In Defense of Costco

I can’t believe I have to write this. There are just certain things you don’t expect yourself having to defend. For instance, I doubt I’ll ever have to write a post entitled “In Defense of Mother Theresa” or “In Defense of the Xbox.”

Unfortunately, every so often someone with a dominant “Grinch” gene comes along to attack that which we all hold most dear. Let’s face it, aside from the part about the bulk quantity of “air freshener” he possesses, there was very little accuracy in Dave’s post about Costco .

Please consider the following:

  • To be fair, I agree with him on the whole membership idea. Why should I have to pay for the right to be your customer? Costco sticks us with a cover charge without providing any live music or karaoke. The only way I could look past this whole membership thing is if everyone had to wear a “Members Only” jacket to get into the store. At least this way it would feel like it was 1985 again.
  • Three words: Champion Duffle Bag.
  • Costco sells all kinds of magical products that up until now only existed in the make-believe world in my imagination. Things like a double pack of cereal containing both regular and Honey Nut Cheerios. I challenge you to find that item in any other store in the universe. It’s only available in the fantasy world of Costco. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Costco also sold unicorns and Leprechauns.
  • The pizza slice for $1.99. Admittedly, it’s not Sbarro quality, but it’s still foldable with ample cheese and pepperoni and it usually has a reservoir of grease sitting on top of each slice. These are the things I look for when making a pizza purchase.
  • Outside of school cafeterias, who else gainfully employs more old ladies in hairnets?
  • I like how there’s no customer service. I seriously do. Don’t even try and ask someone for help, because there’s nobody around. You’re on your own. Figure it out. I’m sick of how all these other stores try to coddle their customers by greeting them, answering their questions and assisting them with their purchases. The Costco system keeps out all those high-maintenance and emotionally needy customers other stores cater to.
  • Finally, here’s a partial listing of the many diverse items I’ve purchased at Costco in the last year: 32 inch Panasonic Television, my second wedding band, the faucets currently in use at the Zillionaire’s Lounge, our dual Sonicaires, ski goggles, and enough frozen buffalo wings to sustain an army of Zillionaires.

    That’s just scratching the surface, you can also get your home loan through Costco, and book a vacation, and get photos developed, and get warehouse pricing on a mail-order bride (they sell them in two-packs). I’m telling you, they’ve got everything.

15 thoughts on “In Defense of Costco”

  1. Don’t even get me started on those cereal double-packs! You neglected to mention that you pay the same price as if you would have bought two separate boxes at a normal grocery store. There’s convenience for you!

    If your Costco is like mine, they built it out in the boonies so whatever pennies you might be saving on the dollar with your purchases you surely lose after you figure in the gas to drive there. I can’t believe you don’t already have a spreadsheet that backs me up on this.

  2. Second of all, who in their right mind uses Sbarro as the measuring stick for a good slice of pizza? MR, sometimes you confound me with your joyful celebration of chain-store mediocrity!

  3. Word DA. Sbarro! At least compare it to Godfathers, or sutton. However, I do agree with you MR about the “no customer service” aspect to costco. Plus with all that room to shop, you find yourself stopping at every aisle sampling mini-sized hot dogs, which can basically turn into a free lunch. But seriously though, do you actually tell people you bought a wedding band at a place where you can buy a 1991 box-set of Donruss baseball cards?

  4. I’ll warn you right now, I won’t hesitate to write a post entitled “In Defense of Sbarro.”

    I recall a certain Sbarro in Times Square that was like a beacon of pizza euphoria for us back in 2001. How soon you both forget… And there was even a Sbarro adjacent to our hotel in Boston. We all suckled at the Sbarro teat many a time on that East coast trip. To me, that summer in ’01 should be affectionately referred to as “The Summer of Sbarro.”

  5. Ok, now I agree with a few things going on here. First of all, I have to agree with solo that the “no customer service” aspect of Costco is nice. I somewhat agree with DA that not everything is a money-saver, but he’s not completely right that there’s no savings. I make my membership fee back just on contact solution alone, not to mention paper towels, beef jerky, and baby wipes. And it’s always been a great place to buy a log of chew or a carton of smokes. I haven’t bought either in a really long time, but I’m sure it’s still a good deal.

    And don’t knock Sbarro, it’s one of the few things that I look for in a mall, along with Cinnabon.

  6. I’m going to have to agree with Dave on this one. Costco is a complete waste of time and money in my opinion unless you have a herd to feed. Honestly, probably the only people that save at costco spend hundreds of dollars stocking up to feed the family of twelve for a month. Also, the costcos here are so packed all of the time that you can’t even maneuver your cart around without running over little kids… reminds me of Whirly Ball now that I think of it. Anyhow, it is such a pain to go to costco here that I gave up my membership long ago. YOu have to fight traffic and drive out to the middle of nowhere to get there, like Dave mentioned, and then when you get there it’s like freakin’ Disneyland, like a vegas cabbie would put it. Tons of people wandering around aimlessly, not knowing what they want, just knowing that they need the 20 pack of deodorant and hotdog buns. Full circle to the drugs in the food if you ask me. I never thought about the umbrellas on the tables until you mentioned it Dave, what they hell do they think they’re trying to pull? Anyhow, I have been down on Costco for a while and Dave’s article affirmed my judgements.

  7. Let’s settle this over a good ole fashioned all-you-can-eat at Grant’s in Eburg! I’m buying!

    “In Defense of Sbarro…” You kill me. :) I bet there is a sponsership deal in there for you somewhere.

  8. Well Grant’s is obviously much better than Sbarro, I just wish they had Grant’s in malls around the country. A free all-you-can-eat there could be worth the plane ticket I’d have to buy and the vacation I’d have to use up…

  9. Someday I’ll tell the tale of Frazzini announcing to the patrons in his restaurant, “I’m gonna go melt some snow!” and walking over to the side entrance, where he unzipped his fly and urinated out the door. The dozen or so guests at my birthday party simply watched in amazement.

    I smiled, as the one thing I had wished for when I blew out the candles came true: John Frazzini exposing himself to my friends and family. It goes without saying, this was easily the best birthday I’ve ever had.

  10. Good old Frazzini, man I miss going to Central basketball games and seeing that guy make an ass out of himself, never failed. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Alright god dammit. That’s it I am fed up with the lust for Costco. I speak passionately on this as the laziest zillionaire alive. All of MR’s postive arguments all lead to one over powering negative pain in my ass. MR I am blown away that you can miss this. Costco appeals to customer more than the multiple child family. This means that in my shopping experience I have to listen to babies crying, little kids screaming, terrible white trash parents smacking their mullet wearing kids around. Every corner I turn their is like a fifty percent chance of me running into a breast feeding mother in a mumu. Costco is second only to Disneyland for being the worst child infested environment on earth. For shame on you MR as a zillionaire I am shocked at your patience and control of cuss words that it requires to enter such a business for even a minute.

  12. You’ve got to love a company that let’s you buy a TV in 1985 (we’re talking rotary dial, 8 channels here), use the hell out of it and then, when it stops working in the year 2005, lets you return the TV for full purchase price (which I put towards a new TV).

    That makes me happier than Courtney Love with 1 line gone and 2 to go.

  13. You don’t have to work there…Costco does a lot of illegal things, you don’t even want to know about.

  14. “Honestly, probably the only people that save at costco spend hundreds of dollars stocking up to feed the family of twelve for a month. Also, the costcos here are so packed all of the time that you can’t even maneuver your cart around without running over little kids…” – Bailes

    ehh….Isn’t this rather contradictory? I mean, how many families of 12 do you have in your town?
    I’m guessing Costco is a far different experience on the East Coast than those on the West. From Seattle to San Francisco, Costco is a welcome respite from the drudge of noisy, ignorant drifters found in most other stores. The membership fee seems to keep out the undesirables, as it were. True, not all products are a good deal; those I buy elsewhere. Where else can I kill an hour playing Crystal Castles on a full-size MAME machine (on display) while my wife browses among super-fresh produce and $100 bottles of wine? Few kids are ever around, so I can even take a snack break to raid the artichoke dip lady’s tray and not have to wait in line for the arcade.
    Sorry for the 3-year delay. I found your babbelog searching for the Costco Cinnabon muffin mix, and….yada yada.

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