The lines at Costco are looking more and more like Disneyland these days, but we’re here to help! Introducing real-time crowd tracking of Costco stores in select U.S. markets to IsItPacked.com, with coverage expanding nationwide in the coming weeks. Costco was our most requested retailer, so we’re excited to finally roll out coverage—especially in times like these.
The Costco Crowd Tracker features the live, average reported wait time at stores in the area. The Tracker tries to determine the best (least crowded) time of the day to visit, as well as the best days of the week to go for lighter crowds and shorter lines.
The Tracker also provides estimated wait times for each store in the region, as well as live crowd updates and photos. Estimated waits are based on live user reports, if available, and historical data.
If you’re currently waiting in line at a Costco or have just recently visited, please don’t hesitate to hit the “Submit a Wait Time” button to let us know about current conditions—or leave a crowd tip to share your expert advice about shopping at your local store. Real-time crowd tracking for Costco is still in beta testing, so please bear with us if there are any hiccups or wait time inaccuracies at some locations. Accuracy will get better over time as we gather and analyze more data.
Here’s the current coverage area (more coming soon):
- Southern California:
- New York
- Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
- Houston, TX
- Miami, FL
- Atlanta, GA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Detroit, MI
- Seattle-Tacoma, WA
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
- Tampa Bay, FL
- Denver, CO
- Portland, OR
- Las Vegas, NV
Don’t see your region? We’re working on expanding coverage to include all Costco locations. Please feel free to request your area to be added in the comments below!
Tips on Beating the Crowds
Before heading out to your local Costco warehouse, here are some tips to beat the crowds and long lines at your store:
1. The line is shorter than it looks
If you see a long line of customers with shopping carts lined up outside or wrapped around the building, don’t panic! Costco is currently adhering to social distancing guidelines and limiting the number of members allowed inside the warehouse at one time. So, while the line may look like something out of Disneyland, it tends to move quickly.
Another long line up at Costco pic.twitter.com/RrxS9tqXkZ
— CyberDude (@Mod3My) April 18, 2020
2. Go in the afternoon
Avoid going in the morning if you can. Crowds tend to peak before noon, particularly around opening. If you can hold off your Costco trip until the afternoon or closer to closing time in the evening, lines tend to be much more manageable.
3. Go mid-week and avoid Mondays/Sundays
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays tend to be the least crowded days of the week to visit Costco. Sundays and Mondays are typically more crowded.
Two lines to get out , this was one of them in Costco . pic.twitter.com/bfrrqg4TJy
— … (@lemondoll13) April 23, 2020
4. Skip the line if you’re a healthcare worker or first responder
Healthcare workers (including pharmacists and all hospital workers with a hospital ID) and first responders (such as police officers, EMTs, and firefighters) can temporarily get priority access! Just go straight to the entrance and present your Costco membership card and official identification of your role and you’ll be allowed to be moved to the front of the line.
5. Special hours for seniors
Costco warehouses are currently opening early on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8am to 9am for members aged 60 and older, and for people with disabilities. Please note that guests will not be permitted, however.
Avoiding big crowds is a passion of ours—and for now a necessity for everyone—so we hope that we can help make your next Costco trip a quick and safe experience. Just remember to be patient out there, and keep your distance.
What has your local Costco warehouse looked like? Is it more crowded than usual? How long are the lines? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!