Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Costco Effect

A few months ago, I had mentioned in my post about "25 Ways I Save Money" that I saved by buying in bulk at Costco.  A couple of weeks later, I wrote a "retraction" saying that I end up not saving money when I go to Costco because I end up buying stuff I didn't originally intend to buy.  I thought it was interesting that in this Sunday's New York Times, Julie Bick wrote about this, dubbing it the Costco effect.

In the article, she quotes Joel Benoliel, a senior VP at Costco:

We try to have hundreds of items that are different each time a customer comes to the warehouse, to create a treasure-hunt atmosphere.  We’ll always have the same staples — the cereal, the detergent — and then we add in the ‘wow’ items.

She also cites a typical shopper who says that he goes every month or two to get household supplies and while there, usually ends up throwing in some books, DVDs, and baked goods.  Looks like I'm not alone in being tempted by all the goodies at Costco.


Frugal Duchess said...

That was a great article in the NYT! I was also going to post about it.
I have a friend who goes to Costco a lot. When she sticks to her game plan and her shopping list (mostly nonperishables and paper goods), she does well.

But then there's the slippery slope of cool stuff: all kinds of "gifts" and books and trinkets and electronics. The list goes on and on....

SingleGuyMoney said...

I just went there today. I was planning on buying detergent and clorox and I came out with over $200 worth of stuff. I thought it was just me that always ended up with more stuff.