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Apple products return to Costco with deep discounts for iPhone and iPad

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
A year and a half after Costco stopped selling Apple products through its brick-and-mortar and online stores, the discount wholesaler is now carrying current iPhone and iPad models at discounts up to $120 off retail pricing.




The Costco Mobile online store, in partnership with third-party supplier Wireless Advocates, is now offering Apple's iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, as well as the most recent iPad models, at discounted prices. The apparent change in policy was first spotted by TGAAP.

It is unknown what kind of deal Costco or Wireless Advocates managed to arrange with Apple, though current online specials show discounts of up to 60 percent on select hardware. For example, a 16GB iPhone 5s can be had for $78, down from a subsidized contract price of $199. Costco Wireless carries devices from big-four U.S. cellular providers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

As for pricing, all iOS devices are limited to 16GB models, while T-Mobile versions must be purchased in-store and come with a $25 Costco Cash card in lieu of cash discounts. Interestingly, only one iPhone 5c model is available in a blue AT&T version going for $99 through Costco's web store.

Apple's iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are also for sale, though pickings are slim with offerings limited to Verizon and T-Mobile. Through Verizon, both tablets are priced $100 below retail, with a Silver iPad Air priced at $520 and a Space Grey Retina iPad mini going for $420 on contract. T-Mobile versions are 16GB Space Grey models and again only available at brick-and-mortar locations with a $25 Costco Cash card discount.

Costco stopped carrying Apple products in late 2010 when the companies reached a "mutual agreement" to cease their partnership. No official explanation was offered for the change, though at the time Costco was rumored to be behind the move after being passed over for iPad distribution.
post #2 of 36

No kidding. Wow. Things really are changing at Apple.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 36

Has anyone actually been to the Costco site?  I find no Apple products on it today.

post #4 of 36
Wow, that actually makes it worth it to buy a Costco membership just for that discount! Not just about moving inventory for profit, Costco is reaping benefits on all ends.
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by inbeat View Post
 

Has anyone actually been to the Costco site?  I find no Apple products on it today.

 

http://membershipwireless.com/index.cfm/go/shop/do/browsePhones/

 

Filter out for iOS

post #6 of 36
Wow! I love Apple and I like Costco a lot too. Wonderful news. I am wondering if Costco would appl their super flexible policy towards iPhone and iPad?
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInSD View Post

Wow, that actually makes it worth it to buy a Costco membership just for that discount! Not just about moving inventory for profit, Costco is reaping benefits on all ends.



Costco is great for just about everything in there.  I do 99%  of most of my grocery shopping there, and it is just for me.  One just can't beat their everyday prices.  

Why would just having Apple products for you justify a Costco membership?  I doubt they would discount it that much.  I will be impressed if they start carrying Macs.

post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post
 



Costco is great for just about everything in there.  I do 99%  of most of my grocery shopping there, and it is just for me.  One just can't beat their everyday prices.  

Why would just having Apple products for you justify a Costco membership?  I doubt they would discount it that much.  I will be impressed if they start carrying Macs.

 

The discount is basically double the price of general membership dues.

post #9 of 36

iphone 5s is 78

samsung s5 is 100

post #10 of 36
Welcome to costco. I love you.

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post



Costco is great for just about everything in there.  I do 99%  of most of my grocery shopping there, and it is just for me.  One just can't beat their everyday prices.  


Why would just having Apple products for you justify a Costco membership?  I doubt they would discount it that much.  I will be impressed if they start carrying Macs.

What I was getting at was that with the cost of a Costco membership being roughly $55 that people who don't currently have Costco memberships would join basically for free plus get an additional $78 off of an iPhone. So the incentive being to not only get a discount on an iPhone but also draw new customers there who will read all of the other savings for everything else they sell at Costco.

I do just about all of my shopping at Costco as well and have been for years.

They should offer Macs, especially since that's the product I'm in the market for.
post #12 of 36
My heart fluttered. Love Costco. Maybe some pressure will come to bear on the cellular plans.
post #13 of 36
iPhones/iPads with wireless plans should go on sale tomorrow at Costco. Wifi only iPads / iPods will go on sale starting early July, though maybe sooner. Discounts on wifi only models are around $10. Applecare will also be available, likely at reduced price as well.
post #14 of 36
It'd be cool if you go there and find they installed beacons everywhere for more savings. It's good to see whoever at Costco got over their snit.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #15 of 36

The only company that I personally know of with a more liberal return policy than Costco is my other favorite store, REI.

 

I wouldn't do this personally, but you could buy an iPhone 5S today, wait until the 6 comes out, and return the 5S in the Fall for cash or credit.

 

And if you did so on a Saturday you could get free samples of whole grain crackers, frozen egg rolls, and vitamin water.

post #16 of 36
That little Costco spat has cost Apple a lot of business. You should see stuff flying off the palettes there. Back when they were selling iPods, a whole palette would disappear in under a week. Lots of people will only buy their tech from Costco, and if they only find a Samsung tablet there, that's what they'll buy. It's great that they were finally able to put this nonsense aside, and hopefully they will also carry the computers soon. At the very least, I would expect the end-of-life fire sales to be back soon. It was a great way for Apple to get rid of excess inventory when introducing a new product line.
post #17 of 36

I like Costco....wish there was one around here. :( Only thing I have is a Sam's Club which seems to be more business oriented than consumer oriented. Costco I think is more consumer oriented. 

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

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post #18 of 36
Finally, makes sense to sell Apple gear there. Maybe we will get the iTunes cards again also.
post #19 of 36
There's no link I was able to find from the 'normal' Costco website. How the hell are people who don't read the tech sites going to find Costco's online iPhone/iPad mail order site? Apparently they aren't going to be sold in the Costco kiosks.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post
 

The only company that I personally know of with a more liberal return policy than Costco is my other favorite store, REI.

 

I wouldn't do this personally, but you could buy an iPhone 5S today, wait until the 6 comes out, and return the 5S in the Fall for cash or credit.

 

And if you did so on a Saturday you could get free samples of whole grain crackers, frozen egg rolls, and vitamin water.

 

 

REI used to be one of my favorite stores. It's return policy was great. You could return an item no questions asked forever. It used to also offer a daily garage sale where you could find clearance items and things people returned for big savings. It was like treasure shopping. Now the return policy is a year for regular items and 30 days for outlet items. The store also did away with daily garage sales.

post #21 of 36
I wonder if they will do this in Australia?

They only have outright Samsung handsets and a few different tablets.

The money I save on gasoline @ around 20c per litre more than makes up for the membership cost, since they opened here I've never filled anywhere else.

The free food is good too, a few rounds soon fills you up.

It's also good to not have to bother with receipts as everything is linked to the membership card.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

That little Costco spat has cost Apple a lot of business. You should see stuff flying off the palettes there. Back when they were selling iPods, a whole palette would disappear in under a week. Lots of people will only buy their tech from Costco, and if they only find a Samsung tablet there, that's what they'll buy. It's great that they were finally able to put this nonsense aside, and hopefully they will also carry the computers soon. At the very least, I would expect the end-of-life fire sales to be back soon. It was a great way for Apple to get rid of excess inventory when introducing a new product line.

I don't think it has cost Apple much at all. Costco is largely a west coast phenomenon, which just happens to be area on the planet with the best coverage for brick and mortar Apple Stores. I would guess it was a wash for Apple. Any sales they may have missed by not having Costco on board were probably at least in part made up by driving a portion of those customers to physical Apple Stores where they don't have to pay a middleman, expose the customer to Apple's design aesthetic, and get the opportunity to make concurrent sales when buying an iOS device. Now as Costco continues to expand their reach, then it becomes a significant benefit to Apple's sales.

 

That said, I'm glad to see Apple back in Costco stores. I spend a lot of time there. The Samsung tablet rack never seems to have many of the cardboard placeholders taken off by customers. This is a big win for Costco if it drives people to buy memberships just to get the discount on Apple devices.

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

I don't think it has cost Apple much at all. Costco is largely a west coast phenomenon, which just happens to be area on the planet with the best coverage for brick and mortar Apple Stores....

Does the West Coast include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin? These states are all east of the Rocky Mountains and are home to a large number of Costco warehouses.

Although my local Costco is located more-or-less diagonally across a major intersection from my local Apple Store, there are an awful lot of people who walk into Costco and are immediately walking toward a hard-to-miss assortment of Samsung products. It will be good to see Apple back in Costco, offering a choice to all of the Costco customers who might not walk into the Apple Store--no matter how nearby it may be.
post #24 of 36
The last time I saw Apple products on sale at Costco, were Mac Minis for $100-150 off. Sounded like a good deal, until I realized it was 2 pallets of PPC minis, just after Apple changed to intel processors. That bothered me because I was watching elderly couples looking at them, & based on their discussion, hadn't a clue what they were considering.

If I understand correctly, the phones & iPads Costco is offering for sale at a discount, are not 64 bit, don't have the required kill switch nor fingerprint scanners for security. They may be a good deal, but should be considered as to how much future tech you want when you when you buy, vs something that already has limitations before you take it out of the box.
Edited by kellya74u - 6/26/14 at 12:13am
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

That said, I'm glad to see Apple back in Costco stores. I spend a lot of time there. The Samsung tablet rack never seems to have many of the cardboard placeholders taken off by customers. This is a big win for Costco if it drives people to buy memberships just to get the discount on Apple devices.

I'm one who would NEVER pay a store to shop there.
Our Costco"s are just a messy warehouse like store.
post #26 of 36
The official in-store apple products returning is 6/27 - though itunes cards are back.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacSince1988 View Post


Does the West Coast include Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin? These states are all east of the Rocky Mountains and are home to a large number of Costco warehouses.

 

Yes, hardly a "west coast" thing.  It's the second largest retailer in the US, only behind Wal-Mart.  Not to mention it's presence in Mexico, Canada, Australia, Spain, Japan, Korea, UK, Tawain... making it the 7th largest world-wide retailer.

 

I also disagree with sessamoid on this being a "wash".  When Costco sales Apple products, they pallet sell large volumes at discount prices that are placed strategically front and center of traffic flow.  They attract a different type of buyer, who I'd imagine would be more likely to be a switcher and new to the Apple ecosystem.

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

That little Costco spat has cost Apple a lot of business.

 

Goes both ways.  Costco lost alot of business also.  Every time I go to Costco I see a ton of unsold Samdung tablets and I never see anyone looking at them. 

 

This moves is going to help both parties.  No other reason they both agree to the deal.

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

I'm one who would NEVER pay a store to shop there.
Our Costco"s are just a messy warehouse like store.

I would rather pay $50 to shop at costco than get paid $50 to shop at Walmart.

Costco is awesome. More awesome in some states than others. Hawaiian ones have decent poke in their stores.
post #30 of 36
Some of the comments here appear to be seeded. "...One can't beat (Cosco's) everyday prices"?! Come on who says that!?
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post


I would rather pay $50 to shop at costco than get paid $50 to shop at Walmart.

Costco is awesome. More awesome in some states than others. Hawaiian ones have decent poke in their stores.

 

My idea of heaven is an eternal Costco five cheese pizza slice that you just keep eating forever.

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

My idea of heaven is an eternal Costco five cheese pizza slice that you just keep eating forever.

 

Lol...they do have great cheese pizza.  It's amazing how good it is fresh.

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

 

Goes both ways.  Costco lost alot of business also.  Every time I go to Costco I see a ton of unsold Samdung tablets and I never see anyone looking at them. 

 

...or a pallet of returned ones:-

 

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #34 of 36

...Who says "One just can't beat their everyday prices"... in real life aside from someone on the payroll?  Come on now...

post #35 of 36
Given the limited selection and the inclusion of this other company, I wonder if these are refurbs. Might explain why they are able to offer such huge discounts. Apple doesn't typically let anyone offer quite that much off in a new model especially for what doesn't appear to be a limited time thing.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

I'm one who would NEVER pay a store to shop there.
Our Costco"s are just a messy warehouse like store.

YMMV. Our SoCal Costco parking lot is loaded 50% with Cayannes, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes and Lexus -- and carries inventory appropriate to the target audience. It's spotless and neat w great cust svc. If you have a lousy Costco perhaps moving to a better neighborhood would improve your perception.
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