OK, so Costco is most definitely not a remarkable experience. But there are still lessons to be learned after losing two hours of my life today that I'll never get back ...
For some odd reason, I thought that several of my staples would be at Costco at a vastly reduced price, just waiting for me.
I was wrong.
I've had a membership card for nearly a year, but hadn't made the trek. I doubt that I'll make a repeat trek ...
Because in this day and age, you can find nearly anything you want at vastly reduced prices, without having to deal with the insanity and crowds that is the Costco experience.
The few things that I bought I could have paid the same or slightly less prices elsewhere (lesson learned).
Sheer madness at the membership desk - took nearly 30 minutes for them to take my card photo.
Not well laid out. I couldn't find portable air conditioners. Found some on a top shelf in the food section. Asked an employee where I could find them for purchase, who said they don't have them. Pointed out the top shelf stock. Oh, I don't know anything about that. Couldn't find ear buds (my main reason for the trip). FINALLY found ONE style/manufacturer completely by accident looking at something marginally related.
I was amazed at how many people had carts overflowing with "food," and by the quotes I mean that the food stuff at Costco isn't really food! I will admit to being temporarily mesmerized in the candy aisle ... and didn't buy a single bit. Too much sugar. Too much packaging. Too many hyped up kids throwing fits and being promised candy by their harried parents.
So what was remarkable about a business at Costco?
When Costco and other huge warehouse discount stores first opened, they were definitely remarkable. It hadn't been done before. People drove for hours to shop for hours and stand in line for hours in order to get incredible deals.
But today, you only need to place a few online orders (no driving! no waiting in line!) using your super discount cards/savings (everyone's competing on price) to get even better deals.
I don't think "price" is really remarkable any longer. Sure, there are plenty of people who are shopping for the best deal, but I think "remarkable" ends up being about quality, taste, color, fit, customer service, going the extra mile, handcrafted, the details, being the first, etc.
I'm not going back to Costco any time soon. I'm using my overpriced ear buds right now (the price I paid definitely exceeded the quality I purchased) and have a 36 pack of soda in my kitchen (36!!!). I should have made a Fry's trip for higher quality ear buds and just used my Safeway discount card for the soda.
Live and learn.
Maybe I missed out something at Costco? What's your opinion?