For many people, it makes sense to join a warehouse club. You pay Costco (NASDAQ:COST) $60 (or $120 for an Executive membership that comes with cashback opportunities) and you save money on a wide assortment of goods by buying in bulk at low-margin rates. In most cases, that's a deal people are willing to make.

It's not, however, a deal that works for everyone. Before you join Costco, you should consider the pros and cons. Signing up makes sense for many people, but for some, it's a bad deal and a waste of money.

The exterior of a Costco

Joining Costco is not the right move for everyone. Image source: Costco.

Join: You are good at planning

Buying in bulk requires planning. In many cases, the perishable things you purchase will go bad at some point. That means you need a plan to use them before they expire.

You may save a significant amount of money buying cereal, for example, in a two-pack of extra-large boxes. That's only a good deal if you eat what you buy before it goes stale.

Don't join: You have limited space

Buying a year's worth of Tylenol and bulk coffee pods requires someplace to put those purchases. If you don't have space to easily store what you buy, a warehouse club may not be right for you.

Join: You can resist temptation

Costco offers a changing array of merchandise. That can be great when the chain gets winter coats in right when you realize you need to buy one.

But it can be a disaster for someone incapable of resisting temptation. Yes, that 8-foot tall teddy bear is being offered at a great price, but what exactly will you do with it? If you're able to resist dumb purchases, then joining may make sense for you.

Don't join: You like specific brands

Warehouse clubs have limited selections. There may be a great deal on toothpaste, but only on one brand. If you're very particular about which brand you buy, then Costco may not be a great fit for you.

Join: You enjoy the hunt

Costco offers a treasure hunt shopping experience. The merchandise selection turns over often, so you never know what you will find. This can be a negative if you tend to buy things you don't need.

If, however, you have discipline, this can be one of the best things about being a member. You may visit the chain with no intention of buying a kayak, but when you see one on sale you snap it up because you had planned to purchase one and jumped at the opportunity to save a few dollars.

Know yourself

The key to making a Costco membership work is actually going to the chain to shop. Is the closest warehouse conveniently located? Will you go regularly?

Joining the warehouse club chain is a lot like joining a gym. It's not enough just to join. You have to actually visit the club to make it worthwhile.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.