Select Page

Everything You Need to Know About Costco Online Shopping

Shopping at Costco warehouses can be stressful due to a large crowd of shoppers, no matter when you go. It’s also quite exclusive with Costco’s membership requirements. Thankfully, Costco online shopping can help ease some of that stress.

You do not need a membership to order from Costco online; however, non-members pay a 5% surcharge. In addition, Costco’s online prices are typically higher than the warehouse prices due to shipping and handling. You can shop at Costco online on their website or the app and track or cancel your online order.

Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know about online shopping at Costco.

Can Anyone Shop at Costco Online?

Anyone can shop at Costco online. You do not need a membership to buy from Costco online; however, non-members have a 5% surcharge added to their orders. All customers must create an online account before shopping at Costco, and members should link their membership card to the online account to receive its benefits.

Shopping online at Costco.com is open to anyone, and you don’t have to be a member to place an online order.

However, Costco non-members have to pay extra since they are not paying the annual membership fee. Costco charges non-members a 5% surcharge in exchange for online access to their exclusive products and deals.

Yet non-members will not be able to purchase all products that Costco online has to offer. Many items are designated as “Member Only” and cannot be added to your cart without a membership.

If you are a Costco member and have limited access to products, make sure you are signed in to your online account.

You should also confirm your membership card has been linked to your account. Costco does not automatically link membership cards to online accounts when you sign up.

Why Are Costco Online Prices Higher Than the Warehouse?

Costco’s online prices are higher than the warehouse because they help cover the extra shipping and handling services involved in an online order. Online orders are put together by a Costco employee and shipped directly to your home or business. Thus, you can save money at Costco by shopping in person.

In addition to varying prices, Costco warehouses are different from Costco online with the products they sell.

Many products overlap and are sold online and at the warehouses, but Costco has many products available only on Costco.com.

Similarly, Costco warehouses also have items that you cannot find online.

What Is CostcoGrocery?

CostcoGrocery is a delivery service Costco offers to its members, excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. You can use CostcoGrocery to order food, cleaning supplies, and household essentials. CostcoGrocery orders are delivered in 2 days or less, and you can get free Cold & Frozen and 2-Day delivery for orders over $100 and $75, respectively.

There are three delivery options for grocery orders from Costco. The first option is Same-Day delivery, powered by Instacart, allowing customers to get their grocery order within a few hours.

You can get perishable and non-perishable foods delivered from Costco with Same-Day delivery.

The second option is the 2-Day delivery, which Costco fulfills directly. 2-Day delivery orders are shipped directly to customers’ homes or businesses, and it’s used to order non-perishable items only.

The third delivery option Costco has is Cold & Frozen, which is used to order perishable foods.

Cold & Frozen orders are typically delivered within two days, though the timing can vary based on the day you order.

Any Costco member can order through CostcoGrocery; however, 2-Day delivery and Cold & Frozen delivery are unavailable in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

CostcoGrocery orders are placed on the Costco website and before you start shopping, make sure you are signed in to your Costco account.

You can sign up online if you don’t already have an account. Then, you will start shopping via the CostcoGrocery page.

Choose Same-Day delivery if you wish to order through Instacart. Otherwise, your items will automatically be sorted into 2-Day delivery or Cold & Frozen delivery.

Delivery orders typically have extra fees added. However, these can vary based on the type of products and your total order size.

With Costco’s 2-Day delivery, there is a $3 delivery fee per item. This applies to all non-perishable pantry items. However, all delivery fees are waived for 2-Day delivery orders over $75.

Cold & Frozen orders are more expensive since they are shipped in temperature-controlled containers.

All perishable products have a $10 per item delivery fee added. However, the delivery fees will be waived if your total Cold & Frozen order reaches $100 or more.

Costco has different order minimums to get free delivery using the 2-Day delivery service and Cold & Frozen.

While shopping online, the products added to your cart will be automatically separated based on which delivery method they require.

You can see the current order total for your 2-Day delivery items at the top of your screen as you shop. 

Unfortunately, this tracking feature is unavailable for Cold & Frozen items. You will need to go to your cart online to see your order total.

You may notice that the prices online are higher than what you would pay in a warehouse.

Costco does not price match with its warehouses, so if you want to pay the lower price for an item, you will need to shop at your local warehouse in person.

The delivery process for CostcoGrocery is simple. After placing your order, Costco employees pack out your items and ship them directly to your home or business.

You can only send the order to one address, though. In other words, you cannot split up products from a Costco online order to be shipped to multiple locations.

Costco also limits how many addresses can receive products under one membership. You can only send Costco online orders to 5 different addresses within a month.

This restriction ensures that customers from different households don’t share one membership rather than each household having its own membership.

Occasionally, you may see an item available online at Costco, but the warehouse does not carry the item and thus cannot fulfill the order.

This portion of the order will be canceled. Luckily, Costco restocks frequently, so you can try ordering the same product later.

You can also return items from any Costco online order, including CostcoGrocery products.

All returns are subject to Costco’s return policy, so there may be some restrictions. Otherwise, you have a few options to make a return.

You can bring the product to the Returns Counter at your local warehouse. In addition, you can request a return online, which is completed with your Costco account.

Alternatively, you can call customer service for help. Costco’s customer service phone number is 1-800-955-2292.

How to Find Costco Online Deals

You can find Costco online deals on Costco’s website, social media pages, and the Costco coupon book sent to members regularly. You can save extra through the Executive membership rewards or the Costco Anywhere card. In addition, Costco offers price adjustments on select items.

On Costco.com, check the “Warehouse Savings” and “While Supplies Last” pages for current sales. These two pages feature discounted products that you can buy online.

The “Warehouse Savings” page can be misleading as it seems like it would only show deals for the warehouses. However, many of the products on this page are also available online.

Some deals on this page are even online-only. This Warehouse Savings page is updated every few weeks, so check it periodically to see the latest online deals at Costco.

“While Supplies Last” is a page on the Costco website that shows items on clearance.

These products will be at their lowest price, and you’ll notice prices ending in $0.97, which is an indicator that Costco has these products on clearance.

Costco also regularly sends its members a coupon book every month. This book does not have any coupons to clip but serves as Costco’s catalog for online and warehouse deals.

The products and discounts in Costco’s coupon book are the same as those on the “Warehouse Savings” page.

Another great way to stay informed about Costco’s online deals is to follow Costco on social media accounts.

Costco frequently posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. These posts feature popular items on sale and seasonal sales like Cyber Monday deals. Costco also has a Twitter account, but it is currently inactive.

While not a specific way to find Costco online deals, you can save extra money by signing up for Costco’s Executive membership or the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi to get 2% cashback on all online purchases.

CostcoGrocery orders also count towards the 2% cashback rewards earned with Executive memberships and the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi.

In addition, if you miss out on a deal and realize a product is selling for less than what you paid, you can request a price adjustment for online orders.

As long as you provide the promotional price and original price you paid, you can get credit for the difference between the two prices.

How to Place a Costco Online Order

You can place a Costco online order through the Costco website or the app. In addition, you can ship a Costco online order to multiple addresses and update the shipping address within 60 minutes after placing an order. However, Costco doesn’t allow adding items to an existing order after it has been placed.

Here are the step-by-step instructions to place a Costco online order using their website:

1. Sign in to your online Costco account. If you don’t have an account, you can easily create one. Make sure your membership card is linked to this account.

2. Shop for the products by browsing the categories under the “Shop” tab or directly searching for an item using the search bar.

3. Add the products to your cart by clicking “Add to Cart.” You can also adjust the quantity of items.

4. Go to your cart to review the items. Then, click “Checkout” to proceed to the next step.

5. Add your shipping address and payment information. Then, select a shipping method.

6. Review the order to ensure everything was entered correctly, then click “Place Order.” You will receive an order confirmation after placing your order and a shipping confirmation once the order is shipped.

Costco’s online ordering process is quick and efficient. You simply choose what you want, add it to your cart, and checkout in just a few steps.

You can also ship a Costco online order to multiple addresses. At checkout, you will see a button that says, “Ship to Multiple Addresses.”

Click on this to designate a shipping address for each item in your order. You can select previously saved addresses or enter a new one. Then, continue the normal checkout process.

If you realize that you entered an address incorrectly, you have 60 minutes after placing an order to change the shipping address.

Go to “My Orders” on the Costco website and click “Order Details” for the order you want to change. Here, you will see a “Change” button that you click to update the address.

However, certain items like GE/Haier appliances, Google Play and iTunes codes, flowers, caskets, or e-vouchers are excluded from changing the shipping address.

If you have passed that 60-minute mark, you will need to contact Costco customer service to get help.

While they will not be able to update the address to a different location, they may be able to help if you had a typo in the original address entered.

You may still be able to cancel the order or request a “return to sender” after the 60 minutes have passed but will need to contact Costco customer service.

Costco does not allow you to add items to an existing online order after it has been placed.

Therefore, we recommend that you carefully review the order before checking out. Of course, you can always place a new order, but be aware of the new delivery fees that may apply.

Costco is an excellent place to get gifts for your family and friends, and you can easily add a personalized message to a gift purchased online.

If a product is eligible for a gift message, it will be noted in the “Product Details” section.

To add a gift message to your Costco online order, add the item to the cart and proceed to checkout.

After you choose a shipping address, you will be able to click a button that says “Add Gift Message.” This will cause a new window to pop up, and you can type the message you want to be added.

You must add the gift message when making the purchase and not after placing the order.

You could potentially still send a gift message from Costco via U.S. Postal Service, but you will need to contact Costco customer service.

What Payment Methods Does Costco Accept Online?

Costco accepts all Visa cards, MasterCard, Discover Cards, most debit cards, and Costco Shop Cards for online orders. While Costco does not accept all debit cards online, most PIN-based cards can be used. In addition, Costco does not accept EBT cards online.

There are a few different options to pay for your Costco online order. Most credit and debit cards are accepted.

The only payment trouble you may encounter is if you try to use an EBT card online, as this will not be accepted.

Costco Shop Cards can also be used to pay for online orders. A Shop Card is simply Costco’s version of a gift card.

Only members can purchase a Costco Shop Card, but anyone can use it online or in a Costco warehouse.

If you shop at Costco often, then you should check out the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi.

You must have a Costco membership to apply for this credit card. Once you are accepted, you will start earning 2% cashback on all Costco online orders, and there are even greater earnings on Costco gas purchases.

What Shipping Methods Does Costco Have for Online Orders?

Costco has different shipping methods for online orders, ranging from standard shipping to same-day delivery. Some shipping methods require a pre-scheduled delivery appointment and a signature from the recipient.

Here are all the shipping methods Costco has for online orders:

  • Standard delivery
  • Standard delivery with no pre-scheduled appointment
  • Curbside delivery
  • Threshold delivery
  • Room of choice delivery
  • White glove delivery
  • Appliance delivery
  • Same-day delivery (for CostcoGrocery only)
  • 2-day delivery (for CostcoGrocery only)
  • Cold & frozen delivery (for CostcoGrocery only)

The standard delivery is used for simple orders that can reasonably fit in a box to be delivered right to your door.

Standard delivery from Costco will take a few days to arrive, as it is shipped via UPS, FedEx, or USPS. You can also choose express shipping to speed up the process, though there will be additional fees.

Curbside delivery is a step-up from standard delivery. It is shipped by a freight carrier (such as FedEx) right to your home or business address.

With curbside delivery, you must schedule a designated time to receive the package, and you will need to sign for it.

Threshold delivery is similar to curbside delivery, but it is used for larger items. You still need to set up a time to receive the order so you can sign for it.

However, the carrier will leave the item somewhere on the premises of the delivery address, where the item will be protected against the weather.

Another shipping method is the room of choice delivery. This option is typically used for furniture or other large and bulky items.

The carrier will bring the item you ordered into any room you designate. Make sure the carrier has a clear path to deliver the product safely.

White glove delivery sounds quite fancy, and it does involve high-quality service. With this shipping method, the carrier will unpack and set up your order.

They also inspect it to make sure you get what you paid for. Costco’s white glove delivery may be useful for a large electronic device, such as a TV.

Similarly, Costco can help set up large appliances when they are delivered. The appliance shipping method involves basic hookup of the new appliance, plus the carrier can haul away an old appliance that is being replaced.

You will need to read the product page of an appliance to see if it is eligible for this type of delivery.

Finally, there are the shipping methods for CostcoGrocery that we mentioned previously.  These include same-day, 2-day, and cold & frozen deliveries.

If you plan to order from Costco online, you should be aware of the shipping and handling charges that could be added.

When shopping, look at the product page, and under the item’s price, you should see a message informing you of any shipping and handling charges.

Sometimes the shipping and handling fees are included in the total item price. This will be noted below that number.

Other times, there is a message that says “Plus Shipping and Handling,” meaning extra fees will be added during checkout.

Costco online orders are only deliverable to addresses in the United States. However, they cannot be shipped to PO boxes, hotels, and a few select areas in the U.S.

Customers in Alaska and Hawaii are subject to additional shipping fees because they are outside the contiguous US.

Additionally, Costco online orders cannot be shipped to APO boxes (military), FPO boxes (foreign), or mail drop locations (freight forwarders).

Of course, international addresses also cannot receive a Costco delivery.

Sometimes it is more convenient to ship your order to a Costco warehouse for you to pick up.

Unfortunately, many products are not eligible for this service. If an item is eligible, you will see a message indicating this on the product’s page.

For all other shipping-related questions for Costco online orders, you can always contact customer service for help.

Can I Track a Costco Online Order?

You can track a Costco online order through the “Order Status” page on Costco’s website. After selecting the order you want to track, you can use the tracking number link to see where your order is. However, you will not be able to track packages labeled as “Order Received” status.

You will first get an idea of how long delivery may take by looking at the product page.

The order confirmation email sent after placing an order will also have this information.

If you are concerned about a product not arriving by the estimated delivery date, you can track the order.

To track a Costco online order, locate the order on the “Order Status” page, linked near the bottom of the Costco home page.

You can also find your order from the “My Orders” section under “My Account.”

After you have found your order, you will see a link that says “Tracking #.” Click this link to be redirected to the carrier’s website fulfilling your delivery.

You will also receive a shipping confirmation email after the order has been shipped. This email will contain instructions on how to track your order as well.

How Do I Cancel a Costco Online Order?

You can cancel a Costco online order on the Costco website through the “My Account” page. You can view an order under the “My Orders” section and cancel it. If you do not see this option, it may be too late to cancel your order. Instead, you can return or replace the item online or at a warehouse.

To cancel a Costco online order, you will need to find the order information online.

This is done by going to “My Account,” then “My Orders,” and “Order Details” for the order in question. Finally, click “Cancel Order” and indicate why you are canceling it.

Some Costco online orders can only be canceled for a short time after the order has been placed.

If you have passed this time limit, you will need to contact Costco customer service for help. Otherwise, you can return or replace unwanted items. Costco has quite a lenient return policy, though there are some limitations.

To return an item, you can bring it to a Costco warehouse. The employees at the return counter should process the return right away.

You can also return or replace your Costco online order on your account page.

You will see this option under the “Orders & Returns” tab on your account. However, this method will take longer because you will need to ship the product back to Costco before getting a refund or replacement item.

Conclusion

Costco makes online ordering convenient, and many great products are exclusively sold online. You can even use CostcoGrocery for all your food shopping needs. In addition, you don’t need to be a member to place a Costco online order.

If you’re interested in learning more Costco shopping tips, check out the related articles below.

Related Articles:

Everything You Need to Know About Costco’s Hours

How to Contact Costco Customer Service Plus Costco’s Return Policy

What You Need to Know About Shopping at Costco Business Centers

18 Things to Know Before Buying Wine at Costco

Your Guide to Buying Costco Gift Baskets

Was this article helpful?

Last Updated: March 18, 2022

About the Author

Alex Burgess is a registered dietitian and content creator with over two years of experience. She loves sharing nutrition information and has a passion for studying gut health.

During her free time, she enjoys hiking with friends, cooking a new recipe for her family, or watching her dog frolic at the dog park.

Recent Articles

Disclosure: Shopfood.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Shopfood.com also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies, but there is absolutely no additional cost to you if you make a purchase using our links.