Jul 2, 2021

Don't Buy These 7 Products at Costco

If you are a Costco member, you know well that shopping at this store is a great way to save money. Usually, buying in bulk offers lower prices per unit on the majority of products at Costco. Stocking up on a wide range of products offered at Costco is a no-brainer.

Along with savings, Costco may offer "lemons" - products that are not priced well for our pocket. We go to Costco with the assumption that we will be getting the best price. Unfortunately, it is not always true.

It is true that you can save more by avoiding buying perishable items at Costco even if the price looks so tempting. If your household does not have enough people to consumer these products, it will be a complete waste. Throwing away expired goods is like flushing your money down the toilet. In addition, you always want to follow a list so that to exclude any impulsive purchases.

Here are 7 products that you want to keep off your shopping list when you go to Costco. These products are usually cheaper elsewhere. There is no need to buy them in bulk and waste your money. Here is our list of the worst products to buy at Costco.


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Costco tends to have a long range with books right in the middle of your tour in the store. But don't be so sure you are getting the best deal on these books. If you do some research, you will find quickly that these books could be bought for less on sites like Amazon.ca, Ebay.ca or Book Outlet. The price difference may go up to 15% less on these websites. 

If you want to save even more, go to your local public library and get the same books for free. You may need to pre-order the book though.


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If you see that clothing and shoes are so much cheaper at Costco, this would not mean you are getting a deal. Think first: why would clothing and shoes be so inexpensive here? The answer is that Costco works with designers and brands to get products of lower quality to offer them at lower prices. This would mean that the designer clothes you are buying at Costco use cheaper fabric and weaker embellishments (zippers, buttons). Such clothes and shoes will not last long!

A number of personal finance blogs warn Costco members that flip-flops sold at Costco are of the same or lower quality as flip-flops sold at Walmart or dollar stores. So why pay more for them at Costco?


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What is great about electronics at Costco is the return policy. You can return the product within a longer period after the purchase than at other electronics stores. When it comes to the price of electronics, you may be surprised to learn that some of electronics sold at Costco may have features inferior to similar products sold at the same price at Best Buy or The Source, for instance.

Costco also tends to bundle all electronics with accessories, which makes the products more expensive.

When it comes to discounts and sales, Best Buy may offer better prices, especially on Black Friday or during the holiday season.


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Buying olive and vegetable oils at Costco may be tricky. Cooking oils usually go bad relatively quickly - 3-5 months after opening. If you buy such oils in large quantities, make sure you are able to consume it all within the 3-5-month period or before the oil expires.

Buying cooking oils in small quantities at your local grocery store is more optimal as it helps avoid any spoilage or waste.


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 You should know that prices on name-brand cereals sold at Costco are similar to those at your grocery store. But Costco rarely, if at all, offers discounts on cereals. Your Sobey's has cereals on sale every week. So you are better off stocking up on your preferred cereal when it is on sale your local grocery store.

According to various sources, an unopened box of cereals is good for 12-14 months if you keep it at room temperature.

If you find coupons for your favourite brand of cereals, it will be a better discount when you buy the cereal at your grocery store. Costco would not accept the coupon.


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Whenever I enter my local grocery store, I see soda on sale. With these special discounts which seem to be permanent, soda is less expensive than at Costco. A 12-pack cost me $2.50 the other week. A 24-pack at Costco goes for $6, which is more expensive per 1 can ($0.21 vs. $0.25).


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When you are about to head to the cashier's at Costco, you probably get into the aisle with cosmetics and personal hygiene products. Here resist your temptation to grab "cheap" toothpaste. Costco usually offers more expensive toothpaste brands (Crest, Sensodyne). If you are flexible on the toothpaste brand, go elsewhere to buy toothpaste. Shopper Drug Mart, for instance, offers heavy discounts on toothpaste on a weekly basis. You could find Colgate, for example, for half Costco's price.

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