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Does Costco Sell Unlocked Phones

By David Krug 5 minute read

If you can acquire a vehicle or a party platter at a fair price at Costco, why not check out their cell phone selection?

Annual fees for members-only privileges at the world’s fifth-largest retailer are well worth it, as they are for many other products and services.

Check out these 15 things to know before you buy Costco cell phones before you shop around!

Costco Phones in 2022: 15 Things to Consider Before Making a Purchase

1. When purchasing cell phones from Costco, look for the Wireless Advocates kiosks.

The best method to get mobile phones at Costco is to seek the Wireless Advocates branded kiosks in the shop, which are rectangular in form, black with various carrier logos, and pretty tall.

In the electronics section, you should be able to discover it by looking up or by wandering about (you can find a good photo of what a typical kiosk looks like here).

2. Recognize the Costco Cell Phone Kiosk Salespeople Are Wireless Advocate Employees

Employees at the kiosk at Wireless Advocates are not employed by Costco because it is a separate business operating within the warehouse complex.

As a result, the Wireless Advocate personnel are not the ones to turn to when you need help with a Costco-related issue.

This does imply, however, that the kiosk staff is trained and informed about the items they are selling, which contrasts with Costco employees who handle the jewelry section and are not schooled in gemology or diamond expertise.

3. Costco cell phones are sold through wireless service plans.

There are three main cellular carriers that sell Costco phones: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

A pre-configured phone is available if you’re currently on one of those plans if not, you can purchase a phone and choose a new plan, but it must be one of the alternatives listed above.

While the plans sold by Costco are identical to those provided by carriers at retail locations or online, Clark.com notes that Costco members get a discount on the plans.

4. Costco does not sell unlocked cell phones

Unlocked phones can only be purchased from Costco, which does not sell them. With a Cricket Wireless plan, you will not be able to utilize the newest iPhone.Instead, you’ll need to be prepared to move to a new plan with Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile.

5. When shopping at Costco for cell phones, you may get the top brands.

In addition, Clark.com says that Costco’s Wireless Advocate kiosks tend to have the most recent models of smartphones on hand at all times.

Costco’s external mobile phone website, membershipwireless.com, showcases the latest Apple and Samsung devices, including the iPhone 13 and the Galaxy Z Flip3.

Costco, on the other hand, did not have the most recent Google Pixel model, which was odd given that it had been on the market for a few months. Also available are earlier versions, which are obviously more cost-effective.

6. Anticipate savings of up to 10% on Costco mobile phones

A new cell phone isn’t cheap these days, but Costco members get a break because of their membership.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get a 10 percent discount, you’re more likely to get a 3 to 4 percent reduction of the retail price.

The Apple iPhone 13 in Starlight, for instance, costs $899 on the company’s website. If you shop at Costco, you can purchase it for $865, which saves you 4%.

7. Do Not Worry About Paying in Full for Your Costco Cell Phones

You don’t always have to worry about paying for your mobile phone all at once when you buy it from Costco, like most other stores.

Instead, you may pay for most phones in monthly installments, and you can even put down a down payment to minimize the monthly expenses.

8. Costco Cell Phones Offer Advantages Over Competing Retailers

Costco has done a great job of collaborating with Wireless Advocates and delivering members-only pricing.

In-store trade-ins and discounts of up to $700 are now available on Apple smartphones. A free Samsung Galaxy A32 was offered to new T-Mobile customers who signed up for service.

9. Purchase your Costco cell phone at a later time.

A common gripe about Costco’s cell phone purchase procedure is that it can take a while. There are instances when only one person is employed, and that person needs to work their way through the crowd.

Also, Clark.com adds that there is a lot of paperwork to go through, so prepare ahead, especially if it’s the weekend or at a busy period of the year,

10. Purchase a Second or Third Option of Costco Mobile Phones

Another gripe regarding Costco’s cell phone buying is that there is a limited supply of phones in-store.

If you must leave with a phone that day, you should have a backup or two with you when you enter the store.

11. Costco mobile phones are returnable within 90 days.

Costco mobile phones can be returned for a refund for up to 90 days following the date of purchase. In contrast to Costco’s normal return policy, which is significantly more flexible, electronics such as mobile devices have a separate return policy.

On Clark.com, the returns are really handled by Wireless Advocates rather than Costco, according to Clark.com.

Because of this, don’t return your phone to Costco. Instead, contact Wireless Advocates at [email protected] or by phone at 1-888-369-5931.

12. But Be Sure to Read the Fine Print of Costco’s Return Policy for Cell Phones

Reading the small print is time-consuming, but it may save you a lot of money. Before signing up, make sure to check the length of the trial period, since this might vary greatly from one carrier to the next (usually 14 days).

13. Service at Costco Cell Phones Kiosks Is Not Quite as Detailed

When compared to Verizon Wireless stores, the services available at a Wireless Advocate kiosk tend to be less in-depth.

For instance, after enrolling your phone at a VZW retail shop, the staff may connect your iCloud account (on an iPhone).

Wireless Advocate workers, on the other hand, are unable to assist you in this matter and will instead provide you with written instructions to follow once you reach your destination.

14. Check out Costco’s Members-Only Deals on Cell Phone Accessories

In addition to Costco members-only deals on cell phones, Costco also offers discounts on other items.

Various accessories, such as screen protectors, protective cases, chargers, and cables, are available at discounted Costco pricing and on a time-limited special order basis.

15. Shop the Black Friday Sales for Additional Savings on Cell Phones and Accessories at Costco.

To get the best prices, make sure you’re in the market for a new cell phone around Black Friday because Costco loves to roll out delicious bargains at this time.

When Costco sold a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE for just $499 in November 2021, consumers who purchased a new T-Mobile account also received a $300 Costco Shop card!

Also, check out our blogs on Costco’s phone and iPad return policies, as well as our laptop and PC warranty coverage.

Bottom Line

For Costco members, the warehouse is a terrific spot to shop for a new phone. Lower pricing at Costco is hard to beat, plus you get reliable coverage from three major carriers: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, on top of that.

David Krug

Author