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Costco...Opinions please

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Down here in Oz we have 2 large companies that pretty much run the supermarkets.

I hear Costco is about to launch into the local market. Was wondering what people's opinions on them re their quality, price, range etc were? They're about to launch a store in Melbourne where we'll be moving soon. Was curious when I heard they were opening, and have heard various things on Cheftalk about them (not all of it good).

Any comments appreciated
TIA
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #2 of 16
I would guess you guys' Costco would be somewhat different from ours. Worth checking out for sure! Prices here are for the most part great, hard to find a better deal. A lot of the stuff isn't available in small quantities, though.
post #3 of 16
I've been very pleased with Costco. The issue is if you can use what you buy or the waste cost will kill you. You've got to buy quite a bit of it in most cases.

Storage and storage management become important. A dedicated freezer will help a lot. You can also do large cooking frenzies and freeze parts for later.

I've seen their freezer case move more and more into prefab frozen items. A bit of a downer, that.

I think they have good produce though they aren't a one stop produce shop. I still shop for other produce during the week. Their meat is pretty good (choice grade which is a plus as so many markets have moved to select). Fish, for a landlocked location is decent. The stores in my area work with local fish wholesalers who do a weekend display. Also for some other non-food items--furniture, art, local interest things too.

Price wise, they can be beaten if you're willing to shop around and play coupon games. I don't personally find that shopping style matches my consumption patterns. Otherwise, they're usually a better deal.

How I understand it is that they make most of their profit on the membership fees and break even on the rest. We started as the basic members and saw a lot of savings with our kids as newborns. Then I started a consulting business so I upped my membership level to the business class. There isn't much benefit to that now except its tax deductible usually. They used to give special hours for business shoppers which was nice as the crowds can be big. Then the ran the numbers on our account and showed us that the top level membership would pay for itself in the membership rebate. And it has. They've been good on returns when I've needed to.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 16
Costco beef/chicken = good, very good in fact. They also carry prime.

Costco fish..... well thats iffy. Generally its good but I just got a rancid salmon (wild) that was packaged THAT day so someone didn't pay attention or didn't care. I've had some very good fish from them, and twice very bad. Being its pre-wrapped in ultra tight plastic wrap you can't always get a sniff test.

Over all I really like costco, its not perfect, but I find myself stopping there quite a bit. They carry some really nice cheeses, blue crab, etc too.
post #5 of 16
Costco? Love/hate relationship.

10 years ago, I was buying all of my softdrinks and dairy for my business from them. Meat was good, but I could get better from a local supplier. Produce as also good, but expensive compared to local suppliers. Alot of the drygoods and cleaning supplies were well priced though.

From a Canuk's point of view they are an American company, from a small business point of view they refuse--dead outright refuse to accept Visa or M/C. They do have a thingee with American Express, but along with virtually every other independant business in Canada I refuse to accept Amex--rates are far too high.

As my business grew, I gradually used Costoc less and less--I was getting better prices from local suppliers, and my time was getting more valuable and couldn't afford the driving and shopping time every few days.
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
mmmm ok thanks for the input, sounds worthwhile to give it a go. I don't mind buying bulk - either that or join a food co-op where one buys, divides it up....or naah that's too much time outta the day :)

Will be moving at the end of the year, and I think they're about to open, so will keep ear to the ground for news as to how they go.

Hopefully they give the other 2 food chains a run for their money.

Thanks again
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 16
Let me know what you think of it. I'm really curious what Aussie Costco will be like :D
post #8 of 16
here in NY, I shop at Costco (New Rochelle) and BJ's (yorktown) and I love both stores. however, when it comes to cleanliness, quality, organization and customer service, Costco is better. I visited Sams Club when i was in Texas last June and I rate Costco over Sams Club too. Also, with costco if you spend certain amount of money annually, you get back a percentage of what you spend (enough to renew membership and shop with). I find Bj's to be cheaper though *scratching head. . .thinking again**

The only good thing about BJ's is that they accept any manufacturer coupons and their membership is cheaper. Costco only accept their coupons
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
It opened today, haven't heard how it's gone as yet.

We don't have the coupon system here as yet (I'm really not sure what that is), and I understand you need to purchase an annual (or is it a one off?) membership to access the store.

As has been mentioned, its not a one stop shop by the looks. I generally hit the grocery store every one or two days at the moment, so that won't really be an issue.

Should be interesting :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #10 of 16
Costco rocks,prices extremely good, meats are great, pass on the fish, they stock a lot of quality foods and ingredients. i think they have kept many a small restaurant a float in this tough economy. i'm a big fan.
post #11 of 16
We have a Costco on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I have been there twice, with a friend who is a member. I didn't buy anything on either visit..... which, as my friends could attest, almost merits headlines in the daily newspaper!:D

Edited to add: I would never buy in the bulk sizes they seem to favour - and lots of other items (I visited at Christmas) such as christmas decs were of inferior quality to local supermarkets.
post #12 of 16
hi dc

try sharing membership with someone
post #13 of 16
I should mention they have a pretty good cheese selection. Great prices on real Pamigiano Reggiano and many other cheeses.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #14 of 16
For small food service companies you cant beat it. As far as pharmacy and prescription drugs nobody can beat them. Only bad part is you may find and buy a product that you love., go back for more and that's it there is ,and wont be anymore. Also there dairy products cottage cheese, sour cream etc are short dated. Overall though you will save over anywhere else, at least ,I find that here in Florida and New York areas.:chef:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
It'll be worth a look at the very least I reckon -thanks again for the comments ppl :) There seem to be mixed reactions on any info from the first day of opening, but the positive comments outweigh the negative.

Will see in a few months!
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #16 of 16
I'll second phatch. The ParmReg is great and getting a big hunk isn't a problem for us.
We use Costco for paper and cleaning products and bags of lemons. We also buy things like batteries and phone cards there. And I bought Photoshop Elements 7 for a very good price. Some of the wines are ones we'd normally buy elsewhere, but Costco charges a dollar or two less. So, overall, what we save more than covers the membership fee. And they seem to be good employers, for a big company
Emily

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Emily

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