Does Costco Offer Curbside Pickup? All You Need to Know!

Last updated: 23 Jun, 2024 |
Does Costco Offer Curbside Pickup

Costco, a big store known for letting you buy lots of things at once, tested a service called curbside pickup at some places in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

However, they stopped it soon because not many people were using it.

Does Costco Offer Curbside Pickup?

Yes, Costco offers same-day delivery through its partnership with Instacart. Members in specific ZIP codes can order perishable groceries online.

You can get organic meats, produce, and seafood delivered during a chosen time window.

How Can I Use Costco’s Curbside Pickup Service?

Currently, Costco does not offer a broad curbside pickup service. The trial program in Albuquerque allowed members to order online and pick up their items at designated spots.

However, this program was not expanded beyond the trial phase. Instead, Costco members can use Instacart for same-day delivery or choose in-store pickup for certain items.

Using Costco’s curbside pickup is straightforward. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Log in to your Costco account on the website or mobile app.
  2. Add items to your cart and proceed to checkout.
  3. Select the “Curbside Pickup” option at checkout.
  4. Choose your preferred warehouse and a pickup time that suits you.
  5. Place your order and wait for confirmation.

Upon arrival at the warehouse, park in a designated curbside pickup spot and notify the store staff.

How Can I Use Costco's Curbside Pickup Service?

Is Curbside Pickup Available at All Costco Locations?

No, curbside pickup is not available at all Costco locations.

The service was tested in a few spots but did not catch on widely because not enough members were interested, and it cost a lot to run.

However, the good news is that the service is expanding quickly.

To find out if your local Costco offers curbside pickup, you can visit the Costco website and use the “Find a Warehouse” tool.

Choose your location and look in the “Services” section for “Curbside Pickup.”

You can also check it out through the Instacart app. Costco works with Instacart to provide curbside pickup at some locations.

Download the app, search for Costco, and see if the pickup option shows up during checkout.

What Products Can You Get with Costco’s Curbside Pickup?

Costco offers a wide selection of items for curbside pickup. You can get groceries, including fresh produce, meat, and frozen foods.

They also have household essentials like paper towels, cleaning supplies, beverages, health and beauty products, and some electronics.

However, the availability of electronics may vary. You can also pick up some apparel and homeware items.

Keep in mind that there may be exceptions for oversized or cumbersome items. It’s always best to check the product page for curbside pickup availability.

During the pilot, you could pick up grocery and non-grocery items, but you had to order at least $100.

Only a limited range of products, typically larger, high-ticket items like electronics and appliances, can be picked up in-store.

Product CategoryEligibility
GroceriesYes
ElectronicsYes
Home and BeddingYes
Clothing and AccessoriesYes
Health and BeautyYes
TiresNo
Fresh and Frozen FoodsYes (in some locations)

How Does Costco’s Curbside Pickup Compare to Other Retailers?

Costco lags behind competitors like Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale, which offer free curbside pickup across many locations.

Sam’s Club and BJ’s rolled out extensive curbside services early in the pandemic, while Costco focused on other priorities, reflecting its customers’ preference for in-store shopping.

Costco’s curbside pickup has unique advantages despite the competition. It allows curbside pickup for bulk quantities, a major perk for loyal members who stock up on essentials.

Unlike some retailers, Costco doesn’t typically charge an additional fee for curbside pickup.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. Not all Costco products are available for curbside pickup, especially compared to what’s available in-store.

While convenient, Costco’s curbside pickup process might not be the fastest, especially during peak hours.

What Are the Benefits of Using Costco’s Curbside Pickup Service?

Using Costco’s curbside pickup saves you time. You can skip the long lines and pick up your pre-ordered items before heading home.

It’s convenient, especially for large or heavy orders. You won’t have to worry about carrying groceries to your car.

This service is also a safer way to shop. In times when it’s best to minimize contact, choosing curbside pickup means you can avoid crowded spaces.

If Costco were to offer this service more widely, you would enjoy the convenience and safety that are so essential these days.

However, remember that these perks are still possible benefits since the service isn’t available everywhere.

Are There Any Fees for Costco’s Curbside Pickup?

Costco usually doesn’t charge a separate fee for curbside pickup at warehouse locations.

However, at select locations where Instacart fulfills curbside pickup, there might be a service fee.

Always check the app or website for details before you place your order.

During a brief pilot program, curbside orders were charged a $10 fee. This fee was paid for the convenience of the service.

Since the pilot ended, this fee structure has no longer been in place.

How to Place a Curbside Pickup Order at Costco?

Steps for Placing a Costco In-Store Pickup Order

  • Become a member: Ensure you are a Costco member so you can use the in-store pickup service.
  • Sign In and Select: Log into your account, choose the “Warehouse pickup” option, and start shopping.
  • Shop and Schedule: Add eligible items to your cart and set a pickup time that works for you.
  • Complete Your Order: The ordering process is as simple as online purchasing.

Tips to Enhance Your Costco Curbside Pickup Experience

  • Prepare in Advance: Visit the Costco website or app to make a shopping list beforehand. This helps prevent unnecessary purchases.
  • Place Orders Early: Order well ahead for high-demand items or busy times to secure product availability.
  • Check Your Cart: Double-check your cart to ensure all desired items are included before checkout.
  • Use the Costco App: For a smoother experience, use the Costco app to track your order, get updates, and receive notifications when your pickup is ready.

Does Costco’s Curbside Pickup Save You Time?

Curbside pickup at Costco can save time compared to traditional in-store shopping.

However, its limited availability means most members still need to shop in person or use delivery services like Instacart.

Costco’s curbside pickup offers several advantages:

  • Eliminates Browsing: Shop the extensive selection online at your own pace, avoiding time spent wandering the aisles.
  • No Waiting in Lines: Skip the checkout lines. Just pull up during your designated window and bring your order to you.
  • Faster Shopping Trips: Curbside pickup is quicker, especially for those who know exactly what they need.

Consider a few factors to make the most of this service:

  • Order Processing Time: There might be a wait between placing your order and your pickup window. Plan accordingly.
  • Pick-Up Window Flexibility: Some stores may offer more flexible times than others. Choose a slot that fits your schedule.
  • Traffic Conditions: To ensure you arrive within your designated pickup window, factor in potential traffic delays.

What Should You Know Before Using Costco’s Curbside Pickup for the First Time?

If you’re using Costco’s curbside pickup for the first time, know that it’s not available for all items and is limited to certain high-value products.

It’s important to check the availability of this service at your local Costco and understand how it works.

To use Costco’s curbside pickup effectively:

  • Membership Requirements: You’ll usually need a Costco membership to access this service. The requirements vary by location, but having a membership is generally a good idea.
  • Download the App: The Costco mobile app makes the curbside pickup process easier. It lets you track your order, manage pickup times, and notify the store when you arrive.
  • Locate Pickup Spots: Before heading to the store, find the designated curbside pickup parking spots. They are typically well-marked and located near the store entrance.
  • Identification Might Be Required: When you arrive, show your Costco membership card or a valid ID to pick up your order.

Are There Any Restrictions on Items for Costco’s Curbside Pickup?

Not all items on the Costco website are available for pickup. Only select high-ticket items qualify for in-store pickup, and groceries typically aren’t included unless you order them through Instacart.

There are a few exceptions to keep in mind for curbside pickup:

  • Oversized Items: Large items like furniture may not be eligible for curbside pickup because of their size or weight.
  • Alcohol: Buying alcohol might require verification upon pickup, making curbside less convenient for these purchases.
  • Perishables: Most groceries are available, but think about your travel time. Fresh or frozen items need to stay at the right temperature.

Always check the product description online or contact the store to understand any restrictions better.

Can You Use Costco’s Curbside Pickup for Bulk Purchases?

One of the main advantages of shopping at Costco is the bulk deals. Curbside pickup is perfect for buying larger quantities.

However, consider your car’s capacity when placing your order to avoid overloading your vehicle.

During the pilot program, bulk items were included in curbside pickup. Since the pilot ended, you must make bulk purchases in-store or through delivery options.

How Fast Is Costco’s Curbside Pickup Service?

During the pilot, orders could be picked up within a one-hour window.

However, this service is not currently available, so comparing its speed to other retailers isn’t relevant now.

The speed of Costco’s curbside pickup varies based on several factors:

  • Order Volume: During peak hours or weekends, curbside pickup orders may increase, leading to wait times longer.
  • Store Staffing: The number of staff available to fulfill orders dramatically affects the efficiency of the curbside pickup process.
  • Your Arrival Time: If you arrive towards the end of your designated pickup window, you may need to wait a bit while they locate your order.

Despite these factors, curbside pickup is generally faster than a traditional in-store shopping trip, considering the time saved by skipping browsing and checkout lines.

What are the most common issues with Costco’s curbside pickup, and how can we avoid them?

The main issue with Costco’s initial curbside pickup was low member adoption, which discontinued the service.

For in-store pickups, you might face problems like limited item availability and difficulty scheduling pickups during busy hours.

Despite its convenience, curbside pickup can have some occasional hiccups.

To handle these issues effectively:

  • Missing or Incorrect Items: Always double-check your order before confirming it to reduce the chances of any mistakes. Review the order with the staff member to ensure everything is correct when you pick up your items.
  • Order Not Ready on Time: Delays can happen unexpectedly. To avoid this, consider placing your order a day or two in advance, especially if it’s a large order or you’re ordering during peak times.
  • Long Wait Times: Traffic or a high volume of orders can cause delays. Carefully plan when you want to pick up your items, and try to arrive a few minutes early.

Can You Use Costco’s Curbside Pickup for Fresh and Frozen Groceries?

You can use curbside pickup for most fresh and frozen groceries at Costco. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Travel Time: Remember to factor in the time you will take home from Costco. This is especially important for items that need to stay cold or frozen. Consider bringing a cooler bag or insulated containers to keep perishable items at the right temperature during your drive, especially in hot or cold weather.
  • Packing Considerations: While Costco staff will pack your order, you can request specific packing methods. This helps ensure that frozen items remain frozen and fresh produce doesn’t bruise during transport.

Does Costco’s Curbside Pickup Include Same-Day Delivery?

No, same-day delivery is not included with curbside pickup at Costco.

If you’re looking for same-day delivery, you’ll need to use a service like Instacart, which delivers select items directly to your doorstep.

While you can sometimes schedule curbside pickup the same day you place your order at Costco, it’s not guaranteed.

There’s usually a processing time between when you place your order and the earliest available pickup window.

For guaranteed same-day delivery, consider using third-party services like Instacart. These services can deliver your groceries within a few hours, but they usually charge additional delivery fees.

How to Make the Most Out of Costco’s Curbside Pickup Service?

To maximize convenience, check the eligibility and availability of items at your local Costco and consider using Instacart for same-day grocery delivery if needed. Here are some tips to make the most of your Costco curbside pickup:

  • Plan Your Meals: Start by planning your meals for the week. Create a shopping list to avoid impulse buys and ensure you don’t forget anything important.
  • Take Advantage of Online Reviews: Check out online reviews for insights on the efficiency of curbside pickup and customer service at specific Costco locations.
  • Utilize the App: The Costco app makes the curbside pickup process smoother. Use it to browse products, place your order, track its progress, and alert the store when you arrive.
  • Communicate Upon Arrival: Inform the store using the app or the designated method once you arrive. This helps speed up the pickup process.
  • Review Your Order: After receiving your order, take a moment to check it for accuracy. If anything is amiss, let the staff know right away.

Does Costco’s Curbside Pickup Require a Membership?

There seems to be some uncertainty about whether a membership is required for curbside pickup at Costco.

While the Costco website doesn’t clearly state this, some sources suggest that a membership might be necessary at specific locations.

Contacting your local Costco directly to confirm their policy is always a good idea.

Can You Return Items Using Costco’s Curbside Pickup Service?

Unfortunately, Costco’s curbside pickup service does not currently accommodate returns.

If you need to return unwanted items, you must return them to the store. However, the return process at Costco is usually quite efficient.

Their generous return policy allows you to return most items, even if opened, for a full refund within a reasonable timeframe.

Returns must be made in person at the warehouse for items picked up in-store, and standard return policies apply.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Costco has explored the option of curbside pickup, this service is not widely available. Instead, Costco continues to focus on in-store shopping and delivery options like Instacart to meet the needs of its customers.

For those looking for the convenience of curbside pickup, other retailers might be better suited. Costco’s pickup options are designed for those seeking a fast and contactless way to shop.

As the program potentially expands, check with your local store for the latest information on service availability.

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Faisal Mian

With a decade of experience as a manager, advisor, and marketer in the retail and consumer service sector, I understand the intricacies of the shopping landscape. I’m committed to delivering valuable insights to enhance your shopping endeavors.

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