Here’s How to Shop at Costco Without a Membership
Want the benefits of shopping at Costco without the membership? There's a Google hack for that!
Photo: Shutterstock / Michael Gordon
Shopping at warehouse stores is just one savvy way to save money and reduce trips to the market. Bulk-centric stores entice shoppers with the option to buy in large quantities—and, as it happens, Costco is the top dog among these warehouse-style retailers.
Costco has many perks shoppers love, often offering the lowest prices on non-bulk staples such as dairy, bread and fresh produce. And let’s not forget the discounts on non-food items (think appliances, tools, dishes and clothes), a no-questions-asked return policy, and fun food samples.
So why doesn’t everyone go the warehouse store route? For some, it’s a matter of distance. For others, the membership costs can seem prohibitive. But if these are your primary deterrents, we have good news.
There’s now a way to shop at Costco without a membership.
Google is capitalizing on Costco’s popularity by offering Google Express users a chance to order items from the warehouse store without the membership charge. For free shipping, just spend over the stated minimum of $25—a pretty easy goal to achieve—and you can expect all those bulky, hard-to-carry packages delivered straight to your front door in one to three days.
Photo: Shutterstock / Ken Wolter
So, what’s the catch? (You knew there was one.)
There’s a per-item “access fee” of 10 percent on all Costco items purchased through Google Express. If you have a membership, the fee will be waived. If not, we say it’s a small price to pay to have bulk items delivered to your door.
If you’re undecided about paying the access fee, remember what access entails: You’ll avoid commuting to the store, waiting in lines, being distracted by the plethora of items at every turn, and having to haul all that loot home…issues some think are contributing to the downfall of traditional grocery stores and the rise of online shopping and delivery services.
The service is widely available, but if you live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah or Wyoming, you’ll have to wait…for now.
Happy online shopping!