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Old 04-13-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
cwerdna
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CNBC: The Costco Craze: Inside the Warehouse Giant

Saw an ad for this recently. I'll be recording whenever it airs. It premieres April 26th.

More info below:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/46603589
http://www.cnbc.com/id/46808971/CNBC...H_AT_9PM_ET_PT
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:23 PM   #2
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This sure sounds familiar?!!? Didn't they already do a Costco episode? (I don't have it listed in the various CNBC documentaries I've watched.)
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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^^^
That's news to me. I don't recall seeing one from them. I guess I'll find out soon enough if it's actually a rerun.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:24 AM   #4
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I <3 Costco
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for the head's up. New to me also. Love da Costco and will look for this.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
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I've gotten through almost half of it, so far. It's pretty good and insightful.

There are a whole bunch of reruns in the next two weeks.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cwerdna
I've gotten through almost half of it, so far. It's pretty good and insightful.

There are a whole bunch of reruns in the next two weeks.
I'm more impressed than ever with Costco after that show.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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I'm more impressed than ever with Costco after that show.

Ditto that! I watched yesterday and it was very interesting. Excellent company.
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Thanks. I am glad it is only an hour long show. I hope they addressed the tire issue. I heard the tire manufacturers make tires for them special. I would like to know the difference.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #10
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I'm only 1/4 into it so far, and it seems like almost an infomercial.

An interesting infomercial, though. I wonder if this originated in-house? It seems almost like an official company story...
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Thanks. I am glad it is only an hour long show. I hope they addressed the tire issue. I heard the tire manufacturers make tires for them special. I would like to know the difference.
You have to buy a pack of 20.






I watched this last night too. I knew Costco was the largest buyer of wine in the USA, so I liked the wine segment. I don't have a Costco membership, but I really liked their buyer's answer to the question about serving Kirkland brand wine at a dinner party at home. My answer was the same.

Also enjoyed the segment on toilet paper.

As far as the part on grey market items. What all do they sell that is grey market? Is it just stuff like Prada handbags and other designer items? Or does it extend to electronics that may have warrantee issues?
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:13 PM   #12
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As far as the part on grey market items. What all do they sell that is grey market? Is it just stuff like Prada handbags and other designer items? Or does it extend to electronics that may have warrantee issues?
They've sold a lot of Apple products over the years grey market and Apple was not happy. (suck it up Apple...)
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #13
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They've sold a lot of Apple products over the years grey market and Apple was not happy. (suck it up Apple...)
Does that cause any issues with warrantee claims or getting service at an Apple Store? Can they tell if it was bought at a Costco?

I know Apple isn't the only product they do this was. Was wondering about stuff like cameras, too. That goes on at a lot of those camera discounters too.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #14
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I just watched this show last night and found it to be very interesting. What I found interesting was the original CEO's belief about how much profit to make over all. He didn't believe in ringing every cent they can from their customers. He says that's why other companies have gone out of business. However, their markups can be very large for some items. They talked about a toy they buy for $29 and sell for $100.
The question about the grey market warranties that some one asked about, with cameras if it is grey market the warranty usually isnt any good in the USA. Those items were ment to only be sold over seas. To get around it you can buy a 3rd party extended warrenty.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #15
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However, their markups can be very large for some items. They talked about a toy they buy for $29 and sell for $100.
That was a stuffed Bear that they sell for $29.99 but retails for $100.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:38 PM   #16
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I wish they didnt close so early on Sunday. Just went to get a pizza and arrived at an empty parking lot. :|
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #17
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However, their markups can be very large for some items. They talked about a toy they buy for $29 and sell for $100.
The show said their margins never exceed 15%.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:23 PM   #18
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That was a stuffed Bear that they sell for $29.99 but retails for $100.
I almost bought one because it was so big and cheap. Dont know what I'd do with it -- giant dog toy?
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:05 AM   #19
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Giant sex toy for a dog.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:25 AM   #20
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I wish they didnt close so early on Sunday. Just went to get a pizza and arrived at an empty parking lot. :|
I bet that was exciting for a hot second - WOW, I don't have to park a mile away! D'oh, the store is closed...
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:39 PM   #21
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I wish they didnt close so early on Sunday. Just went to get a pizza and arrived at an empty parking lot. :|
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.
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:11 PM   #22
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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)
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:44 PM   #23
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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)
That's Sam's Club. The one thing I miss from when I switched from Sam's Club to Costco.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:49 AM   #24
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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.
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:02 AM   #25
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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.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:14 AM   #26
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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.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:40 AM   #27
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...Since Cosco will only take American Express or cash, I wondered how the person paid for it...
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.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:47 AM   #28
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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.
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/SB1000...596764410.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.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #29
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They take my VISA debit card just fine.

I would assume they have some other payment options available for a $249,000 ring.
They take checks too.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:16 AM   #30
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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.
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.
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