is, you can do better.

Items at Costo with prices ending in .97, however, indicate that product has been reduced for clearance. "Unlike all other retailers, Costco doesn't like you to know this," write the frugal shopping experts at Tough Nickel. "So they don't put the original prices with a slash and then the new price as many stores do."

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Items with an asterisk on the upper righthand corner of the price sign at Costco have a whole different meaning: Those products will not be re-stocked. So if you see something you love with that * symbol, stock up while you can.

A Costco employee told Business Insider that seasonal items "that are the last quantities in stock are marked with an asterisk on signage." "Your favorite item may be seasonal, so buy it if you see it," they said.

And there's one final Costco price tag trick to keep an eye out for: Products being sold for amounts that end in .88 or .00 indicate that a store manager has cut the price for a particular reason. It may be a floor model or one of the last items of that kind that the store wants to get rid of.

"While you could be getting an amazing deal on these items, inspect them very carefully before purchasing," the pros at Costco.97 note. "They could be damaged in some way or even missing a part." And for more ways to get the most of your next trip to Costco, don't fall for these 15 Tricks Costco Uses to Get You to Overspend.

Jaimie Etkin
Jaimie is the Editor-in-Chief of Best Life. Read more
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