Why is it Costly to Shop at Costco

Costco: The Fill ‘Er Up and Ring ‘Er Up Shop

Costco Wholesale Corporation is the world’s biggest membership warehouse club store chain and one of the most sizable retailers globally. Known for offering quality products in quantity discounts, Costco has become a shoppers’ mecca for personal and professional purposes.

Quite simply, Costco is the stock-up store, where shoppers may find everything from mayonnaise to minicomputers, from jewelry to jams, from blue jeans to baked beans and from cameras to caskets.

With nearly billion in annual sales and more than 560 locations worldwide, Costco surely is costing somebody something.

Why can it be costly to shop at Costco?

Costco membership isn’t free.

Shoppers must purchase the privilege of shopping at Costco. Annual Costco membership options include business ($50), executive ($50) and gold star and executive ($100 per year) plans.

Granted, several employers are willing to subsidize all or part of the Costco membership cost of their employees. Self-employed individuals may be able to deduct the cost of their Costco membership from their income taxes. Even so, Costco membership does cost something each year.

Only Costco members may purchase items in Costco stores or online at posted prices. (Non-members pay a 5 percent premium on all items.) The checkout cashiers check Costco membership cards against customers’ checks and credit cards.

Costco offers some great deals – in great, big quantities.

Need a foot-high jar of peanut butter? How about a three-pack of designer jeans? Why not hunt down a six-pack of iceberg lettuce heads or a giant multi-pack of paper towels?

When it comes to bulk quantities, Costco is the place. For shoppers with chest freezers, ample refrigerator space and roomy pantries, these big purchases may prove economical in the long run. Larger families, dorm chefs and group home caterers may find excellent food values at Costco.

On the other hand, those who may not be in a position to store – or use – consumables so quickly may experience considerable spoilage and waste after buying up humongous quantities of products at Costco.

Workplace purchasers might find reams of computer paper and ink cartridges to be a great bargain at Costco, while those with smaller staffs might choose not to fork over big bucks for a year’s supply of goods in one visit to the warehouse club.

Costco has huge shopping carts.

Remember the oldest trick in calorie counting? Those who use smaller plates generally are satisfied with smaller portions. On the other hand, diners who choose oversized platters, as in a buffet line, often are tempted to overindulge.

The same principle holds true at Costco (and other warehouse clubs). Pushing oversized carts through extra-wide aisles, shoppers may be enticed to grab up extra items (in extra-large sizes). Although the per-unit costs may be comparable, or even less, than those in regular grocery stores, the final tape total in the Costco checkout line is nearly guaranteed to be higher.

In the long run, smart shoppers can realize real savings by shopping at a warehouse club like Costco. However, each visit is likely to ring up a significant sale. After all, a 50-pound bag of apples is no small potatoes.