Once you read all these perks, you’ll never stock up anywhere else.
1. You don’t have to be a member to buy alcohol.
Many states have a law prohibiting stores from requiring membership to purchase alcohol, which means you can buy those beverages without a club card. You’re in luck if you reside in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas, or Vermont. Not every cashier knows the law, though, so be ready to explain your case to a manager.
2. Costco is the largest wine retailer in the U.S.
Wine makes up nearly half of the big box store’s yearly alcohol sales. The most recent number Costco shared was $1.69 billion in 2016 wine sales, which placed it as the country’s largest wine seller.
3. You can stock your entire bar with Kirkland brand booze.
Kirkland-branded wine was first produced in 2003, followed by hard alcohol in 2007 and later craft beer. Now, you can buy nearly every spirit under Costco’s signature in-house label, including American and French vodka, Scotch, whiskey, bourbon, rum, tequila, and gin.
4. Big-name brands make some of those Kirkland spirits.
Here are the rumored names behind the bottles.
Kirkland beer is brewed by Gordon Biersch.
Kirkland Scotch are distilled by either Alexander Murray and Macallan Distillery.
Kirkland bourbon and rum is produced by Jim Beam.
Kirkland vodka is made from the same water source and by the same employees that Grey Goose uses.
Kirkland tequila is produced in the same distillery as Cielo tequila.
5. You can get the alcohol delivered to your house if you live in these 11 states.
More than 200 Costco locations in 11 states will deliver the alcohol straight to your house, so no need to get up from the couch. Just order right from Instacart and wait for it to come to you if you reside in California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio and Washington, D.C.
6. Costco’s wine markups are half that of most stores.
Many boutique wine shops sell bottles for up to 50 percent more than the wholesale price. Costco’s markups hover around 14 percent. That means the cost of the same bottle of wine purchased at Costco versus another retailer could differ greatly — making Costco the much better bargain.
7. Get your gifts for booze lovers there.
Costco has an advent calendar that’s stuffed with wine or booze. And what’s better than a mini bottle or can a day? And I’m sure no one would be mad to find a Kirkland bottle of bourbon in their stocking, either.
8. Keep an eye out for asterisks.
If you see this tiny star (*) in the upper right hand corner of an in-store sign, it means Costco has the item on clearance. These sales are when you’ll get the best deals, but they occasionally indicate the last time Costco plans to restock the product. Scoop up as many bottles while you can.
9. You can keep those empty wood wine cases that are lying around.
You know how Costco keeps empty cardboard boxes near checkout registers that are free for the taking? Same goes for any empty wine cases you see in the aisles. Designers go nuts for them, so take note: They make great-looking storage bins.
10. Don’t try to return alcohol.
Costco is known for its insanely liberal return policy, but they don’t budge on booze. It doesn’t matter if your bottles are opened or sealed; Costco won’t give you a refund, so bottoms up.
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