Does Costco Sell Unlocked iPhones? (Answered!)

Does Costco Sell Unlocked iPhones

Have you ever asked yourself if Costco sells unlocked iPhones? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

If there’s one thing that you will learn if you decide to become a Costco member, is that Costco has just about everything and, if they don’t have it, they have some version of what you’re looking for somewhere inside their vast warehouse stores. However, there’s one thing that Costco doesn’t have.

So, does Costco sell unlocked iPhones? No, Costco doesn’t sell unlocked iPhones. That doesn’t mean that you won’t find iPhones, or smartphones of any kind at Costco, because you will, but they won’t be unlocked. Costco doesn’t have that option now and it doesn’t look like they will be in the unlocked iPhone business anytime soon. 

Finally, something that Costco doesn’t have. It’s kind of a bummer really because Costco offers something for just about anyone under the sun. Unfortunately, they’ve never gravitated towards unlocked phones or, more specifically, unlocked iPhones. 

In fact, Costco doesn’t sell cell phones of any kind, especially not iPhones but relies on third-party sellers. You will find smartphones in any Costco retail warehouse that you walk into, but they will be at a third-party kiosk of some sort or another and not directly from Costco.

What iPhones You Will Find at Costco

The only iPhones that you will find at Costco are carrier iPhones from the three, major cell carriers in the United States, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. So if you want an iPhone from Costco, you’re going to have to get on a plan with one of the above three. 

Fortunately, Costco doesn’t just throw third-party vendors out there to sell iPhones and let them do it however they want. As with everything that Costco sells, its primary attraction is the overall price on bulk items and deals that Costco throws out all of the time. 

It’s not a day that ends in “y” if Costco is not running some sort of deal. Although unlocked iPhones are completely off the table with Costco, there are some decent tips you can take away from your search if you decide to go with an iPhone from Costco anyway. 

Read also: What Is Costco Return Policy Without Receipt?

Tips for Shopping iPhones at Costco

When it comes to Costco, the one thing that you shouldn’t need to be advised of is looking for deals. Costco always has them so always keep your eyes peeled. This is especially true during the months directly following a newly released Apple iPhone.

1. Black Friday

This is an obvious one but when it comes to purchasing an iPhone, it’s typically going to be a minimum of a two-year investment, which means that you can afford to wait for the next Black Friday deals to roll around. 

Costco is no slouch in the black Friday deals department either. Unlike many retailers, Costco doesn’t overprice an item just to throw a 25% discount in there that ends up being the original market price of the item, unbeknownst to the customers. 

Costco’s Black Friday deals are legitimate and you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be deals available on iPhone purchases when Black Friday rolls around, as well as Tech Tuesday following it. 

2. Trade-Ins at Costco

Costco is serious about its trade-in service. If you have a previous-generation iPhone or even a decent smartphone that hasn’t been damaged, you can get up to $700 off of a new iPhone. 

Sure, it’s going to be carrier locked, buy $700 off of an iPhone 13 is a pretty significant number, so don’t toss that old smartphone into a forgotten desk drawer just yet. 

3. 10% is the Average Costco iPhone Savings

Costco loves to undercut the competition, so it may seem like a fair tradeoff to purchase a carrier-locked phone with an almost automatic 10% off of the market price of the iPhone. 

It’s not necessarily something that you have to look out for or wait to come around either. It’s pretty much just how Costco does business all year round and it’s the reason that there are so many card-carrying Costco members out there. 

4. Look for the Kiosks

Costco deals in cell phones and cell phone accessories at vendor stations, which are little more than islands out there in the middle of the store somewhere; most likely where there is a large amount of aisle space.

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Their kiosks are hard to miss, dark black, with red banners and white letters. Plus, the kiosk will be surrounded by smartphones of all kinds, so they are hard to miss if you’re actively looking for one. 

It’s the only way that Costco does business when it comes to selling iPhones so if you want one, you will have to locate the kiosk.

5. The Kiosk People do not Work for Costco

If you’re looking for the level of service that you get when interacting with Costco employees, it’s important to remember that the people that work the smartphone kiosks in Costco are not Costco employees. They are employees of Wireless Advocates, which is the third-party retailer that Costco deals with. 

6. Understand that Inventory is Limited

These are kiosks, not large retailer offices so your selection of iPhones is going to be understandably limited. If you are looking for an iPhone that is one or two generations back, it may be more problematic to find one at a Wireless Advocates Kiosk.

In fact, these kiosks are known for having the latest and greatest smartphones in their display inventory at Costco. You will find the iPhone 13s here and perhaps the entire line of iPhone 12s, however, there simply isn’t enough room for previous generations, along with all of the Android smartphones to sell as well. 

So, if you want something that is a little more reasonably priced, you’re only going to find the most expensive iPhones because they are the newest iPhones available right now and that’s what these kiosks will stock.

All Things Considered

While Costco doesn’t sell unlocked iPhones in any of its retail locations, it’s still a place where you can go to find the best deals on iPhones. Unfortunately, any iPhone that you purchase from a kiosk at Costco is going to be carrier-locked. 

Life is often a series of trade-offs and Costco’s business is one such example. 

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Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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