Costco Doesn’t Accept Manufacturer Coupons

Costco accepts its own coupons, but not manufacturer coupons
There are a lot of great reasons to shop at Costco. They have inexpensive gas that’s high quality. Their stores tends to have competitive prices on most of the things that they stock on their shelves, although they don’t always have the best prices. There are some reasons that you might want to avoid Costco as well. For those who use coupons, one of the big disadvantages of Costco is that it doesn’t accept manufacturer coupons.

Does Costco Accept Coupons?

There is always a bit of confusion on whether or not Costco accepts coupons because they do and they don’t. They don’t accept the standard manufacturer coupons that you find in your Sunday paper or print off the Internet. They do, however, accept coupons from the coupon booklet they send to all members on a quarterly basis. So, they do accept their own coupons, but they don’t accept any others.

If you are good at couponing and have the patience for it, you can get better deals at your local grocery and drug stores that do accept manufacturer coupons, than you can get at Costco. The fact that Costco doesn’t accept manufacture coupons, other than their own, is one of the top things that frustrate people who coupon.

Why Doesn’t Costco Accept Sunday Paper Coupons?

What’s the reason that they don’t accept these coupons? I reached out to them and asked, but I didn’t receive a reply back (I will update this article if I do eventually hear back from them). My guess is that doing so would cause way more problems than it would be worth. The coupons found in the Sunday paper and those that can be printed off the Internet are for product sizes which are much smaller than those sold at Costco. Furthermore, the check-out lines at Costco are so busy, that someone with a bunch of coupons could throw havoc into getting people checked out in a timely manner. In the end, accepting them would cause more problems and cost the company far more money than the good will they would earn from accepting them.

Costco Store Coupons

Costco master bar code for coupons
To highlight that Costco wants to stream the coupon process as much as possible, you can see how they handle their own coupons. If you purchase a number of items that have coupons available, you don’t have to cut them all out of the booklet. You simple bring in the entire booklet and there is a master bar code that the cashier will scan (see photo above). When done, their system will automatically deduct the coupon amount from all the items you purchase which have a coupon available. That’s it. One bar scan and every item in your basket that had a coupon available from Costco will have that amount deducted.

In fact, you don’t even have to bring in your coupon booklet to most stores. Even though you should to be on the safe side, I’ve found that most cashiers have a booklet at their station. Just tell the cashier that one of the items you bought has a coupon and that you accidentally forgot your booklet, and they will scan their coupon booklet ensuring you get all the savings.

The Verdict

If you hate coupons, using the Costco coupons is probably the easiest form of couponing out there, and they have competitive prices for most items. If you coupon, it’s probably worthwhile doing most of your shopping at stores other than Costco which do accept manufacturer coupons, as you can get better deals this way (even when they do offer their own coupon for an item), especially when you take the $55 membership fee into account. While there is a way to avoid this fee and shop at Costco, it means that you won’t be elegible for any of Costco’s coupons. Whatever you decide, just remember that Costco won’t accept any coupons other than their own.

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5 Responses to Costco Doesn’t Accept Manufacturer Coupons

  1. gina says:

    I love Costco and I shop there a lot, but I would love it if they accepted coupons other than their own. Then I could really get some great deals.

  2. Kelly says:

    I like Costco, but now we have a BJs Wholesale in our area and they take manufacturer’s coupons. I found out recently that you can even use manufacturer’s coupons on top of their own coupons, yes, you can double them up!

  3. greg says:

    I love Costco and I’m fine with the coupons they send to me. I would never use Sunday paper coupons. It’s just too much of a pain to try and cut, sort and keep track of them all. I would go insane!

  4. Coo'pins says:

    One of the reasons I’m a Costco guy is because of my hatred of “coupon lady.” The Costco employees (cashiers) at my local Costco automatically yoink the prices down to the best they have at that time. Even when you forget your little booklet. Even the booklet has changed in the past 6 months.

    Great quality products, exceptional service, good pricing… Done! :)

  5. Donna says:

    I save more using costco coupons than I did at other stores using coupons from the Sunday newspaper is an expensive gamble. It’s $1.75 per week, there were plenty of weeks that there were no coupons for items I buy, yearly subscription is a bit less but some weeks there are no coupons & you’re now invested pretty heavily wether you get coupons or not. Costco is only $55 for the year, not nearly as big of an investment plus it wouldn’t be hard to eat $55 in samples to get your money’s worth but I tend to save $25-45 a month with coupons on things I regularly buy & use.

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