Start with The Costco Website: Big Box Stores Like Costco
First of all, big box stores like Costco entice you to sign in to their website with your Costco card number, although they say that is not a requirement. Most of the prices on the website have discounts. So, that would place most of them on sale or to appear on sale.
There are “member only” items that entice you to click through and check out the price. Non-members online may be assessed a surcharge, and executive members may receive a credit for a 2% rebate.
Costco mails out a coupon booklet to card-carrying members monthly. On coupon day many shoppers are seen around the store with coupon booklets in hand, after a mailing. The coupon booklet is not needed to get an in-store discount, but it makes it easier to identify the month’s Costco bargains. This draws shoppers to the store and to buy. The coupons are a powerful draw for the coupon addicted.
Discounted Items That Have a Purchase Limit
Many of Costco’s discounted items have a limited number of items you can purchase. The limit gives you the psychological mindset that there must be a lot of value in this item, so it makes your mind think you must buy to the limit, so you can get your share.
Because of this process, you end up buying more than you normally would in a regular grocer to make sure your mind knows it’s not missing out on a huge deal.
Pre-Packaged Big Food at Costco
Food is packaged in 2’s, 3’s or 4’s. Most people don’t buy 3 or 4 of each item they need when they go to the regular grocery store, but in Costco, they force multi-packaged items on you since the items are taped together in multiple numbers.
Because items are pre-packaged in multiples, we don’t even think to comparison shop the price, we just assume it is less than if you purchased it alone.
Costco Loves Sample Tasting
Sometimes on busy days, there are tasting stations. Most of the tasting is for pre-made food items, sauces, or frozen goods. After tasting items, many people automatically walk over and buy that item. I have tasted items, purchased them, and didn’t even use them after I got home due to allergies.
Product Placement as You Walk Costco Ailes
Upon entering the store the first merchandise that grabs the eye is some must-have seasonal products on the left, then the cameras, televisions, and computers on the right, and the expensive jewelry practically hits you in the face. Then before you get to the groceries, it continues to force you to look at clothes on the left, and other must-have but not-needed items.
Then you pass the attractive wine racks and beautifully appointed bakery goods. Finally, you get to the quadruple packaged meats, tripled packaged deli products, and then cheeses and fruit. It goes on and on, smartly placed to make your mind tell you to buy, buy, buy.
Containers and Packaging
In addition to the multi-packs of items in many of the big box stores like Costco, you will see a lot of large containers of items. This forces you to buy more than an average person would, and most shoppers will also settle on stocking more than normal because they have more
. This is great for large families, but it also keeps busy people from making frequent shopping trips so in that sense it is great for everyone. Calculate the price per unit on each item to comparison shop at other stores, so the actual value reflected in the packaging is reflected in the price.
The Dress of the Employees
Lastly, most of the employees wear jeans and t-shirts. This gives you the feeling that you are in a super-discounted place because even the employees dress down. No uniforms and no company logos on t-shirts.
The No-Frills Warehouse Design
The no-frills warehouse design gives you a feeling of plain, simple, and inexpensive overhead that will be passed on to you the customer. When you get to the counter the no-frills feeling is continued with the recycling of boxes the Costco merchandise comes in, these boxes are reused to hold your groceries and other items.
With items 1-9 above, you now know what the process is to save money at big box stores like Costco. Go to the website first and establish what you need, then make a list, write down the price of each item and stick to your list with your new-found Costco shopping awareness.
Note how long each of the items will last you so you know when you need to shop again and how much you will spend in a one-month or two-month period. Costco warehouse can be a great way to save money if you have what I call “Costco Awareness”.
Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
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