A Costco experience

My granddaughter Cameron and did the Costco experience yesterday. I call it an “experience” because we both were captivated by the sights and sounds of this warehouse store.

How could you not be? Within seconds of walking in, row after row of enormous TVs with amazing pictures caught our eye. Then we walked by a cooler full of NY strip steaks for $7.99 per pound. It was hard to ignore the giant fans slowly turning on the ceiling. Until we rounded the corner and saw the Christmas trees! We were both mesmerized by the 10 foot lighted trees that alternated from white to colored lights. Until we saw the baby Jesus in the middle of a giant nativity smack dab in the center of Costco.

I lost count of how many times I said, “Whoa!” as we rounded a corner and saw yet another bigger than life offering:

  • Like a bin containing hundreds of pumpkins, all bigger than my granddaughter.
  • Containers of cheese balls larger than my granddaughter.
  • A display of roses in every color of the rainbow.
  • A package of refills for an Oral-B electric toothbrush that would last me the rest of my life.
  • Trays of pomegranets, which reminded me of my trip to Israel, where mountains of pomegranets were everywhere. There were much more expensive, though, far away from their home.
  • Bags and bags and bags of chips made from all kinds of root veggies, everything but potatoes. We got a couple for Gigi! But we passed on the tub of Beetroot powder, which may be good for you, but will never find a place in our shopping cart!
  • And people. So many people. We got there at 10 am when the store opened. Fifteen minutes later, the store was packed. At least half a dozen people came up to Cameron and commented on how cute she was. And she ate it up. She is a people- and a Costco- person!

Some high ticket items at…Costco?

Clearly a power shopper

Not quite a power shopper

You don’t really know you need anything at Costco until you get there. Once you begin wandering the aisles, you suddenly realize you need socks, razors, many, many rolls of paper towels, croissants, berries and coffee pods.

And maybe even jewelry. Until yesterday’s trip, I had never thought to browse the jewelry counter at Costco. But on our way towards the registers, we stopped just to see what they had. I was impressed. An $8,000 watch. A $44,000 diamond ring in a platinum setting. Wow. Really? At Costco?

Would anyone really drop that much money on an item at Costco? Would anyone with that kind of money really be shopping at Costco in the first place? My gut reaction is, “Of course not.” But then again, would they really carry inventory that never sold?

There must be something psychological going on here. Maybe a $25,000 ring looks like a bargain when sitting next to one that costs twice as much. Maybe the $800 watch feels more affordable when next to one you never could afford. Maybe there are just there to make you laugh as you walk away with the $1,000 ring. A sale is a sale, right?

The power shoppers at Costco all push wagons stacked with so much stuff they cannot possible see where they are going. Better get out of the way. The real Costco members buy 30 rolls of paper towels at a time, stock up on twice that much toilet paper, fill their pantry with fifty pound bags of rice, and delight in checking out with a sofa-in-a-box.

I guess I have a lot to learn about discount warehouse shopping.