When Does Costco Restock? The Ins & Outs Of Its Restocking Process

It comes as no surprise that for many people, Costco satisfies all their shopping needs in a single store. No more jumping around to different stores and malls; instead, Costco fits the bill for one-stop shopping. But they don’t always have what you need, especially if you’re shopping during peak hours.

When Does Costco Restock in 2022? (The Ins & Outs Of Its Restocking Process)

In this article, I will walk you through the actual process that Costco takes when it comes to restocking, as well as its process for inventory on their official website, and even which day of the week is most recommended to go to Costco. Let’s get started!

What Time Does Costco Normally Restock?

When Does Costco Restock

The first question we need to address: What time does Costco restock its shelves? Typically, this process begins with the night shift workers and continues into the morning shifts.

Although this process of restocking does occur every day, there is still no guarantee a certain product will or will not be available. This is especially the case if the item is in high demand. We recommend always calling the store ahead if you are worried about availability.

For those high-demand items, it should come as no surprise that arriving at Costco bright and early will best help your chances at finding that specific item. Even then, though, there is not a guarantee the item will be available.

Another option is checking warehouses, which is something you can do directly on Costco’s website.

Another tip that many consumers and shoppers of Costco may not be aware of is that some barcodes may have an asterisk. What does that mean, exactly? An asterisk means the item will be discontinued or that the local store will no longer be carrying that item.

With this in mind, always keep your eye out for an asterisk! That way, if the item is something that you want, you can go ahead and bulk up on that item to ensure you won’t need it for at least the immediate future.

It is worth noting that some items have restrictions that are set in place by Costco, limiting each shopper to a certain quantity of that item. It is best to check with each store regarding this policy, as it may vary by item and location.

When Does Costco Update Its Online Inventory?

Another aspect of Costco and its restocking process that many people are curious about are its online inventory. One nice feature of their system is that everything is processed in real-time.

This is to say that if an item is taken off a truck and loaded into a warehouse, the online inventory will immediately reflect that, effectively taking any guessing out of when an item will be available on their website. On the contrary, if an item cannot be found on their website, you can be sure the item is not currently available.

But just because an item cannot be found on Costco’s online inventory, it is not to say it won’t show up again later on that day or during the week. We recommend checking back in on their website regularly, and even more so if the item is in very high demand.

According to reputable websites, the website is most likely to update its inventory between 9 in the morning and noon, and then once again around 3 pm in the afternoon.

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Checking Costco’s Inventory

Another way to double-check Costco’s inventory is to simply access the membership counter at any local Costco warehouse. One of the employees will be happy to verify their inventory for you.

If you are not in the mood to head down to a local Costco warehouse, you can also just give them a call!

You can again locate where your closest Costco warehouse is and its respective phone number by using Costco’s website.

All you need to do is dial the number “0” and one of the employees at your local warehouse will answer.

Then, simply inquire about the item you are searching for and if it is available.

One tip to ensure a smooth phone call is to have the item number on hand, which should allow the local Costco team member to search their system quickly.

Although all Costcos try their very best to always have items in stock, it’s not always possible. Therefore, our best advice is to contact them as soon as possible instead of waiting, as you may mush out on the item even after it had been replenished.

With all of this in mind, we must note that a local Costco and its inventory will not always match what inventories Costco has on its online website.

Similarly, the price of the product will also tend to differ between your local Costco and their online catalog, which can be summarized by the factor of shipping and handling of that said product.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that an item may be able to be purchased online but not at your local Costco, or the contrary, that the item is available at your local Costco, but not online.

One recommendation we have in this case is to simply purchase the item online at Costco.com, and have it sent directly to your local store where you can pick up the item yourself.

If a certain product is able to be sent to your local store, simply add that item to your shopping cart on the website.

In-Stock Alerts For Costco And How To Receive Them

Many have inquired about alerts for when an item becomes in stock. Unfortunately, Costco does not offer this feature. However, a service such as PriceCase can do this for you. The service is free and provides alerts for many different stores about when an item once again becomes available, or if a certain price change has occurred.

Due to PriceCase sending notifications about high-demand items, we recommend taking advantage of the service and acting as soon as possible to purchase that item, for it may not last very long.

It is important to note that there are always fluctuations between Costco’s online catalog and its local inventory. If an item reappears on their website, there is no guarantee that the item is also newly available in-store.

Restocking of Costco’s Produce

Another aspect of restocking that many are curious about is Costco’s produce. While highly dependent on each store, the majority of local warehouses replenish their produce during the early hours. Still, though, factors such as the amount of produce, the arrival of pallets, and management policy all will slightly affect when produce is replenished.

The process of restocking produce always takes at least a few hours and generally occurs both in the morning and at night.

And while a majority of Costco warehouses have seen a large increase in sales since last year, there is still not any guarantee of the availability of items.

So, if you are planning a Costco run for produce in the near future, our best recommendation is to go as soon as the store opens.

Just be sure to double-check Costco’s hours online, as hours change frequently. A simple phone call to the local store will automatically inform you of its respective hours.

If you have any doubt or fear of the product you are in search of not being available at your local Costco, you can always inquire about this with a team member on the phone.

Shopping At Costco: Which Day is Generally Best?

Our research suggests that Mondays are generally the go-to day for shopping at Costco. This best works with their restocking schedule, while also avoiding weekend crowds. Costco’s are also most likely to have restocked the most after weekends due to the high volume of traffic.

Alternatively, we suggest avoiding shopping at Costco on Saturday/s, and even more specifically, during the lunchtime surge.

Almost all Costco’s experience a high surge in shoppers at this time, so if you are going to Costco on a Saturday, try to go before lunchtime.

The best time to shop at Costco is during the week, between Tuesday and Thursday, if you want to avoid congested aisles and long checkout lines.

Along with Mondays, our research shows Tuesdays and Thursdays are good times to go to Costco, especially if you do not want to stand in line waiting or have to face aisles full of crowds. Just be sure to avoid lunchtime, as this is always the busiest time at Costco, weekdays and weekends alike.

The last tip we have about when to shop at Costco is right before they close, and even better if you do this during the week.

Summary

In short, Costco has a lot of great items in a wide variety of categories. This is especially true if you are fond of buying items in bulk. Despite not having any specific way of being alerted of a new item, the options of calling into a local store or checking Costco’s website should be of enough aid to ensure you are in the loop on a product’s availability.

FAQS on Costco Restocking

Q: How long does it take for Costco to restock?

A: Generally, Costco restocks every day, both online and locally. However, certain times may not always be included in each day’s restocking process, so be sure to check with your local warehouse.

Q: Do Costco items come back in stock?

A: In our experience, high-demand items always come back in stock. The only exception to this is if an item has an asterisk on the barcode, which means it will no longer be stocked in the future.

Q: How often does Costco update its online inventory?

A: Costco’s online inventory is updated daily, with an emphasis on updates occurring between 9 am and noon, and once again around 3 pm in the afternoon.

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