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Cracking Costco's Codes: Shopping to Win the Numbers Game

By Jesse Jones/KING 5 News/

Shopping at Costco can be a little overwhelming. But you can work your way to a better deal at the warehouse giant. Kyle James runs the website He's been telling people about Costco deals for years. "I started building this resource of these different ways that you can, when you're in the store. Just by looking at the price you can figure out, okay, is this full price, might this be marked down even more, am I getting the best deal possible," explained James.

With the help of Costco and James, I'll show you how to break the Costco price code. The key to the code is not in the dollars but rather the cents. The last two digits of the price reveals everything. First, if you see a tag end in .99 the product is full price. What you are really looking for a price that ends in .97. That means the product is going to be moved out."Usually it's a special price you're not going to find. Once it's gone, it's gone. And those can be some good deals also," said James.

A price ending in .00 is probably the best deal you will find in the store. It means the manager wants the item out. And once it's out, the product is gone for good. Also look for the asterisk. That means the product is discontinued. A combination of a .97 and an asterisk means you are getting a last-chance good deal. James says prices ending in .79 and .49 are manufacturer's specials. "It's products they're testing out in the store. Manufacturers say, 'Hey, we'll let you sell it for this price,'" said James.

Just to recap:
.99 - full price
.97 - a deal decided by the manager
.49 and .79 - manufacturer’s specials
.00 - the goods are about to go
Asterisk - discontinued and done

(Posted by John Maybury, Pacifica Riptide, Pacifica, California)


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