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Old 06-23-2017, 07:06 AM   #1
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Is it just me, or does Costco seem overpriced?

So I debated for a long time about dropping the Sam's Club membership I'd had for 15 years, and instead signing up with Costco. Friends were constantly gushing over the quality and deals to be found there. Besides, they sold wine and liquor, which the Sam's Club in my area didn't offer. So I took the plunge.

That was three months ago, and I'm still looking for all these great deals.

I got an email recently with the latest specials. One example, there was a Samsung Sound Bar on sale for $250. I found the same model on Amazon for $219, and a Groupon offer for $199.

Another model was $149 at Costco and $129 on Amazon. Furthermore, Amazon delivers right to my door, while I have to go stand in long lines at Costco.

I won't even go into the outdoor furniture set that I saw "on sale" for $2000 at Costco. I ended up buying a comparable (but not the same) set on WayFair for under $500.

Fresh produce is more expensive overall, as is toilet paper.

I have to say the meat is good quality (definitely a step above the local grocers), but you are paying through the nose for that quality. It's not like they are selling it at rock bottom prices.

If I had to compare Sam's to Costco, I would say Sam's is comparable to WalMart (with good reason), while Costco feels a little more like Target. Except I have to pay annually for the "privilege" of shopping there.

Sorry to vent, but I'm starting to question this decision.

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Old 06-23-2017, 07:46 AM   #2
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We now see Costco as a "pick and choose" shopping place... We bought less and less there until we decided to not keep paying the yearly dues.. Of course, part of that is that we downsized overall... When there is something we want at Costco, Jeannie goes with a friend who maintains a membership..

We had a membership with Sam's when in Missouri and found them to be much like Costco with a bit less to choose from..

Ross
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:26 AM   #3
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I've never had a Costco membership (I went with my mom once) but we dropped our BJ's membership a few years ago for the same reason.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:17 AM   #4
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Many items are cheaper at Costco and Sams. And many are not. I only tend to buy repeat items where I know I'm paying the lowest prices. I rarely buy fresh meat and produce at Sams or Costco with the exception being 80/20 ground beef I buy for just over $2 per pound. Wine prices seem good but I can pick up the same at even lower prices at Ralph's if I buy any six bottles. Their house brand (Kirkland or Members Mark) generic over the counter medications are usually the best deal going.
It all depends. You've gotta know your prices.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:19 AM   #5
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You can find lower sale prices elsewhere but generally, Costco's regular prices are lower than supermarket regular prices. And the quality if often better.

Costco often negotiates extras from the manufacturer for the products packaged for Costco that are not part of that brand's products sold in other stores.

A Consumer Reports test of TP a few years ago identified Costco's brand as the lowest cost per use of the brands tested.

No doubt there are some things higher priced at Costco but I think they're worth the trip.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
So I debated for a long time about dropping the Sam's Club membership I'd had for 15 years, and instead signing up with Costco. Friends were constantly gushing over the quality and deals to be found there. Besides, they sold wine and liquor, which the Sam's Club in my area didn't offer. So I took the plunge.

That was three months ago, and I'm still looking for all these great deals.

I got an email recently with the latest specials. One example, there was a Samsung Sound Bar on sale for $250. I found the same model on Amazon for $219, and a Groupon offer for $199.

Another model was $149 at Costco and $129 on Amazon. Furthermore, Amazon delivers right to my door, while I have to go stand in long lines at Costco.

I won't even go into the outdoor furniture set that I saw "on sale" for $2000 at Costco. I ended up buying a comparable (but not the same) set on WayFair for under $500.

Fresh produce is more expensive overall, as is toilet paper.

I have to say the meat is good quality (definitely a step above the local grocers), but you are paying through the nose for that quality. It's not like they are selling it at rock bottom prices.

If I had to compare Sam's to Costco, I would say Sam's is comparable to WalMart (with good reason), while Costco feels a little more like Target. Except I have to pay annually for the "privilege" of shopping there.

Sorry to vent, but I'm starting to question this decision.
Like any other store, I pick and choose, both for price and availability. I save enough on coffee to pay the $45 membership fee. Beer and wine are generally cheaper and the variety is good and varies, which I like. Almost never pick up hard goods at Costco.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:49 AM   #7
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Ok. Good to know. I'll have to pay more attention next time I'm there, and see what's worth it and what isn't.

Here's my other petty grievance. Admittedly, it's a little thing, but still annoying nonetheless.

The first time I shopped there, I found what I thought was a good buy on smoked sausage. I don't remember the exact price, but it was marked at something like $8.99 for a 2-lb package with 10 sausage links.

When I went through checkout, the package rang up at $18. I told the woman that it had said $8.99 on the sign. She said, "Well, it is $8.99 PER POUND."

Hmmm. So just something to be aware of... the tags may not always reflect the package price. Now that kind of pricing would be easy to understand if the packages varied in size, but every last one of them was labeled as 32 ounces, so why add the confusion or make people do unnecessary math to figure out what they're paying? Furthermore, the "lb." on the shelf tag was in much, much smaller type than the dollar amount, so it's easy to overlook if you're not scrutinizing it.

Oh well. Like I said, a small thing.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Ok. Good to know. I'll have to pay more attention next time I'm there, and see what's worth it and what isn't.

Here's my other petty grievance. Admittedly, it's a little thing, but still annoying nonetheless.

The first time I shopped there, I found what I thought was a good buy on smoked sausage. I don't remember the exact price, but it was marked at something like $8.99 for a 2-lb package with 10 sausage links.

When I went through checkout, the package rang up at $18. I told the woman that it had said $8.99 on the sign. She said, "Well, it is $8.99 PER POUND."

Hmmm. So just something to be aware of... the tags may not always reflect the package price. Now that kind of pricing would be easy to understand if the packages varied in size, but every last one of them was labeled as 32 ounces, so why add the confusion or make people do unnecessary math to figure out what they're paying? Furthermore, the "lb." on the shelf tag was in much, much smaller type than the dollar amount, so it's easy to overlook if you're not scrutinizing it.

Oh well. Like I said, a small thing.
FWIW there are many sites on the internet devoted to Costco pricing and reviews of the products. They are worth a look.

I've not seen the pricing you describe. Like most stores, Costco here puts the package price in the largest typeface.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
The first time I shopped there, I found what I thought was a good buy on smoked sausage. I don't remember the exact price, but it was marked at something like $8.99 for a 2-lb package with 10 sausage links.

When I went through checkout, the package rang up at $18. I told the woman that it had said $8.99 on the sign. She said, "Well, it is $8.99 PER POUND."
I see that often with prepackaged items. You can get fooled until you get to checkout. But those items are individually stickered with the correct corresponding prices, just like any meat product.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:46 AM   #10
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In the old days when I had kids at home, Costco (then Price Cub), was a real budget saver. Buying food in bulk made sense then, but not so much now. When I stop to think about it, I think I keep my membership because they have the best lamb I can buy in this area.
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