How many CostCo locations are there? What does CostCo sell and is it worth it? These are the questions we will answer in this section as we tell you all you need to know about CostCo locations around the world.
How Many Costco Stores are There?
There are a total of 88 million Costco members across a total of 727 stores (as of 2017). The majority of these, a total of 508, can be found in the United States. There are also stores in several other countries though, including (all correct as of mid-2017):
- Canada: 94 Stores
- Mexico: 36 Stores
- United Kingdom: 28 Stores
- Japan: 25 Stores
- South Korea: 13 Stores
- Taiwan: 13 Stores
- Australia: 8 Stores
- Spain: 2 Stores
What Does Costco Sell?
There isn’t much that Costco doesn’t sell. This is a superstore that has most of everything under one roof. And because Costco is geared towards retailers, bar owners, hotel owners and everyone else that caters for the public, all of their stock is sold in bulk. Some of the things that you can buy from Costco stores around the world include:
- Freshly Cooked Food: Prepared in the Costco food court, this is one of the most overlooked areas of the store but it’s one of our favorites and one that we always look to emphasize in Costco articles.
- Food: You can buy everything from peanut butter to cereal and more. All of it comes in huge jars, multi-packs and other bulk supplies. They also sell cakes, fresh fruit and everything else you can think of.
- Drink: You can buy bulk supplies of water, soda and juice and you can also find low-cost beer, wine and spirits. Perfect for when you’re throwing a party.
- Bears: One of the things that Costco are famous for is huge, larger-than-life teddy bears. These are always a favorite with kids, just don’t expect them to fit in your shopping cart.
- Toiletries: They sell beauty essentials such as liquid soap, creams, shampoos and more.
- Homeware: You can buy everything from plates and cutlery, to furniture for the inside and outside of your home.
- Clothes and Accessories: From designer watches and jewelry to handbags, clothes and spectacles.
- Electronics: Get the latest gadgets, from brand new state-of-the-art televisions to gaming systems and audio systems.
- More: There really is so much more. If it is sold in high streets up and down the country and if you can find it in your local store, then you can probably buy it in bulk at Costco.
What Does Costco Stand For?
There is a rumor online that Costco stands for: Chinese Offshore Shipping Transportation Company, or some variation of this. Like most online rumors, that’s not true. Costco actually stands for “Cost Company”. In other words, there is no abbreviation there, the Cost part is exactly that, and only that, and the Co is short for “Company”.
This may not be as interesting, but it makes more sense. And when you consider that Costco was founded as a competitor to Price Club (Cost = Price; Club = Company) it begins to make even more sense.
Why this rumor spread is anyone’s guess, but it likely has something to do with the increasing paranoia that many of America’s biggest brands are actually foreign owned. In this case, Costco is not owned by a Chinese company and is 100% American owned.
Who Owns Costco?
Costco is owned by the Costco Wholesale Corporation, which is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Thus company also owns the Kirkland brand of food and lifestyle products, which you will find throughout Costco.
How Much is a Costco Membership?
The base rate Costco membership is $110 a year in the United States. This will give you an exclusive Costco membership card and access to a host of benefits.
Elsewhere, Costco membership is actually cheaper. In the UK you pay a lot less for your Costco card. However, that’s only because the benefits are less for the average user. In the UK, non-business owners have to pay a 20% VAT tax on all purchases, which can bump up those prices and make it an overall less appealing prospect. Because of this, they have reduced the price to create more of a level playing field.
Does Costco Take Coupons?
They do not take coupons. They make a specific point of mentioning that they will refuse all manufacturer’s coupons and retail coupons. Their prices are already low and they work on smaller margins than other retail competitors, so they are reluctant to reduce those prices and that margin even further.
Is Costco Worth It?
It all depends. If you are a company and you can take advantage of tax-free shopping, then it definitely is worth it. You won’t get the cheapest price in the world, and you might be better off shopping online for many products, but when it comes to essentials and food, you really can’t beat the price at Costco.
For everyone else, the prices are a little less appealing. The membership and everything else can eat into the total cost and can mean that you pay over the odds. In this case, there are many places online and offline where you can get things cheaper. But the majority of the stock at Costco is cheaper or the same price as elsewhere, and when you factor in the convenience of having everything under one roof and being able to order in bulk, Costco often comes out on top.
Does Costco Accept Credit Cards?
Costco does accept credit cards and they take many different cards. These include Visa cards as well as Costco cards and other cards. Not all of these can be used in the car wash/gas areas of the store.
Does Costco Take Checks?
Yes, these are accepted in the store, but not in the gas station or the car wash area.
Does Costco Price Match?
They do not currently offer a price match or any kind of price guarantee. This is true as of 2017, and we will keep you updated should this change in the near future.
Does Costco Take Debit Cards?
Yes. In fact, they take many different debit cards and other cards. They also take a number of other payment methods. They take more cards and payment methods in store than they take in the car wash and gas station.
Does Costco Take EBT Cards?
Costco does accept EBT Cards, as well as many other cards. However, you can not use these in the gas station or for the car washes.
This is not as true in other countries, but you’ll still get freshly cooked meats and they are still worth checking out.
Does Costco Take Food Stamps?
You can use food stamps at Costco, but the person using them must be the person who has the membership card.
Does Costco Take Visa?
Yes! They accept all kinds of Visa card and take both debit and credit. This is actually the preferred method of payment and it is also the most common.
What Time Does Costco Gas Open?
Costco typically opens at 10:00am. This is the case for most of their locations across the United States.
What Time Does Costco Gas Close?
Most Costco locations close at 8:30pm.
What Credit Cards Does Costco Accept?
They take Visa, store cards, debit cards, cash, checks, and most other forms of payment. Be prepared to use cash for the gas station and the car wash area though as they are much more restrictive in terms of payment methods accepted.