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Why do people like Costco so much?

Feb 4, 2009
31,155
11,590
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Looking for opinions, I have a two adult household so bulk shopping is not needed and kind of turns me off.
I respect their old school business plan but find it pretty irritating. There is one thing I want from them and it is an extra $100 off this covers the membership cost but everything else I can find that is priced on their website isn’t that great of a deal. Why do so many people love Costco so much, what am I missing?
 

SKORPI0

Lifer
Jan 18, 2000
17,237
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brianmanahan

Lifer
Sep 2, 2006
21,562
3,283
126
i've usually had sams club memberships but got costco for a year to get someone a hearing aid

word is that some of the items are better quality at costco vs. sams, so i am going to try some of the food items and see
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
5,468
1,243
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Looking for opinions, I have a two adult household so bulk shopping is not needed and kind of turns me off.
I respect their old school business plan but find it pretty irritating. There is one thing I want from them and it is an extra $100 off this covers the membership cost but everything else I can find that is priced on their website isn’t that great of a deal. Why do so many people love Costco so much, what am I missing?
You can save money even if you are a two person household but I find you have to make a pretty big appliance purchase or you have to use their other services like optical or tires if you really want to come out ahead versus membership cost.

EDIT - There are also a handful of things that are super cheap there that you can buy in bulk in a 2 person HH. For example Costco has 64 oz of dried cranberries for $11. or $0.17 per ounce. Our grocery store sells dried cranberries for about $0.40 per ounce. We go through one Costco-size bag of cranberries per year so we save about $15 annually on cranberries alone. Other basics like dishwasher detergent or toilet paper can be bought in bulk in a 2-person HH for some nominal amount of savings. And liquor seems to be less expensive there in bulk.
 
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brianmanahan

Lifer
Sep 2, 2006
21,562
3,283
126
yeah that's usually what i used bulk stores like sams or costco for - getting a years worth of toilet paper, paper towels, detergents, etc.

plus any food items that i freeze or eat a lot of
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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Okay I am sold. Costco is a do-able drive for me but the location makes that drive a pain in the ass however it has a side benefit of driving thru the town I grew up in and by some places I hung out.
I was on the fence about $260 including membership at Costco whose business model I generally approve of vs $280 for amazon
The food shopping aspect likely won’t be used because I shop like a European for food. Frequent small trips to local store, we don’t freeze much, we don’t store weeks worth of food.
I do need an above the stove microwave, I will need a bed soon as in wife wants a new bed.
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
6,074
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yeah that's usually what i used bulk stores like sams or costco for - getting a years worth of toilet paper, paper towels, detergents, etc.

plus any food items that i freeze or eat a lot of
I always wonder why people don't just use baking soda as a detergent.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,180
2,454
126
If you join Costco, open Citi Costco Visa card.

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/citi-costco-anywhere-visa-credit-card

It's one of the best no annual fee credit card you'll find. 4% gas rebate combined with Costco already low gas prices will save you a bundle. 3% restaurant & travel will also save you lot of money. And 2% cb at Costco. And no foreign transaction fee. It's great credit card to have in your wallet since there's no annual fee as long as you maintain Costco membership.
 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,180
2,454
126
And Costco Travel is great if you travel or cruise to their limited areas. Prices are generally cheaper and you sometimes get extra perks if you're Executive member. I'm about to go on 4th vacation this year booked through Costco Travel. And Costco Travel rental car rates are generally very good. Usually cheaper than all other booking sites.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
5,468
1,243
136
Okay I am sold. Costco is a do-able drive for me but the location makes that drive a pain in the ass however it has a side benefit of driving thru the town I grew up in and by some places I hung out.
I was on the fence about $260 including membership at Costco whose business model I generally approve of vs $280 for amazon
The food shopping aspect likely won’t be used because I shop like a European for food. Frequent small trips to local store, we don’t freeze much, we don’t store weeks worth of food.
I do need an above the stove microwave, I will need a bed soon as in wife wants a new bed.
Membership fee is $60?
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,180
2,454
126
You can buy chocolate bars by the Box....
Something I would never buy at Costco. It's not the size or the bulk as I love chocolate and buy/eat a ton. Costco only carries shit inedible chocolate bars like Hershey. That's not chocolate.

Only chocolate bars worth eating comes from Europe. Costco doesn't stock those. That's where Lidl, Aldi, and Trader Joe's come in.
 

SamQuint

Golden Member
Dec 6, 2010
1,152
42
91
I have the premium membership and the Citi Visa card for points. The points pay for the membership with money left over.

In Southern California the Gas prices alone are worth the membership often .30 to $1.00 cheaper per gallon.

Still have a great return policy.

There are only two in my household but we still buy lots of things in bulk. Bought the foodsaver vacuum sealer from Costco and freeze stuff we can't eat right away.

Quality on almost everything they have is great. You will rarely find something that is absolutely crap. Their purchasers really do a good job of selecting products so you rarely have to worry about getting junk. And of course returns are easy if you don't like it.

Also that hot dog and soda combo is still $1.50!!!
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
22,976
1,233
126
yeah that's usually what i used bulk stores like sams or costco for - getting a years worth of toilet paper, paper towels, detergents, etc.
The few times that I've priced things like toilet paper and paper towels, the bulk purchases are not a good deal. For example, Kirkland Ultra Soft Bath Tissue at Costco are 0.325 cents per sheet https://www.costco.com/kirkland-signature-ultra-soft-bath-tissue,-36-rolls.product.100284187.html. But the first name brand ultra soft toilet paper that I clicked on are only 0.299 cents/sheet. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Quilted-Northern-Ultra-Soft-Strong-Toilet-Paper-12-Mega-Rolls/805936153 Shopping around can do far better too.
 
Feb 4, 2009
31,155
11,590
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So I joined 8 minutes ago. Ordered my bidet and to the younger dudes out there. You know you have been with a woman a long time and have a successful relationship when you can buy her a toilet seat for her birthday and she will love it.
That right there is success. I’ll update the thread in August if I remember.
Second thing I shopped for were tires and DAMN they are expensive for tires. $860 for four tires mounted on my car vs townfair who I hate because of their perpetual up selling of everything is $550-ish sort of guessing but there is always an up sell so I added $30 additional to the cost. Same brand, different model, similar wear guarantee.
I f-img hate tire shopping the experience sucks due to:
Hidden costs
Cost of install typically isn’t shown
Buying from online vendor is useless because finding someone to put them on will be a pain in the ass. No I am not going the explosive mounting route.
Models vary location to location to make price comparisons difficult
 

fralexandr

Platinum Member
Apr 26, 2007
2,100
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The alcohol, the gas (cheap and +4.5% gas reward on the card, but the lines always take ~15 minutes around here), the bakery goods, their otc medicinal goods [ie kirkland allergy pills, vitamins/supplements (not that there's much of a point unless you eat junk food a lot)] beef jerky, the food court as previously listed, etc.

Warehouse stores are mostly for larger families.

if you spend significantly more than $3000/ year it can be worth it to get executive membership (additional 2% back on most costco purchases). You can split the membership between 2 related households assuming that you trust them to pay their share.

Some things are periodically on sale.

Some of their electronics are good prices, like the yamaha tsr-700 receiver for $400 ($330 on sale a while ago).

The cons are: store always busy, parking sucks, lines at checkout.

Note: regular members are also allowed to shop at costco business centers which cater more toward business items and tend to be less busy.
 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,180
2,454
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You have to buy tires that's on sale at Costco. They always have $150 off tires for Executive members for Michelin or Bridgestone. Right now, it's $150 off for Bridgestone tires. You get tire maintenance for free along with free road hazard warranty at Costco. Other places typically charge extra for road hazard warranty. May not be the cheapest but it's competitive and I get no hassle quality service from Costco tire. I used their road hazard warranty couple of times and it's painless and great. Same thing with their free flat repair and free tire rotation. Now you can make online appointment it's even better.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
31,155
11,590
136
The alcohol, the gas (cheap and +4.5% gas reward on the card, but the lines always take ~15 minutes around here), the bakery goods, their otc medicinal goods [ie kirkland allergy pills, vitamins/supplements (not that there's much of a point unless you eat junk food a lot)] beef jerky, the food court as previously listed, etc.

Warehouse stores are mostly for larger families.

if you spend significantly more than $3000/ year it can be worth it to get executive membership (additional 2% back on most costco purchases). You can split the membership between 2 related households assuming that you trust them to pay their share.

Some things are periodically on sale.

Some of their electronics are good prices, like the yamaha tsr-700 receiver for $400 ($330 on sale a while ago).

The cons are: store always busy, parking sucks, lines at checkout.
Yeah I’m probably going to be a one year try it out membership guy. Just isn’t close enough to me to go regularly.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
19,204
2,750
126
(1) While Costco is still the best national WH club its not as good selection or price wise as it used to be.

(2) Having said that I usually still find most of what I want when I shop there, but now that I'm single I don't buy in bulk as often.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,711
1,221
126
Costco has good quality items
Costco has a small margin on their inventory.

Costco is great for purchasing electronics or appliances or furniture or big ticket items.
 
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
11,489
8,068
136
Living alone I still have the basic Costco membership. Partly out of sheer habit, one of their North Jersey locations was one of their oldest on the east coast, so it's just been something I've had for 20+ years, enjoy the company and appreciate their business model. But they do have good stuff. Really take a nice long walk around the store and good chance you will find gems - the Costco buyers have mostly really good taste.

If you don't freeze much, that's a bit tougher, and if you live too far away, that's also a bummer. But freezing is clutch, I'll buy the six pack of organic chicken drumsticks and freeze them. Ditto with the three pack of organic ground beef. Same if I buy a three pack of steaks. Their frozen shrimp bags are good deals. They have some good meat and seafood products. If you make smoothies, big bags of organic frozen fruit. Paper goods like everyone says, are great there. But you will find cool products - they have their little treasure hunts where you find the new products among what they usually keep in stock. I try to keep overly processed foods to a minimum at home, but they have some good stuff there. And unless the line is nuts, fill up on gas. If you get prescriptions, their pharmacy is good. If you don't have insurance or your insurance is being dickish about covering a script, their non-insurance prices are tough to beat, so it's nice to support them.

I go weekdays during the day so I usually don't deal with lines that are too bad. Weekends are a fucking shit show.
 
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Svnla

Lifer
Nov 10, 2003
17,999
1,394
126
Beat me either. I went to Costco a few times with a friend (she has the membership and I has one from Sam's). I did spot check a few times such as spices, pants, undies, socks. Almost all of them were about the same price as Sam's.

I have to say the employees at Costco were more friendly and helpful and the place seem to be cleaner.
 

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