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Weekly Specials at Costco

Posted Mon August 14, 2006, by Richard S. written to Costco Companies, Inc.

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I signed up for a Costco membership earlier this year. So far, I have been generally pleased with my membership at Costco. However I do have one problem with Costco. I would like to know why it is so difficult to get the coupon sheet for the week's "sale" items.

This past Wednesday I went into the Costco in Naperville, Illinois to purchase milk, dog food and some DVD's. Upon arriving at the store, I noticed the weekly specials and saw there were a few additional items that I wanted to get. However those additional items were on "sale" with a coupon. I then had to proceed to track down the sheet of coupons for the week. I went to the service desk and they did not have any. They proceeded to tell me to go to the check in area, as they might have some there. The greeter at the check in area said she would have to check but did not think she had any. After checking around, she was able to find the coupon sheet for that week's specials.

Why is the sheet of coupons for the weekly specials not passed out when you walk into the store? Why is the sheet of coupons passed out two weeks in advanced of when they are on sale? I am shopping now, not two weeks in advanced. Why would I need to come to the store two weeks ago just to see what is on sale this week? Do you do your shopping like this? Why do you make customers have to hunt down the current sheet of coupons in order to get the discount on an item?

Furthermore, I do not understand why you even require coupons in the first place. You do not take manufacturer's coupons so what is the point of your in store coupons. If you are advertising a weekly special, the shopper should be able to get that special price without a hassle. Coscto should make the coupons readily available (perhaps you should just put the coupons next to where you have the item) or it should be an automatic deduction at the check out when the costo membership card is presented, this way it is not necessary to have the coupon in the first place. Would it be so difficult to link the sale items to the membership? I do not think it would be because most grocery stores do it these days.

If this policy is not changed I will not be renewing my membership as it is not worth the hassle to play "the coupon treasure hunt game" every time I visit your store. I feel Costco deliberately does this to customers in order to save few bucks. If this happens again, I will walk out of the store and leave my entire purchase at the checkout. Are you willing to loose a customer over a coupon?


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by S. Brown Posted Tue August 15, 2006 @ 9:19 PM

From all the posts and corresponding comments from you, it appears
that you are unahppy with the way Costco runs their business. I have
been a member for a number of years and at my local Costco they hand
out coupons at the door that are valid for the following week. I, a
single person, go to Costco once a week to purchase fresh meat and
veges and have verified that I am indeed saving money. The botton
line here is that they are obviously a profitable company and are not
going to change the way they do business and yes - - they are willing
to sacrifice one customer over their coupon policy.


by Leanne L Posted Tue August 15, 2006 @ 7:01 PM

Some stores will ask for your phone number at the register and then I
think they determine how far the flyers for coupons should go in
newspapers etc. (if enough people in that area shop there) There
might be a mailing list to get on also. I would even check online to
see if there is anything.

Even having the card itself gives them your address to mail something
to. Many times they don't like to hand out flyers because people take
advantage and come back a few times for a few more flyers and use the
same ones several times on a one per family deal. So they have to
limit them.


Re: Weekly Specials at Costco by Sandy H. Thu January 20, 2011 @ 11:54 AM
by Serinity Posted Tue August 15, 2006 @ 6:50 PM

The one I go to usually just hands them out at the door. That's odd
how yours works though. They should be handed out at the door like the
ones up here do. Maybe yours was out? or is this a repeat occurence?


Not one time occurence by Richard S. Wed August 16, 2006 @ 9:42 AM

by MA Loper Posted Tue August 15, 2006 @ 2:04 PM

We just recently got a Costco in my area and I haven't been to it yet
- never really been a fan of paying to shop!

However, most places won't "pass out coupons at the door" because
those coupons cost money to print and most wind up on the floor, in
the garbage, stuck to the wheels of the carts. And that's wasted
money that could have been used elsewhere.

Also, the "specials in advance thing" is to get you to come back and
shop again.

I get emails from Ikea (I LOVE that store!) and they frequently have
"weekly specials" that are only good for one week with a print out of
your email. Now, the problem being is that a) most people don't need
to shop at Ikea frequently b) for me, the nearest Ikea is 2 hrs. away
in Pittsburgh.

Perhaps Costco could save themselves and you the hassle of searching
for coupons by emailing those specials to the registered members and
letting them bring them in with them (assuming of course that you
provided your email address to them!) That way, you go prepared and
they don't have to worry about having enough to go around.


by RedheadWGlasses Posted Tue August 15, 2006 @ 8:46 AM

I agree with this poster. Costco is a place you go to really stock up
on stuff -- so I can see why people wouldn't be going every week (like
they may go to the grocery store or Target/Walmart once a week).

Perhaps Costco could make these fliers available on its website.


Website Coupons by Applejacker Tue August 15, 2006 @ 11:18 AM

It is not so hard by Richard S. Tue August 15, 2006 @ 1:16 PM

Stock up by Richard S. Tue August 15, 2006 @ 1:19 PM

Stocking Up by P-Chan Tue August 15, 2006 @ 2:44 PM
by Applejacker Posted Tue August 15, 2006 @ 12:48 AM

"..passed out two weeks in advanced .." They are passed out ONE week
in advance to let everyone know these specials are coming up soon.
They negotiated hard with the companies to swing these specials for
their members. Of course, they would like you to come back again next
week and buy a few of those things.
"..make customers have to hunt down the current sheet of coupons ..."
Literally thousands upon thousands are handed out, and they merely ran
out by the time you showed up. If you were there the week before YOU
ignored them. Often many are left in the carts by previously members.
You can snag some there, if you wish. Coupon items are also advertised
along side the price/description sign. Just ask the cashier and they
WILL find you the coupon for that item
"..I do not understand why you even require coupons in the first
place.." Coupons allow the cashier to control the quantities sold. The
manufacturers agrees to a special deal for Costco members only, but
since some are so outstanding they have to control the quantities
sold. Some dealers have actually come in and asked to buy EVERYTHING
in the warehouse for the coupon price and were denied so ALL of the
members could cash in on the deal! If there are no restrictions placed
buy the manufacturer, then the savings are "instant" at the register.
Further more, MAIL-IN rebates allow the manufacturers to control the
quantities even more, since only ONE rebate may be allowed over a
lengthy time period. Without these above mentioned controls there
would be NO savings. The manufacturers would pull all deals. Put up
with it. Enjoy the deal you recieved and thank Costco for helping to
save you some money!.
"..You do not take manufacturer's coupons so what is the point of your
in store coupons.." Costco buys "tomorrow's" items with "today's"
money. Do you hate mail-in rebates? Yes! Why? Because you don't see
your money for several months? It's the same story with
"manufacturer's coupons." Stores do not get that money back for
MONTHS, so they cannot buy more products "the next day." Not to
mention the fact that the coupon-clipping-queen ahead of you in line
has 297 coupons to tender and YOU stand there for 1.5 hours waiting
for her/him to sort it all out.
"..I feel Costco deliberately does this to customers in order to save
few bucks.." Yes.. a "few bucks" for their MEMBERS! If you do not want
to save, then retire your membership, and let the rest of us cash in
on the deals why you are paying retail at the grocery store, waiting
for the coupon queen camping in front of you!
Costco is VERY smart at saving you money. Play along and acknowledge
their skills. Or get a refund on your membership and start paying MORE
for everything somewhere else.


Re: Weekly Specials at Costco by Jeff Jensen Tue August 15, 2006 @ 2:05 PM

Perch? by Applejacker Wed August 16, 2006 @ 1:58 AM

Arrogance abound from the Jacker... by Jeff Jensen Wed August 16, 2006 @ 11:27 AM

??????? by Applejacker Thu August 17, 2006 @ 1:02 AM

Re: Weekly specials at Costco by Scott45 Mon January 19, 2009 @ 8:09 PM

by Tracie Charles Posted Mon August 14, 2006 @ 9:02 PM

I don't know why they're not passing out the coupon flyers at the door
at your Costco but I can answer the why not just give it to everyone.
The manufacturers themselves will not let us. They decide the rules
for their own coupons not our corporate offices. That is why some are
instant, some are one item limit, and some are no limit.

I got a chance to ask this question personally at a buyers meeting not
too long ago because not only would instant coupons benefit the member
it would also save a lot of headaches for the cashier and for the
supervisor that'll have to do the "after the fact". This is the only
way manufactures have control over coupon abuse.

Again while I can't speak about your Costco, I know at ours every
cashier has a stack of the flyers on their registers so if you mention
something in your purchase was on coupon they have the sheet right
there to scan. Unless it was in the Passport Book. Those are like
gold in our warehouse. We are totally out, but it those cases most of
the time one cashier will ask another if they have a such and such
coupon all down the line until someone does.


Thanks for the insight by Richard S. Tue August 15, 2006 @ 1:14 PM

by Gino Posted Mon August 14, 2006 @ 9:00 PM

Richard i really think you bought up a good issue. I'm a costco
shopper, have the basic membership and have also noticed this in the
one near me. I also know there are some who actually get them by mail,
but I thought maybe it's one of the "perc"s of a better membership
plan,,,never quite took the time to think about it or delve further.
Having become addicted in a way to the Costco Philosophy of
cosumerism, however I have other issues well beyond the coupons,
excuse me for going on a tangent.
Does what we save and the "percs" of belonging warrent people to have
to rifle through trash to find the rare whole box that hasn't been
altared to display merchandise,,therefore rendering it somewhat less
than useful?
And the heartbreak of not being able to use eight heads of lettuce
before time and nature takes it's course, and your savings get tossed
or down the garbage disposer? It LOOKED like a bargain at the time...
but was it worth it Really? Kirkland is a fine line of goods but when
people recieve them as gifts they get the feeling that they're getting
"the store brand" vs a "name brand" not necessarily the case but the
perception nonetheless. I myself don't mind and appreciate anything
anyone took the time to think of me and get. I just feel uneasy on the
giving side. So again, what have I saved??
I can find in the circulars some great "deals" in bulk from other
markets. I'd rather in some cases pay more than to keep my freezer
well stocked and not have fresh stuff more often.
Well, back to the coupon issue. I could only venture to guess they
don't hand them out because they don't want to find torn up ads all
over their store and floors. (which mailing them out or passing them
before their useful date would SOLVE) Or like others say, they don't
care to deal with coupons because they're losing time. Coupons are
actually money, but to them it's too much time to scan them or honor
them in the first place.
Does it REALLY matter who's photo is on the I.D. if , afterall,
SOMEONE PAID FOR THE PRIVELEDGE and can't have their girlfriend shop
on her own though they share the same household?
I guess you can tell what i'm doing when my membership expires. I'll
go as a guest of someone else to get the real "bargains", let them
have the credit for the purchases....and I'll shop around because I
have the luxury of the time to happily do it.

Please update us on any response or other answers you may get. Maybe
it'll make more sense and i'll renew.


Bargains?? by Richard S. Tue August 15, 2006 @ 1:26 PM

Loss Leaders by P-Chan Tue August 15, 2006 @ 2:41 PM

So true.... by Gino Wed August 16, 2006 @ 8:41 AM
by karen stanley Posted Mon August 14, 2006 @ 7:20 PM

Here at the Mason,Ohio Costco they pass them out at the door. A couple
time there was none but we have never had a problem at the checkout.
If we get an item thats on the list the cashier will scan the discount
at the checkout. We have done this a number of times.


by angel22 Posted Mon August 14, 2006 @ 1:45 PM

I'll tell you why they "hide" the coupons and give them out so early -
they don't really want you to use them. They want you to come back
into their store and buy that 10 gallon vat of olive oil that will
never fit in your pantry, but not remember to buy the Kirkland's best
ice cream that is $2.00 off that particular week. I guess they feel
that if you are going to get a $2 break, you ought to jump through
some hoops for their "generosity."

Funny, isn't that the way life always goes?

By the way, I believe BJ's (and maybe Sams) accept mfgr's coupons.


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