Why You Need To Explore Costco's So-Called Center Court

woman shopping at Costco
woman shopping at Costco - Bloomberg/Getty Images

As a warehouse retail chain, Costco helps members save money by providing items in bulk. However, sometimes you have to work for it, such as traversing the aisles to see all the goods on display. And, typically, the best specials and offers are often usually found in the store's middle aisles, as opposed to being situated in proximity to the entrance. However, in-the-know shoppers can use this knowledge to their advantage, provided they can resist the lure of products like 24-count muffins and Kirkland Signature branded attire along the way.

By hitting this so-called "center court" of Costco first, you may be able to find better prices on the items you're searching for. Focusing on great bargains can save you even more money and make your yearly membership fees worthwhile. On the other hand, Costco hopes that the discounted center court results in you spending more money since you'll need to walk through a large portion of the store to get there. It's just one of the tactics they use to increase spending.

Read more: All The Benefits Of A Costco Membership

How Costco Keeps Members On Their Toes

Costco storefront daytime
Costco storefront daytime - Jetcityimage/Getty Images

Along with careful placement of sales and special offers, Costco also likes to shift the location of its products from place to place. The logic behind the maneuver is pretty simple, if not a bit devious, too. If a member enters their preferred Costco location and heads toward the aisle where they previously found a certain product, but they find that the product is no longer where it once was, now the shopper must scour the store to find the item in its new location.

As the customer searches for their desired product, they will pass aisle upon aisle of additional goods. This can lead to more purchases, even if the Costco member only intended to visit the store for one item. Of course, Costco is not alone in this strategy, as lots of retail establishments use practices like confusing store layouts and distinct odors to encourage shoppers to spend more money. That's why consumers must take a savvy approach and avoid these common mistakes when shopping at chains like Costco.

Ways To Save Money At Costco

Kirkland brand products in shopping cart
Kirkland brand products in shopping cart - Hapabapa/Getty Images

While bargain items are most likely to be placed in the center court of Costco stores, the most expensive products are often situated up front. Accordingly, shoppers should be wary of any displays encountered near the entrance, as items in this area are likely to be priced higher. Developing a solid shopping strategy is key in this case, and a detailed grocery list can keep you on track and help you avoid distractions when patronizing the chain.

When it comes to choosing products at Costco, the biggest deals can usually be found within the store's Kirkland Signature brand. Private label brands cut out a lot of the fees associated with name-brand goods, which helps consumers save on their purchases. And in terms of quality, private brands are typically on par with the big names. In fact, rumors abound that some of Costco's private label goods like Kirkland bottled water are manufactured by highly regarded brands.

So, while it's true that all grocery stores have an investment in getting shoppers to spend more money, consumers ultimately have the last word on whether these stealthy sales strategies will sway them.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.