Cracking the Costco Code


When buying inventory for your eBay business, there are many places you can go. With that said, I still have a few favorite places. They are (in order) Goodwill, Target, and Costco (or Sam’s Club). When I first started finding eBay inventory at big box stores, I was afraid to go to Costco. Yeah, the free food samples were great, but it would take so much time to try and find an item that would make me some money on eBay.

That was until I understood the Costco “code.” That’s right, Costco has a code, and until you figure it out; you may spend countless hours roaming the aisles. Before I tell you the “code,” I want to give credit where credit is due. I didn’t figure this one out on my own, but I did find an article online that opened my eyes. The article is by Len Rapoport and the title is “Secret Codes Will Save You Money at Costco.” I will put the link at the bottom of this post.

Understanding the Costco code is easy. It’s all about quickly looking at the price tag and making a quick decision on the item is on clearance, closeout, or full price. There are a few indicators that give this away. You are going to be looking for three things:

1. A price ending in $.99
2. A price ending in $.97
3. An odd price ending in $.79
4. An asterisk in the corner of the tag.

So what do these prices and symbol mean?  Well, let me break it down.

  • The items that end in $.99 are full price and although they may still be a good deal, more than likely they will not make you any money on eBay.
  • The items that end in $.97 may be a great deal. These are the things that were full price but didn’t sell well, so the store has to clear them out fast.
  • The price tags that have the * in the corner indicates that this may be a great item to buy! It is an item that is not going to be reordered and could be marked down. Even if it is not marked down, think about how you could list the item as “hard to find” when they are out of stock. I recently did this with Cherry Almond Crunch cereal. The price was not marked down, but I was able to save it until it was a hard to find the product. I sold this item on Amazon, and I doubled my money.
  •  The items that of odd prices like $.79 could be ideal for eBay. They are the products that Costco got a special price on, and now they are passing it on to you!
    Remember to do you research first before you buy an item. Even though itself marked down does not mean it is a money maker, but I hope this cuts down on your time spent while searching for eBay inventory at Costco.

Again, I can not take credit for cracking this code. It was Len Rapoport’s article that inspired me, and if you would like to read it, you can find it HERE.


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