Who writes this stuff?. Costco is a great place. There are large quantities but prices are very good. It's always fun to shop there and prices are very good.
Avoid the self induced hype. I love the last post stating you can save 30% at Costco from supermarkets. The fact is that on per item or wieght basis you'll be likely to breakeven on well-known brands. And with discounters offering more loss leaders as the economy tanks, you are losing money-opportunity costs. You will find lower prices on niche items(stuff no other retailer wants) and the store brand(nath76 is absolutely dead on) . That's the whole point of this place. It isn't wholesale. Their main competition is closer to wholesale than they are. It's to get you to buy their store brand- which is like playing the lottery-or stuff they got cheap. Actually, the place is getting less crowded since the recession has kicked in. So the last poster will have better parking-I suspect.
Crowded parking lot.
Not sure at all what store hnath was talking about in his/her review. Certainly couldn't be the Costco store I shop at in St. Louis Park. Prices on a par with supermarkets???? 30% or more off similar products. Yes, you do have to buy in large quantities, but that's the WHOLE POINT! If you can't justify buying in large quantities, don't criticize a store that isn't really designed for you.
Customer service? Which supermarket are you talking about? This is a no frills operation, with solid values and the best warranties in the business. Plus, they give you a 2% rebate at the end of the year. Last year I got over $200 back NET after deducting my $100 membership fee, and that is something since I always shop for the best price, regardless of where that may be.
Costco isn't for everyone, but the fact that my biggest complaint about the St Louis Park store is that it is difficult to find a parking spot closer than a block from the door. Obviously, lots of people disagree with hnath.
Boxes of consumer goodies are stacked as high as the eye can see at this international chain store.
Formerly known as the Price Club, this large membership-only warehouse is chock-full of almost any consumer product under the sun-in bulk, of course. With goods ranging from high-end electronics to outdoor furniture to fresh lobster, this wholesale superstore has got it (lots and lots of it!). While the high-volume and low prices appeals mainly to families and business, it's not uncommon to find college students trolling the various aisles for free food samples. The various membership options offer a range of plans, all reasonably priced. A word of warning to shopaholics: If you leave home without a list, you might spend more than you bargained for with all the deals offered.
Value?. The meaning of value is simply getting more for your money . Costco certainly doesn't qualify on many levels. The prices are higher than competing warehouse chains and are often on par with supermarket chains in the area, when you take Costco's bulky products into account. The customer service is terrible, this is mostly due to understaffing, or I guess unionization isn't all it's hyped up to be. Although, from what I hear only the west coast warhouses are unionized. Either way, It offers no benefit to the shoppers in terms of value. Try to have your question answered in a timely manner, when there only a handful of employees because Costco's pay is supposely over the retail average. Good luck with that. The quality and variety of products is more mediore than there competitors. One or two inferior national brand(s) and a heavy dependance on Kirland, the store brand, is what you will get most often. My experience with Kirkland is that it is less than admirable. As to the membership fee (the most expensive of all warhouse chains), is a lot harder to make up because their loss leaders are food stuff, the rest is the same or more expensive than other stores, or discontinued stuff. The return policy is good but getting worse as the competition eats aways at their market share. Avoid their gas too, its low end fuel with no additives that will eventually cost you in mileage and mechanic bills down the road. I lived on the west coast before I moved out here, Costcos out their are better, but not by much. I have been a member since the 80's and I have seen a slow, but general decline over time. I will definitely not be renewing my membership this go around.
Great Bulk Value on groceries and gas!. Best Discount Wholesaler available! The $50 annual membership is peanuts to what this place will save you. Costco generally costs about 10% more than Sam's Club on purchases (also Sam's had the recent outbreak of E. Coli in it's Minnesota meat), but you get better value. The store is cleaner, the shopping crowd is better, the lines shorter, and the employees (union, health-insured) happier. Be sure to fuel up at the gas station when possible as you can save up to .30 cents per gallon. Although Costco sells a variety of products, I generally keep it to only bulk groceries. My usual shopping includes, fresh baked danishes, sack of red potatoes, pasta and sauce, vanilla soymilk, vanilla ice-cream, swiss cheese, chicken noodle soup, chocolates, and whatever catches my eye or on my short supply. I recommend souplementing this bulk grocery with a smaller local grocer to supplement your diet. I eat on just $200 / mo. like a king and stay super skinny!
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