Hating On Costco

Posted: April 17, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , ,

What? WHAT? Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. I am launching smoothly into my hatred mode and who’s the latest victim? Costco. Why? My wife gave me the perfect reason why when we were shopping there the other day:

Me:                        Do we need to go down this aisle?
Mrs. Me:             Yes, there might be something we need….

That’s right….something, anything. Something like THIS?????:


Or THIS?????


Although I WILL admit that I’m a huge fan of the teeny tiny caskets like this. However, with the recent weight I’ve gained I don’t think you could fold me up small enough to fit in one of those. In fact, I don’t think you can fold a body more than four times. Go ahead – try it and post the pictures.

So does the fact that caskets and kayaks can be bought at Costco deserve my hatred? A solid ‘NO’ is answered thusly to that question. Instead, let’s look at the various OTHER reasons Costco deserves my hatred….a veritable virtual tour of vitriol spawned by the Costco empire.

Pull into the parking lot. It’s a zoo. Of course it’s raining hard, so no one can see anything and everyone is flying around all willy-nilly looking for a spot – which of course is impossibly hard to find. I swear to you, EVERY time we go to Costco its pouring rain. That should tell me something right there.

We dutifully flash our plastic at the non-caring person at the front – proving that we were stupid enough to spend $50 on a membership there. I’m not sure if this is supposed to feel like entitlement that we are allowed in, or if it’s how a prison operates as well – I’m going with the latter. Immediately upon entry I must veer my Volkswagen-sized shopping cart down a random aisle to avoid the hordes of people rushing in behind me. I try to get back in the flow of the aisle and literally have to wait for a sea of empty shopping carts to fly by – all in search of the elusive kayaks I presume. Finally, an opening – and we make our way into the store like salmons swimming upstream to spawn.

One of the main problems with Costco is that everyone feels that everything is cheaper there. I can’t tell you how many times Mrs. Me said, “Oh, we need to get <insert food here> because it’s cheaper here” with absolutely no basis in fact. But it’s not just the food that gets me – it’s the random objects that people see and feel they have to buy. The 5 foot by 7 foot “painting” of a flower. The kayaks. And on this trip? The hibiscus.


I admit that I had no idea what a hibiscus is/was/does, but my wife must have said she wanted one 10 times during our trip. For what? To look like Flippy McFlipFlops with his hibiscus tree growing out of the cart? As an aside, I can tell you that Flippy also had a VERY fashionable man-bag that he was sporting. Black and leather. Yep.

On to the checkout:


By the way, of course you don’t get bags for all of your stuff – you get random sized boxes that are supposed to fit two items in it. Tip: If you are selling stuff you can’t put in a bag – you are selling too much big stuff. Just settle down. They don’t even GIVE you boxes – you have to actually go to a big pile of THEIR TRASH and find your own boxes – we had to push Flippy McFlipFlops out of the way when we caught sight of the elusive empty apple box.

It’s time to leave the store. But oh no. At Costco you can’t leave randomly like a normal store. You have to be checked out just like you were checked in. You get an 18-year old pimply face boy give your cart the once over and compare to the receipt – except there are 483 items in the cart. So there’s no way he’s doing anything but just slowing your way out into the parking lot. The proof that you paid for stuff?


Proof if I’ve ever seen it.

We’re finally out. Out to the entrance where someone is trying to back their hatchback INTO THE STORE to get out of the rain. We were almost killed. We smoothly sidestep the Lexus bumper and make our way out to our car in the pouring rain that’s parked 2.3 miles away. As soon as we hit the trunk switch we’re swarmed by 3 other cars coming from all directions trying to get our parking space. We dutifully lift each one of our now-soaking boxes into the trunk, which of course are now falling apart from the rain so that we have to manually carry every pork butt, every sausage roll, and every 10 gallon vat of laundry detergent one item at a time.

Leaving the parking lot, we can’t go the way we wanted to because of:


That’s right – people will wait 15 minutes in line at the Costco gas station because their gas is literally 5 cents a gallon cheaper than the station around the corner. Once again, people think that they’re getting a great deal because they paid their $50 membership.

I’m sure I’ll get hatred for this blog – because people seem to love Costco. They love buying their hot tubs there (when they just went for the double loaf of bread) and they love idling their cars wasting the 5 cents a gallon they’re saving by waiting in line.

The only bright spot of Costco? Best $1.50 hot dog/drink in the free world. Of course, you have to wait 15 minutes in line for that hot dog behind Flippy McFlipFlops.

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    That sounds horrible. Even worse than Walmart if that’s possible. I’ve never been in a Costco, and based on what you’ve described, this introvert never will be. I’ll stick to Target, even though I end up buying far more things there than I’d intended to. Like this morning…


  2. writerinsoul says:

    Very entertaining! I went a few times with a friend who had a membership. The atmosphere was like a bus or subway terminal – chaotic, oddly lit, noisy, and cavernous. Checking out reminded me of the way cars funnel into toll booths, en masse and jockeying for position. Nobody (else) seemed to mind any of this. I asked my friend if he ever sat down and calculated the *real* prices by factoring in the membership (no). I was flummoxed that so many people – clearly not flush – were and are willing to pay for the experience.


    • Thanks for stopping by. You’ve got it exactly right when you said that nobody else seemed to mind. It’s like they were in one of those brain-washing movies where you just accept it. Not I!

      And by the way, brilliant use of the word ‘flummoxed’. I’m envious.


  3. prettytrippy says:

    I actually LOVE Costco, but I see the frustration. Ha. Mostly, I appreciate their business plan and the efficient way they run their stores. The best part is the properly priced food. And the fro-yo. Amaze.


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