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The Generation Game

Costco

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Just saw someone mention Costco on the Domino's thread and Realistbear always used to wax lyrical about them.

What's the deal with them? Is it like Cash & Carry / Makro where you have to have an appropriate business to get a card to shop there? I'm interested on economising further with my foodstuffs if possible.

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Pretty much, but I think they do a personal membership as well these days.

Main requirement is not fainting when you go for a quick bit of shopping and spend 400 quid.

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We use them from time to time.

Generally not the cheapest for anything BUT everything (food wise) I have ever bought there has been higher quality than a supermarket equivalent.

You tend to have to buy in large is quantities (like trays of tinned goods, 1 litre bottles of sauces etc). You also find unusual things that you don't often find in other shops.

Membership is open to most people one way or another.. it is a sort of exclusive non-exclusive club. The cheapest way is to go in with a group from your work and get a business account split between you. You can then also get in an hour before they open and also buy unlimited quantities of drugs (I believe.. should you so desire).

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Much better than makro.

Meat is all good quality, much much better than supermarkets, as is everything.

I think that it is much cheaper but it is easy to spend a couple of hundred quid - that will fill the freezers and cupboards though.

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I became a member when the first Costco opened up in Watford in 1995.

This is an excellent store...for both value and service.

Apologies if this sounds like an advert but I'm a big fan...

You can either join as a Trade Member, which lets you in first thing at around 9.30am.

I recommend this because there are always lots of food tastings around the store.

You can fill up and not pay a penny!The other way is to join as an Individual member.

All this means is you can't get in until after 12.30pm.

Trade memberdship with spouse is around £24.00 per year. Individual with spouse around £30.00.

The quality of their goods is excellent. Their meats, breads and cakes are superb.

Lots of speciality breads. Cakes...12 huge Danish for £3.99. Massive birthday cakes for £12.00.

The only goods you can only buy in bulk are mainly groceries. Tins of food or only large pots of mayannaise, gherkins, etc.

Their own brand names goods are called Kirkland, again very good.

Not all their stuff is the cheapest. At worst, some items will be near the High Street price.

At best, you won't find cheaper, even on the net.

Went into their Las Vegas store and it was quite weird. Exactly the same shelves, and near same layout as Watford.

Their returns policy is something else. Up to two or three years! I have returned a few things that broke down well out of warranty.

An electric kettle after two years, a stereo after 18 months. No problem, they just take it back and refund you.

The only problem with shopping at Costco is...you go in to buy one or two items and come out with a trolley full.

Here endeth my advert...I do like that store!

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Not been to costco .... I've only been to Marko (Nantgarw) , and not found them particularly cheap to be honest.... good for catering size packs perhaps ...but clothes and electricals seem to me to be a tad mediocre to upper end in price

As a home shopper ( not in bulk) I find Lidl hard to beat ,,,plus you haven't got to phaff around adding the VAT

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Went into their Las Vegas store and it was quite weird. Exactly the same shelves, and near same layout as Watford.

Their returns policy is something else. Up to two or three years! I have returned a few things that broke down well out of warranty.

An electric kettle after two years, a stereo after 18 months. No problem, they just take it back and refund you.

Tvs, tumbledryers, vacuum cleaners, all sorts, all cheaper than I can find on the net, and with a 5yr warranty.

Biggest trouble is they don't keep a stock list online, so it's a bit suck it and see. Went out last week to get some kneepads, which I swear they had for about a decade, none there.

Incidentally, of those who haven't been inside one, have a watch of Employee of the Month

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Find someone you know who has a card and get them to get you one. Ideally a trade card if you're able to go in between 10-12 as there's less kids in then AND our local one does a "breakfast" snack of cakey stuff and coffee.

Go later in the day for the free nibbles. I mean free samples.

We buy cat food, bird seed, milk, sugar, chewing gum, chocolate (nom nom nom), fizzy pop sometimes. Washing powder can be tons cheaper than the usual places too.

They have some good bacon too and the meat is alright but you have to buy large size packs and split them up. The bargain cheeses are amazing, have had some really yummy stuff.

They also do the most amazing chocolate fudge cake and danishes. And birthday cakes. And scones. And ok I like sweet things so shoot me! :)

The fruit and veg can be good value SOMETIMES. You have to be a canny shopper still though.

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We've supplied the wholesale/trade - really general public - places like this with non-food product.

Someone's mentioned the generous returns policy - these places have by far the highest return rates of any reseller. This is known and the prices are loaded accordingly.

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Someone's mentioned the generous returns policy - these places have by far the highest return rates of any reseller. This is known and the prices are loaded accordingly.

We take far less stuff back to costco than I think anywhere else we shop :unsure:

Think I've had to do it twice in almost a decade.

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Like anywhere else, you still have to shop with your eyes open.

Plenty of stuff I would rather buy there than the supermarket or local shops.

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I can vouch for some of the car stuff, decent tyres at good prices (you will find cheaper tyres elsewhere but not the same standard. Costco stock Michelin), cheap oil etc.

I think some of their food is pretty good, quality/price but the range is more limited than a big supermarket. Not a huge criticism by any means, they do a few things well, eg big lasagne etc. I'm not a huge fan of fruit and veg shipped in from all over the world so I'd mark them down for that, but you pays your money and you takes your choice.

PS cheap, decent photo printing and very cheap cafes instore, super value.

Oh yes, there is some sort of cashback personal account, but I'd avoid that and try and get a trade one as the extra flexibility on opening times is good, the place is quieter and you'll often get a free coffee and pastry on arrival.

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Oh yes, there is some sort of cashback personal account,

I paid for that last year and true to their word, when my rebate came in this year for less than the extra I paid for Executive membership last year, I got the extra membership fee refunded back to me, no questions asked.

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The only problem with shopping at Costco is...you go in to buy one or two items and come out with a trolley full.

That isnt the only problem, another is that you cant shop there at the weekend.....well, you can but it is a major pain in the backside because it is so busy.

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We've supplied the wholesale/trade - really general public - places like this with non-food product.

Someone's mentioned the generous returns policy - these places have by far the highest return rates of any reseller. This is known and the prices are loaded accordingly.

I cant agree with this at all, I have taken loads of stuff back to aldi or just lobbed it in the bin, same as tesco and sainsbury - never had to take a single thing back to costco, ever.

Aldi is by far the worst that I have come across, very little of their non food stuff is anything but crap. I have a manual mitre saw that cant cut the smae angle twice, an angle grinder that after the first use wont undo to change the cutting disk, I returned two lots of furniture, have had other tools that ended up in a skip etc etc.

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I cant agree with this at all, I have taken loads of stuff back to aldi or just lobbed it in the bin, same as tesco and sainsbury - never had to take a single thing back to costco, ever.

Aldi is by far the worst that I have come across, very little of their non food stuff is anything but crap. I have a manual mitre saw that cant cut the smae angle twice, an angle grinder that after the first use wont undo to change the cutting disk, I returned two lots of furniture, have had other tools that ended up in a skip etc etc.

Lobbing in the bin won't come up on a supplier's returns costs.

It's not a product quality issue it's just customers from any membership type reseller just return more (of an identical product) than the average customer at other outlets - this is just based on the physical percentage that comes back and is an experienced shared by many suppliers.

The theory is that because it's membership/an event visiting, these places, people by things on behalf of friends which then generates an abnormally high rate of returns or also that by making a special trip to save money you're going to attract a higher percentage of penny pinchers/ana1 types who'll be more likely to return things with trivial cosmetic defects etc.

I was just pointing this out as a reason why these places aren't as cheap for some non-food items compared with the food. They are also quite needy in terms of needing merchandisers to visit individual branches and also have delivery direct to individual branches instead of all to one central distribution centre (Costco does go to central depot but they're atypical) - this all adds to their buy in price. They will definitely put less mark-up on than supermarkets etc. but they often won't have bought as keenly in the first place.

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The theory is that because it's membership/an event visiting, these places, people by things on behalf of friends which then generates an abnormally high rate of returns or also that by making a special trip to save money you're going to attract a higher percentage of penny pinchers/ana1 types who'll be more likely to return things with trivial cosmetic defects etc.

Sounds about right. The person who first introduced me to Costco used to take back anything he wasn't happy with for even the slightest reason.. he loved it because they never questioned it.

Problem is it's self fulfilling. When you are as 'trusting' as that, you attract people who tend to take the p1ss.

That said, the quality is probably higher as a result because they know people will bring things back with the slightest complaint. It does reflect in the cost though.. especially (I find) with electronic goods.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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