If you're a longtime Costco member, you're already a fan of the considerable savings you get year-round on everything from groceries and clothing to housewares and electronics. Heck, even prescription glasses are a bargain at Costco.
So how can this members-only wholesale club possibly top itself (and other retailers) for Black Friday? We tapped some deals experts to get a pipeline into what Costco has lined up for the holidays for its members, who pay between $60 and $120 a year to join.
"This year, Costco is featuring huge tech deals on some of the most desired gifts of the holiday season," says Carson Yarbrough, savings and retail expert at Offers.com. Here's what else Yarbrough and others have to say about Black Friday shopping at Costco for the holidays.
Deck the halls for less. Costco has a lot to offer when it comes to holiday decorating and entertaining on a budget.
"Warehouse club stores like Costco are a great place to stock up on groceries for guests who are visiting for the holidays, as well as platters of cookies for any parties you host," says savings guru Andrea Woroch. "You can even pick up large packages of premium chocolates and other sweets to break apart for multiple gifts or stocking stuffers."
A Mrs. Fields Deluxe Cookie Crate, for example, is selling for $40 (regularly $50) online only as part of Costco's Black Friday sale that starts on Thanksgiving Day and runs through Cyber Monday. The crate includes 48 bite-size cookies, 36 brownie bites, 24 mini muffins and popcorn.
You'll find plenty of bargains on seasonal decorations including lights, wreaths and ornaments, says Woroch. There are also pre-lit artificial trees for those who aren't fans of chopping down their own - and who aren't fans of investing the money in a fresh-cut tree every year.
Are sleigh rides and caroling part of your holiday entertainment plans? Stay warm with Costco's popular Double Black Diamond Packable Down Throw. Costco usually sells the throws in two-packs for $40, but Heather Lovett of deals website DealNews says single throws will sell for $15.99 apiece for Black Friday, a 20% savings.
"Even if shoppers still prefer two," she says, "they'll save by buying single blankets on Black Friday rather than the two-pack Costco has in stock currently."
Score deals on electronics. Costco is definitely playing the Black Friday game, with special deals on computers, gaming consoles and other gadgets in-store on that day. Remember, Costco stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day, but many online deals start on Thanksgiving and run through the weekend as long as supplies last.
SEE ALSO: 9 Secrets to Shopping at Best Buy
Courtney Jespersen, NerdWallet's consumer savings expert, suggests shoppers check Costco's Black Friday ad to see if a deal is also available online. Many sale or special items on Costco's website are often shipped free to members. The Black Friday circular is now available in stores.
Here are a few of NerdWallet's favorite items that Costco is discounting for Black Friday:
- $100 off the DJI Mavic Pro Aerial Drone Camera Bundle (limit 5)
- $80 off the Xbox One S Bundle (limit 3)
- $100 off the Playstation 4 (limit 3)
Rebecca Lehmann of the deals website Brad's Deals adds her favorites:
- HP Pavilion 15.6" 1080p Touchscreen Laptop for $700 (regular $900)
- Dyson Ball Animal+ Upright Vacuum for $270 (regular $400)
- Acer 11.6" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Chromebook for $200 (regular $290; online only)
- Cuisinart 13-Cup Food Processor with Spiralizer for $100 (regular $150)
- Fitbit Charge 2 for $100 (regular $150)
And Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert at Coupons.com, tosses these into the mix:
- Two-Pack of Google Home Voice-Activated Speakers for $50 off (limit 3)
- HP Pavilion 23.8-inch 1080p All-in-One Desktop for $650 ($150 off; limit 5)
Gobble up discounted gift cards. Lovett of DealNews goes even deeper on her picks of hot items at Costco. A $100 Google Play electronic gift card will sell for $82.99. Costco's usual discount on this gift card is only $7. This deal is only available online.
"It makes an excellent option for anyone who uses their phones for everything, since it's applicable for music, movies, TV, books, magazines, apps and games," says Lovett. "It's a great deal because you're effectively stretching your dollar and making it go further."
Speaking of gift cards, if you have a large brood, Costco is selling a 4-pack of $25 gift cards to Build-A-Bear Workshop stores for $69.99.
"It's a good buy because you'll save $30 buying from Costco as opposed to buying from somewhere else for the holiday season," says Lovett.
Pork loin? Yep, pork loin. Finally, Lovett is digging Costco's special on vacuum-packaged boneless pork loin, a promotion that's a big deal with many Costco fans.
"It's already more affordable than buying in grocery stores, but for Black Friday you can save an additional flat $8 off," Lovett says. "Pork doesn't fall to price lows like this often, and this particular sale is rare, even for Costco -- usually it shows up once or twice a year, if that. The fact that the $8 off is a flat discount means shopping for smaller packages yields excellent deals, potentially for less than $1 per pound."
What to avoid at Costco on Black Friday
Like other retailers, Costco will get you in the tent to score the Black Friday deals and, hopefully, buy much more. But walk cautiously. Yarbrough of Offers.com advises shoppers to stay away from furniture and fashions during the holidays.
"Avoid buying furniture deals seen in Costco's Black Friday sales," says Yarbrough. "Costco tempts you to buy furniture by placing comfy lounge chairs and couches around the store, but you're missing out on money-saving opportunities that you can get at independent furniture stores. Smaller independent sellers will often allow you to negotiate the prices, especially if you are buying multiple items or a matching set."
Fashionistas need to know Costco's Black Friday runway may be lined with few true designer deals on apparel.
SEE ALSO: Worst Things to Buy at Warehouse Clubs
"Well-known brands can often be found at Costco for hugely discounted rates," Yarbrough says. "While the deal might seem great, it's best to avoid these items to get the most bang for your buck. Designers often send their low-selling and low-quality products to bulk stores like Costco to get rid of extra inventory."
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