402065 08: A shopper displays her Costco Wholesale membership card as she enters a Costco Wholesale store March 8, 2002 in Niles, IL. Warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale Corp. has reported higher quarterly profits as the promise of bulk goods at bargain prices resonated with consumers in the U.S. recession. Warehouse retailers charge customers an annual membership fee, typically $35 to $45, to shop at clubs that offer deep discounts on bulk quantities of items like food and household cleaners. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
The Workaround To Shop At Costco Without A Membership
By Mikala Lugen
A Costco membership provides you with the lowest prices, exclusive member perks, and access to the famously cheap yet delicious hotdog meal. Unfortunately, Costco does not offer free trial memberships to non-members, but some workarounds allow non-members to shop at the retail giant.
The easiest way for a non-member to shop at Costco is to tag along with a friend who is a member. With this workaround, it's important to note that the member friend will have to pay for all the items, but you can request the cashier to ring up your and your friend's groceries separately.
Another way to shop at Costco is by receiving a Costco Cash Card — essentially a Costco gift card — from a member that will give you access to stores. Non-members can also shop on Instacart or their website, but the prices online differ from in-store, a 5% surcharge is added, and the delivery wait time can take five days instead of same-day or two-day delivery.
Many states prohibit clubs or membership stores from selling alcohol exclusively to members, so some Costco locations have separate entrances where non-members can buy liquor. Non-members can also purchase prescriptions, get immunizations, or use optical services from Costco, as stores must adhere to equal access laws regarding health services.