As a Costco shopper, you’re probably familiar with the price cards that hang above every product on the shelves.  What you may not have noticed is that these cards have “secret” information encoded into them. 

By learning how to identify these Costco price codes, you could save more than you already do at Costco! From secret sales to soon-to-be discontinued items, there are so many tricks to saving just by looking at the price tag. If you want to learn how to identify Costco’s secret prices, keep reading. For more information on how to save at Costco, check out our .97 sales submitted by shoppers all over the United States. 

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Related: Is a Costco Membership Worth It?

Five Price Tag Secrets to Start Saving at Costco

5. Prices That End in .97

Costco secret price codes:.97

Prices that end in .97 are special, limited-time deals created by local Costco store managers at their discretion. This is typically for getting rid of slow-selling or seasonal merchandise.  

These clearance prices are local to that one store only, although they could be on clearance at other stores as well. It’s possible that a .97 item can be lowered further in price the longer it sits on the shelf, so be sure to pay attention to the date code on the card. Costco97 specializes in keeping track of these sales and informing you of more Costco hacks, whether it’s deals in your area or the best ways to save. If you come across a .97 sale in your area and want to inform your fellow shoppers, check out how to do so anonymously here

4. Price Cards That Have an Asterisk 

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Price cards that have an asterisk ( * ) in the upper right corner denote products that are discontinued and will not be returned. Either the product is discontinued because it didn’t sell or a newer version of the product will be introduced in the future. As a result, they want to get rid of the old merchandise.  

If you see a * on the Costco price tag, you better head to the register quickly. Not only does this secret price code tell you it will soon be out of stock, but you will never be able to try it again. If you want to check to see if any inventory remains, you can ask a manager to call a nearby store and stock up on your favorite soon-to-be discontinued items. 

Luckily, if you don’t end up liking it, you can always change your mind and return it in the future. Costco has an awesome return policy, even on clearance and discontinued items.

3. Prices That End in .00 or .88

Costco price codes: .00

Prices that end in .00 or .88 are usually store returns, floor models, or the last few units remaining that the manager is trying to get rid of. These items are rare finds, which means their stock goes quickly. If you end up finding one with a .00 or .88 tag, make sure to grab what you want before they go.

For these secret price codes at Costco, you should pay special attention to where you’re shopping in-store. You can usually find these products tucked away at the end of an aisle on a flatbed cart or strewn around one of the perimeter walls.

While you could be getting an amazing deal on these items, inspect them very carefully before purchasing as they could be damaged in some way or even missing a part. 

2. Prices That End in .X9

secret price codes at Costco: .X9

Prices that end in .X9 (except .99) are often special sale items from the manufacturer. These sales may or may not be part of a good deal. Honestly, it ranges from item to item. Oddly priced items like .29 or .39 are usually items Costco has received a great deal on from a manufacturer, so it’s at a lower price for you. However, more normal numbers like .89 or .99 are not that special. 

These are products new to the store that are being tested by the manufacturer so they offer pricing that may be lower than what you’d normally see elsewhere. As with most of these deals, your mileage may vary (YMMV) at your local store.

Check Out: Is There a Costco Membership Discount? Here Are the Member Prices and Discounts

1. Prices That End in .99

Secret price codes at Costco: .99

Prices that end in .99 are just boring old regular (but still low) priced products, and the most common kind of deal at Costco.

If you notice a seasonal item on the shelves that’s not in season anymore or a food product that’s marked with an * but not selling quickly, it will likely end up as part of the .97 sales. You might want to wait to purchase these items so you can earn even better savings down the line. 

More Costco Hacks!

Check the Date

There is actually a date code on the Costco price tags. These are usually in the bottom right corner of the price card (although sometimes it is on the left side). The date tells you when the price was last updated. 

Extra Sales

Did you know that a .97 price can change and go even lower? It can! If the date is at least a few weeks old and there is still a lot of inventory on the shelf, there’s a good chance another round of discounts is coming soon.

Price Adjustments

And for those who bought an item right before it was put on sale, don’t worry! You have 30 days to request a price adjustment from Costco. This means they’ll match the sale price as long as you can show a new low price within 30 days.  This is just another way that Costco shows that they’re here to help you save.

Color Coding

Lastly, the green labels on the Costco price tags reveal another secret code. This color signifies that a Costco product is organic. Since organic products must meet a certain requirement, these items are labeled differently than others to help shoppers find what they’re looking for quickly. 


Now that you know all of the secret price codes at Costco, get ready to start saving! While there are so many seasonal Costco discounts and Costco coupons, keeping an eye on their price codes can make a difference. Savvy Costco shoppers can attest to the fact that knowing these price secrets saves you tons of time and money. 

If you remember nothing else from this article, just watch for the number 97. It’s your safest bet to save! For more information on .97 deals, check out our database of the latest sales in your area for more Costco hacks.

If you happen to stumble upon a .97 sale in-store, be sure to submit a photo to our page and share it with other Costco members. We love passing on sales to our friends so that everyone wins the best deals at Costco.

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