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So what you are saying MrMatt is that most people are CHEAPSKATES. I don't disagree with that. I think 'cheap' has become a huge part of our current society's way of thinking about anything.

Look at retail anything and what we see is major retailers going out of business while 'cheap' stores like Costco and Walmart, etc. continue on with no difficulty. I can remember the days when people would not admit to shopping in 'bargain stores'. It had a stigma attached to it that basically said, 'you can't afford anything better.'
I shop at Costco, because it's the best value.
The staff are well paid, they have high quality products at the best prices.
Their returns and other policies are great.
They do this, while basically selling all their products at cost.

If they're selling what you want, I think Costco is simply the best place to shop.

I'm glad that this social status stigma is fading. It's really quite stupid to overpay for products for "status".
 

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I shop at Costco, because it's the best value.
The staff are well paid, they have high quality products at the best prices.
Their returns and other policies are great.
They do this, while basically selling all their products at cost.

If they're selling what you want, I think Costco is simply the best place to shop.

I'm glad that this social status stigma is fading. It's really quite stupid to overpay for products for "status".
When quality is equal MrMatt, then price becomes a criteria. Being frugal is not being 'cheap' and I certainly like to think I am frugal in how I spend my money. However, I do not see our current society as using those two criteria in that order. People put price before quality all too often and then complain about the quality.

For example, airplane seats and space have gotten smaller and smaller as we know. Yet people complain about the lack of space while at the same time booking the cheapest seat there is. Paying for quality is not about status and that was not what I was inferring although I can see how you thought I was.

When I wrote, 'can't afford anything better' I was referring to quality. Can't afford better quality and so buy an inferior product in a bargain store. Or pay a 'basic fare' for a cramped economy seat on a plane and then complain about the space and how they can't get a refund if they want to change their plans, etc.

The focus on price over ALL other considerations is I think extremely prevalent in our current culture.
 

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I agree LTA.....Most of what we own will have to go when we go into a smaller apartment or retirement home, and our son won't want all of it....so back it goes to the Goodwill/Sally Ann to be sold again. Makes me wonder how many times they sell the same item over the years........LOL.
 

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When quality is equal MrMatt, then price becomes a criteria. Being frugal is not being 'cheap' and I certainly like to think I am frugal in how I spend my money. However, I do not see our current society as using those two criteria in that order. People put price before quality all too often and then complain about the quality.

For example, airplane seats and space have gotten smaller and smaller as we know. Yet people complain about the lack of space while at the same time booking the cheapest seat there is. Paying for quality is not about status and that was not what I was inferring although I can see how you thought I was.

When I wrote, 'can't afford anything better' I was referring to quality. Can't afford better quality and so buy an inferior product in a bargain store. Or pay a 'basic fare' for a cramped economy seat on a plane and then complain about the space and how they can't get a refund if they want to change their plans, etc.

The focus on price over ALL other considerations is I think extremely prevalent in our current culture.
I think value should be the criteria. I'm okay buying lesser products if the price difference is substantial.

I think you're wrong in that they can't afford it, they're just not willing to make the trade offs.

Regarding "paying for quality" not being about status. I disagree, when you attach a stigma to "bargain stores", I think that is a status based postion.

I also disagree that Costco is a "bargain" store, it's a high value store. There is a difference.
 

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I shop at Costco, because it's the best value.
The staff are well paid, they have high quality products at the best prices.
Their returns and other policies are great.
They do this, while basically selling all their products at cost.

If they're selling what you want, I think Costco is simply the best place to shop.

I'm glad that this social status stigma is fading. It's really quite stupid to overpay for products for "status".
One of the reasons we shop at Costco is that the employees are treated well and paid well (we know 2 long time employees). Their treatment of their employees deserves to be rewarded.

We rarely go to Walmart...I can't remember the last time.
 

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I think value should be the criteria. I'm okay buying lesser products if the price difference is substantial.

I think you're wrong in that they can't afford it, they're just not willing to make the trade offs.

Regarding "paying for quality" not being about status. I disagree, when you attach a stigma to "bargain stores", I think that is a status based postion.

I also disagree that Costco is a "bargain" store, it's a high value store. There is a difference.
Well we can agree to disagree I suppose. By the way, I have never been in a Costco but my understanding is they are more of a warehouse than a 'store.' I prefer not to shop in warehouses but if you feel you get equal value, I won't try to argue that with you.

Walmart I definitely see as a 'bargain store' with primarily lower quality products.
 

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Costco has very good quality control and if a suppllier doesn't provide the required level of quality they are banished from the supply chain.

Costco inspects their suppliers regularly. I read a business article they arrive on site unannounced to make inspections.

They have many products in sizes and quantities not available anywhere else.

They also sell products unique to Costco. Their own Kirkland brand is a top level brand.

Our problem is a Costco trip is at least a $300 trip and more likely a $500 trip.

They also do pay their employees fair wages and benefits. The CEO and founder says his employees are their most valuable resource.
 

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Well we can agree to disagree I suppose. By the way, I have never been in a Costco but my understanding is they are more of a warehouse than a 'store.' I prefer not to shop in warehouses but if you feel you get equal value, I won't try to argue that with you.

Walmart I definitely see as a 'bargain store' with primarily lower quality products.
Well since you've never been there.
Yes it is a warehouse type setup. You go and take the product right off the skid.

Why pay someone to de-skid and shelve items?

Equal value? For most items it's substantially cheaper.
https://www.costco.ca/coupons.html

The things I buy, are either much higher quality, or much cheaper for the same item.
 

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Don't want the impression that everything is on skids in racks.

They have aisles of frozen foods in large quantity sizes, clothing, furniture, electronics, household goods, meat freezers, bakery......just about everything.

Check it out sometime LTA. You might be surprised and impressed. There is a reason Costco is packed all the time.

And if you have their famous hot dogs and drink.......Costco sells them at a loss to customers.
 

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While I am sure you all find some good buys at Costco, it does not mean they are always the best value for everything.

We recently had to replace our wall oven. So I have just done a search for the make and model to see if first Costco carries it and then at what price. It is a Bosch 500 30 inch wall oven. As it happens, Costco does indeed offer it. Their price shown is $2894. https://www.costco.ca/bosch-500-series-30-in.-stainless-steel-electric-single-wall-oven.product.100483073.html

Lowes currently is offering it for $2395. That's $499 less!!! Oops.

In fact we bought ours from a local independent appliance store for $2200 plus $150 for delivery and installation.

If I pay $20, more for groceries at a Loblaw's or Sobeby's etc. supermarket, it really isn't worth it to me to have to drive an hour to the nearest Costco as our neighbour does every month rather than under a half hour to where we usually shop. And yeah, they come home and show me the great deal they got on some other kind of item as well. What they don't come home and show me however is how they paid $500 more for an oven from them.

Costco may have some good deals on some things but they also have some bad deals on other things obviously so I think people need to realize that if they want to chase the lowest price for a box of cereal that's up to them. But personally, for all those small everyday purchases, I really don't care which one is cheaper. It is only on higher ticket items that I even begin to shop around for the lowest price.
 

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Costco doesn't have the best price for everything, but they have enough lower priced items to make it worthwhile to shop there. Just like any other store, you have to compare prices.
 

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Costco doesn't have the best price for everything, but they have enough lower priced items to make it worthwhile to shop there. Just like any other store, you have to compare prices.
That sums it up. I don't think any one retailer has consistently the best prices on everything they sell. It pays to know prices, to compare.

I'll also agree with LTA, that sometimes it's not worthwhile to always seek out the best price on everything. I have known people who do that. And they'll clip coupons, etc. and plan their weekend shopping by, for example, going to Costco for coffee, Superstore for bread, Loblaws for cheese, etc. They apparently do not value their time and transportation costs. We usually pick one store to shop for groceries (not always the same one) and expect some items to cost more than the store down the street, some to cost less and some the same. We don't fret over whether we could have cherry-picked and saved 10 or 20 bucks on total purchases of $250. We usually ignore coupons and flyers and have never asked a retailer to "price match" on a can of beans or pound of steak. I might ask for a price match on an oven if it's a case of $3,000 vs. $2,500, or a new outboard motor if it's a case of $20,000 vs. $17,000.

If shopping for a large appliance or other expensive item, it can pay to shop around, take some time, sure.

Our first Costco membership was a gift to us when we lived in the US. In those days, I used to see something there I have not seen in the Costco we visit here. What I observed was that Costco seemed to bring into its store items on which it had apparently got a very good deal by buying a boxcar load or something like that. Took me awhile to catch on. Some of those items were unusual, certainly by the standards of our local store here. For example, a load of outboard motors would be for sale and very good prices. Sometimes I would see these things and think "Maybe I'll get that next time". With those unusual and very well-priced items, there never was a "next time". That item would soon be gone and not be stocked again. So it was buy now or forget about it.
 

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We have been members at Costco on and off. Always debated it. Felt we overbought there and spent more in the long run. That being said, I find their clothing is good quality. BBQ propane is $10....about half the price everywhere else. And gas is about $0.05 cheaper. These outweigh the annual cost for us. If you’re a smart shopper, there’s money to be saved. someone in my family worked high up at Sears Canada......he confirmed that Costco usually has the lowest markup.

I love analyzing retailers. You walk into a canadian tire and theres a dozen baking mixers on display....different models, colours, cost. You go to Costco...and they have one. Consumers have very different needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #74
what I've always said about costco:
limited selection, slapped on pallets, you gotta buy more than you need, line up to get in, line up to get out....and they CHARGE YOU to shop here...?
Solly Price had a GREAT business model!!!
 

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JC Penny is added to the list of bankrupted companies. Another American icon bites the dust.

Cash starved commercial landlords (due to defaults on rent and vacancies) are told by Starbucks how much rent they are willing to pay.

The landlords aren't in control anymore. I wonder how our pensions are doing.........
 

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Notice that in this discussion re shopping, no one is saying, 'I support my small local retailers even if I have to pay 10% or whatever more'. I think it says a lot about what I see as this emphasis on price over value in our current society.

I go to our small, local, family owned for 4 generations, jewellery store to buy my wife a gift from time to time. They greet me by name, they ask how my wife is, how her sister who has visited a few times from Scotland is doing, etc. If I am just in to get a watch battery replaced, that is done at no charge while I wait. If I am buying a gift, it is gift wrapped. If it is a higher priced item, they always, without my asking, will reduce the price or say, 'we will not charge the sales tax'. I know them and they know me. We have an actual relationship and that has a value but it is not a value measured in money.

Nor are such relationships confined to small towns. When I lived in the Beach area of Toronto, I bought all my businesswear clothing at a small independent store called The Pony Club. Money172375 says he considers Costco to have good quality clothing and I presume good prices. But they aren't going to greet you by name or give you the personal service that I got at The Pony Club are they. The two owners (still there) know fashion and give you the benefit of their knowledge. That has a value but again not in money. I used to get admiring comments about my suits, shirts, ties, etc. all the time from people. What they didn't realize was that it was not I who had the knowledge, it was where I shopped that made the difference.

Sags mentioned JC Penny is going out of business. But they had to try and compete with a Costco or Walmart and they compete ONLY on price. That is the consumer they sell to. Not the consumer who can see the value in non-price related differences.
 

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these are very good points.
Amazon and Costco and __ (fill in big-box store here) will not be sponsors to your son's, or grandson's baseball team! The local hardware store is more likely to be the sponsor.
I go to the local hardware store up the street. Florists too. they need our business.
 

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Sags mentioned JC Penny is going out of business. But they had to try and compete with a Costco or Walmart and they compete ONLY on price. That is the consumer they sell to. Not the consumer who can see the value in non-price related differences.
It's not only the big box stores (Costco, Walmart, etc) it's online shopping as well. I know many younger people that rarely go into stores but instead order online.

If you want personal service, go to a local store. If you know what you want then go online, it'll likely give you a larger selection and probably a better price.
 

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these are very good points.
Amazon and Costco and __ (fill in big-box store here) will not be sponsors to your son's, or grandson's baseball team! The local hardware store is more likely to be the sponsor.
I go to the local hardware store up the street. Florists too. they need our business.
Tim Hortons and Canadian Tire/Sportchek/National Sports(etc) sponsor a massive amount of Hockey and Soccer. The amount of funding they provide is absolutely staggering.

Pizza Pizza sponsors Teams as well.


Realistically, it's their job to provide the experience worth buying from them.
Throughout most of my career, I've worked predominantly in export positions. Most of my work product isn't for Canadian Customers.

Just for fun, go to any Government building, see how many personal vehicles were assembled in Canada. Who here knows if their water heater was made in Canada, or imported? I've actually worked at the water heater plant, before they offshored it.
 

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IF I was ever looking for a job in retail there are two great employers that I would try first. Costco and Ikea. They pay well for the industry, have reasonable benefits, and treat their employees well. Great combination of attributes.
 
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