Costco is famous for offering near-wholesale prices for retail products. Since customers get some of the best prices by shopping at Costco, it’s no surprise that most items sell out quickly, making it difficult to track the availability of an item. But how do you reliably check the availability of an item at Costco?
You can check if an item is available at Costco by calling the store. You can find the phone numbers for all Costco warehouses online to make the task easier. Otherwise, you can simply use an app like Instacart to track the availability of items in the store.
Since the Costco website is a terrible way to check the availability of an item, I’ll show you some other alternatives. In this post, you’ll learn how to predict if an item is available before going to the store.
How to Check If an Item Is Available at Costco Store
Walking up to a Costco warehouse just to learn that your desired product is out of stock can be annoying. Instead of having to find out in such an inefficient manner, you can try some hacks to help you learn if the item is available even before going to the store.
It’s important to note that these aren’t perfect solutions. Even if you can confirm that the items are in stock before going to the store, there is a chance that the item will fly off the shelves before you get to the store, considering Costco’s popularity.
With that being said, let’s get into some of the best ways to check if an item is available at a Costco store without leaving your home.
1. Calling the Store
This is the traditional way of checking for the availability of items before going to a Costco store, and it works, even in 2021. Instead of looking for clever hacks to check the availability of an item, you may as well just pick up your phone!
This option is often ignored due to the numerous downsides. Prominently, you may have to endure long waiting times before getting someone to attend to your call. Having this experience repeatedly can cause you to develop a phobia for phoning customer care.
If you’re patient enough to wait through the waiting time, however, you can confirm the availability of an item with certainty. Some stores even allow you to place an item on hold before your purchase, but most stores don’t offer this option.
2. Using Instacart
If you do grocery shopping online, you should already be familiar with Instacart. While you know Instacart can help you deliver your groceries perfectly, I doubt if you know you can track the availability of a Costco item in stock using Instacart.
If you didn’t know already, you now have another use for Instacart. This hack relies on a feature that lets you browse the available products on your favorite stores right from inside the Instacart app.
This feature isn’t 100% accurate because the collection of items isn’t updated in real-time. However, Instacart states that the items are updated frequently, so you can rely on the app most of the time.
If you’d rather not wait through a call, you can use Instacart to check if the inventory is in stock. You should also pray that the item doesn’t go out of stock before you drive from your garage to the nearest Costco store.
How do I Find a Costco Item Number?
If you’re trying to verify the availability of a product at Costco over the phone, you might have some difficulty identifying the exact item you’re talking about. Costco came up with an excellent idea to get rid of this confusion: the item number.
Every product in Costco has an item number. If you provide the item number to a customer service agent over the phone, you’ll be helping them identify the product instantly, speeding up the process of checking the availability.
You can easily find a product’s item number if you’ve ordered it online. On the order confirmation message or email, you’ll find the product name and description, as well as the item number.
Alternatively, you can open Costco’s website and navigate to “Order Status” to see a list of all your past orders, the description of the products, and the item number for each product. A Costco representative can use this number to determine the availability of a product in the store.
If you can’t find the item number, you can simply copy the product description and read it out to the customer service representative to help you find the specific item faster.
Are the Products on Costco.com Also Available in Costco Warehouses?
According to Costco, finding an item in the Costco online store doesn’t guarantee that it will be available at a local warehouse. The inventory in their online stores doesn’t duplicate their warehouse inventory, it only extends it.
With that being said, you can ship some online products to your nearest warehouse for pickup. However, only select items offer this feature, and all eligible items carry a visible badge showing their eligibility.
If you have any complaints about any product you purchased at a Costco warehouse, it’s best to contact the warehouse. The online support is targeted towards online shoppers, and you shouldn’t lodge complaints to a warehouse if you shop online.
Most of the items listed on the website are currently in stock. If you can’t find a particular item, it’s most probably out of stock. In that case, you can check if it’s available at your local warehouse or shop at alternative retail stores.
It’s worth noting that Costco updates its site in real-time. If an item is currently out of stock, you can wait for a few minutes or hours while it gets restocked and you can access and order the products again.
Summarily, Costco.com and the Costco warehouses handle their inventories individually. The fact that a product is listed on the website doesn’t mean it’s available in the warehouse, and vice versa. You can call any Costco customer service to confirm if a product is really out of stock.