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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:28 PM

I Shopped At Costco

This past weekend, I went with my husband to shop at Costco to stock up on household supplies, and to save money on our grocery bills since we are expecting our first child in March. We saved money on protein, and got our freezer stocked for the month with it. While we were there, the store was busy. The employees were helpful, kind, and one of them helped me load the groceries to be checked out at the cash register when my husband ran into the back of the store to pick up an item he'd wanted to get.

I looked around, and I saw what a high-performing wholesale store looks like with well-paid employees that have access to health care insurance. It didn't look like Costco was going out of business. There were no employees standing around, looking beaten and worn down. The cashiers didn't have the vacant, thousand-yard stare look that I often see on cashiers at Wal-Mart and other big box retailers.

Costco has been breaking the mold for many years, and flouting the myth pushed by short-term thinking on Wall Street that labor costs should be reduced to have high profit margins, as this article below shows:

The results: happy employees, enviable stock performance and a brilliant shopping model that, letís face it, bludgeons consumers into shopping happily for more.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/26/1164786/-I-Shopped-At-Costco

131 replies, 16322 views

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Arrow 131 replies Author Time Post
Reply I Shopped At Costco (Original post)
Playinghardball Nov 2012 OP
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #1
Raine Nov 2012 #37
obxhead Nov 2012 #48
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #81
obxhead Nov 2012 #125
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #130
closeupready Nov 2012 #100
brewens Nov 2012 #52
Bigredhunk Nov 2012 #55
eridani Nov 2012 #60
Bigredhunk Nov 2012 #62
DarleenMB Nov 2012 #119
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #82
tavernier Nov 2012 #93
eridani Nov 2012 #128
Dark n Stormy Knight Nov 2012 #131
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #89
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #92
Gidney N Cloyd Nov 2012 #90
obxhead Nov 2012 #126
Gothmog Nov 2012 #2
Bigmack Nov 2012 #3
uponit7771 Nov 2012 #56
gademocrat7 Nov 2012 #4
LiberalFighter Nov 2012 #5
LoisB Nov 2012 #8
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #32
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2012 #38
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #44
Bigredhunk Nov 2012 #61
rufus dog Nov 2012 #80
shanti Nov 2012 #99
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #73
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #94
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #127
Warpy Nov 2012 #6
sarcasmo Nov 2012 #12
Lars39 Nov 2012 #14
Warpy Nov 2012 #17
longship Nov 2012 #31
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #34
rufus dog Nov 2012 #83
sellitman Nov 2012 #88
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #113
proud patriot Nov 2012 #123
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #129
obxhead Nov 2012 #50
longship Nov 2012 #67
obxhead Nov 2012 #76
RebelOne Nov 2012 #19
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #36
Heathen57 Nov 2012 #30
Lefta Dissenter Nov 2012 #68
OutNow Nov 2012 #7
sharp_stick Nov 2012 #9
yellerpup Nov 2012 #10
Walk away Nov 2012 #18
yellerpup Nov 2012 #47
sarcasmo Nov 2012 #11
K8-EEE Nov 2012 #13
freshwest Nov 2012 #57
Cha Nov 2012 #64
freshwest Nov 2012 #75
riderinthestorm Nov 2012 #66
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #87
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #95
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #15
Walk away Nov 2012 #16
shanti Nov 2012 #103
Walk away Nov 2012 #112
Milliesmom Nov 2012 #20
renate Nov 2012 #35
Whovian Nov 2012 #70
SheilaT Nov 2012 #79
ProfessionalLeftist Nov 2012 #45
rurallib Nov 2012 #21
sheshe2 Nov 2012 #22
Panasonic Nov 2012 #23
Heathen57 Nov 2012 #24
mrmpa Nov 2012 #29
Heathen57 Nov 2012 #33
mrmpa Nov 2012 #53
Dont call me Shirley Nov 2012 #25
Rosa Luxemburg Nov 2012 #26
chillfactor Nov 2012 #27
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #42
jaded_old_cynic Nov 2012 #105
lexw Nov 2012 #28
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #39
mrmpa Nov 2012 #84
rufus dog Nov 2012 #85
PlanetBev Nov 2012 #40
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #43
PennsylvaniaMatt Nov 2012 #41
beac Nov 2012 #46
PennsylvaniaMatt Nov 2012 #69
Bigredhunk Nov 2012 #49
Bigredhunk Nov 2012 #51
djean111 Nov 2012 #54
begin_within Nov 2012 #58
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #98
begin_within Nov 2012 #104
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #109
begin_within Nov 2012 #110
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #111
efhmc Nov 2012 #107
DJ13 Nov 2012 #59
TheCowsCameHome Nov 2012 #63
Bigredhunk Nov 2012 #65
DemoTex Nov 2012 #71
amuse bouche Nov 2012 #72
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #74
friendly_iconoclast Nov 2012 #77
AnnieBW Nov 2012 #78
FailureToCommunicate Nov 2012 #114
Kablooie Nov 2012 #86
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #96
shanti Nov 2012 #106
FailureToCommunicate Nov 2012 #116
lonestarnot Nov 2012 #91
greytdemocrat Nov 2012 #97
dotymed Nov 2012 #101
rivegauche Nov 2012 #102
shanti Nov 2012 #108
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #115
Z_California Nov 2012 #117
DarleenMB Nov 2012 #118
McDiggy Nov 2012 #120
SunSeeker Nov 2012 #121
geardaddy Nov 2012 #122
free420 Nov 2012 #124

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:32 PM

1. Our local Costco is so crowded

that some people drive 25 miles to go to a slightly less-crowded Costco.

There is no way on earth that I would have tried going to our Costco this past weekend, or any weekend, for that matter. There would be no parking spots, and the checkout lines would be long.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:19 PM

37. Same with the one near me. I hate to go in there because it's always so

crowded and the people act like they're nuts I've almost been mowed down by someone's cart everytime I go in there. I like Costco and would shop there more but for the masses of shoppers and the way they behave.

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Response to Raine (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:48 PM

48. Shoppers at Costco can be crazy.

I go whenever the store can fill my needs though, regardless of time of the week.

It's more important to me to shop in a store that supports their workers, their community, and the political ideals I hold.

Boycotts only go so far, supporting (with actual boots on the ground spending) genuine Dem and Progressive companies is far more important imo.

Walmart? Phew, I could really use some new clothes for work I'll destroy quickly (again) and could really use the low prices, but I'll pass. It will hurt me far more than it hurts Walmart, but I won't have to feel like an asshole for shopping there.

I try to carry the reverse mentality for stores like Costco. I'll suffer the crowds and the crazies to support a company I feel is doing the correct thing for so many.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #48)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:26 AM

81. Love your attitude. We have a Costco that just opened up relatively nearby. Plan to join this week.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #81)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:41 PM

125. Take a notebook

First with a list of stuff you actually need

Then with lots of room to write down the all the stuff you want with prices and sizes.

It's easy to overspend in Costco.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #125)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:01 AM

130. Thanks for the heads up. : )

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Response to Raine (Reply #37)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:39 AM

100. Me, too. If it serves your needs, shop online -

they have an online store - no, it's not the same thing by a long shot but for some regular purchases, it works just fine, saving you the hassle of standing in those crazy lines.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:58 PM

52. I was forced to go to one at Kennewick, Wa Saturday, Labor Day weekend once.

It was an emergency supply run for my business. Kennewick was halfway to my event and I didn't want to wait for our local, much more sane Costco to open, to get on the road. It was slammed but I knew exactly what I needed. As slammed as they get though, the checkout is usually way smoother than you think it would be. I was glad to get through there and back on the road.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:01 PM

55. I'd Drive Farther For A Less Crowded Store Too

I love them, but they desperately need to keep expanding. Everyone loves the place. Build more. And not just in/around huge cities either. There are 18 around Chicago, and none in the rest of the state. There are only 2 here in IA (DM opened 2004, IC opened 2012). My closest is 100 miles away.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:25 PM

60. Retirees should do everyone else a favor and shop weekday mornings

That would likely clear space for people who have no choice but to shop weekends. It's never too crowded when I go.

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Response to eridani (Reply #60)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:29 PM

62. Classic!

That's what I always say. Older people should be home by early afternoon...and should stay home on weekends.

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Response to Bigredhunk (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:08 PM

119. And YOU

can just kiss my almost 66 year old butt!!

Do you seriously think I LIKE shopping with all those screaming kids racing around like maniacs while mom and dad stop in the middle of the aisle to visit with their friends? PLEASE.

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Response to eridani (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:28 AM

82. Better to say stay-at-home moms, flex-time workers, etc. Not just retirees.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #82)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:44 AM

93. I agree; why pick on only the retirees.

Granted, I am 66, but I'm not retired; I'm a Florida nurse on the road all day long from patient to patient, and when I finally end my work day at five p.m. and stop by the store to pick up essentials (milk for breakfast the next day, etc.), the store seems to be loaded with tourists, vacationers, and snow birds.

Would it really hurt the stores to have a special line or two open for local working people only? I did see something like this when I was vacationing in Paris, and we weren't one bit offended.

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Response to tavernier (Reply #93)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:51 PM

128. Whether retired or not, what's wrong with encouraging those who can shop the off hours--

--to do that? Would apply to graveyard and swingshift workers, self-employed, stay at home moms and many others besides retirees.

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Response to eridani (Reply #128)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:08 AM

131. It actually kind of amazes me that those who can don't shop in the off hours, but I think a lot of

times people just don't think. I'm all for encouraging them to do so in this as well as in most other situations!

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Response to eridani (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:29 AM

89. I'm involuntarily retired

that is to say, unemployed. And I agree with you completely. I don't shop on weekends or at night unless it's unavoidable.

However our Costco is busy at all times.

I can hardly wait for the new one to open at Wheaton Mall. That might lessen some of the crowding at the one in Gaithersburg (MD).

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #89)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:40 AM

92. Yeah, at our Costco it really doesn't matter when you go

It could be 10 am on a Tuesday morning or 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon - both are effin' busy. People I know also drive a little bit further to get away from our (most busy in the city) Costco.

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Response to eridani (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:37 AM

90. A lot of retirees shop on weekends because that's when their kids can drive them to the store.

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Response to eridani (Reply #60)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:43 PM

126. Personally I think leash laws should be enforced.

Let the dogs roam wild, leash the children!

The wild kids wreck far more havoc than retirees or any other group for that matter.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:35 PM

2. I love shopping at Costco

My Costco is always staffed with happy employees and good merchandise.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:37 PM

3. Did you ever notice.. on the nametags... "since 1998" or some such? Low turnover. nt

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:07 PM

56. ***+1!***

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:43 PM

4. I always shop at Costco.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:43 PM

5. I'm waiting for a Costco to open in our area. Hopefully by late next year it will be built.

The closest now are about 100 miles away. Too far!

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:47 PM

8. You can buy online for delivery.

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Response to LoisB (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:06 PM

32. Yup. And shipping and handling are included ... and the prices are identical to the store

.... when the item is both online and store stock.

CostCo is WONDERFUL. I've been a member since the very beginning ... before which I was a Price Club member. Sol Price was Jim Sinegal's mentor. That's why the merger was seamless and without culture shock.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:20 PM

38. I had no idea Costco was online.

I live an hour away from the nearest one, so I rarely go. I'm going to check out the online store. Thanks!

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #38)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:34 PM

44. Bazinga!

No... actually, everything I wrote was true. (I couldn't resist the Bazinga.)

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:26 PM

61. Costco Online Is Nothing Like Costco B&M

Not surprisingly, the site doesn't have much for groceries...which is overwhelmingly what we buy at Costco. The prices aren't always the same. Schiff Krill Oil was in their coupon book last month. The price online with the $5 coupon was the same as the B & M price without.

Nobody has much of an online presence for food though, including Amazon (which is probably why so many Kirkland Signature items are sold on Amazon through 3rd party sellers). Costco simply needs more locations.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:23 AM

80. And I believe it was Price

Who helped the Walton's when he was at FedCo.

The bastards got the low price portion, they didn't comprehend the high quality.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:05 AM

99. i love online Costco

it's great for big ticket items that one may be unable to pick up themselves, like a sofa or fridge, or washer, because of the free delivery, and it's usually quicker than when they say it will be delivered.

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Response to LoisB (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:38 PM

73. I tried, but the site won't work well on my pc. Pics of products don't

always show until I load and reload, reviews won't always show.

I finally figured out I needed to check the compatability view thing. That helped, but it still didn't work right.

Then I looked for mattress toppers and white dishes. They didn't have white dishes, and almost no mattress toppers.

I went to Costco in person a couple of years ago. I went to the clothing to look for inexpensive jeans and whatnot. Nada. I went to the books and DVD area. Almost nothing there. I went to look for Nicorette generic. Nope. I looked for toasters. Almost none.

I only wonder what they sell there. Is it only food?

I ended up buying my mattress topper from Sam's. I bought the dishes from Wal-Mart. Haven't bought the toaster yet. Nicorette generic - I'll continue getting that at Target.

I tried. But Sam's and Wal-Mart just had everything I was looking for, excellent choices, excellent prices.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #73)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:23 AM

94. In our area, at least, that's because it sells out quickly

My mom is always getting brand name jeans for $15. I bought my daughter's bras for cheap - 1/2 the price of anywhere else. One year I bought all of my kids (4 of them) snowsuits (hey, I'm in Canada, yearly ritual) for $160. High quality too - kids never got cold, and those snowsuits have been passed down multiple times. I went to buy a set for my friend a week later and they were sold out. So the trick with Costco is to go often if you're looking for clothing or seasonal stuff.

I find it odd, though, that you say you 'tried' Costco (once) but that you were forced (really?) to go to Walmart. Now I'm not one of those people who boycotts Walmart, but seems to me you were trying to say, slyly, that Costco sucks, Wal-mart is great. Which makes me think you are trying to goad some people into a reaction. Writing off Costco because you went once, a couple of years ago, seems to me like you don't think about the social impact of your spending habits. Which is fine. But I think at DU most people here are more conscious of how their dollars are spent.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #94)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:12 PM

127. Well, yes, that was what I was saying. My Costco sucks, my local Sam's does not.

Although I wouldn't use those words. I went only once because there is no Costco near me. It took me half an hour or 45 minutes on straight highway driving in the 100 degree blazing sun weather to get there.

Costco doesn't set up shop in the interiors of big cities, at least not here. They're a suburbs only outfit. Sam's is an interior of cities outfit. There are four Sam's within 20 mins of me....one is 5 mins away. Wal-Mart is about 8 minutes away.

I've looked online a number of times, though. The site doesn't work well for me, for some reason. It's okay, but not good.

I've seriously tried to shop there, but they just don't carry what I buy, I guess. And I can't go in person often enough to check things out. It's too far.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:46 PM

6. I'm really lucky, Costco is only 6 miles away

I live alone in a small house, so I have to use a lot of common sense there (that 36 roll package of toilet paper? Um, no) but I mainly save a bundle on food that I can repackage and freeze in single serving portions.

People who work there are the best, knowing the stock and knowing the ins and out of any customer service you need because the turnover there is so small.

Treat your workers well and they'll save you a fortune in training costs by staying on the job for years.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:13 PM

12. I agree, the Costco is super close to our house, great store.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:15 PM

14. Costco TP hasn't shrunk to the size of cash register tape...

it's what got our shrinking household back to buying it, even though it takes us forever to use it up.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:24 PM

17. Scratch your butt 1000 single sheet Scott is still a good buy

at the supermarket (or big box stores if you're poor). I use it partly for that reason and partly because that super fluffy stuff clogs up low flow desert toilets.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:04 PM

31. Sam's Club has TP, too.

But the smallest package is the cubic light year TP pallet.

We used to call it bun wad.

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Response to longship (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:09 PM

34. I'd have a shit-encrusted butt before I'd shop at Sam's.

I've NEVER spent a dime at the "evil empire" and I NEVER will.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:32 AM

83. never walked in one either

Interesting article I saw about 10 years back.

From memory:

Costco members shop 26 times per year and spend $115 per visit.

Sam's Club was 15 times per yea with $65 per visit.

Couple of other interesting tidbits, Costco could market $30 high quality clothes and turn them quick. Sam's club could never get turns on quality merchandise so had to target $18 low quality shirts to compete with the Costco $25 high quality shirts.

Best part was the profit margin the managers had to hit, I believe it was between 14 and 15%. A first year manager thought he was doing well because he marked up some TV's and hit 15.1%. First guy up took an ass kicking for his store being at 13.9%, guy at 15.1% was up next and took an equal ass kicking. He tried to explain it was because he marked up the TVs and still sold them out. He got the response, "you would have sold them out plus sold some more detergent if you hadn't marked them up."

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:12 AM

88. I might stop just a little before mine was encrusted

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Response to sellitman (Reply #88)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:36 PM

113. Even then, I wouldn't shop there.

I'd hose off at a gas station (not Exxon or BP) before I'd shop at Wal*Fart.


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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:07 PM

123. and I love you for that

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Response to proud patriot (Reply #123)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:01 PM

129. Hey...

... I loved you first!

Hugs, Trish!

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Response to longship (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:51 PM

50. Sam's, AKA Walmart

Same company.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:48 PM

67. You missed the joke, I guess.

"cubic light year of TP" is smallest package.

Sorry. My bad.

I am very aware that Sam's was named after Sam Walton. I just wanted to poke a little fun at their rather large package sizes.

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Response to longship (Reply #67)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:23 PM

76. Yeah, I didn't even hear the buzz as that one flew over my head.

Personally, I love pallet sized load of TP at the house. I can get down to a normal persons 2 month supply and might actually remember to restock before I run out.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:26 PM

19. I am luckier. The Costco is just 1 mile from my house.

But I have never shopped there because I do not want to pay for a membership.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:18 PM

36. I have an "Executive" membership and the refund credit I get each year pays for it.

I use the CostCo pharmacy, and regularly get my meats, peanut butter, orange juice, coffee, creamer, paperbacks, bagels, paper products (TP and paper towels), dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, steak sauces, mayo, Idahoan instant mashed potatoes (AWESOME!), and the few snacks I buy.

I'm now a 1-person household and my membership nets to nothing and my savings on products that are my favorite brands or equivalent are TERRIFIC! (I've actually checked all the prices on my regular purchases.)

It's a win-win-win ... me, CostCo, and my preferred brands.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:02 PM

30. Our Costco

can be seen from our back steps, across the creek. However, we have to drive 2.1 miles around to get to it!

The large quantities are no problem for us, Toilet paper lasts over 2 months, and the paper towels about the same so we buy one every other month. Any non-perishables we bring in are broken down into meal size and frozen. Ketchup from the grocery is $3.59 for 32 ounces. We pay that for a #10 can and then refill the bottles we have saved. Sugar, flour, bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, all last until we use it up.

Of course, with my wife and I both being disabled, we have the time to do baking and cooking and messing with these things that working people may not have the time or energy to do it.

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Response to Heathen57 (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:00 PM

68. Can't you just

make a raft out of a pack of toilet paper and float over?

Why do you hate the environment?

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:47 PM

7. Yes, our Costco is crowded

The Costco in Eugene, Oregon is always crowded. In adition to the families and lots of retired folks like us, there are always lots of students from the University of Oregon there stocking up on frozen pizza and beer. The employees are always friendly and helpful and there is always a supervisor available to help solve problems. I believe that they have more employees per shift than similar stores like Sams so the employees don't get so exhausted. And because the employees are nice it helps make the shoppers nicer too, not so frenzed and stressed out.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:08 PM

9. It's sure nice to see happy employees

At Costco I don't have a hard time asking for help or directions. The last time I was in a Walmart an employee saw that I was going to ask her something and she turned and took off so fast I thought she heard a starters gun.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:09 PM

10. My favorite thing about shopping at Costco...

is loading up my giant shopping cart with giant bags of flour, sugar, and chocolate chips. Makes me feel like baking a giant cookie! I know it's crazy, but it makes me feel like a kid.

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Response to yellerpup (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:26 PM

18. Don't forget the 100 gallon bottle of milk and the 3000 pack of sippy straws! nt

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Response to Walk away (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:47 PM

47. It's the scale of the place.

Sets off the imagination and a sense of play. I also love feeling of playing in the aisles.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:11 PM

11. My 9 year old niece begs to go every Saturday, she loves the Pizza.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:15 PM

13. Decent wages and health care benefits

The amazing thing is the Costco CEO makes a "mere" quarter mil a year and is fine with it.

The WalMart heirs each "earn' more than all their employees together -- it's WAY past the point of decency.

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Response to K8-EEE (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:15 PM

57. Yes, and he went on the stump for Obama. I love going to COSTCO.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #57)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:31 PM

64. Almost too good to be true.. we have an economical place to shop that is such a BLUE

Company the former CEO and co-founder, Jim Sinegal, spoke at the Democratic Convention!

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Response to Cha (Reply #64)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:16 PM

75. Blue businesses, despite what one might make of that name, are happier than red ones!

Because they value people! I was telling a friend in Oregon who said there was a COSTCO and a WalMart where she lives. She was having trouble in her small community finding small stores to shop, although she wanted me avoid big box stores on principle. She told me a horror story about a store employee at WalMart. It was so disturbing, broke her heart, and said she couldn't give her money to an outfit that treated their workers so cruelly. She didn't know about Sinegal or the healthcare the employees get, or that they fill prescriptions, so she says she will happily shop there now.

It's not easy to get a space in the parking lot at COSTCO, and somedays are so busy it's hard to get around in the store, but it's good to see employees who are relaxed and happy. The other store I give my business too is a union one with very low prices. I go to COSTCO for bulk items. I think this is a very good area to live in up here.

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Response to K8-EEE (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:34 PM

66. +1 for this. K&R for this tidbit.... nt

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Response to K8-EEE (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:24 AM

87. Yes, I read an interview with him where he was asked why he only took

such a relatively small salary. He said he didn't need any more, that he had taken care of his family and he had everything he needed.

I had read that he sometimes went to stores and worked with the employees, stocking shelves etc. because he liked doing it and it kept him in touch with his employees.

I asked two employees at the Costco near us in Az, (here in CA it's pretty far away) how they liked working there and if it was true that the 'boss' sometimes visited the store. One was an older man and he told me he loved it. He said he only worked part time, was paid, (three years ago) $17.50 an hour and even though he was part time, he had HC.

His wife worked there also he said and she had coverage also. The other employee, a woman, also said she really enjoyed working there and that they paid well. She told me that it was true that the Boss visited the stores and liked to pitch in.

We need so many more like him. I heard they are opening stores in other countries too. So it seems to be thriving.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #87)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:30 AM

95. They've been here for awhile

since I was a teen (in the early '90's at least) and I'm in Canada. There are 4 Costcos within a 25 minute drive of my house. 2 more if I extend that to a 35 min drive. And they are building another one. So Costco is well represented here

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:17 PM

15. My hard-ass right wing father loves Costco, but the cognitive dissonance burns his ass

Grouses that "they're kinda' left wing".

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:23 PM

16. Costco has better product than BJs and Sam's Club.

If you like to entertain Costco has super party food and a much better bakery. It's so nice to know that the best place really is the best place!

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Response to Walk away (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:11 PM

103. the only product that sam's has that i like

are their italian cream cakes. they are seasonal and oh so yummy!

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Response to shanti (Reply #103)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:35 PM

112. Damn!!!!! nt

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:32 PM

20. PBS Show

Costco has a show on PBS about it's founder (who is also a huge supporter of our President ) , the show is all about the time they spend on making sure we the consumer get the best quality for the best price. I really enjoyed the show and thought the employees were very dedicated. I have been shopping at my local Costco for 16 years, many of the same employees are still there.

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Response to Milliesmom (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:17 PM

35. and the thing is, Costco shoppers love Costco so much they'll watch that!

It'll be like watching a documentary about the Beatles--I'm a fan of them, too.

I can't imagine Walmart shoppers love going there--they just have to because it's the only game in town--and I can't imagine Walmart shoppers watching a documentary about their store just for fun like I'm about to.

I found it on YouTube:


Thank you--I can't wait to watch this! Welcome to DU!

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Response to renate (Reply #35)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:15 PM

70. Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed that.

 

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Response to renate (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:02 AM

79. Thank you for posting that.

Several years back I lived in an area that had a Costco and I shopped there literally once or twice. I simply have no need to buy in that kind of bulk. And that was when I was married and had a couple of kids at home.

These days I live alone, quite happily, and I simply have no place in my small home to put 36 rolls of toilet paper. Or 60 frozen waffles. And so on. However, since they apparently do sell wine by the bottle, if one were to open in my city I'd at least check out their wines.

I really wish the piece had addressed more closely the subject of where their products are made. Nowhere was that mentioned, other than wines coming from France, Napa Valley, and so on. Are their toys made here? Or in China? If the latter, how are they better than WalMart, if as shown they are just like WalMart in pressuring the suppliers to lower prices. I am very concerned about this.

It was also interesting that the founder got a start at FedMart. My brother worked for them for many years. They were sort of a warehouse store and I know they took a smaller-than-typical markup on their goods. But they did not pay their employees any better than the prevailing wages for retail, and did not give an employee discount on their items. I wonder if Costco employees get an employee discount.

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Response to Milliesmom (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:38 PM

45. Costco CEO spoke at our Dem Convention this year....

...anyone remember him? Is the CEO the founder - is it the same guy? Anyway, I thought that was awesome, in contrast to BigEvil Mal-Wart.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:32 PM

21. We drive @25 miles and past 3 Walmarts

to get to Costco.
Ours opened in June and I was so happy after our 3rd trip, I decided to buy their stock.
Put my money where my mouth is.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:34 PM

22. K&R!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:34 PM

23. When I retire from my job, I wanna work for Costco.

 

Hopefully in about 25-30 years, it'll be around.

And I''m not going to be this guy:

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:35 PM

24. With our limited budget

we shop as much as possible at Costco because we get our basics at a great price, and perishables like milk and eggs are fresher because of the volume of business.

The membership is more expensive than at Sam's Club, but that difference is worth it to support better compensation for their workers.

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Response to Heathen57 (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:42 PM

29. i bought the executive membership at $110............

but it gives me back 2% of what I spent in the past year, with a minimum of $55 back. Buying my computer there and now looking at a television, my 2% will be more than the $55.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:08 PM

33. That is a great program

We bought that a few years ago and ever since we have spent enough that we have to pay less than a regular membership for renewal.

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Response to Heathen57 (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:59 PM

53. Even my 82 year old mother loves Costco...........

I bought a membership 8 years ago, mom lives with me, so she received a membership card also. For one year I worked in Baltimore and she stayed up here in PA. My younger brother took her to Costco about every 6 weeks. She bought what she needed, fresh meat, vegetables, milk, bread, OJ and frozen meals.

She came home froze what needed to be, made a list of what she had & she was set. She can't wait for when coupons come to see if there's any products to use or to save on what we do use.

Being away from home, I knew that with her shopping at Costco, she would be okay. I wouldn't have to worry that she didn't have food in the house. She doesn't drive so getting to another market would be tough. But Costco saved me from worry.

We continue to shop there and won't stop. We spend about $300 every 6 weeks, so for 2 people that's about $50 a week for food. That's not too bad.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:36 PM

25. Love Costco

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:37 PM

26. Costco is the best

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:40 PM

27. I shop at Costco....I LOVE it there!

I am a widow and live alone...so I break groceries, especially meat products, into single servings, and throw them in the freezer. I buy the big stocks of paper products and they last for a long, long time. The employees are always friemdly and a great help. And the restaurant has great food. Costco certainly beats shopping at Wal-Mart. I have to drive 20 miles to the nearest Costco but it is worth the trip.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #27)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:30 PM

42. $1.50 polish hot dog with refillable soda ... the BEST value lunch in town.

I'm in the same 1-person boat ... and I swear by CostCo. Their pharmacy is freaking awesome, too. I only have 4 prescriptions (hypertension, cholesterol, and sciatica pain) and no Part D (I refuse to help bleed Medicare to death) ... but the savings on just the few meds I need are incredible. When I did the comparisons between CostCo and all the other places within that distance, it was NO CONTEST.

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Response to chillfactor (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:26 PM

105. I do the same.

I used to do it more frequently, but I'm on food stamps at the moment. And though the store takes them, you can run out of money fairly quickly there. It's a pity 'cause I love shopping there. Plus it less than 1/4 mile from my house!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:42 PM

28. My wife knows a couple that have worked there for years:

they said they're very happy working at Cosco.
That's not something you hear very often about one's employer.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:20 PM

39. i've never been able to get out of Costco for less than $200.00

 

maybe someday...

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:32 AM

84. I was sent to Costco.......

last week by my mom. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was given a list (I never seen anyone in there with a list) I was to get 2 pumpkin pies, asparagus an coffee. Bill was $24.96. First time I ever came out under 3 digits.

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Response to BlueMan Votes (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:47 AM

85. you need to focus BlueMan!

Load up on the TP, cereal, big stuff at the begining of the month, then just get what you need on the second visit.

Trick is not to pick up stuff on the left when you walk in or hit the electronics on the right.

Your eyes drift to the left don't they BlueMan!... those beach chairs for $20, man check out those fans/heaters for $30.

I actually give myself a pep talk walking in the door... don't need whatever cool thing they have on the left upon entry!

Althought I have bought... beach chairs, floor fans, boogie boards, space heater, garage floor pads, scallops, (man were they good) before ever making the right turn down the first main aisle. Amazingly enough every item was priced at about $25.



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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:24 PM

40. Costco is a two minute drive from my home

Doesn't get better than that.

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Response to PlanetBev (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:32 PM

43. Real estate agents should start listing that as a FEATURE.



I'm less than 2 miles from mine and I love it.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:24 PM

41. Unfortunately, whenever I think of Costco...

...I think of the Romneys gushing over how much they love the store, and how much Mitt loves their shirts.

There aren't any around here, so I will stick to Target! Hey, Michelle Obama loves it there - she even wore a few clothing items from there!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:46 PM

46. Well, the joke's on Mittens b/c the CEO of Costco is an Obama supporter and spoke at

the Democratic Convention.

It makes me to think that some tiny portion of Mittens' money went to re-elect Obama!

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Response to beac (Reply #46)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:02 PM

69. It's great...isn't it!?

Even if it was just the cost of the Kirkland shirts Ann buys for Mittens!!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:50 PM

49. I Shop At Target Too

Unfortunately, they're not much better than Mall-Wart.

Costco has blue state ethics. I think it's hilarity to hear about conservatives shopping there/liking it (Romney, Richard Perle). I look at it as them supporting things (better pay for workers, health care for workers, owner/CEO not making seventy bajillion dollars a year) for which we stand.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:01 PM

54. Costco pharmacy is literally a lifesaver.

My son needs four medications for PTSD. No insurance.
These prices are for three months worth of meds.

Costco $161.89

CVS $1,446.86
Walmart $1,198.86
Publix $1,572.80

And this is all generics.
And no Costco membership needed.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:18 PM

58. Yes, but how many small businesses has Costco put out of business?

I'm all in favor of businesses treating their employers well, but frankly, is not Costco guilty of the same thing Wal-Mart is guilty of: putting small, Mom-and-Pop businesses out of business by offering lower prices for similar goods?

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Response to begin_within (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:43 AM

98. I would really like to ask you a question.

Are you in favor of seeing more shipping containers and semi trailers moving by rail?

Or fewer?

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #98)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:15 PM

104. I don't know enough about shipping logistics to have an informed opinion on that question

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Response to begin_within (Reply #104)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:34 PM

109. Let me rephrase;

Is putting more transcontinental truck traffic on rail cars a good idea or a bad one?

The reason I ask is because of your concern that a Costco might put people out of work at smaller businesses.

It is my experience on this board that the same people who express such concerns are also in favor of increasing usage of railroads to carry more long distance truck loads of goods but never seem to make the connection that every single container or "piggy-back" trailer loaded on a rail car represents a truck driver not getting the work.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #109)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:40 PM

110. OK

Well, then, no, I'm not in favor of putting people out of work.
So no, I'm not in favor if increasing railroad usage if it means truck drivers lose work.

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Response to begin_within (Reply #110)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:22 PM

111. Then you have just acknowledged a conundrum of being liberal.

Most people of a liberal bent, myself included, want to see efforts made in American industry that help the environment. With regard to transportation, increasing the number of piggy backs means less pollution and fewer trucks on the road.

But it also means less work for the
millions of truck drivers in this country. A train carrying several hundred containers and piggy back trailers can be loaded by a crew of less than ten and moved across the country by a similar number of locomotive crew members.

Worrying whether or not a Costco puts others out of business is similar, in my opinion. What about the folks working at the Costco? What about the truckers delivering the goods? It is a difficult question.

It has been said in the past that for every job a Wal-Mart creates, 3 local jobs are lost. But Costco and Wal-Mart serve two different market segments, so whether that is also the case for Costco remains to be determined, as far as I am aware.

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Response to begin_within (Reply #58)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:32 PM

107. The big difference I see is that they are not in small towns.

In large cities, there are always going to be other big box stores but in small towns, it is WalMart and it does shut down small businesses.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:19 PM

59. I worked at Costco in the 90's, loved it

Unfortunately newer hires are only part time (<32 hrs), and between them and my full time job I found it too difficult to balance the two out so they didnt overlap in the 10 months I worked there, so I had to quit the part time job and keep the full time job.

I always regretted that.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:30 PM

63. I've never been to one.

The nearest one is over 50 miles away, unfortunately.

I hear good things about them.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:28 PM

71. There is an always-happy Costco employee here named "Kirkland."

That's what his name tag says. I always speak to Kirkland, as in, "Great store Kirkland! Love your coffee and peanut butter cups." Kirkland high-fives me, grinning. But it is the same with all the Greenville (SC) customers who know Kirkland's name.

For the uninitiated: "Kirkland" is Costco's house brand name. But this guy's name really is "Kirkland."

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:33 PM

72. It is a

good company

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:50 PM

74. We just got one here in Fargo. I LOVE IT!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:32 PM

77. I like Costco. Walmarts smell of cheap plastic and desperation...

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:41 PM

78. Costco Has The Best Baked Goods, too!

Their pecan pies are to DIE FOR - and HUUUGE! Not to mention their cookies.

I love Costco for most things, but there's only two of us, so we don't go that often. I just wish that they had delivery for stuff like TVs, so we don't have to haul it ourselves.

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Response to AnnieBW (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:41 PM

114. We (finally!) bought a flat TV at COSTCO. The price was a hundred less than any 'black friday'

special, AND COSTCO doubles the warranty period.

They had plenty right there on the shelf, and since these new fangled flat screen (LED) tvs are so light we just plopped it in our cart, paid, and drove it home. Easy.

That said...plugging it all together WAS a bit of a challenge.

Oh, and they didn't have ten zillion different tvs, OR pushy salespeople.

P.S. We AGREE with you on the baked good, but have to take it easy in that department...

...though we always say howdy!




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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:02 AM

86. Eyeglasses.

Costco is one of the few companies supplying eyeglasses that aren't made by Luxottica so they can set their own prices.

Luxxottica sets the *high* prices for Ray-Ban, Person, Oakley, Chanel, Prada and nearly all designer glasses.
Also Sunglass Hut, Oliver Peoples, Pearle Vision, LensCrafters, Target Optical, Sears Optical, EyeMed all are owned by Luxxottica the world over so they have virtually no competition to make them lower prices.

Costco and Walmart are two of the few independent optical providers.

I don't know about Walmart but Costco gets great reviews and my experience has been good. Once they did get the prescription wrong for one lens but they rushed an order to replace it and it came in a couple of days.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #86)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:35 AM

96. Yep, my brother gets all his contact lenses there

says it's cheaper than even the online discount places.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #86)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:27 PM

106. absolutely

they make their own lenses. my optometrist said that costco lenses were "crisper". i tried some walmart glasses, but they just aren't as good. the price is comparable though. too bad costco doesn't sell rimless lenses anymore....

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #86)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:43 PM

116. Oh! Yes! forgot about how good their glasses dept service and price is!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:39 AM

91. Night and day.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

97. We love CostCo

We used to drive to Ft. Myers or up to ClearWater or Brandon. They recently opened a store in Sarasota very near our home.

The other choices are Sam's Club and BJ's. Neither are in CostCo's league.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:40 AM

101. None in this area of TN.

If they pay fair wages, these people wouldn't know what to do. We have a large population (we adjoin FT. Campbell, KY). There are many Wal-Marts and they are always packed. The citizens here could really learn a lesson about fair labor practices. I shop at Kroger, they are Unionized and I know many of the employees because they worked there when I was in school. I left for 20 years. In In., I shopped at Meijers as they were Unionized. As a Union carpenter I did a few jobs at their stores.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:07 PM

102. The people I know who work at Costco LOVE it.

I'm not kidding, they're like fanatically devoted to the place. It's a combo of being paid a living wage, getting benefits AND admiring their CEO's commitment to the local community and respct for his staff. I've never known any other employees so devoted to their company.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:34 PM

108. i love me some costco!!

what i regularly buy: french roast coffee, vitamins, smokehouse almonds, yogurt, string cheese, tp and paper towels, cat food and litter, fresh salmon, rotisserie chicken. i cannot step out of a costco without a rotisserie chicken, lol! it provides several meals for me as i live alone.

i also like their home improvement items such as kitchen/bath faucets, light fixtures, furniture...and love their "fake" uggs.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:42 PM

115. Costco's great.

And every time I've been there lately, its been PACKED.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:27 PM

117. My Son works for Costco

He works part time (15 hours per week) while going to school. He started at $11 per hour and, after a few months, received a 25 cent raise. He is eligible for their healthcare plan and is enrolled in their 401(k). Workers are happy and are praised when they treat customers right.

Costco is a GREAT employer!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:05 PM

118. The best customer service

I EVER have had in my entire life came last summer at a Colorado Costco. She was beyond friendly, helpful, kind, expressed how much she LOVES her job.

We've had a Costco membership for nearly 20 years and if it was closer I'd go every single week. But it's 125 miles from us in Billings and in the winter I simply will not get on the highway so I have to limit my trips. I was hoping to get one more run in before Christmas. I LOVE Costco!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:22 PM

120. I just stumble in there for lunch all the time...

...$1.50 for a fountain soda and a 1/4 lb hot dog. Just can't beat it for a cheap, quick meal.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:31 PM

121. I just ordered prescription sunglasses at Costco.

Man, that comment about how the Costco employees are helpful and don't have that beaten down, "thousand yard stare" is spot on. I hate to go into Walmart and see these poverty-stricken checkers wearing rags under their Walmart aprons and missing teeth due to lack of dental insurance. It breaks my heart.

Costco, on the other hand, has healthy looking employees who don't make you feel bad. And Costco still manages to keep prices super low, especially on TVs and at the optics department. They had a great selection of glasses and are cheaper than Lenscrafters.

The downside--I can't get out of Costco without spending at least $100 on impulse buys. But hey, it's always nice stuff and I am happy to support a company that respects its workers.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:29 PM

122. I love Costco.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:07 PM

124. If you like 5 hour energies

try the Costco's Kirkland energy shots. 48 for $38 and have the same ingredients as 5 hours.

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