Costco is an exclusive chain store with a members-only establishment. The good news is that anyone can join but the membership comes with a price. You have to pay for the opportunity of shopping at Costco, both in stores and online.
Costco has a reputation as glorious for economical and bulk-size shoppers, nonetheless, buying in bulk shrinks how frequently you need to shop and can save you money on the cost per item.
With Costco membership, you’ll have access to savings, bulk purchases, and buying choices that basically aren’t offered at Target, Walmart, or Amazon.
But, here is the catch, you do have to pay for a Costco membership, and buying in bulk isn’t right for everyone’s lifestyle. To figure out whether a Costco membership is really worth it, below is a list of the pros and cons of shopping at Costco.
Buying in bulk means fewer trips to the store
Since most items at Costco are sold in bulk; such as food, paper goods, office supplies, diapers, and personal care products are all sold in huge packages — this isn’t the place to come to buy a single orange or loaf of bread. That means you can get away with making a trip to the store once a month.
Costco is the ultimate chain store for non-perishable food items and paper products that you can store away for long periods and not fear spoiling. Especially for large families or someone with plenty of storage space, a membership makes more sense.
Costco has a rigorous practice to inspect suppliers, for instance, if something isn’t selling, it gets taken off the shelf swiftly. Therefore, Costco always has high-quality and high-selling products on the shelves.
Costco’s own brand, Kirkland, is sufficient to vindicate the membership. Since Kirkland products often can’t be beaten, and for many shoppers, this is the major reason to purchase the Costco membership.
You might also like: 7 Costco Kirkland Signature Products That Are Completely Worth Buying
Costco inclines in the direction of providing higher-end brands with good standing, particularly if you like buying organic, Costco has a pretty good selection. The best part is when you buy something at Costco, you are 100 percent confident about the product’s quality, and in case you aren’t satisfied, they have a generous return policy too.
Generous return policy
Costco promises complete gratification of every product and will recompense the complete purchase price in almost any situation. The best part is, you don’t have to stress about keeping the receipts since your membership account has all the information they require.
There are a few exceptions to this policy when it comes to products coming under the category of Electronics, Diamonds 1 ct. or larger, Cigarettes, and alcohol. With few exemptions, Costco has a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
All you have to do is simply bring the product to any Costco warehouse and the Costco Member Services Team will help you.
Costco Travel proposes members the facility to book destinations, hotels, and cruises through the club. More outstandingly, the wholesale behemoth uses its considerable purchasing power to negotiate serious deals that it passes along to members.
With Costco Travel you can experience the luxury of tailoring your vacation package. Having some of the world’s most popular destinations available, a quality vacation is at your fingertips. This is one way to maximize your Costco membership and relish its worth.
The Costco Travel program offers great packages, from cruises to amusement park packages to rental cars to hotel deals to theme park discounts, with upfront pricing on vacation packages.
One of the Costco membership benefits is the “Costco Auto Program” which connects Costco members to participating dealerships that offer reduced car prices. Costco doesn’t sell cars directly, but they work with dealerships across the country to offer discounts to Costco members only.
They also offer 15 percent off on parts, service, and accessories for any vehicle in your household.
Members can simply visit the Costco Auto Program website, select a vehicle to research, and they will get information for a dealership where the car is available. It’s an ideal program for people who want an economical price without shopping around or negotiating.
Consider the shelf-life of products
Since buying at Costco is all about buying in bulk. If you’re doing grocery shopping for a family, then buying consumable goods at Costco might be just fine, but if you don’t cook regularly or you have a small number of family members, then it might be a waste of money.
You may be able to individually freeze the family pack of chicken breasts, but there isn’t much you can do to extend the life span of a bag of bananas or vegetables. Buying consumable goods in bulk can lead to an enormous amount of food excess and waste and hence waste of money.
Resist impulse purchases
Before you opt for a Costco Membership, it is important to identify what sort of a shopper are you. You need to be purely honest with yourself about your shopping style. If you are the sort of a person or a family who can make a list of items needed and then firmly stick to it, then Costco is not a challenging place to shop at.
However, if you are the impulse buying sort, then a Costco membership can prove to be dangerous for your wallet.
This is exactly where the Costco Connection Magazine could benefit you; as you can plan your trip ahead and scope out the best deals.
Not enough space
The important question in bulk buying is: “Where are you going to put everything you buy?” if you have a limited place to live in.
Living in small spaces makes it sometimes difficult to get everything to fit inside of your home, let alone your car for the ride home. If you are struggling with acceptable storage space, buying in large packages will just cause another problematic scenario: a total mess in the house.
Think about where you’re going to store your items before going on a major bulk shopping spree to Costco. There’s nothing worse than having to make an apology to guests because you have several boxes of bulk items right on your couch.
Just as the gym membership goes unused the whole year, there are chances to let your Costco membership go unused if you don’t have a Costco chain store close to you.
Other than the store location you may be too exhausted to be concerned with crying babies and irritated shoppers pushing ahead of you. Or simply the reason may be that it’s easier to just pop into your local grocery store near your house to buy a few items that are urgently needed.
Remember a warehouse store membership is only worth it if you’re going to use it. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your money.
Too busy & crowded inside Costco
Costco chain stores are always super busy and crowded with shoppers. It is a busy place, particularly during the holidays. As soon as you reach a Costco, the first issue is that the parking lot is jam-packed. Normally, it takes very long to find the right parking for your car.
The lines are long and there are tons of people present in the store and being pushed by gigantic carts. This makes it difficult to browse through new merchandise as well.
No doubt, making the tour to the Costco warehouse retailer is a pilgrimage, a full-day outing but with the promise of classic deals, thrilling finds, tasty samples but this was all true in the pre-pandemic world. Now with the Covid-19 hit, one wants to avoid such overcrowded places. However, we still have Amazon!
It does feel like a mystic treasure quest, to shop at warehouse stores like Costco. The complete store is yours for the selection, and all you can see are aisles of your desired products — in large packaging. It can be very difficult to fight to acquire everything in vision. It can be a shopper’s dream or a nightmare.
Even though there are countless amazing deals and offers at Costco, it is still determined by a lot on the items you buy and your living situation. That’s why it’s significant to take a hard look at your individual settings before following the herd and getting a shiny, new membership card.
Is a Costco membership really worth it for you and your situation? It all depends on your lifestyle, consumption patterns, and shopping behavior.