You may think Costco is only good for bulk items and free samples. But you'd be surprised by the unique buys that are often showcased alongside that megapack of toilet paper. Sure, you might not be in the market for any of these unusual purchases right now, but you never know when you might need a new surfboard. Click through for a collection of unexpected items that you can find at Costco.
- The first promotional image from the soon-to-be-released Yves Saint Laurent biopic, Saint Laurent, starring Gaspard Ulliel, has been released. [Telegraph]
- J.Crew has launched an in-store styling app called Very Personal Stylist with tips and tricks to achieve that perfect Jenna Lyons look. [Refinery 29]
- Tiffany & Co. has filed a lawsuit with Costco, claiming that the wholesale retailer sold counterfeit rings under the Tiffany name for years. [Styleite]
- Kate Davidson Hudson and Stefania Allen, who left their respective positions of accessories director and senior accessories editor at Elle last year, have debuted Editorialist, a luxury accessories retail site. [WWD]
- After 33 years, Coach is getting a new CEO. Victor Luis will succeed the position Lew Frankfort has held starting January 2014. [Vogue UK]
- House of Holland has designed a four-piece capsule collection for eBay. All proceeds from the collaboration will benefit Cancer Research UK. [Vogue UK]
- Could Dauphine McKee be the next model to watch? The 17-year-old made her debut this season with more than 19 shows in New York, including Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. [Elle]
We're thrilled to present this smart LearnVest story here on Savvy!
Discount warehouses are your answer if you’re looking to stock up on hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party, get the latest electronics and buy a new futon for your living room all in one trip. Costco and Sam’s Club are the wholesale reigning kings, offering their members a convenient one-stop-shop for all of their big and small household needs. But the question is: Which store gives you more bang for your buck?
Product analysis website Cheapism recently did a side-by-side comparison of the two wholesale stores. Here’s a look at the breakdown of this heated face-off.
Membership Fees: Both stores offer tiered membership options with higher membership costs translating into perks such as discounts and cash back. Sam’s Club has a cheaper basic membership fee with more in-store benefits. Costco has a higher membership fee but includes services like car and home insurance as well as discounted travel. Costco’s top-tier Executive Membership offers refunds, which is a great deal for big shoppers.
We know now to stay clear of fresh produce at Costco and instead reach for the frozen products when shopping at the discount retailer. However, there are plenty of other items that are great deals at Costco. Here's what readers have to say:
- "I shop at Costco for a few things: shampoo/conditioner, tampons (seriously, 8 bucks for a box of 88?! Target is twice that for half the amount!), and liquor. At my Costco, you don't have to be a member to buy the booze, and it's super cheap!" — JanetG0307
- "Liquor is much cheaper at Costco! Same for dog food, toilet paper, and books!" — iamdaphneblake
- "Costco has cheaper bulk items and some excellent sales especially on toilet paper, paper towels, dvd's, beer, spices, etc. The best part is the coupons!" — Lmendel530
- "After going to Costco once, I did the math and figured out that my local grocery store has the same per unit price. Considering it's quite a drive to get to Costco I'm sticking with shopping at WinCo." — amber512
There's always this perception that you spend less at discount wholesalers than regular grocery stores. However, personal finance blog Squawkfox did a little price comparison investigation and found that it's actually more expensive to buy fresh foods at bulk stores. The blog advises to:
- Buy Fresh Produce at Your Local Store: "Costco’s fresh produce tends to be more expensive than Superstore, based on unit price. For example, Costco’s gala apples sell for $2.13/kg, while Superstore offers the deal at $1.28/kg. I also found Costco to be more pricey for fresh vegetables, chicken breasts, milk, cheese, and coffee."
- Get Frozen Foods From Bulk Shops: If you want your goods to last a little longer, you might want to purchase the frozen kind, which is cheaper in Costco. You'll be getting a bang for your buck; not only does the frozen food in the discount shop beat the local store in terms of price, but it also has higher quality.
- Purchase Packaged Goods at Wholesalers: Squawkfox pointed out another interesting tip for bulk shoppers: the more "packaged" an item (sold in cans, jars, and tubes), the cheaper it will be at shops like Costco. "Stocking up on canned tomatoes, mustard, ketchup, and sandwich bread could save you up to 50 percent over similar brand name products sold at regular supermarkets."
The discount wholesaler is known for its affordable prices, so customers always expect the best deal possible when they're shopping at Costco. I mean there's a reason why you go to Tiffany's to buy a ring, and there's a whole other reason why you would buy one from Costco, right? Costco recently announced the sale of this 6.77 carat diamond ring, which its gemologists have claimed to be internally flawless and colorless cut. The cut of the diamond is apparently excellent as well.
Although the diamond ring sounds perfect, let's see if it is the perfect deal as well. Take my quick quiz to find out how much the priciest diamond ring at Costco costs!
- Four Loko drunken blackouts are out; Four Loko-fueled cars are in. — Eater
- The latest promo from White Castle: Buy one breakfast slider, get one free. — Bargainist
- How to use a Boston shaker. — Huffington Post Food
- SoCal's beloved Umami Burger is going national. — Grub Street LA
- The 20 healthiest fast food options if you've gotta get your fix. — The Hungry Beast
- Knob Creek's come out with a new single-barrel reserve bourbon. — Slashfood
- Which type of wine lover are you? — Gray Market Report
- Betcha didn't know: Costco is the 15th largest pizza chain in the US. — Slice
"Our sign that we had in stores everywhere basically said it all — 'Until we can provide our members with these products at competitive prices and provide our members with value, we are not prepared to sell it,'" Costco CFO Richard Galanti said. "We're now going to sell it."
Considering Costco's market influence, I knew there would be a quick resolution, and I'm glad it has come in time for most of the month's holiday parties. Are you excited to hear that Coke will be back on Costco shelves?
Source: Flickr User paulswansen
The Washington-based wholesaler is currently in the middle of a dispute with the Coca-Cola Co. Although neither would comment on the matter further, the world's largest soft drink maker said that it was involved in "ongoing negotiations" with the store.
Considering Costco is the fifth largest general retailer in the United States, I'm predicting a resolution soon. But in the meantime, customers will simply have to shop elsewhere to get their Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Dasani, VitaminWater, Fresca, Minute Maid, and Odwalla fills (among others). Will you be forced to stock up on soft drinks elsewhere?
- Chinese noodles are a simple and delicious meal.— Cooking With Amy
- Costco is now accepting food stamps at two New York City locations. — Serious Eats
- A new movie, Fresh, puts the food industry into perspective. — Epicurious
- Should teens be taught more about alcohol? — Alcademics
- Don't miss this crazy video of the 2009 Cheese Roll. — Eat Me Daily
- Move over margarita, here's 10 other tequila cocktails to enjoy this Summer. — Chow
- The latest on the frozen yogurt front: the Pinkberry Fruit Parfait. — Eater
- Wouldn't you love to eat at this pork party for the ages? — The Feedbag