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CNBC: The Costco Craze: Inside the Warehouse Giant

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by cwerdna, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. DeDondeEs

    DeDondeEs Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Feb 20, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    I wished they opened earlier as well. The ones by me don't open until 10 am. I am an early morning person. I like doing my shopping at busy places like Walmart at 6-7AM. You go to Costco just before 10am it is like a Russian bread line of people waiting to get in all lined up with their giant shopping carts.
     
  2. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    Apr 9, 2001
    sunnyvale
    Are you sure they don't open earlier for the business customers? I thought that was a common thing. (I think anybody can buy the more expensive business membership)
     
  3. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Oct 17, 2000
    Minneapolis
    That's Sam's Club. The one thing I miss from when I switched from Sam's Club to Costco.
     
  4. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    No, some Costco stores do (or did) have earlier opening hours for business customers. It's usually an hour or so before non-business customers.

    I was told by a Costco employee that not all stores strictly enforce the policy though, and some stores will let people in as soon as the doors open regardless of membership type.

    This was a few years ago, so Costco's policies may have changed since then.
     
  5. Ruth

    Ruth Now with toddler

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    Anchorage,...
    I enjoyed the show, even thought it was basically a big commercial for costco.

    I wish they'd done a segment on the produce. Up here they have absolutely the highest quality stuff in town, all year round. I would have liked to learn more about how they manage to do that and the detail that goes into it.
     
  6. sieglinde

    sieglinde New Member

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    Aug 11, 2002
    Sebastopol, CA
    I have not finished the show yet but I was impressed by their wine selection. They had essentially a self-trained wine taster and were succeeding in selling high-end wines. I could not believe the prices on some things. I don't know what their worth was, but one of the items in the jewelry case cost more than my house. (I admit I bought my house during the worst time of a depressed real estate market in my area but ....) Since Cosco will only take American Express or cash, I wondered how the person paid for it. Almost $1000 for a bottle of wine. I expect that kind of stuff in the locked case in a high end wine store. Looks like they are beating Bev-mo in that market. The grey market bothers me. I bought a TV there but I suspect LG is one of the brands that has a deal with them and is not grey market.
     
  7. pmyers

    pmyers Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2001
    Gilbert, AZ
    They take my VISA debit card just fine.

    I would assume they have some other payment options available for a $249,000 ring.

    What I was hoping they would discuss was how some of their Kirkland brand goods are actually made by big name companies (such as their Vodka is rumored to be Grey Goose). I assume they couldn't discuss that because of confidentiality agreements.
     
  8. Idearat

    Idearat New Member

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    Nov 26, 2000
    Gilroy
    I was hoping for more details, but other than "limited selection makes people decide quicker" and "max 15% markup" there wasn't much about what makes them tick. The part that made it look a little bit like a fluff piece was there was zero mention about the fact that as a membership store they know every item you've bought ever, as if a grocery store required you to have their membership card and made you use it for every purchase. This has to be a big help in their business decision processes. I also don't remember any mention of not accepting credit cards except for Amex, which also helps their bottom line.

    I've always known about the limited selection, but didn't know how it fit in the strategy. There are some basics like deodorant and razor blades I never get at Costco despite the prices as they don't carry my brands. I've always looked at it like coupons, to save the most you have to buy what what they sell with less regard for your personal preference for brand or style.

    The wine buyer was interesting, but she really could do most of the buying by getting highest rated/popular wines and then offering them at a much lower markup. I've assumed that the private label stuff is name-brand wine where the winery doesn't want to dilute the brand or has no U.S. distribution and is happy to sell wholesale to Costco.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the grey market, that's more for lower volume, higher cost things. There are some companies that tightly control how much their products sell for and go through great pains to prevent any store from selling them at a lower markup and lower price. Costco got into an argument with with Omega watches so Omega started putting a tiny logo on watches sold overseas. This logo they copyrighted in the U.S., preventing it from being sold under copyright law:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703977004575393160596764410.html

    This was only touched on briefly in the episode, but the CEO said that what people should be bothered by is companies who manipulate the market to keep their prices high, and I tend to agree. Some companies will only sell to you if you keep the retail price high, adding to the prestige of the product and keeping the profit high for the retailers. Offer it for too low a price and they'll stop selling to you.

    I understand for companies who make something like a TV overseas, with a U.S. sales and support arm. If the U.S. group didn't sell the item, and make some profit, they shouldn't be expected fix it for free or answer questions on the phone about it. Online camera stores have been selling overseas versions for years, offering the same camera at 2 prices, one with a U.S. warranty, one with an "International" warranty. You decide if having to send it to Japan for service is worth the discount. (The less scrupulous stores don't tell you it has no US warranty though )

    Luckily Costco has a pretty good return/refund policy. If I were to roll the dice by buying from an unauthorized retailer for a product, I'd be most comfortable with them.
     
  9. Idearat

    Idearat New Member

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    Nov 26, 2000
    Gilroy
    They take checks too.
     
  10. sharkster

    sharkster Well-Known Member

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    NV
    Ours does open earlier for business members. It's the only time I will go because I don't like crowds.

    Fortunately, they always seemed to be pretty good about it because I've seen others try to get in at the initial opening and they were turned away.

    Conversely, it was the opposite with Sam's Club here. When I had my membership (let it lapse - hated the place), there was just one store opening time for everybody.
     
  11. Marc

    Marc Active Member TCF Club

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    Jun 26, 1999
    McMurray, PA
    Somehow I don't see them accepting a check for $249,000 (plus tax, of course).
     
  12. Idearat

    Idearat New Member

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    Nov 26, 2000
    Gilroy
    What would it be, a suitcase full of cash? I doubt it would be an impulse buy using a clowns and kittens check from the credit union, but rather a bank check. I guess you could use your black Amex card, but even with a sweetheart deal from Amex the CC fee to Costco would probably be pricey, over $2k even if they only charge Costco 1%
     
  13. pmyers

    pmyers Active Member

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    Gilbert, AZ
    I guess when people say they only take AMEX they are talking pure credit card transactions, because my visa and mastercard debit cards work just fine...always have.
     
  14. billypritchard

    billypritchard Embiggener

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    May 7, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Watching the show and seeing how they kind of boss around the suppliers was quite eye-opening. The Toy section is the one I'm thinking of specifically, but I would guess it's the same in all departments.

    My wife has purchased quite a few Carter's brand pajamas for our little kiddos in the past year or two, and she's noticed that the ones bought from Costco are much more likely to have holes or construction problems. She has sworn off jammy purchases from Costco now. I wonder then if Carters's agreed to provide special 'cheaper' jammies to Costco and that is why the quality seems a bit off?
     
  15. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Active Member

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    Columbia, MD
    Isn't it kind of illegal to take checks generally but not for a specific transaction amount? Today, checks can be checked immediately for clearance.

    I wrote a personal check for my last car purchase, which was just under $30,000 without a single question asked.
     
  16. bigpuma

    bigpuma Active Member

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    Aug 12, 2003
    Morgan Hill, CA
    In the show weren't they pushing for better quality on the backpack not lower?
     
  17. ElJay

    ElJay Active Member

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    Apr 6, 2005
    I'm sure people walk into Bentley dealerships and write checks for $249,000... I am not sure why Costco would be different.
     
  18. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

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    Apr 16, 2003
    Arizona
    What's the advantage to Costco to only accept AMEX? I thought AMEX was usually the most expensive of the card issuers for a retailer to accept, so if they could transfer some of their purchases to VISA or MC, they could save a little money in processing fees. Yes, I'm sure that AMEX is giving them a sweetheart deal in order to be the exclusive credit card accepted, but I can almost guarantee that VISA and/or MC would be happy to match that deal if they could get a piece of the Costco business as well.
     
  19. markb

    markb Member

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    Jul 24, 2002
    San Diego
    Just a guess, but maybe AmEx doesn't make profit off of Costco transactions at all, and the benefit to AmEx is that it gets people to sign up for cards that they will then use at other establishments where AmEx does make a profit. Visa and Mastercard wouldn't have as much to gain from such a deal, because most people already have those cards.
     
  20. pmyers

    pmyers Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2001
    Gilbert, AZ
    Also maybe its an exclusive in their agreement for the costco/amex card.

    Don't they have to pay a VISA fee when I use my VISA debit? or does me putting in a PIN number negate a fee?
     

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