The Best and Worst Things About Costco, According to Members

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

KEY POINTS

  • Members appear to appreciate Costco's dedication to quality, the way it treats its employees, and how well it works with suppliers.
  • Failing to shop around before shopping at Costco can lead to overpaying.
  • Parking problems have also been an issue at Costco stores. 


Reddit users are not afraid to let their hair down or opinions fly.

You gotta love Reddit users. Those folks do not hold back. And truly, if you want an honest opinion, Reddit is not a bad place to visit. We were curious about what Reddit users like and do not like about Costco. Here's what we learned.

A question posed

A user called frugal/r asked members to explain why they shop at Costco. According to frugal/r the Costco store near their home in Northern Texas is "always packed and jammed," while their local Sam's Club is half empty. The original poster says Costco is more expensive than Sam's and gas isn't any cheaper. In the poster's mind, it doesn't make sense to choose one store over another unless it's leaving money in the bank. They ended their post by asking, "What am I missing?" 

Quality

A large number of responses had to do with the quality of Costco products. One poster wrote, "Costco has a reputation for quality that Walmart/Sam's Club does not. My husband used to work in food manufacturing and saw first-hand how strict they are on quality when products coming out of his plant were being vetted by Costco. Said he was surprised and impressed with how high their standards were."

According to Material_Swimmer2584, "Costco uses cash to buy quality stuff and then sell it to you." The poster explained that most stores rent shelves to third parties which contributes to higher prices and de-prioritizes quality. 

In response to the original poster's comment about Sam's Club being cheaper than Costco, Pristine Force 28 offered this explanation: "Sam’s had the cheapest ketchup possible. Costco has the cheapest Heinz ketchup possible. There's a difference.”

Work conditions

A surprising number of respondents mentioned the reputation Costco has for paying and treating its employees well. 

hobbitlover summed up the importance of shopping where employees are a priority: "I feel that anyone who is frugal does have to take into account the way that companies treat - and compensate - their employees, and whether they are unionized. Joining the race to the bottom by supporting the cheapest option regardless of where and how it's made, or how people are paid, just makes us all poorer in the long run."

Relationship with suppliers

A user with the handle Sudowudoo2 wrote that they appreciate the way Costco works with suppliers to offer products you can't get anywhere else. Because they're able to "cut some of the bloat," Costco can sell products with desirable features at a lower price than other retailers. 

LadyDriverKW wrote, "As a trucker I used to deliver a seasonal item (a holiday basket) to Costco and I second the quality expectations. Securing an order from Costco was a big deal. The company took extra pains throughout the whole process (including hiring us, we were utterly reliable, but not cheap) to ensure that the Costco order was as close to perfect as possible."

To that, LadyDriverKW added, "My memory is a little hazy at this point, but my impression was that Costco paid fairly and was a dream customer as far as communication and organization went. They even paid promptly without fuss, a rarity among large companies who frequently like to pay on day 28 (of a net 30) so they can collect the extra fractions of a penny in interest."

So, there you have it. Costco members say they've chosen the big-box retailer for its quality goods at a low price, treatment of employees, and relationship with suppliers. 

On the other hand

Not every Costco member is thrilled with the experience. For example, r/Wellthatsucks wrote that they went to Costco specially to purchase a low-price rotisserie chicken for the weekend, "but this lady beat everyone to it." Attached was a photo of another Costco shopper, her basket full to the brim with 30 or more freshly cooked rotisserie chickens. 

What the original poster experienced is a downside of shopping at a store that sometimes sells an item at a loss. Someone else is likely to come in and clean the shelves of that item. 

Here are some of the other things people aren't wild about at Costco.

You aren't saving money

unpopularopinion shared that they have a couple of friends who've "drunk the Costco Kool Aid," raving about how much they save on groceries. unpopularopinion takes exception to the idea that people save money by shopping at Costco, pointing out that money is wasted by picking up a t-shirt or other unnecessary items. 

The poster wrote, "Costco carries many great products, but would you have bought those lawn chairs or giant toy set had you not been perusing the aisles? Doubt it." 

Shoppers may pay more

One Costco customer just spent $2,000 on a computer system and is now worried that they overpaid. Evidently, the poster did not shop around before picking the system up at Costco. And that is a legitimate risk. Automatically assuming Costco offers the lowest price on any product is a mistake. 

Parking issues

On a busy shopping day, it can be tough to find a parking spot at some Costco locations. One particularly grumpy Costco shopper complained about cars slowly following them through the parking lot as they pushed their basket full of products to their car. It appears that the grumpy poster does not appreciate other shoppers who would very much like their parking space once it's vacated. 

The poster, using the apt handle of pettyrevenge, wrote, "I lead followers to my car. Unload my groceries into the back of my vehicle. Then being a responsible person, I return my cart to the corral. As they wait for me to return, I duck in between cars and 'Vanish.' Sneak all the way behind parked cars back to the food court and enjoy a hotdog and a soda."

Now, that's just unnecessarily cruel. 

Like Reddit users, Costco members have strong opinions about which items they always purchase and which products they would never purchase. In any case, they certainly are a passionate bunch.

Our picks for 2024's best credit cards

Our experts carefully review the most popular offers and select those that are worthy of a spot in your wallet. These standout cards come with fantastic benefits like generous sign-up bonuses, long 0% intro APR periods, and robust rewards.

Click here to learn more about our recommended credit cards

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow