A former Costco employee explained how anyone can become a member and advised customers on how to spot the best deals in-store, urging them to keep an eye out for certain clues coded on product labels.
A former Costco employee has explained how to spot the best deals in-store, urging shoppers to look for coded clues on item labels.
Rachael, who previously worked as a cashier at Costco, shared some in-store secrets on Channel 5’s Costco: Is it really worth it?viewers also learning how anyone can become a member.
The documentary examines the inner workings of the members-only retailer, with insights from shopping experts and others with inside knowledge.
Rachael then revealed the hidden clues that could see you slash the price of your cart items even further, urging shoppers to keep their eyes peeled for a 97p at the end of the price tag.
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As detailed in the show, this means the product has been discounted.
Rachael explained: “It could be reduced from the full price to that, so it could have been £20 and reduced to £9.97.”
Retail expert and author Miya Knight also made an appearance on the show, who urged Costco members to watch out for asterisks on labels, which means the product won’t be back in stock.
Miya also divulged some of the clever tricks Costo uses to trick customers into spending more than they originally planned – telling customers not to be distracted by “big wow” items at the front of the store.
She said: “They tend to put basics like milk, bread and toilet paper right in the back…they put their big wow items right in front to distract you.
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“The layout is quite chaotic, so often as a member you have to go on a journey of discovery every time. It’s absolutely their goal that you come away with something you didn’t intend to. buy first.”
Rachael added: “The most common thing you heard was, ‘I only came for one thing. You used to just laugh and then they’d spent over £100.”
Advising customers to come prepared before their Costco store, consumer journalist Harry Wallop said, “The real thing about Costco is you have to come in candidly with a calculator and internet access and just check the prices because it really depends.”
“Some things are fantastic value and some things are not good value at all.”
Costco membership is generally restricted to traders or businesses such as small grocery stores and takeaways, while those working or in certain professions – including the NHS and the public sector – are also eligible.
Although you can shop online for just £15, only members can visit the warehouses themselves. Executive Memberships are available for £74.40 for regular buyers, which includes 2% cash back on many items.
However, Channel 5 revealed that anyone can circumvent the typical membership criteria, confirming with four Costco stores that those with AA or RAC breakdown cover could become Costco members for the usual fee of £33.60.
They were also able to confirm that this was also the case for National Trust members, as well as American Express credit card holders.
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