Skip the Membership: All The Stores That’ll Price Match Costco

October 21, 2015 by Kyle
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(Updated 1/11/18) Why drop $60 for an annual Costco membership when a bunch of popular retailers will happily price-match the warehouse club? Or maybe you’re already a Costco member, but when it comes to shopping for electronics, toys, and tools you have your favorite stores and would rather buy everything from a single place. While many retailers don’t consider “membership clubs” like Costco to be direct competitors, and thus won’t match their pricing, their are plenty who absolutely will and here they all are. (See also: 10 Best Ways to Save Money at Costco)

All The Stores That'll Price Match Costco

NOTE: If you’re going to try and get a Costco price-match at another store without buying a membership, your best bet is going to be to use Costco.com to check out their prices.

Once you find a lower price, simply print out the product page, with the price visible, and use that to get a price-match at one of the stores below. You could also show the product page and price to a store associate via your smartphone.

Also, if you want to physically get in the Costco warehouse and check out their prices, just tell the card-checker at the entrance that you want to use the pharmacy and they’ll let you in, no questions asked.

Best Buy

Best Buy makes it clear that they’ll price-match not only Costco, but all warehouse clubs in your local area. Here’s what you need to know:

  • From the Best Buy website, “We do match the prices of Warehouse clubs as long as the Warehouse club is a local retail competitor, has an identical immediately available product and all other price match criteria are met.”
  • Before you ask, a local competitor must be within a 25-mile radius of your local Best Buy store. So if you have a Costco within 25 miles of your Best Buy, you’re good-to-go.
  • The fine print reads that the Price Match Guarantee covers 1 price match per identical item, per customer, at the current pre-tax price available to all customers.
  • Top Brands in Common: Samsung, LG, Apple, Vizio, Sharp, JVC, Canon, Nikon, Bose, Sony, and Yamaha.

Fry’s Electronics

While somewhat confusing, the Fry’s Price Match Policy most definitely includes Costco. Here is the full scoop:

  • Only works on “brand new, unopened products of the same exact model with same warranty.”
  • Simple show evidence of the Costco price via your smartphone or printed product page from Costco.com and they’ll hook you up with the lower price.
  • Yes, there are some exclusions: Rebates, special program or educational discounts, bonuses, free offers, gift cards, rewards point redemptions, coupons, promo codes, bundled items, or one-of-a-kind or limited-quantity offers.
  • Top Brands in Common: Toshiba, HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, Alienware, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Sony and Xbox.

Home Depot

A quick phone call to my local Home Depot and yes, they’ll absolutely match the price

  • Not only will the Home Depot match Costco in price, but they’ll actually beat them by 10% on in-store purchases.
  • The price must be the regular retail prices at Costco which shouldn’t be an issue unless the item is marked as a manager’s special.
  • Items at Home Depot where a price match is possible include storage and organization items, wrench sets, ladders, and power tools like cordless screwdrivers and drills.
  • Exclusions: Special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases.
  • Top Brands in Common: Dyson, Lifetime, Bissell, Calphalon, Honeywell, Master Lock, Duracell, Feit Electric, and Coast Flashlights.

Lowe’s

Here’s how the Lowe’s price-match policy works:

  • The only time Lowe’s won’t match a lower Costco price is when the item is a closeout, special order, clearance, liquidation, damaged, or simply being discontinued.
  • While Costco and Lowe’s don’t stock many of the same items, you can definitely find identical items when shopping.
  • Top Brands in Common: Little Giant, Stanley, Kwikset, Dyson, Energizer, Leatherman, and Safety 1st.

Office Depot

When shopping for tech and office supplies, be sure to take advantage of the Office Depot policy and score the lower Costco price when possible. Here is the skinny:

  • The Office Depot price-match policy is one of the only ones that actually stipulates they’ll match Costco.com.
  • They’ll also price match in-store Costco pricing. Item must be a new and identical, and sold by a retailer who sells products in both retail stores and online under the same brand name. Costco qualifies.
  • Simply snap a pic at Costco, or print out the product page from their website and bring it into Office Depot to get the lower price.
  • Top Brands in Common: 3M, Boise, Lexmark, Scotch, Sharpie, Sentry, Kimberly-Clark, Bostitch, Avery, and Canon.

PetSmart

When shopping for pet food, supplies, beds, and treats, be sure to get the Costco price from your local Petsmart. Here are the details:

  • Items must be identical in size, and currently in-stock at both Costco and Petsmart to qualify for a price match.
  • Show evidence of the lower Costco price to any sales associate.
  • They won’t match prices that are advertised as clearance, BOGO, rebates, liquidation or other special events. Also, price matching is not valid on pets and services which shouldn’t be an issue as Costco doesn’t sell cats or dog grooming.
  • Top Brands in Common: Frontline, Advantage, PetArmor, and PoochPads.

Sam’s Club

While Sam’s doesn’t have an official policy, I was able to do some digging and discover that Sam’s will indeed price match Costco. Here are the details:

  • Sam’s Club will price match local competitor’s pricing on identical items. Apparently, the only 2 competitors that they’ll match are Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
  • You also have 7 days after your purchase to get the lower Costco price if you find it.
  • Top Brands in Common: Pretty much everything, other than their exclusive store brands Kirkland and Member’s Mark. The key here is to find identical specs in terms of package size and servings.

Sears

Sears will happily price-match your local Costco. Here are the details:

  • “If you find a lower price on an identical brand and model number currently available for sale at another local competitor’s retail store, Sears will match that price.” Costco qualifies as a local competitor.
  • Sears asks you to bring in a copy of the competitor’s ad with the lower price displayed. Since Costco doesn’t have conventional ads, you should be able to take a picture of the item on your smartphone and use that as evidence. Also, if Costco.com has the item, simply print out a copy of the product page and show that to a Sears employee.
  • Look for price-match opportunities on consumer electronics like HDTV’s, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems.
  • Top Brands in Common: Brands include Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Kitchen Aid, and Toshiba.

Staples

Staples will also happily price Costco on identical items. Here’s the skinny:

  • From the Staples website, “Staples will price match items sold by any retailer who sells products in both retail stores and online under the same brand.” Costco and Costco.com fit the bill. I also went ahead and double-checked, via Staples live chat, that they consider Costco a “retailer” and not a “wholesaler” and they absolutely do consider Costco a “retailer”.
  • Simply show evidence of the lower Costco price when purchasing the identical item from Staples. This can be done in the form of a picture of the Costco price tag (and product) taken from your smartphone, or a print-out directly from Costco.com.
  • Items to look for a price match include technology like laptops and tablets, basic office supplies, along with organizational/storage products.
  • Top Brands in Common: Very similar to Office Depot above.

Target

The official Target price-match policy was a little vague about Costco. So I started a chat session and here is how the conversation went…

Sarah: Thanks for shopping on Target.com. My name is Sarah. How can I help you?
Kyle: Hi Sarah, do you guys price-match Costco?
Sarah: Kyle, let me check and help you with the information.
Sarah: We should check the item and the model number of the item to price match.
Kyle: So…do you guys price match Costco? Yes or no?
Sarah: Yes, Kyle.

  • While they officially started price matching Costco.com on October 1st, 2015, they will now also price match “brick & mortar” Costco. I tried to get the details out of Sarah, but was unsuccessful, so I think it’s safe to assume it works like any other competing retailer.
  • They’ll match the price on a single qualifying item when you find the product for less at Costco or on Costco.com.
  • Price matches may be requested at the time of purchase or via a price adjustments within 14 days after purchase.
  • All Target price matches, and adjustments, are completed in-store at the ‘Guest Services’ desk.
  • Top Brands in Common: Dyson, Lexmark, Disney, KitchenAid, Keurig, Garmin, Fisher-Price, Huggies, Pampers, Apple, Lego, and Rubbermaid.

Toys R Us

Every holiday shopping season I am blown away with the toy deals I find at Costco. But if you don’t have a membership, or simply want to avoid the crowded warehouse, shop from Toys R Us and have them match the Costco price.

  • The Costco item must be identical to the Toys R Us item to get a price match.
  • You must show evidence via a local print ad and online pricing from Costco.com must be easily verifiable.
  • Also, the price match is given at the time of the purchase or within 7 days. In other words, save that receipt in-case Costco drops the price of a toy under the Toys R Us price.
  • Top Brands in Common: Nerf, Melissa & Doug, Barbie, Hello Kitty, Disney, Fisher-Price, Star Wars, Creative, Maxim, and KidKraft.

Walmart

I was happy to see that the list of local competitors that Walmart will price-match includes Costco. Here is what you need to know.

  • If you find a lower price at Costco, all you need to do is tell the Walmart employee at the customer service desk.
  • Fortunately, they don’t require you to have the Costco ad, or proof, for them to honor the lower price.
  • But…they reserve the right to verify the Costco price if need be. They’ll definitely verify the Costco price if there is a difference in price greater than 25%.
  • Top Brands in Common: HP, Vizio, LG, Samsung, Sony, Apple, Sharp, FitBit, Keurig, KitchenAid, Panasonic, Black & Decker, Stanley, First Alert, Tide, Toshiba, and Dell.

While it can seem a bit tricky to find identical products at Costco and all of the above retailers, it absolutely can be done. The key is to consider what brand-name items are sold at both retailers, then start price comparing like a madman.

Happy savings, and more importantly, happy price-matching.


By Kyle James

Photo by Mike Mozart.

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Comments

14 Responses to “Skip the Membership: All The Stores That’ll Price Match Costco”

  1. Ken J on October 22nd, 2015 1:42 pm

    Why would someone buy a product at one of these stores if they need to snap picture of it? They should have already bought it at Costco!

  2. Kyle on October 22nd, 2015 1:58 pm

    For a variety of reasons. Maybe they are not Costco members, maybe they get better customer service at another store and want to buy from them, or maybe a competing store has a better return policy (although Costco’s is pretty awesome). But yeah, the best (and fastest) way to get the lower Costco price at one of these competing stores is to show evidence of the lower price on your smartphone via the Costco website.

  3. Brett Schulte on October 22nd, 2015 3:21 pm

    Home Depot says they only match advertised prices, so no ad, no match.

  4. Kyle on October 22nd, 2015 4:01 pm

    Don’t let that stop you. An advertised price does not mean it has to be in an actual ad. Just show the lower Costco price on your smartphone and 9 times out of 10 you’ll get the lower price.

  5. Steve Shermoen on October 22nd, 2015 3:31 pm

    Don’t forget the great added warranty from Costco on electronic items and their VERY low extended warranties….

  6. Hank on October 22nd, 2015 4:11 pm

    Costco’s return policy will never be matched.

    It is a wise investment with Costco membership. With your purchases, your membership is paid for.

  7. Kyle on October 22nd, 2015 4:29 pm

    Agree. The only reason it would ever go away is if it’s continually abused. This happened with their return policy on electronics and computers when it dropped to a 90-day return policy.

  8. Shelley Cottrill on October 24th, 2015 7:56 am

    I might add that a lot of merchandise sold at Costco and Sam’s club are exclusive in their packaging to them. They will usually include a bonus item therefore the model numbers or product numbers are going to be different.

  9. Lori Francis on March 14th, 2017 8:33 am

    I price match all the time and I won’t shop at a store that doesn’t price match. I appreciate that there are stores that respect their customers enough to give them the best deal they can get with their hard earned cash in this time with such bad economic situations

  10. Jad on April 19th, 2017 9:28 am

    Great to know !!
    Now the question is, in case I do find a better price somewhere else, will Costco match that price for me ?

  11. Kyle on April 19th, 2017 12:27 pm

    Unfortunately, no.

  12. Steve on September 8th, 2017 11:49 am

    The interesting thing is Costco will not price match anyone else. Recently I shopped both Costco and Sams Club on Michelin LTX A/T2 pickup tires. Sams club was $50 cheaper per tire, $200 on the set! I showed Costco and the tire guy said they don’t match prices. Two weeks after I had purchased the tires at Sams club, Costco called me and said they had lowered their price on that tire to what Sams clubs price ( but he didn’t mention Sam’s Club). I had already purchased them. And on a drive to FL I realized that purchasing tires at Sams Club is better anyway, as I didn’t see a single Costco on my trip, yet there were several Sams Clubs on the way. So if you had a problem with your tires, there’s a much better chance of having a Sams Club near by for service. With a Costco purchase, you’re on your own.

    Costco does have more variety of organic foods, but overall I’ve found Sams Club a better value with lower overall prices. However, Costco carries Buffalo in my local store, Sams does not. Sams Club has the best seafood stuffed Salmon, Costco doesn’t carry a seafood stuffed Salmon. Each club has it’s own advantages so I actually use both memberships.

  13. anna on November 20th, 2017 1:25 pm

    Sams Club will not price match. I called 2 stores in the chicagoland area, and they will not price match.

  14. Bryce G on January 11th, 2018 8:37 am

    Called Lowe’s. They’re telling me they will match, but none of this “beat the competitor’s price by 10%” business.

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