Reviews of Costco
If you like this style of shopping you'll LOVE Costco! Everything is in bulk so while it seems more expensive - in the long run it often works out cheaper. Obviously as with ANY store it's a good idea to know your prices - especially on those every day type items, shampoo, washing powder, dog food etc. Of course Costco has a LOT of items you just can't get anywhere else - where can you get a tray of 12 huge muffins for $9.99? They have a lot of US brands and Kirkland (brand) which is Costco's own brand. Apart from groceries, fruit and veggies, cakes, meat and more you can buy clothing, books, DVD's, home wares, office items, jewellery, camera's, computers, and more. This visit they had fridges and sofa's for sale, on another visit it was garden furniture and sheds, so it's worth popping in at least once a month to see what new items are for sale (and to stock up!) . The shopping trolleys are huge and can be difficult to manoeuvre, but they are big to hold all those massive items. The staff are friendly and at the checkout there is a great system where you go to one side and your trolley on the other, this helps avoid the long queues and as there is a cashier and a *packer* everything is packed into your trolley - who else does that these days? There are often taste test spots scattered around for you to try a new food or drink, perfect so you know what you are buying.
Well worth a visit. Always new items in store each week and there are so many items you can buy bulk to get some good value on. Excellent place to head to if your having a party as they cater for this also. I'm a Business Member and the $50 a year is good value as I save more than that when I shop here.
what can I say - I love Costco! We got our membership a month after they opened and have been loyal shoppers ever since. While I will admit sometimes you DO have to KNOW your prices the bargains are there to be had, I love everything about the store, the range is exciting, the 12 pack of muffins for just $10 is great value and the 36 pack of sweet rolls - my family can't get enough of. The trick is to be there EARLY and you won't have trouble finding a place to park :-) The food is amazing and the prices are great, it's good to pop into just for a quick bite to eat - even if you don't buy anything. The frozen yoghurt is a meal in itself! Oh, and you get to sample/taste test too, I do recommend the Ruffles Chips and the Alaskan Salmon Burgers
Getting caught up in the hype of Costco we thought applying for a membership would be a good idea. Wrong! 3 times we drove all the way out to the warehouse only to get frustrated with the traffic and the endless waiting for a parking spot to no avail and leaving. Finally our 4th attempt during a weekday we managed to find parking only 10kms away from the warehouse (ok so that's an exaggeration but it felt like we were miles away from the entrance). When we finally made it up the long ramp and past the card security in to the warehouse you are definitely left overwhelmed with the rows of shelves full of weird and wonderful things. From groceries to electricals, tools to clothes and prescription glasses It all looks great when you first walk in but when you get the hang of it you start thinking do I really need 50 bread rolls or 100 toilet rolls. Of course, I am not faulting bulk buying as if you have a big family Costco may be the place for you but a word of warning not everything is cheaper and if you are a couple you will end up wasting a lot of the bulk food. I must say I was a fan of the large pizzas however be mindful that it will not fit in your standard oven. Unfortunately having bought the "Gold" membership for the not so cheap price of $60 I think we only shopped there twice in the whole 12 months. Safe to say we won't be renewing our membership.
After hearing all the things about Costco, we manage to make our first trip to the warehouse in Auburn. The carpark entries are either at the front (off Parramatta Road) or via a side road. Entering the carpark (on a Sunday) and you can imagine how busy it is. It is definitely a car park with vehicles moving very slowly or stopped waiting for a spot.
The store entry was either via the long ramp or the hospital size elevators, enough to fit at least 4 trolleys. The thing that hits us first was the smell of cooked food and the queues of people. The signs are so large that you won't miss the prices and what food is on offer. After queuing for the 18" pizza and drinks for 5, the wallet's only about $25 lighter. The humongus pizza feeds a family - the first sign of value to come inside the store. The membership is currently $60 (or $55 if you have a business/ABN) - almost cost of cup of coffee monthly. Members are not just 'members' but immediately awarded the Gold status? The member cards are printed and issued straightaway but they'll need to take your mugshot.
It's strictly members only (and guests) entry to the store and diligently monitored by the entrance 'bouncers' asking, 'Card please'. Cards are flashed in their faces but I'm sure they don't know if the cardholder is the owner of the membership. Make sure you pick up your trolley from the carpark (or you'll have to make another trip down there). The trolleys are huge and perfect if you have twins as the toddler seating holds 2. These are not easy to maneuver and makes me wish that 90% of the people there had been taken through their L's in order to drive the trolleys. I can assure you there were plenty of bingles, due to partly driver, partly the rear wheels are fixed straight (unlike the usual Coles/Woolies/other trolleys). But isn't this the case with most cars?
The warehouse store has very, I mean very high, ceilings with huge white spot lights. I almost needed sunglasses in there. Goods are stacked so high and dwarfing the throngs of people. Goods that are for sale continue to be accessible at the ground floor level of the industrial shelvings. It's no wonder trolleys fill up quickly as you will find mostly bulk buys. Almost all sorts of merchandise you could possibly want in a warehouse buying environment - electronics, food, frozen meats, breads & pastry, fresh vegies (held in a large cool room - brrr!), household products, clothing, books, toys, outdoor needs (I saw a plastic kayak for sale).
Towards the rear of the store, or should I say 'Warehouse', is where the foodstuff is located and there are several food tasting stations in operation. You get to see, buy, taste - what more could one want?
With a trolley-full of goods, we queued at the busy checkouts. Looked like over 20 counters, each one run with precision process - products go on the conveyor, operator scans the product, trolley goes on the other side, another worker stack the goods down into your trolley, you show the member card, pay and off you go - not quite at Grand Prix pitstop speed but systematic.
Pushing the trolley back to the car is hazardous - heavy trolley, reduced maneuverability, many people (and children). The carpark does not have adequate walkways for pedestrians or trolleys so you're weaving in/out of traffic trying to get to your car.
Shopping experience = So-so, it's wholesale what do you expect?
Customer service = Non-existent, workers too busy,
Carpark = Busy, allow time to circle and wait for someone to leave
Value = Not all products are cheaper here, you still need to comparison shop, bulk sizes does not always equal cheaper
Stress free? Not at all, people, people everywhere
Would return? Probably
PROS: Bulk buys - Big/Volume product sizes, some massive savings
CONS: Crowded, long wait time (car park and checkouts)