Costco is like a magical fantasyland full of oversized surprises. A lot of the time, you don't know what you will find there. Sure, there are some classics. Kirkland-brand olive oil and apple pies are beloved standards that you can count on seeing virtually every time you walk through those warehouse doors.
Not everything at Costco sticks around, however, and a great deal found one day might be gone the next. So if you see an asterisk in the top right-hand corner of the price tag on something you love, you should stock up right away, because that asterisk means it won't be coming back.
Yeah, that's right. Let that sink in.
Because Costco's stock is frequently rotating, items come and go, and that means you can't always count on being able to find your favorite snack, socks, or Eames lounge chair. But it doesn't have to be a surprise when a favorite item disappears, because according to Mental Floss, that asterisk on the upper right-hand corner of an item's label is a sign that lets us know it's not being restocked.
It's frustrating when your favorite items go away — I would be devastated if Costco stopped stocking my beloved Kirkland Green Tea with Matcha, which is made by Japanese tea company Ito En and includes 100 bags for $14.99 — but Costco's ever-rotating stock is one of the main ways they keep prices so low. The company buys a limited amount of things, and then if something doesn't sell well, they stop carrying it to make room for something else.
The asterisk does not necessarily mean the item has been discounted, just that it's been "deleted" and won't be restocked. That could be because Costco only bought a certain amount of it, or the item didn't sell well and is being discontinued, or because the item will be coming back in a different package. The asterisks also appear on seasonal items, so Christmas decorations or Easter chocolates might have asterisks, but they could well come back at the same time next year. But in general, if you see the asterisk, it's time to stock up, because you can't assume the product will still be there next time.
Have you ever noticed an asterisk on a Costco tag?
This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: If You See This Mark on Your Favorite Costco Item, Stock Up