The Ways Costco Online Shopping Differs From Their Warehouse

There are many ways Costco online shopping differs from their warehouse, in this post I will show you six of such differences. Recently, Costco has put a lot of effort into enhancing their online presence.

So, it’s worth considering comparing their website prices before making a big purchase on Amazon. If you love shopping then you will like to know 10 Stores Similar to Home Depot to Buy Home Appliances and Furniture.

While doing so keep reading as I outline six ways the Costco online shopping experience is different from physically visiting their warehouse with your membership card.

Benefits of Shopping With Costco Online

In as much as you want to eliminate doubts by walking into the store to buy something, it is also safe to save yourself sometime and stress by shopping online, but if you can just take the walk to the Costco warehouse and do your shopping.

Below are the differences between Online shopping and buying in the warehouse:

Anyone Can Shop on the Costco Online Website

While accessing their physical warehouse requires a Costco membership, the Costco website is wide open to everyone for shopping at anytime.

However, there is a twist, non-members will have to face a 5% surcharge during the online checkout process.

Despite the surcharge, Costco’s online prices frequently undercut that of Amazon, making it absolutely worth the while to pay the extra 5%.

Whichever way you may choose to shop, I strongly suggest price comparing and doing the math to see if shopping the Costco website without a membership makes sense for you.

Online Inventory Differs from the Warehouse

When you visit any Costco shop around you and find an item you want to buy, bear in mind that it might not be available on the Costco website if you try to purchase it later.

This is because each Costco warehouse carries a slightly different inventory.

Often times, they will stock the same toilet paper, dog food, and a few other things, but the seasonal items commonly found in the center aisles of the warehouse are usually different.

If you see an item in the warehouse that you really want, go ahead and buy it and do not count on the Costco website having it.

Online Prices Can Be Higher than Warehouse

This is going to be quite surprising to you but just keep reading!

If both the Costco website and warehouse have the same product in stock, the online will always cost more.

This price difference is as a result of the additional shipping and handling costs attached to online purchases. This is particularly true for seasonal items.

Costco provides a wider range of products on their online platform.

To be more specific, Bloomberg reports that Costco offers 10,000 items online compared to 4,000 items available in their physical warehouse.

This difference is understandable, as Costco warehouses have space limitations and are confined by their physical space. Whereas, the online distribution centers have more extensive capacity.

Despite the relatively large selection available online, Costco still encourages customers to visit their warehouses.

This is because, they are aware that customers can spend more money in the long run when shopping in-store.

“Costco Grocery” is Only Available Online

Costco currently provides a home-delivery service for grocery items, appropriately named “Costco Grocery”.

To sign up and initiate deliveries, customers can do so only through their online platforms.

Currently, they offer two delivery options which are:

Same Day Delivery: You can get your purchase delivered on the same day of buying it.

Delivery in most metropolitan areas attracts a minimum order of $35.

However, keep in mind that the prices for items might be higher than what you would find at their warehouse.

This option allows you to have fresh produce and perishable household items delivered right to your doorstep. Also remember, you need to be present to receive the delivery.

2-Day Delivery:

To qualify for free delivery with this option, you need to spend a minimum of $75.

However, the clause there is that you can only choose non-perishable items and household supplies.

Costco Grocery has been quite successful in recent months and is worth the time looking at the convenience factor alone.

Beware of Products With the “Member Only Items” Tag

As a way to entice consumers to join Costco they offer some items on their website to “Members Only”. Read also: How do I get 20% Discounts at Home Depot as a Senior Citizen.

They call them “Member Only Items” and they usually hide the item’s price from the non-members.

You will likely find these items most commonly in the following departments: Electronics, appliances, and computers.


Furthermore, Costco has made significant strides in expanding its online presence, providing customers with a convenient shopping experience.

The website offers a wider selection of over 10,000 items, including fresh produce and perishable household items, accessible through the Same Day Delivery service.

This expansion allows customers to enjoy more choices and greater flexibility when shopping.

Despite the convenience of online shopping, Costco’s physical warehouses remain appealing, particularly for seasonal items and the 4,000 unique in-store products.

Customers should be aware of potential price differences between online and in-store purchases, considering the additional shipping and handling costs associated with online orders.

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