If you want the best deal possible when shopping at Costco, you are probably wondering if the company has a price matching policy.
This would allow you the flexibility to know that you are getting the best possible price on a product available anywhere in the region.
Does Costco Price Match?
Unfortunately, Costco does not price match any retailers of grocery stores as of 2023. However, if a promotional price becomes available at Costco within 30 days of purchase, the store will refund the price difference from your previous Costco purchase.
Understanding Costco’s policy towards price matching will allow you to determine better how much research to do before purchasing any given product.
It is important to understand the specific policy and how it can benefit you as the consumer. The following guide will help to meet that objective.
What is Costco’s Full Policy Towards Price Matching?
Costco openly promotes a policy of offering its customers competitive pricing directly at the point of purchase.
As such, they do not engage in the practice of price matching with other retailers.
Costco will refund the difference in price for individual members on any product purchased that becomes available for a lower price within 30 days of purchase. This offer is not extended to retail customers.
The company also offers a full refund on any purchase for any reason within a certain amount of time and under certain conditions.
A notable exception to this is that refunds are not permitted on cigarettes or alcohol in areas where this is prohibited by law.
3 Reasons Costco Doesn’t Price Match
Costco does not view this price matching as advantageous to its business model. There are some pretty good reasons to avoid offering a price matching policy.
Here are three of the most commonly mentioned disadvantages.
- Margins become even slimmer – Most businesses are already extremely competitive. That means that there is not much profit to be made from many products to begin with. Price matching can further erode those already slim margins. This will directly eat into profits which will eventually impact consumers by increasing prices in the future.
- Price wars become a possibility – Price wars may sound beneficial to the consumer, but they generally are not. There are very few winners when a series of competitors in a given region engage in a price war. If one or more competitors were forced to exit the field, for example, other stores would then raise prices accordingly.
- Consumers are encouraged to shop at competitors – Many stores find that encouraging their customers to look up prices at a competitor can backfire. Instead, Costco promotes itself by offering lower overall prices on its products in an attempt to attract a more loyal following. That strategy seems to have paid dividends for them.
These disadvantages highlight some of the reasons why many stores, including Costco, have shied away from offering a price matching policy. There is a valid rationale on both sides of the issue to consider.
However, the lack of such a policy should not indicate that a store has something to hide. In essence, they are banking that their customers will find value in the products and services they offer throughout the entire store.
Will Costco Honor Old Sale Prices?
Costco will only honor an advertised price while the sale is happening. If you buy something from Costco and discover it was $10 cheaper a month ago, you will not be able to get the item for a ten-dollar reduction.
The price adjustment policy is only available if you buy a product and then the store lowers the price on that product.
Does Costco Price Match with Best Buy?
Again, Costco does not offer price matching. Best Buy says they do offer price matching from their competitors, including online retailers. However, there is difficulty in price matching with Costco because:
- Costco does not always reveal its prices to the public. Only those with memberships can see the price.
- Best Buy must verify you live near a Costco warehouse.
- Best Buy will only price match during the time of a sale.
Will Costco Price Match Amazon?
Neither Costco nor Amazon participates in price matching. Amazon cannot adjust the prices since they comprise many companies and small businesses using its platform to sell their products.
Amazon will often tell you if another retailer on Amazon has a lower price.
Can I Get a Price Adjustment at Costco?
Even though Costco does not offer price matching, they do offer price adjustments on their store prices.
According to Costco, they will give credit for the difference between what you paid and the promotional price provided,
- The adjustment is on the consumer’s behalf.
- Your purchase was made within 30 days before the price change occurred.
Please note that this is only available to consumers and not to resellers. Resellers can purchase the promotional items during the time they are running to receive the advertised price.
If you purchased your item at a warehouse, you might ask about the price adjustment at the store’s membership counter.
If your purchase was online, go to the Costco customer service page and request a price adjustment. You can also check to see if Costco has already made the adjustment.
Will Costco Price Match in Canada?
Costcos in Canada do not honor price matching. It will adjust prices for you to reflect a current advertised price, provided you bought your product within 30 days before the new price was set.
This adjustment policy is also known as price reduction guarantee.
Where you can get your price adjustment depends on where you bought your product.
Additionally, if you bought your product in the store, just return it to the store you purchased it at and request the adjustment.
You may also go to Canada’s Costco Customer Service and click on the price adjustment tab if you bought your product online. Or you can give Costco a call at 1-888-426-7826.
Are Costco’s Pricing Policies Different in the UK?
It appears that Costco’s price reduction guarantee is the same in the UK. You will only receive a refund from the Costco location where you bought your product.
If you buy through Costco UK online, you will only be able to have the price adjusted there. You must live in the UK to use https://www.costco.co.uk/.
What Are The Benefits Of Shopping Where Price Matching Is Available?
First of all, it is important to remember that not all stores offer a price matching guarantee.
Costco, for example, does not. However, other stores in your area that offer price matching will accept Costco prices within that guarantee. Here are some of the benefits associated with price matching that you will want to keep in mind.
Save Yourself Driving From Store To Store
You may be looking for a particular product that you do not want to buy online. To find the best available price, you would ordinarily have to drive from one store to another to conduct your research.
However, shopping at a place whose price matches can effectively eliminate this problem.
You no longer have to drive all over town to compare prices. With price matching, you will just purchase the product at the store that offers the guarantee.
You will then have a certain amount of time to determine if a competitor offers a lower price. If they do, the store will refund you at least the difference in price.
Use The Internet To Your Advantage
Comparing prices on your favorite products can be challenging to do on your own. Thankfully, this is an area where the Internet has once again come in to save the day. You can take your time to find a better price.
When you do, you can always show the store an approved advertisement and get a lower price.
All Competitors Will Work
One of the more notable benefits of price matching is that it will work with virtually any competitor in the region. This means that you are not limited in terms of where you look for a better price.
This opens up the playing field to the consumer and is why many shoppers prefer to look for stores that offer a price matching guarantee.
You Can Possibly Save Even More Money
Some stores that offer price matching guarantees will offer you a better deal than a competitor.
This means that if you find a lower price on a product you want to buy or have already purchased, the store will beat the price by a certain percentage. This allows you to put money back in your pocket.
Consumer Confidence Increases
Customers often reveal that they feel more confident shopping at a store that offers a price matching guarantee of one sort or another. They may not even actively seek out a lower price.
Just knowing that the store is offering such a guarantee is often good enough. This is important from the perspective of increasing consumer confidence and driving up sales figures.
Prices Remain Competitive
Stores that offer a price matching policy are virtually locked into a process of keeping their prices competitive. This is important because they do not want to be seen as having to offer lower prices continually.
In an effort to be seen as the store with the lowest prices, they will work harder to make sure the prices offered are truly the lowest in the region.
To learn more about saving at Costco, you can see my posts on couponing at Costco, using EBT at Costco, Veteran discounts, and senior discounts.
While Costco does not have an established price matching policy, it does promote that its prices are highly competitive overall. They will pay the difference in the price of their product and another store’s if you purchase from Costco first. This must be done within 30 days of purchase.
Costco will also offer a full refund for any customer who becomes dissatisfied with the price they have paid. At that point, the customer is free to go to another store and purchase the product again at a lower price.