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Why I quit shopping at Costco…

{sigh} This is sad…because I love shopping at Costco. It’s like visiting a Renaissance fair: vast quantities of food, jeans that actually fit, doodads, gizmos, and endless bottles of cheap wine.
And I do understand that Costco, for whatever reasons suit its business plan, needs to limit its customers to “members.” So no, I don’t mind carrying a Costco card around and flashing it at the door and again at check-out.
But the new demand that we ALSO flash our driver’s license when paying up? Uhhh nope. Sorry, Costco. That’s a yard past the edge of the pale. You already have my ID in the form of a Costco card bearing my photo. Enough’s enough.
I carry my driver’s license hidden in my car. This is because I have exactly ZERO desire to tote a purse around with me, and most women’s clothing does not accommodate bulky wallets and such. When I go into Costco, all I take with me is an endless shopping list, a credit card, and my Costco card. I do not carry these in a wallet; I do not tote them in a purse.That’s why jeans have pockets, after all.
I simply loathe having to carry a purse.
So, I don’t: I minimize the amount of junk I have to carry, and once you’re down to a couple of cards and your keys, you can fit all you need into your pockets. Even when you’re wearing women’s clothing.
But add ANOTHER nuisance card, and then I’ll have to haul the stuff around in a bag or a wallet. And ya know what, dear Costco bosses? I ain’t a-gunna. First I’m not going to risk losing my driver’s license as I tote it around your store, and second, I really don’t enjoy putting myself at risk of theft by prancing across a parking lot with a purse dangling from my shoulder.
Just now I’m on the way out the door to buy a bunch of Costco-esque items…dishwasher detergent, Q-tips, doggy stuff, this and that. If I were going to Costco, I would as usual succumb to Impulse Buy Mania and no doubt buy a bunch of stuff I don’t need. Instead, I’m gonna buy all that at Walmart.
On one level, it’s annoying. I love to shop at Costco — it’s like a medieval fair, a riot of impulse buys. On another, more practical level, though, it’s a GOOD thing. Because…
* Shopping at the nearby Walmart saves gas. Costco shut down the centrally located store a few minutes from my house. To get to the nearest outlet, now I have to traipse across the city, risking my life, diddling away gasoline, and feeling annoyed by the time I get to the store.
* It saves money. I don’t much enjoy the Walmart: it’s in a shady neighborhood, so trudging across the parking lot feels unsafe. Nor do I enjoy the Albertson’s and the Safeway in my parts: the two stores practically clone each other; they tend to be overpriced, and they’re boooooring places to shop. As a result. I tend to get in there and out as fast as I can, and not dawdle over the impulse buys. That is: I buy only what I need when I go in there, and THAT’S IT.
* Costco offers a wide variety of middle-class goods, which has a drawback: It’s an impulse-buy carnival! Every time I go in there, I come out with something I didn’t plan to buy. By contrast, the Sprouts in my neighborhood is all very nice, but a little too environmentally, socially, and health-wise “correct.” The goody-two-shoes tendency limits one’s choices, even though it also leads the store to offer some things you can’t get anywhere else. Albertson’s & Safeway are booooring: nothing to see there, so you tend to stick to your shopping list. And that, over time, saves a whole lot of money.
So I guess I should say “Thanks, Costco, for unwisely driving a customer away: it’s saving me a lot of time and money.” But I’m still gonna miss it.

4 thoughts on “Why I quit shopping at Costco…”

    • EGG-ZACKLY! What is the point of jumping us through the annual annoying photo-snapping hoop and making us show our card to get in the door and then making us show it again to pay at the cash register, if they’re going to demand that we haul out ANOTHER Big-Brotherish ID card?

      Got everything I needed at the neighborhood Walmart this afternoon. No hassle. No long drive. Why, really, should I traipse across the city to Costco AND subject myself to a hoop-jump going in the door and another hoop-jump coming out? And why should I pay an annual fee for the privilege?

  1. I live in the San Diego area and for self-serve checkout, they were checking to see if you matched the picture on your card. I was expecting that because I had read that Costco had a problem with people sharing membership cards. The next time we went, they weren’t checking.

    In the past I had heard that Costco made a lot of their profits from the membership fee.

    You could always order online. I’ve had good experiences with that. I order my eye drops every three months. The money I save pays most of my membership.
    But I’m lucky, my Costco is only 5 minutes away. So we buy gas there also, usually saving a fortune and that’s besides getting rebate money.

    • Checking to see that you match the picture on your Costco card is fine. That’s different from demanding that you tote a Costco card AND carry a driver’s license into the store, too. If you have a Costco card with your photo, what is the point of presenting ANOTHER card with ANOTHER PHOTO of you?

      We used to have a Costco within about a 5- or 10-minute drive. It was in a ghost mall — most of the other stores in the mall had closed. The park right south of the mall was habituated by homeless folk, who were given to panhandling in the parking lot. So yeah: I can see why they closed it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s extremely inconvenient to half to drive halfway to Flagstaff or halfway to Globe to shop at Costco.

      I also bought all my gas and propane at Costco. But y’know…it costs something in gas to drive halfway to Flag or halfway to Globe. There are three gas stations in the vicinity of ‘Hood, two of them QTs, which do not overcharge by any means. So, Costco lost me as a gas customer.

      They’re pretty much lost me as a grocery and sundries customer, just because the north and the east suburbs are a long drive…why schlep way across the city when I can buy most of what I want near the house, and what I can’t get, I can order on Amazon?

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