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Money & Finance
Articles: Money

Wholesale Club Shopping

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Costco

Costco is one of the most profitable wholesale companies in the United States . This company has been in business since 1976, but was originally under the name Price Club. In 1997, the wholesale shop merged and became Costco. This company is the first company ever to have grown from zero to three billion in sales in less than six years.

Membership to Costco will cost you $45. This company claims that it will refund you if you are dissatisfied with your membership at anytime. It is also the best company for returns as far as the wholesale market goes. They have a refund policy that was stated by their CEO as this, "No receipt, no questions, and no time limits." This is generally true with the only exception being a six-month grace period for refunds on computers.

As reported by Fortune Magazine, Costco is the United States' biggest seller of fine wines ($600 million per year) and baster of poultry (55,000 rotisserie chickens are sold each day).

The other claim to fame is that Costco caps their markups at fourteen percent (while some department stores can reach upwards of forty percent).

They offer the smallest selection of only 4,000 items per store to help keep store costs down and to offer more to their employees.

If you had to choose a place with the best customer service, you will find it at Costco. Costco offers the best employee packages (benefits and salary) and they offer the best prices to their customers, despite the angry comments from their disgruntled shareholders who seem to take the blunt of these benefits. After working for Costco for only four short years as a full-time employee, the salary is $40,000 per year. Hmmmm... maybe I am looking for a job!

Costco has kicked Sam's Club butt every year and you have to give the CEO some credit for his strategic planning and his company philosophy. As quoted by Fortune magazine, "Costco- the only name that Walmart fears."

Deals

Unfortunately, I do not have a membership to Costco because they do not offer one in our area so I cannot offer a lot of information on pricing for this wholesale club. If you have information that could help our readers, please email me so that we can begin posting some of the best deals from Costco.

Here are a few deals that I do know:

Wine

Obviously since Costco's is number one in the nation for wine selling; you can imagine that they have wonderful prices on wine. Do not be fooled though that they do not offer "good quality" wines. They have hired David Andrew, a wine expert, to oversee their wine department.

As far as deals go, they offer 35 selections of wine that sell between six to twelve dollars. These items will be located on pallets in the wine section of the store. They also offer 100-150 selections of wine that sell between twelve and one hundred dollars that are displayed in large crates in the wine section. No matter what your budget, you will find wines of the utmost quality here. Big Bordeaux fan? Costco is the largest purveyor of Bordeaux wines in the country.

Pharmacy

Prices are extremely competitive in this market and Costco offers very low prices on their prescriptions.

Optical

One year worth of contacts from Costco can run as low as $50.

Lettuce

Three pounds of iceberg lettuce will only cost $1.99

Baby Carrots

Five pounds of carrots run at $3.99

Bananas

Three pounds of bananas are only ninety-nine cents.

Downfalls

You can't use coupons at this location. The only exception is the type of "check" coupons. They will take these types of coupons because they are considered a check.

Due to the company trying to keep costs down for employees and members, they do not offer as wide of a selection as some of the other wholesale clubs.

Money-Saving Tips

  • Don't overlook Costco for some of your other needs. Costco offers great prices on travel and offers health and auto insurance. The key with this company is to think outside of the box.