While Costco’s Black Friday sale doesn’t necessarily lead the pack when it comes to Black Friday deals, you can still find a few good ones here and there. Plus, you know you’ll be tempted by a TV deal when you’re just in the warehouse for pumpkin pie (or is that just me?).
Listen up! Just because some deals aren’t live until later in November doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to buy what you want now! Buy it now on Costco.com at full price, and when the deal goes live, take advantage of Costco’s price adjustment policy to get the difference back! (More on that in Tip 5!)
Here’s what you need to know in order to shop smarter at Costco during Black Friday season.
1. Costco’s Black Friday deals dropped on Oct. 24 in the Costco Holiday Savings Book.
The big Costco Black Friday deals you need to pay attention to are here, just look inside Costco’s Holiday Savings flyer. Sales start Nov. 1. This is the Costco version of a Black Friday ad.
2. The Costco Holiday Sales will come in four waves from Nov. 1 – 29.
The sales will come in four waves, color-coded for the dates they match. Plan to shop this whole time, based on what’s on your list and when Costco offers a deal on it.
Costco’s Black Friday Ad (also known as the Holiday Savings Book)
- Light Blue Valid Nov. 1 – 4 (Pre-Black Friday; warehouse and online deals)
- Dark Yellow: Valid Nov. 15 – 29 (Black Friday; warehouse and online deals)
- Light Yellow: Valid starting Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving; online deals only)
- Dark Blue: Valid Nov. 26 – 29 (Post-Black Friday and Costco Cyber Monday; ; warehouse and online deals)
TIP: The main event at Costco is the Holiday Savings ad. I’d never tell you not to look for sales and deals, but don’t expect anything earth-shattering in Costco’s November and December coupon books.
3. Shop on Costco.com Thanksgiving Day 2021, as Costco is closed.
Costco will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but that’s alright because you can plan to shop Costco.com during the Thanksgiving sale.
4. Shop Costco.com during Black Friday at Costco even if you’re not a member.
Can you shop Costco without a membership? Generally, yes. However, in order to take advantage of Black Friday deals, you have to be a member when you shop in the warehouse.
Good news? You don’t have to be a member to shop Costco.com on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday.
You might pay a 5% surcharge on items as a non-member, but if you only ever shop Costco during the holidays, it may be cheaper than forking out the $60 per year membership fee.
Also note that you won’t be able to buy some items at Costco.com, like gaming consoles, unless you’re a member.
5. Take advantage of Black Friday deals now with Costco.com’s price adjustment policy.
You have 30 days to ask for a price adjustment! If you don’t mind waiting for your store credit until the sale goes live, and you don’t mind getting a store credit, this is a great way to make sure you get what you want at a Black Friday price now, before it sells out! (The Costco.com price adjustment form says you can also buy something in the warehouse and ask for a price adjustment at the membership counter.)
6. Costco opens at 9 a.m. on Black Friday.
The warehouse will open an hour earlier than normal hours.
7. Best thing to buy during Costco Black Friday? Toys!
Listen up, if you’ve got any of these brands on your Christmas shopping list, you need to shop Costco. In fact, if you have any toys at all on your list, check Costco first. Costco’s toy prices are always rock-bottom compared to Amazon and Walmart.
This year, it’ll be slightly tricky because normal Costco rules still apply: Once items are gone, they’re gone, so you’ll want to shop early. However, because of supply chain delays, the toys aren’t all on the shelf yet. I recommend going in starting now and checking back to see if more toys arrive as time goes on. I’m adding new toys to our Hot Costco Holiday Toys List a couple times a week.
Savings on American Girl are especially rare throughout the rest of the year and so Costco always runs out fast. You’ll want to be one of the first ones to snap up American Girl as soon as it arrives in stores.
8. Costco’s “Instant Savings” are automatic and you’ll get savings at checkout.
This is the case all year long at Costco, as they don’t accept manufacturer coupons. Costco’s holiday sale price will ring up right there at the register.
9. More best things to buy for Costco Black Friday: Dyson vacuums and electronics (AirPods and TVs.)
Expect to see Costco fighting tooth and nail to be competitive on the lowest price for AirPods. In 2020, they came in at $109 for AirPods 2, still $10 over Walmart’s price, but a good price point.
See all Apple AirPods deals.
Costco’s TV prices can compete with Walmart’s. In 2020, a 65″ Samsung TV was $479.99 at Costco, compared to a similar 65″ Samsung at Walmart for $478. If inventory is low at Walmart, or you like Costco’s return policy better, you can buy a TV with confidence that you’re getting a good deal.
Buy. Your. Dyson. At. Costco. If you’re shopping for a Dyson vacuum during Black Friday season, point yourself at Costco. Kohl’s is typically who I recommend for vacuums during Black Friday, but they didn’t offer Dyson deals last year, and Target had only a few.
See all Dyson deals.
10. Skip Costco for gaming consoles, small kitchen appliances, and Christmas trees.
Kohl’s beat Costco pretty handily in 2020 with a Nintendo Switch bundle for $299 (compared to $349.99 at Costco). But the kicker? Kohl’s offered $105 in Kohl’s Cash on top of the sale price. Same thing for Xbox — Costco can’t compete with Kohl’s Cash.
See all Nintendo deals.
See all Xbox deals.
Small kitchen appliances
Macy’s will have these for as low as $7.99 after a rebate.
See all kitchen appliance deals.
Target’s Wondershop brand Christmas trees were 40% off in 2020.
See all Christmas Tree deals.
11. Scan every item on your list with the Amazon app.
To make sure Costco’s price beats Amazon’s, scan item barcodes with the Amazon app. You’ll see Amazon’s price and can decide whether to put the thing into your Costco cart or add it to your Amazon cart online.
TIP: To access the barcode scanner, tap the camera icon in the search bar of the Amazon app. You’ll then see the barcode icon in the bottom-right corner.
12. Best Costco holiday food deals include rolls and pumpkin pie.
Pick up a bag (or four) of rolls and a pie (or three) while you’re there. Tell yourself you’re buying so much to freeze for the holidays and then shamelessly eat one of the pies when you get home. Best $5.99 you’ll ever spend.
13. … And Holiday Meal Kits for as low as $12.50 per person.
Not feeling the cooking thing this year? Get a Costco Holiday Meal Kit for Thanksgiving or Christmas (or both!). You can get turkey breast, prime rib, beef roast, or ham in your meal. Each meal kit feeds eight people, and the least expensive option is the turkey breast. Here’s what’s included:
- Ready-to-cook turkey breast roast (5.5 – 6 pounds)
- Sausage and cranberry stuffing (2 pounds)
- Creme fraiche mashed potatoes (2 pounds)
- Creamed spinach (2 pounds)
14. Look for discounted gift card deals.
Costco offers the most discounted gift cards during the holiday season. Expect to see around $25 in savings, which amounts to a gift card for $100 that you only pay $75 to buy.
In addition to popular restaurants, I often see movie theater gift cards and Disney gift cards this time of year.
15. Rest easy knowing Costco’s return policy will cover all your shopping misfires.
Costco’s return policy is so generous that you could, in theory, buy a bunch of stuff everyone hates and then return it all, even if it’s open or used.