Newest Review: ... it's all positive from here on in. For me by far and away the best things to buy at Costco are meats and cakes. There's so much to choos... more
My favourite shop!
Member Name: rosaliecullen
Advantages: Good value for the quality, good selection of items
Costco is a wholesale outlet with many different branches dotted around the UK. It is also an international company and definitely exists in North America too. To go into Costco you have to be a member through a business so my friend owns a business and pays £25 per year for a membership card then he is allowed to get sub-cards for people who don't own businesses for £13 per year. I am one of the sub-card holders and pay £13 to go to Costco every year. It is well worth the money based on the savings you can make.
You must remember your membership card to (a) get into the shop and (b) pay for your goods. You can take one or two guests at a time and they are allowed to use your card to buy things with so if there are a group of you, it might be worth splitting the cost of the membership but be aware that the main card holder would always have to go due to the Photo ID you are issued with.
==What do they sell==
Costco mainly sell wholesale items and large packs of everything but there are individual items that you can also buy. They have a good range of brand new electricals such as TVs, iPods, cameras etc. They have a bulk range of stationery and office equipment, they stock baby wipes, nappies, health supplements, designer clothes, books, some DVDs, garden furniture, painting equipment and a small range of interior furniture. Then they stock food items some of which are in bulk like the crisps, herbs etc. but others are manageable sizes for families to purchase such as the bread which is in a pack of 2 loaves, chicken which has around 8-9 fillets in rather than the typical 3-4 in the supermarket. Fizzy drinks and frozen items come in bulk too such as chicken kievs in packs of 12 and then there is beer and wine which comes in bulk. So as you can see a wide variety of items.
The key with Costco is the stock is always changing, they may not have a huge range of furniture in, but you can almost guarantee if you go back a month later for the nest tables you saw, they won't be there. It is always best to buy it when you see it in Costco. I like that the stock changes regularly and it makes me want to go more often. There is also seasonal stock at Easter & Christmas and then summer items such as tents and BBQs.
==Savings and Quality==
OK it is hard not to go into Costco and spend £100 every time so be aware of how things can add up - a fairly expensive trolley is still an expensive one. One thing I will say is that I don't find Costco to be cheap but it is good value for the quality of item you are getting. I have never had anything from Costco that I have found to be poor quality or tasting horrible. I buy all of my meat from there in bulk and batch cook before freezing it. I can't even eat mince from anywhere else as it isn't a patch on the Costco mince, same goes for the Steaks, the quality of the meat is superior and I'm willing to pay slightly more than supermarkets for the improved quality and taste. Any furniture etc. I have bought has always been great quality and I've never been disappointed with any of it.
The other thing with Costco is the voucher booklet, every couple of weeks, the offers change and you might get £2 off a pack of chicken which makes it very good value, same with toilet rolls, coffee etc. If you have room to store the items in your house then in my opinion buying in bulk is the way forward.
Christmas is brilliant, lots of toys and lovely gifts for people, again not cheap as such but good value for the quality of the item. It is my favourite place to go Christmas shopping as there are so many unusual gifts in there which you don't see in other shops.
One other notable thing is you can only pay by debit card or cash which flummoxes me every time as I nearly always forget my debit card pin, no credit cards with the exception of American Express (I think!). There is also a photo lab which develops photos and makes invitations for you, that is fairly good quality for the price of the photos. There is also an opticians which I haven't used. The cafe is always worth a visit too, it may look tack-o-rama with the plastic seats and gaudy boards but the food is delicious and once again cheap as chips! Pizza and chicken bakes highly recommended (and the danish pastries!). Try and go with a friend who has a card for the first time to see if you like it or not but it is one of my favourite places to go to.
Summary: Love this shop