If you’re looking for a way to shop Costco without paying the $60/year membership fee, try using price matching at popular retailers.
There’s a finesse to this since there are a few unbreakable rules of price matching at every retailer I’ve encountered. First, price matching only works for identical items — same brand, size, quantity — everything. Typically, you can’t get a price match on a clearance item at a competitor store, and you can rarely use coupons along with a price match.
It’s safe to assume it’s the same with stores that match Costco prices. And hey, save yourself the legwork and use the ShopSavvy app to see if Costco has a lower price on your item.
Other than excluded merchandise — mostly consisting of certain brands and sporting goods items — you can get a Costco price at Kohl’s when you show a Costco ad to a Kohl’s associate. Also, go ahead and use your Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards with a price match. Kohl’s is cool with it. See Kohl’s full price matching policy.
2. Best Buy
In order for Best Buy to give you Costco’s lower price on an item, your Costco must be “local.” And by “local,” I mean within 25 miles of your Best Buy store.
Just bring in the competitor’s ad, or show an associate the item on Costco’s website. Best Buy may opt to call Costco to double-check you. Kind of neat though: Best Buy will even honor Costco’s price when it’s priced so low that it’s below Best Buy’s cost on the item (meaning even if Best Buy loses money on it). See Best Buy’s full price matching policy.
Fry’s will let you use a coupon in addition to a price match. They will apply the discount after the price match is applied.
Fry’s also gives you 30 days after your purchase to request a price match, and they’ll refund 110% of the difference to you. This means if you buy a Samsung TV at Fry’s and 28 days later you see the same exact TV at Costco for less than you paid, you can get the difference (plus 10%) refunded to you. See Fry’s Electronics’ full price matching policy.
Items have to be in stock at a local Costco in order for Lowe’s to match the lower Costco price, and Lowe’s employees need to be able to verify the Costco price — either on the website, or by calling the store. If they can’t verify the price, you may be turned down. See Lowe’s full price matching policy.
If you see a lower price at Costco on an HP laser jet printer you just bought at Staples, you can get the Costco price up to 14 days after your Staples purchase. Just bring back your receipt and request the price match. Best part? Staples will give you another 10% off on top of the lower Costco price. See Staples’ full price-match policy.
You can get Costco prices on your pet supplies by showing proof of the Costco price (receipt, ad, etc.) — you just can’t get clearance or liquidation prices matched. See PetSmart’s full price matching policy.
You can request Petco match a Costco price on an item only for in-store items and purchases. For example, if you see a Petco price online that’s higher than Costco’s price, Petco won’t match that. But if you see an item in-store at Petco that’s higher than Costco’s price, Petco will give you Costco’s price. See Petco’s full price matching policy.
If you want to get a Costco price on an item you already bought at Sears, you have to get your hustle on. They only allow price matching on the same day of your purchase. If you haven’t bought your item yet, just show proof of Costco’s price. See Sears’ full price-match policy.
You can request that Target give you Costco’s price for the Keurig you want to buy right on the spot when you prove Costco’s price (online or paper ad). You can also request that Target price match the Costco price up to 14 days after your Target purchase of the item.
Costco has to be within 25 miles of your Target in order for this to work. See Target’s full price matching policy.
If you see an item you bought at JCPenney that’s sold at Costco for less, you have 14 days to get a price match. Plus, Penney’s will beat Costco’s price by 5%. See JCPenney’s full price matching policy.