Quietly smiling, whilst resisting the urge to fist pump, I clutched this piece of plastic in my hand. Now believe me when I say, to finally receive this card was somewhat of an achievement. This was my third visit out to the Northlakes store after having paid the $60 annual membership fee six weeks earlier.
The American store opened around the end of May in Northlakes. I had deliberately delayed joining by a few weeks, anticipating that most people would be keen to go in first. This I did pick right hearing of ridiculously long waits to pick up your piece of allocated plastic. The first two visits we didn’t even enter further than the carpatk. Long lines of waiting customers outside, saw us drive on through and head off again.
Today, I fooled the system. Picking a weekday as opposed to a weekend, taking a day off work whilst timing my arrival to twenty minutes before the 10am opening. This time there were only about fifty customer cars, tripling by the time the store opened.
In amongst the confusion of a sea of hardened Costco devotees pushing massive trolleys, we were informed by one staff member, that the new memberships area hadn’t opened for the day. A line of people without trolleys, were streaming in through the Exit door. After consultation with another staff member, we were told to go through the exit door to collect that elusive plastic card.
At 10.20am I was finally able to push one of the huge trolleys and barrel through the entry door, waving my new plastic card, embossed with my mug shot on the back, at the door entry staff. Finally now I could see for myself what this place was really about. Some had raved about it, more had said it was ok but nothing spectacular.
Today it was my chance to cast a critical eye over the workings of Costco.
In all fairness, after the disarray at the entry, I was now met with wide aisles, surrounded by lanes of warehouse shelving, housing everything you can think of. One point I did notice, particularly through the car area, yes you can buy floor mats, cleaning supplies and more, but there is only one or maybe two choices of each line.
2.4 kilos of cake for $22. This was around three to four times the size of a supermarket cake which would cost about $15. Impressive. I would say if you are hosting a party or catering for an event, there are some serious savings to be made with the bulk buying here. Asian foods, a New Zealand section, options abound.
The seafood will hopefully taste as good as it looks! I was pleased to find a good variety of seafood. Oysters, lobster tails, bags of mussels, scallops, fresh and frozen.
For the most part, fruit, veges and meat were not really any cheaper than my usual meat and vege market. If though, you are, like myself, a bulk buyer, then you will most definitely pick up some good buys in the grocery lines.
There’s an amazing variety here, you can order new spectacles, a set of tyres for the car, a sparkling spa pool, kitchen appliances. Or maybe pick up one these rings priced at over $100 000. Yes that is the correct number of zeros. There’s one here that’s a cool half a million.
Certainly the variety here is impressive. This includes range of lines as well as price. I will shop here, probably around three or four times a year. If you’re not sure about joining, find someone who has a card and take a visit with them. Each cardholder is allowed one non card holder to enter the store with them. Depending on your shopping requirements, you may find this store worthwhile to you. My tip would be to pick a quieter time to visit.