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You can also save on a number other categories including razor blades, office supplies, and beverages if you're willing to buy in bulk and store them. But just because the chain usually offers a good deal does not mean that it's always the best place to buy something. Costco carrying an item does not automatically mean it's a good deal.

You should be wary of the items listed below, though that does not mean those products are a bad buy at the warehouse chain -- just that it's buyer beware since in many cases there are better deals to be had. Shopping at Costco can be a bit of a sport. It can also be addictive, leading to poor buying choices that seem like a good idea but are not. Above all, when shopping at the warehouse club consider the plusses as well as the minuses of buying in bulk and be willing to comparison shop on big-ticket items.


Costco requires a membership to shop in its stores. Source: Costco. Be wary of books and CDs Costco often stocks a selection of discounted former best-sellers or other books and CDs, which can tempt buyers. In many cases, these books and CDs are titles that, though they might have been hits, were overproduced by the publisher. When that happens, copies show up on discount racks at bookstores and Amazon often blows out the titles at a very low cost to clear up warehouse space.

In addition, both retailers along with others offer subscription services that lock in even lower prices while saving the purchaser the hassle of lugging around a giant package of bulk diapers.

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In many cases, where to buy a computer or a television depends upon exactly what you want versus whatever deals each store has at a given moment. It's also a question of whether price alone is your deciding factor. Factor in sales and deals and, in most cases, Costco won't be your cheapest option even if you're not willing to settle for a less brand.

The same is generally true with computers and other electronics. It's worth looking at Costco, but your best price is probably going to come elsewhere.

2. AppleCare protection (but only for your iPhone)

Perishable goods in bulk In most cases, when buying food items at Costco you're buying in bulk in order to get a good deal. When considering whether to purchase perishable items from the warehouse chain, you need to look at more than the per-serving price. It's also important to factor in expiration dates and usage. For example, that giant jar of mayonnaise might seem like a great value, but if your rate of consumption will let half of it spoil then it becomes less of a deal and it's probably a bad idea to increase consumption just to use it.

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In many cases, Costco's deals on perishables make sense if you have a big family or are throwing a party but less so if you don't. Laundry detergent This is another case where buying in bulk may not be for the best unless your usage rate actually makes it worth it.

The warehouse chain offers some great deals, but not everything is a good value.

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