(Updated 8/14/18) 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)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- UPDATE 8/14/18: Office Depot changed their policy and they NO longer price match Costco or Costco.com. They now only price match Staples, Target, Walmart and Best Buy.
- 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.