It has become less of an exaggeration to say, “You can get anything at Costco.” From leasing a car to filling your prescription, Costco does it all.
The giant company also sells furniture, which means that you can get great deals there on furniture, even on a normal day, because their markup is much lower compared to furniture stores.
In addition to savings, there are other advantages and also some drawbacks. As with everything in regards to Costco, it helps to know how to maneuver through the following:
- Online store
- Buying procedures
With these categories generally in mind, here are 15 things you should know before buying furniture at Costco.
11 Things to Know Before Buying Costco Furniture
1. Costco Furniture Sales
When it comes to buying furniture at Costco, every day is a sale day, and here is why.
Furniture stores will usually mark up their items with exorbitant percentages, including 100% to 200%. That sounds absurd, but it is true.
On any given day, Costco has a markup of only 14%. So a $600 furniture item such as a couch, table, desk, TV unit, or bed frame would cost the following amounts with the accompanying markups:
- $684 with a 14% markup (Costco)
- $1,200 with a 100% markup (Other furniture retailers)
- $1,800 with a 200% markup (Other furniture retailers)
Because of this, Costco can be a great way to save money if you are wise about how you spend!y
2. Costco Semi-Annual Furniture Sales
In addition to a great markup relative to the normal furniture store markup, Costco also holds semi-annual furniture sales events. These are perfect times to get additional savings.
The sales events are held at two points during the year:
- The first is in July (some sources say late July, others say around the Fourth of July)
- The second is in December (usually in time for Christmas)
Their timing of these events could not be more perfect, since they are popular shopping times of the year.
3. Costco Does Not Deliver Furniture
Unfortunately, Costco does not deliver furniture. For some people, this could be a deal-breaker, and not unreasonably so.
However, if you don’t have a large vehicle or truck, you could try one of the following methods to deliver the furniture.
- Ask to borrow a friend’s truck
- Consider an app like GoShare or TaskRabbit
To learn more about Costco delivery, you can see my full guide here.
4. Costco Furniture Financing Plans
Unfortunately, no. Costco does not provide any financing options for furniture due to the razor-thin margins. While furniture stores have a huge markup, they can also offer some pretty great financing deals (as in, “no interest for,” “no payments until,” etc.)
5. Costco Furniture Return Policy
Along with great deals, Costco has a famously great return policy. The policy is so good that you can basically return anything, anytime, without question being asked.
There are a few exceptions that apply to different products, but not to furniture. Costco offers one of the most generous return policies around.
6. Costco Furniture Price Tag Hack #1
Almost everyone who writes about Costco shares at least one piece of advice in common: look closely at the price tags. Price tags carry codes that give you information about the item.
For example, how do you know which furniture items are really, truly marked down? Easy. The price will end in either $.97 or $.79, as displayed on the tag. Why Costco cannot simply say “On Sale” or “Clearance” is a mystery, but now you know.
7. Costco Furniture Price Tag Hack #2
That is not all that you can learn from price tags at Costco. In addition to learning about furniture marked downs, you can learn whether or not the item will be restocked.
Costco is infamous for having items that disappear, never to return. Now you can figure out what those items might be. Simply look at the price tag on the piece of furniture you are considering. If it has an asterisk on it, the item will not be restocked.
8. You Need Membership To Buy Furniture From Costco
You need a membership in order to shop for furniture at Costco, but the levels of membership are pretty straight forward:
- Gold Star membership is for most households and costs $60 a year
- Business membership is for people who resell Costco items and costs $60 a year
- Executive Membership with additional benefits and savings costs $120 a year
If membership is a little off-putting, there is a way you can check out the store without becoming a member. Members can take up to two guests with them per visit.
So it might be good to ask a friend who has a Costco membership before getting a membership.
9. Where To Find Furniture In Costco
From membership to the way things are laid out, Costco can be overwhelming, and even a bit bewildering. Costco stores are huge, literally warehouses with a presentation of goods that often resembles what you might expect from a warehouse: items set out on top of boxes or pallets.
With that kind of layout, it can be helpful to have a few tips for finding the furniture you want to buy. Most stores tend to follow a certain pattern. If you are an impulse shopper, beware of:
- The front of the store
- The ends of the aisles
These places are where some of the biggest deals can be found with alluring electronic items at the front and other popular food or household items on end caps.
To find the furniture items, you will find these at the back of the warehouse. Additionally, Costco usually has a large open space in the middle with high shelves along the sides. You will usually (see below) find furniture in this open space in the middle of the store.
10. The Store Layout Changes
That said, Costco does move items around frequently as they like to give their customers a treasure hunt experience. Also, the more time you spend trying to find the furniture, the more likely you are to walk out of the store with something you had no intention of buying.
Oddly enough, furniture is considered seasonal. So keep your eyes peeled as you start to navigate the store. If you do not see it at first, do not assume that it has been removed. It may have just been moved to a different location.
11. Buying Furniture Online At Costco.com
There are always a few people who do not want to deal with the crowds and the store’s treasure hunt mentality, so they decide to shop at Costco online. There are also sneaky individuals who think they can eyeball the item in the store, then buy it online to get delivery (more on that later).
Yes, online purchasing does have delivery options:
- You can have the furniture carried into your home and assembled
- Or, you can have it dropped off in its box in the garage or just inside your front door
But beware, you typically will not find store items for sale online. So you cannot get a delivery out of the store item that you want.
The Last Few Things You Should Know
Here are four more general tips you should know about buying furniture at Costco. As mentioned before, the general shopping experience can be somewhat confusing.
These tips are meant to make getting around easier:
- Please don’t ask the demo employees for help since they don’t work for Costco, but for the company, they are promoting
- Checkout can be a hassle worse than waiting in line at Disneyland, so make the process easier by having your membership and credit cards ready.
- Shopping Costco while hungry could result in overconsumption of samples, purchase of food products you never intended to buy, further purchase of food at the checkout (the Costco dogs are wonderful).
- Please keep your receipt handy because pleasant employees check it by the products you are taking out of the store.
To learn more about Costco, you can also see our guide on Costco statistics and learn how this retailer is competing with Walmart and Amazon.