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Is the Costco Membership Fee Really Worth It?

by Mike

Wondering if the Costco Membership Fee is Worth the Cost?

This morning I was standing in the cafeteria waiting for my pancakes to cook when two rather cranky women walked by complaining about the weather, their husbands, their jobs, and just about everything else you could imagine.

After a minute or two the conversation turned to Costco.   One woman mentioned she had to run to Costco at lunch and the other verbally attacked her and claimed the Costco membership fee is a scam and only idiots shop there.

costco membership fee

As I walked to the cash register with my pancakes in hand, I realized two things.

First, life is too short to walk around being as miserable as these two women.

Second, I have an idea for a new blog post!

Let’s look at some of the common complaints people have about Costco and then I’ll offer my take…

  1. The standard Costco membership fee is $50 a year, double that if you want to be an Executive member.
  2. Not a lot of employees on the floor.  Good luck finding help if you need it.
  3. Lines can be long and scary.
  4. Prices are not always better than the supermarket.
  5. If you’re not careful you can overspend.
  6. Buying in bulk doesn’t help you save money if you end up throwing half away.

Now my take…

  1. Yea, I wish I didn’t have to pay the Costco membership fee but when I add up my annual savings I still come out ahead.  Plus, if you use a Costco American Express credit card, you can earn cash back rewards.
  2. True.  Employees can be hard to find but that’s one way they keep prices down.  I don’t like being bugged while I’m shopping so this one doesn’t bother me.
  3. Yes if you go shopping on a Saturday afternoon you’re screwed and the lines will be ridiculously long.  But I avoid all that madness by either going as soon as they open on the weekend and beating everyone else to the registers, or by stopping in directly after work and again beating the crowds.
  4. It all comes down to the per unit price.  Bring a calculator to verify if you are really getting the best deal possible.
  5. You can overspend anywhere.
  6. Don’t buy in bulk unless you are sure you will use it all.  If you’re not, go in with a roommate or neighbor so you each pay half price and then split the product up when you get home.

I guess I’m a bit biased because I’ve been a happy Costco customer for about 9 years now.  There are certain items where Costco can’t be beat (paper plates and cups for parties, Premio sausage links, grated cheese, Christmas cards, Costco eyeglasses) and that includes some high-priced items.  When I was shopping for a TV last year I compared prices and the Vizio HDTV we ended up with was $100 cheaper at Costco than anywhere else.  That savings pays for 2 whole years of Costco membership fees!

Perhaps the reason I like Costco so much is that it fits my shopping style.  I don’t want to spend hours walking up and down every aisle and I don’t want to be bugged every 12 seconds by someone asking if I need help.  I just want to get in, grab what I need, and get the hell out as fast as possible.

But what’s your opinion?  Are you a Costco member?  Do you think the Costco Membership fee is worth it?

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle

I just put up a post with a mini-rant about Costco and how they have raised the price of their Kirkland brand formula by about 20% but attempted to hide the increase through packaging size changes.

As far as your points:
1. Yes, the membership fee sucks but we save it over the course of the year as well.
2. I generally don’t find myself needing a lot of help there as I guess I’ve gotten used to the routine.
3. We go during the evening on M-Th just to make sure to avoid the longer lines. This works out good for us.
4. Some things are definitely cheaper at Costco, some are not. Keep an eye on prices drifting up, because I think one of their strategies is to introduce a product at a great price then slowly raise the price a little at a time to where they’re suddenly making a huge profit. Razor refills are a prime example of this.
5. I always advise making a list and sticking to it as much as possible. Also, have a budget so that if you do add things there, you can think of trade-offs.
6. We’ve managed to avoid wasting much of anything in bulk purchases. If we do find ourselves with more than we can use, we’ll sometimes give it to our parents or friends to make sure good food doesn’t go to waste.
Money Beagle´s last [type] ..20 Amazon Gift Card for 10

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Mike

Great tips Money Beagle! I just read your Costco article and that’s a heck of a price increase. Still better than the name brands though.

I’ll try to remember to leave a comment when i get home, I can’t comment on Blogger blogs at work for some reason.

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Big B

I once liked Costco until the coolers of many items I enjoyed were replaced by junk not food items made in china. They had this incredible seafood spread with blue clams, crabs, etc. that was sooo good for one instance.

I think Sams club is better and the membership is $40. instead of the now $55.00 that costco wants. $55.00? REALLY?
I especially like the 90% lean burger Sams has for $2.69 per lb. when regular supermarkets want about $3.00 a pound for 70%.

I will admit it has been a while since I have been to costco and may take a walk through before renewing my sams club membership next week. Can’t hurt to look, right?

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Robert @ The College Investor

I love Costco and think the savings definitely outweigh the membership fees! You might not see it with everyday grocery purchases, but go get a set of tires, and you see the difference. Also, I LOVE Costco Services!!! I wrote a post a long time ago about the great services that more than make-up for the membership fee in the savings you get. Almost 2 years ago and the services and savings are still there and relevant: http://thecollegeinvestor.com/9/saving-and-costco/
Robert @ The College Investor´s last [type] ..10 Ways to Start a Healthy 2011

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krantcents

I am not a big Costco shopper, however it is worth it just for gasoline purchases and the accompanying 3% rebate. I think you have to a smart shopper to take advantage of what they offer. It requires discipline not to buy everything just because it is there. It is not perfect, I hate the lines, so I try to go during the week in the afternoon and only once or twice a month.
krantcents´s last [type] ..How Do You Choose the Right Career

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Everyday Tips

I wrote a post about why I don’t go to Costco. I can definitely get MOST things cheaper elsewhere, and just the whole shopping experience is unpleasant (from my perspective). I think the most unpleasant part is the bill at the end! Not to mention I ended up buying a bunch of garbage food when I was there.

So, for me, it was not worth it. I do miss their frozen white corn though…
Everyday Tips´s last [type] ..Thoughts For Thursday- Cell Phone Etiquette

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Jenna

I’ve been a happy Costco member since college. It definitely helps when in college, buying bulk paper products and while now I don’t shop there nearly as much as I used to I still believe it it worth the $50/year.

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Funny about Money

wait wait! Don’t forget the other vast benefit: You can get a free lunch by browsing on all the samples they hand out. That’s probably why the one woman was going there over her lunch break. Let’s see…if she saved $7 per workday lunch and she went there five days a week and only took two weeks of vacation time, she’d save $1,750 a year!

;-)
Funny about Money´s last [type] ..What I Learned During the Year of Penury

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The Saved Quarter

We have an Executive membership and get a percentage back on our purchases. Every year, our reward check is bigger than our membership. We buy all of our gas there and that alone would make the membership worthwhile.

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PF

One of my co-workers mentioned that you do not need a membership at costco if you have a giftcard (Bought by a member). I’ve never personally done this, and i’m not a member, but maybe someone that is a member could comment if it is true. if so, techincally, you could split a membership with someone, and buy gift cards from them, as a way of lowering the annual membership fee.

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aa

That’s right… you don’t need a memebership card with a giftcard but they will nicely ask if you would like to join. You also don’t get to take advantage of the weekly coupon specials without a membership.

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Ryan @ Personal Finance Software Reviews

I used to have a costco membership, but as a single guy who’s a minimalist, it’s just not really worth it. Kinda like personal finance in general I think a costco membership simply depends on the person. If I had a family and a lot more needs I’d probably join in a heartbeat.
Ryan @ Personal Finance Software Reviews´s last [type] ..Top 10 Personal Finance Software

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Alice@cash advance loans

I’ve never been that big of a fan of Costco compared to some people. I assume if you have a big family and purchase a lot it makes up the difference, but I’ve spent hours online comparing walmart to Costco and more of the time Walmart has been cheaper. You can get your prescriptions at Costco without a membership and most electronics you can find other places cheaper. So the only benefit I see at Costco is if you have a large family buying in bulk.
Alice@cash advance loans´s last [type] ..Fast Cash Advance – Instant Approval Cash Loans Online

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Rosy

I agree! comparing individual prices between Walmart and Costco, there really isn’t a big difference at all – considering even a family of 2. A few low priced items here and over priced items there keep a balance at Costco. I buy just about enough stuff for the two of us in our family, at cheaper rates, minus the membership fee! Gasoline is a lot cheaper at RaceTrac!! So, what is the real big deal at Costco is still my question?!

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Clayton Mathieu

Own a Costco Membership? Not on your life!
I am against any business that promotes excessive consumerism.
Ever see those Costco shoppers going gaga down the aisle with their carts/ flat beds overloaded to the hilt, still grabbing for MORE MORE MORE! Then they ram those things into your ankles, or just stop in the middle of the aisle, thinking their is NO-ONE in the store but them.
What a horrible, horrible way to shop.
This will sail right over the heads of confirmed Costco devotees. Whatever!
Think you’re always getting a bargain? Ha! You get what you deserve.

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Dick

get a life! 99% of my consumerism is spelled FOOD & Costco gives me lot of bang for my buck

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Big B

Did you just tell someone to get a life because they don’t like costco?
Sounds like you need to get one, and your name fits you.

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Colleen

I like Costco… I am single so I have my mom picks stuff up and pay her back. I can’t afford to buy in bulk like that at this time unless it is small items. I was glad to see the above person mention that they get a percentage back which covers their yearly fee… because…. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THE FEE!!! It’s a load of hooey to make idiot yuppies feel like they are special and elite!!! haaaaaaaaaaa ha ha… not kidding. AND… the people at the doors who check your receipt…. FLUFFF… to make you again feel very dignified and special. They don’t do anything!!!! haaaaaaaaa ha ha ha… but I like the ones who draw smiley faces. Very cute. That said… still have nothing against the company. They are brilliant. Just thought it was worthy to post this as few people know that indeed… THE FEE IS A SCAM… but perhaps a worthwhile one in the long run, especially if you have a dozen kids. I like shopping there myself. I do!!

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sanlouiebrad

“Membership” at CostCo/Sam’s is necessary to be able to track your purchases by any demographic they choose. I am CERTAIN that the revenue off this data (sold to the name brand kings) far outweighs the membership fees, but if we’re suckers enough to “buy in”, why not gouge us some more? That being said, I continue to do the buying club memberships year after year because it does save me money. The trick is to go in, get only what you need, and get out. Get all of your gas there and your auto maintenance, and you can easily triple the fee with your yearly rebate.

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JERRY

WOULD ANYONE PAY $50.00 TO SHOP AT MACYS OR TARGET?

I BOUGHT A BRANDED 32 INCH HDTV THIS PAST WEEKEND FOR $ 199.00
AND BRANDED LAPTOP FOR $ 214.00 AT AN ELECTRONICS SUPER STORE – NO ADMISSION FEE/MEMBERSHIP FEE

HOW MUCH BETTER CAN A MEMBERSHIP AT FEE COSCO DO FOR ME?

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Costco Lover

Try to take your china made T.V. back to your electronic super store. No Luck there. Costco has a 3 month unconditional warranty if for any reason, not satisfied. I bought a 40 inch T.V. from them played well, nothing wrong, took it back and told them I wanted a 52 inch. They said sure O.K. Full credit.

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John

Hey, which tv is not made in CHN now? You are exactly the type of jerk to waste other people’s resources.

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Dick

Hey Jer….you can get the same good buys @ Costco & believe me if you want to RETURN electronics to any other store it will not be EZ. Never any argument with the big C

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lynda

I do agree with you shopping at costco for me it is great, i get in get what i want and i’m out of there, just have to keep track of what you are getting and you would be okay, its worth it.

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dave

In regards to the previous post, you do not have to be a member to buy alcohol, prescription medication and while using a giftcard. Now when you factor in that you pay an average of 13 cents a day during a non leap year to shop there, it is very worth it given you can return almost anything once you feel you were not 100% satisfied with the what ever item you purchased. What I have learned from experience in my 10 years of being an executive member, it is nice to know that most managers there are people who have no formal education and can easily be made to submit when you are upset. I am not saying that most of the management there are stupid, I just seem to think that Costco as a big company would benefit from an educuated well rounded staff . Please feel free to respond as to my perspective of the mega store.

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Mike

Hey Dave, thanks for commenting. 13 cents a day doesn’t seem like such a bad deal does it? I knew non-members can buy alcohol (and gas too I believe) but I didn’t realize they could buy prescriptions and use gift cards too. I can’t say I’ve had any bad experiences with the service in my local Costco so I can’t speak to the knowledge of the managers.

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Ken

Why does a store want me charge me for the pleasure of going to shop there! Doesn’t make sense – plenty of stores that don’t charge me to just walk through their door!

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Girl

Hi I’m 12 and there is a Costco that is going to be built 2-3 minutes away. We are going to get a dog soonish and I’ve heard about the Nature’s Domain food there which is grain-free and under $1 a pound. We want to feed our dog a cheap good quality food. I was talking to my dad today and he said he didn’t like Costco or BJ’s or any of those wholesale clubs… including Home Depot. I asked him why, and he said mainly the reasons the ladies in Mike’s article were talking about. “Their main idea is to dominate their area and make all the small stores and grocery stores go out of business and then you have a town that’s buying only from a club…” and at that point I interrupted his useless rant but that’s his idea anyway. But your reasons are very good. I just hope it gets built before we’re ready to get a dog!!!

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Wary of all trumpetings

What a rip! I joined in June and went ONCE!
I got a quote for new tires, and another non Costco dealer sold me the same tires for $250 cheaper. Your reading is correct,,,, I said $250 cheaper.
You people are exactly where Costco corporate wants you. Lambs for the slaughter.

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Anna

I would suggest that you go back for a refund on your membership. They offer a 365 satisfaction guarantee on your membership, although it’s not their fault you chose to go only once.
I compared tires to Green and Ross and there was a difference of $34/tire plus tax on the Michelin Primacy mxv4. They can’t beat every single price on everything but on most things, I’d say they’re competitive or cheaper. As most will tell you, you can’t beat their return policy. For example, bought a Keurig coffee machine for $179 including a box of k cups and a k cup filter for regular coffee grounds in June for father’s day and we returned it last week because the unit was having problems. They took it back without the filter (i forgot to bring it) or the box of k cups that were included (we obviously had consumed them) and gave us our entire cost back no hassle. I’d hate to be a vendor though. Any other store would have told you to call the manufacturer for warranty repair which you would then have to pay to ship the unit to.

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Jesse

i love to shop around since i coupon. i mainly buy veggies at small stores but everything else at costco unless i find it cheap else where my point is just bcuz u have a membership doesnt mean we dont shop around for better deals, if u calculate the membership fees for one year u do save money for example they sell cold stone gift cards $40 worth and u only pay about $29 oh and the membership for 24hour fitness $315 for 2 years thats great and thats at a sport membership so complain all u want but they do have good deals u just have to look

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JennDarling

Just joined Costco today, actually.
Really, the main reason I joined is because they sell boxes of 24 packs of veggie chips for under $10. The same box is on Amazon for $26. One of the only snacks that my picky, picky toddler will eat. I bought three boxes and sent one to each grandma’s house. It would appear that my membership has almost payed for itself already…. on chips alone. Made sense to me!

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Deb

I’d like to respond to dave. I am a Costco Manager and have been with the company since 1998. I can assure you many of us are university graduates and well-rounded. On the other hand, Costco’s corporate culture focuses on providing opportunity to all employees and promoting within. Member satisfaction is our top priority so we will do everything we can to ensure a positive outcome. I would hope our members would appreciate this rather than criticize it.

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Bri

I agree with Deb about Dave’s accusation which is by far the most rediculous assinine statement I’ve ever heard or in the case seen. Employees at Costco are usually a lot smarter than the shoppers, the shoppers don’t care to read the signs nor do they care to read their Costco contract when they sign-up. It specifically states that you must show your memebership at the door.. I get asked by members why do people need to show their cards well duh it’s a “Membership” warehouse and also for logistic reasons so Costco knows where they stand from year to year. They can look back at previous years to see how many cards came through the door at particular time and date.

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Stacy

I really do not like gimmicks or roundabout ways of saving me money. Just give me a good price from the get go and I will be your loyal customer. I don’t want to pay any store for the privilege of buying something from them. If Costco had no fee, I would shop there more often. I like some of their items, but I do not need 50 lbs of it most of the time. As far as I can tell, there are only a handful of things at any given time that are much cheaper than deals at my local supermarket. For the most part unless I am throwing a party or something, Costco is a waste for me and my family. If there is something I really want, I can ask a friend to buy it for me and not pay an extra $45 just to obtain it. The membership fee is just ridiculous. Period.

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trap

There is a way to shop at Costco for free — you can do it by using their gift cards. Costco gift cards can only be purchased by someone with a membership, but if you can get a friend to buy them or buy them online, then you can use the gift card to get in the store (even if the gift card isn’t enough for what you are buying, you can pay the remainder of the balance in cash).

You can also purchase alcohol and prescription drugs from Costco without a membership (due to laws)

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Dick

Costco ROCKS! Their prices are great, their merchandise is quality & 9if you can find a store more willing to take a return without hassle, please tell me now! I would pay double the price for my little black costco card

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Kathleen

It is true that you can use a gift card to shop if you are not a member (and a member buys it for you), but I was told you cannot buy whatever you want. You can only by “consumables” like food etc. NOT things that might need to be returned due to defect etc. The customer service rep at our local Costco said the warranties etc. only extend to members.

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Ckols

55 bucks isn’t much these days but, when it comes to big ticket items and electronics, you’d do well to check out sites like Tigerdirect and Retrevo before assuming you can get a “good” price at Costco. For example, Retrevo had a deal for a 27″ Vizio HD tv (full 1080p and i, automatic adjustment down to 480; WiFi apps that they continually update) for $249.00 flat, no shipping fee, no tax (Cal). Costco doesn’t carry this model (M261VP) any more but they do sell a 32 inch model for 389.98 without WiFi; Walmart sells a Vizio 32 inch model with WiFi for 378.98. TigerDirect sells a comparable Vizio 37 inch (no WiFi) version for 329.98.

Point being, shop, shop, shop and figure out if you can recover that 55 bucks on groceries, convenience or shipping fees.

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Peter

I have always been a big fan of Costco and still am in many ways. Since Executive Memberships became available, I jumped on board. But they have just announced that their fees are going up again to $55 for regular and $110 for Executive membership. I have to say I am now questioning its value.

It comes at a time when the economy is still poor, many business and families are struggling badly (including mine) and I find myself buying less and less at Costco. Not spending less money just not as much with Costco.

The unfortunate reality is that in this hyper-competitive market, Costco is no longer such a great deal. There are many products and services I used to buy at or from Costco and now instead buy at Staples, Wegmans or online at Amazon etc.

Based on a variety of factors, this fee increase is unwelcome and in my view, unjustified. I will likely downgrade to a regular membership or with BJ’s opening nearby I may decide to try them instead. I am that disappointed.

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Kevin

To all the folks that don’t like Costco, please stay away. We don’t need your pissy attitude or your fat ass taking up space in line. Sure you can beat their
prices on line sometimes but their return policy alone makes it worthwhile to me. Also you can’t beat the food or the prices at the cafeteria there. I don’t like the fee increase either but I guess it’s just another way to keep the rif-raf out.

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Mike

Well aren’t you a little bitch! You’re the Costco shopper buyimng in bulk. It’s probably your own FAT Arse you’re tripping over!

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Eric

My Costco membership has expired and I came across this site in search of others’ opinions on its worth. Two of the main things I buy there have been coffee beans and the big package of Kirkland bath tissue. The bath tissue has gone up and is no longer cheaper than even the grocery store 1/2 mile from home. Coffee has gone up too, but still a good deal.

The nearest Costco to me is a 10-mile drive through stop-n-go traffic, so that means a 1-hour round trip commute to shop there. Also, I can’t seem to find a time that it is not a mad house in there. People poke fun at Wal-Mart being a zoo but my local Costco is worse.

Until I realize there is something that Costco offers that I really must have, I’m not going to renew.

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Peter

Eric, that is what I have found too. It used to be that no one touched Costco on price and value but that steadily has changed to the point where Costco is no longer the best deal. As a result, I don’t buy nearly as much at Costco as I used to and suddenly the increasing membership fees make no sense. I will still renew but I refused to pay $110 for an Executive membership. I think Costco has overcooked this fee.

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LindieLee

Researching becoming a Costco member. Often I’ve heard people say, “just go to Costco and pick up a party plate, or salad fixings” for the gathering we are having. I’m wondering if for potlucks and feeding a crowd it’s the economical way to go.
Right now I buy in bulk at a Winco, baking powder and vinegar which I use daily. I would buy meats, and canned foods in bulk. I’m just not sure if it’s worth it to me. It would be great if I could get a “visitor” pass to be able to check out the store.

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Jesse

I’ve had my membership for about 3 years now. i agree i hate being asked if i need help, come on how much help do u really need at costco on one side is bread and pastries and the other meats then u have ur household products then in the center is clothing and books and on each side is pharmacy and shampoos or body stuff. bottom line if u have a big house its good if u have a small household like i do just my husband and i we buy thing that wont expire for example toiletries, cleaning products, or if we do buy other things it juices which we go through really quick then if we have a party then we go for the big cooking items. if ur so unhappy stop going there on the website they say if ur unhappy well refund u ur membership better for me less people i’ve never had a problem short lines compared to other supermarkets great prices big quantities, and u get to try ur items before buying

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Jesse

oh and i love the hot dogs u get 1 hot dog and a soda for $1.50 i think thats good. one costco hot dog is like having two regular else where. and the churros are yummy and big. I LOVE COSTCO

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Lois Chase

There is only one reason I wont shop at Costco Is because of the Membership Fee. I know a lot of people that feel the same. Costco is losing a lot of money by having a membership fee believe it or not. Drop the fees and open the doors wider because you would have a lot more customers. Costco had better get into the 21 Century. The savings are not that great if you shop around, plus adding $50.00 plus a year. Give your head a shake.

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Fred Schmidlap

I’ve got a couple of pet peeves with COSTCO that have not been mentioned. I’ve been shopping at COSTCO for a good many years and have always covered the membership cost buying dog food alone. Any additional savings are gravy. However, I really don’t like COSTCO’s blatant manipulation of members.
Peeve No. 1: Items are routinely moved around to different locations forcing members to search through most of the store, increasing the likelihood of impulse purchases. Those who would like to go in and quickly get needed items are frustrated.
Peeve No. 2: The Executive Membership makes little sense – I tried it once, and found that I didn’t save anything. The rebate is in the form of a paper check that must be used in a limited time at COSTCO and will not be replaced if lost. I suspect they hope enough members forget to use them within the limited time frame, and the funds will revert to COSTCO. The rebate could be done electronically, and credited at check out, but this would not benefit COSTCO.
Peeve No. 3: The American Express Card came with such onerous conditions that I returned it unsigned. Basically, if anything went wrong it was my fault automatically, and I’d have to prove otherwise.
Peeve No. 4: There isn’t anything in the fast food offerings that isn’t toxic. Fat and salt are basic ingredients.
I could go on…. bottom line, buyer be careful.

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So Vatar

I have been a Costco member for many years, but tending to not renew anymore.

The cost for executive membership just equals the refund for me ($110). But lately there are many small and large things that make shopping at Costco to a very unpleasant experience for me.

1) To enter the warehouse you are supposed to show your card. I f you forget and just walk through , you are harassed.

2) Fruits: I do not buy fruits of any kind at Costco any more. They used to be fresh, now they are either not ripe (like green bananas that never turn yellow) or so unfresh that they get bad within a day

3) Bread: They play this game with many items, but especially with bread: you can get freshly baked bread, but the bread easily presented to you is the old one from yesterday. You need to dig deep to find fresh bread, and the date of baking is not marked on the item.

4) Big ticket items: For all big ticket items I managed to find much better prices at other shops or online. Amazon has an amazing return policy too, so why pay more at Costco?

5) Finding stuff: They move items around a lot. I am tired of this hide and seek game, no time for that.

6) Not in my size: Costco has jeans and other stuff for decent prices, but as I am not overweight I cannot find a fiiting pair of jeans. Maybe I should take in more of their fast food & coke offers, and I will gain enough weight to fit into their merchandise.

7) Over crowded: The warehouses in the Bay Area are overcrowded all of the time. recently it took me 25 (!) minutes from lining up at the cash register until I was able to leave the warehouse.

8) Funny check at the exit where a person marks the receipt for whatever reason. Definitely a waste of time again, as at times where the warehouse is crowded you have an additional line e just to leave the warehouse. And did I mentions that the warehouse is crowded all the time?

So, what do I do?

I buy bread at TJs, meat at Safeway, fresh fruits and vegetables at Lunardis and exotic stuff at pacific Markets.

What will I miss? Chicken, dog food, and canola oil. I think I can find these items somewhere else.

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Joe

Cost Co is scam and heres why:
1. Membership fee – they could easily remove it and just add an extra cent or two to every item. Yes you can save money if go there enough, however, they are taking advantage of those that a.) are a single person b.) person that doesn’t go that often. Thats where they make their money off of the fees, plain and simple.
2. They only accept american express as a credit card, thus forcing you to use cash (saves them money on transaction fees) or you sign up there for an american express card, which they get kick backs on per sign up. They will even charge you .20 cents to use your check card, which ironically even cheap Aldi does not do.
3. You have to buy everything in huge bulk. Last time I checked I should be getting a saving just for that alone, not because I have this “exclusive membership” …lol what a scam.
Bottom line, they are losing a lot of potential customers by have a membership fee (which obviously doesn’t make sense), they do this to take advantage of those that can only go seldomly or are single people who don’t buy a lot. They also force you to purchase large quantities of food and getting many people to sign up for american express because thats the only CC they will take, which they get kick backs on.

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Alex Harold

The nearest Costco to me is a 10-mile drive through stop-n-go traffic, so that means a 1-hour round trip commute to shop there. Also, I can’t seem to find a time that it is not a mad house in there. People poke fun at Wal-Mart being a zoo but my local Costco is worse.

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Margaret St. Germain

Costco can’t remove the membership fee. It nets them 1.5 Billion a year.
Costco membership is sold to lemmings. Let’s all march over this cliff together because everyone is doing it.
Costco doesn’t make hardly any profit from merchandise.

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LK Gneva-Brown

My husband and I have been looking at the pros and cons of keeping up our Costco membership, a gift from a friend last June. We were deliberating over just getting the $50 membership because we haven’t saved a whole $100 from membership. After having read the comments, I have two things to say.

1. The thing I wanted to comment on, anyway. The most irritating thing about shopping Costco is the lack of aisle signs. There are no directions to anything. I do not want to wander aimlessly through aisles of crap I don’t want to find the two things I do need.

2. Buying that much all at once is fine, if you’re running a restaurant or a boy’s camp. It sounds to me like there are a lot more dissatisfied customers than satisfied ones. So, I think I’ll tell my husband to go ahead and pass on this one. But, those of you are happy shoppers, great. Just don’t start dressing like Walmart shoppers or I’ll be coming back, camera in hand, for the non-member hotdog stand in front.

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Eric

“The most irritating thing about shopping Costco is the lack of aisle signs.”

I caught part of something on cable about Costco (CNBC maybe). They purposely leave out aisle signs so you’ll wander more and potentially pick up more merchandise.

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Mike

That’s a good point. I’m sure it is done on purpose.

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Steve

How many tens of millions of dollars does Costco have before 1 item comes off the shelf. I personally have a problem with that. I really dont know how this is not fraud. Should be a class action law suit.

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Tina

I love Costco. I love to cook and you can find some really good stuff to cook with. Gourmet cheeses and other items are wonderful. Their meat department is top of the line and so is the sea food. Wine is a great price and if you need some beautiful flowers…..this is the place to stay out trouble with the lady in your life. Drug store is very well priced compared to WalMart. There ya go…enough said?

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