Costco's Secret Way to Shop Exclusive Items at Big Discounts
You could save some serious money on your next purchase thanks to this little-known perk.
There's more than one reason shoppers become devoted Costco customers. Members gain access to affordable bulk quantities of everyday essentials, lower prices at the pump, and a stellar return policy on practically any purchase—not to mention fan favorites like in-store samples and the iconic food court combo meals. But there's another lesser-known perk that many may not realize could be saving them money on some purchases. Read on to learn more about the secret way to shop for exclusive products with big discounts at Costco.
There's a special way for Costco members to shop for discounted items online.
Longtime Costco shoppers know you can find plenty of deals perusing the warehouse retailer's aisles. But some may not know about Costco Next, a feature that makes it easy to find special discounts on name-brand items.
According to the company, the program allows Costco members to use their credentials to purchase items from big-name companies that are hand-selected based on "their quality of merchandise and exceptional customer service." The selection is also specially priced, passing along some potentially deep discounts for a limited time.
"These items aren't usually available in Costco warehouses, though sometimes a vendor may have a special in-warehouse event where a rep will showcase certain products," says Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. "Mostly, you can shop Costco Next by navigating to the section of the website and then choosing particular vendors there."
Shoppers can purchase the items directly from suppliers using their Costco membership.
Checking for available deals starts by browsing the Costco Next section of the website and scanning the list of currently featured brands. Once something catches your eye, you'll just have to click through with one extra step.
"Have your Costco card or at least the info handy when you're getting ready to shop Costco Next because you'll have to input your membership number when you visit the Next website," says Ramhold. "Fortunately, once you visit an external brand's site after doing this, the price you see should be the special Costco price, so you don't have to worry about inputting codes or anything during checkout to receive your discount."
Of course, this also means that non-members won't have access to these exceptional deals unless they choose to pay the annual fees for a card of their own.
Customers can find a rotating selection of deals from some big brands
Just like the store's broad inventory, there's a wide variety of available deals on Costco Next at any given time.
"Expect offerings like bikes from Priority Bicycles or JupiterBike; luggage from Travelpro, Nomatic, and Briggs & Riley; Korean beauty items from Most Inc.; plus clothing, art, dinnerware, toys, and tons more," Ramhold says. "There tends to be a good range of products available, so it's worth checking regularly to see if anything new has popped up because of seasonal changes."
And besides covering the cost of general shipping, the discounts themselves can be pretty significant, according to Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback. She points out the example of a recent deal for tech accessory company Case-Mate.
"A simple, clear case with MagSafe compatibility for an Apple iPhone 14 Pro is $26.99 through Costco Next," Landau says. "On the other hand, when buying directly from Case-Mate, this same exact case is $40. So by shopping with Costco Next, you're saving over $10."
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Experts say there are a few things to remember to get the most out of the feature.
It's easy to see how Costco Next could become an indispensable resource for any deal hunter. But if you want to get the most out of the lesser-known membership perk, there are still a few things to consider.
Ramhold points out that while some brands may stick around on the site for a while, they can still change without notice. "You shouldn't assume that anything you see will be available indefinitely, so take advantage of member perks when you can," she suggests.
She also warns that availability can vary on some items. "The Case-Mate items available to Costco members when I checked were primarily for the iPhone 14 lineup, and not every model was available for every iteration," she says. "Additionally, the overall options tend to be a smaller selection than what you'll find shopping direct—but the savings are usually so good, it's always worth checking to see if you can get what you want for less through the feature."