Want to try Costco? Use this trick to get a “free” trial

Woman push cart down warehouse club store aisle.

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There are many ways to interpret the word “free”.

the main points

  • Costco doesn’t offer a traditional free trial. Instead, they have a generous refund policy for their memberships that allows you to cancel and get a refund at any time.
  • You can shop some Costco items online without a membership.
  • A Costco cash card and/or a friend with a membership can give you access to a club without joining.

In my opinion, free trial is the best concept to throw out of the huge machine that is retail marketing. You can actually try the thing you’re thinking of buying – without any ill effects on it your money.

But not all free trials are created equal.

At the top of the free trial food chain are the ones that are actually 100% free. Credit card not required. Then there Free Trial* Fine print included. These usually require you to enter your payment information, but you are not charged until the free trial period ends. Finally, you have the “free” trial. It’s not a free trial so much as a flexible return policy.

The latter is what Costco offers.

Cancel your membership at any time

There is no real free trial for Costco Membership. They don’t usually offer guest passes or other temporary options to test the proverbial waters.

Alternatively, Costco offers a fairly generous return policy on membership purchases. Basically, anytime you want to cancel your membership, you can — and you can do so for a full refund.

Here’s what it says on the Costco website: “We are committed to providing quality and value in the products we sell while guaranteeing a 100% risk-free satisfaction on both your membership and your merchandise.”

And also: “We will cancel and refund your membership fee at any time if you are not satisfied.”

What this all breaks down to is that you can join Costco, do some shopping, decide it’s not for you, and cancel the membership for a full refund. You can even give it a shot for a few months to make sure it doesn’t work.

If you’re sure a Costco membership isn’t right for you, there are two ways to cancel:

  • Speak to a customer service member at your local warehouse
  • Call the customer service line at: 1-800-774-2678

For the folks near the Costco location, heading to cancel would be your simplest solution. The phone option tends to wait a bit according to reports.

Some things do not require joining

Depending on your Costco needs, you may not have to join at all, membership refundable or not. there many ways To shop Costco without a membership, with varying degrees of effectiveness.

For one thing, if you shop online at Costco, many items don’t require a membership to order. You simply create an account online at Costco.com, add items to your cart, and checkout. (Do not forget Visa credit cardsince Costco does not accept other card networks!)

The downside to this workaround is that there are as many – if not more – items that require membership to rank as there are that don’t. For some items, you won’t even be able to see the advertised price without a membership. Plus, you’ll be stuck with a 5% extra charge for not being a member.

Another option is to get a Costco gift card (they call them cash cards). This will give you access to the store where you can shop as if you were a card member. warning? Only members can buy cash cards, so you’ll need a friend with a membership (or an alternative eBay solution).

Of course, if you have a friend who has a membership, the simplest solution might be to tag along with them. You won’t be able to make purchases yourself — technically only the person with the membership can check out — but you can add a few important items to cart and pay your friend after the fact.

Is Costco right for you?

sure you can Find lots of deals at Costco. But not everyone has the need — or the storage space — to buy in bulk. If you’re not sure if you’re really getting your money’s worth with a Costco membership, you can use this trick to try. The only thing outstanding is how long it might take to cancel your membership.

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