Best Time To Shop At Costco! [Busy Hours, New Stocks & More]

To avoid long lines and empty shelves when shopping at Costco, here's the best time to go to Costco. Learn the peak hours, restock days, and more here.

Costco members enjoy a range of benefits. Aside from being able to access all the discount prices for bulk items at Costco warehouses, members can even get free shipping when their orders from the Costco website are worth more than $75.

Considering all of that, it’s no surprise that there are over 113 million Costco members in the US. And with all these members, you’re bound to end up walking into a crowded Costco every now and then.

While Costco offers a convenient and relatively cost-effective place for customers to shop, if you end up at a crowded Costco, the experience may not be as nice. For one, some items may not be in stock and you might even end up in line for a long stretch of time.

So, how do you avoid waiting in line and constantly having to wait for the Costco restock days to get what you’re after?

Well, it’s always best to shop at non-peak hours and days at Costco. That way, stocks are fuller, stores have fewer people, and the whole shopping experience is much faster and more efficient.

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide on the best time to shop at Costco. So, if you’re looking to learn when most Costco items are in-stock when the most clearance items go on sale, and what times are the busiest at the warehouses, you’ve come to the right place.

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What Is The Best Day To Shop At Costco?

Hobart Circa May 2018: Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi Billion Dollar Global Retailer IV

Costco stores are big and simple by design. This not only allows Costco to save money, but it also means that it takes a whole lot of people to crowd up the store. Because of this, the only real days that Costco is crowded are from Friday to Sunday.

Additionally, you might find that the stores are crowded on Mondays as well, but that really varies depending on your location.

So, if you’re looking to avoid long lines, out-of-stock items, and crowded aisles, we recommend shopping in between Monday and Thursday.

When Is The Best Time To Go To Costco?

If you want to go to Costco when all the items are in-stock, you want to go to the store early. Different Costco warehouses may have different operating hours, so it can be hard to pinpoint a specific time.

So, if you want to know the specific time your Costco opens, you may need to use the online store finder tool or call your local Costco. On top of that, seniors may be able to access different operating hours at certain Costco warehouses.

Typically, Costco associates stock up the shelves at around 4:00 AM every day. This is to ensure that the store is full of products the second the stores open. So, if you want to access all the items at Costco, you need to go as early as possible.

Usually, that means going to Costco and shopping between 9 AM to 11 AM. This is because a lot of people would have done their shopping already by 12 PM, which means a lot of the stock on the shelves at Costco would be gone.

If you can’t make it to Costco that early but want to check if an item or product is in-stock before you go to the store, the Costco website has a real-time inventory of products that you can use to check stock levels before shopping.

When Is The Best Time To Find Clearance Items At Costco?

A hand holding a Costco Membership card on a cart in Costco warehouse.

Costco doesn’t have a specific time or day that they stock up on clearance items. So, you can go and shop at Costco on just about any day of the week and expect to find at least some clearance items.

However, if you really want to make sure you can access all the clearance items and bargains available, you want to shop when you don’t have competition. The more shoppers in the stores, the less chance you have of grabbing discounted products.

So, just like we said earlier, we recommend shopping on the morning of a weekday. During these times you won’t find too many shoppers at Costco and you also don’t have to deal with that much competition.

What Is The Least Busy Time At Costco?

Weekdays and mornings are generally considered to be the quietest times at Costco. However, if you really want a stress-free and people-free shopping experience, we recommend heading to Costco between Tuesday to Thursday.

This is because Mondays and Fridays typically have a lot of shoppers at Costco, especially if they weren’t able to do their shopping over the weekend.

Generally, the quietest times are in the morning. So, if you want a calm shopping experience, we recommend heading there at around 10 AM.

But if you aren’t available in the morning, you can also head to Costco in the afternoon between 3 and 5 PM, when there are fewer people. The downside to this, however, is that not all the products might be in-stock by that time in the afternoon.

Conclusion – When Is The Best Time To Shop At Costco?

You can make your Costco shopping experience much more pleasant by shopping at the right times. And typically, that means in the mornings between Tuesday to Thursday. Additionally, 3 PM to 5 PM is also a good window for shoppers in the afternoon.

Different warehouses may have different operating hours. However, if you’re looking to have a stress-free shopping experience at Costco, we recommend calling your local branch to learn about their operating hours and schedule your shopping trip as close to the opening time as possible.

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Arthur Beringer

Arthur graduated in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration from LSU Alexandria. After working in the retail industry for almost 20 years, he decided to quit and write full-time to help readers who are searching online for consumer-related answers.