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Old 02-14-2015, 08:33 AM   #61
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Every shopping cart in the place was taken, and I had to follow somebody to their car to get a shopping cart. It was a madhouse inside, and the checklines looked huge. Despite this I timed it I was at the checkout stand in 7 minutes.
Although those huge carts in Costco can come in handy when you're buying cases of diapers or paper towels, they're also a marketing gimmick to get you to spend more. The average shopping cart size has increased over the last few decades because shoppers tend to fill up whatever space they have. If I'm planning on buying a few smaller things such as vitamin supplements, I deliberately shop without a cart.

DH and I charge everything (and pay in full at the end of the month). We've already got a Chase Sapphire Visa that pays a straight 1.5% in addition to the Fidelity Amex, so if they go to Visa we're set. If they choose MasterCard, well, we'll look for the best combination of cash back and signing bonus!
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:15 AM   #62
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I hit $70,000 on our Venture card :-(
Are you doing one of those deals where you buy Lower Slobovia savings bonds on the credit card, get the reward, and then redeem the bond in 6 months?
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:17 AM   #63
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The whole 'look the part' of being wealthy makes me laugh. Within about a year, one of Atlanta's most respected neurosurgeons moved in down the street from us. The houses or our neighborhood sell for about $240K whereas the new ones around us are from the 700's and up. He drives a Honda Accord that's an early 2000 model. I've run into him at the grocery store twice while out and about and I swear you'd think he was homeless with the clothes he wears. So I figure he's either the king of LBYM or owes someone a TON of money.
Maybe he's recently divorced and his ex wife performed some surgery on his bank account!?!?!
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:20 AM   #64
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Several years ago I heard that median household income for a Costco was almost 80K. So an average income of 100K certainly seems plausible. Almost everyone in Hawaii shops at Costco, rich or poor which is why we have the busiest store in the system.

Several years ago I read a study that grouped shoppers according to their incomes. The two groups were: 1. Costco/Nordstorm shoppers and 2. WalMart/Target shoppers.

Guess which group had the higher income?
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:27 AM   #65
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We've never joined Costco. BJs is more convenient, membership is cheaper, and our Mastercard gives a 2% rebate.

A few years ago, I spent several hours in the nearest Costco, comparing our usual "market basket" item-for-item with BJs. Costco had a greater selection of higher-end dry goods (jewelry, exercise equipment), and fresh seafood (our BJs only carries frozen fish). Other than that, the food selection and prices were identical to BJs. Plus - Some food items we like, which BJs doesn't carry, were also unavailable in Costco.

The Costco sells gas and the BJs doesn't, but we buy gas closer to home anyway - would not make sense to drive 30 miles round trip for gas.

Maryland doesn't allow alcoholic beverage sales in grocery stores, so I can't speak to that angle.

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Old 02-14-2015, 03:23 PM   #66
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Several years ago I read a study that grouped shoppers according to their incomes. The two groups were: 1. Costco/Nordstorm shoppers and 2. WalMart/Target shoppers.

Guess which group had the higher income?
I'll say WalMart/Target shoppers just because it's counterintuitive. And I'm pretty sure that LBYM-type people don't go into Nordstrom much.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:07 PM   #67
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I'll say WalMart/Target shoppers just because it's counterintuitive. And I'm pretty sure that LBYM-type people don't go into Nordstrom much.
Take a look at the sale section online at Nordstrom. I've gotten some great deals. I bought a long cashmere coat about 15 years ago that I still wear for about $200. They use to carry this thigh length winter jacket every year. I bought one for $60. and it's warm and light weight. Finally need a new one after 10 years and they no longer sell it.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:02 PM   #68
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I'll say WalMart/Target shoppers just because it's counterintuitive. And I'm pretty sure that LBYM-type people don't go into Nordstrom much.
We're Costco/Nordstrom. If we were on a starvation budget I'd be in the Wal-Mart camp but we're not and I trust Costco's quality control more than Wal-Mart and believe they treat their employees better. And no, I don't go into Nordstrom very often but I prefer one very good cashmere sweater (the one I'm wearing as I type this cost $250 about 25 years ago) to buying a new one for $9.99 in the latest color every year.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:02 PM   #69
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Are you doing one of those deals where you buy Lower Slobovia savings bonds on the credit card, get the reward, and then redeem the bond in 6 months?
That is a good idea

But no, $15K to $20k from just everyday purchases + utility/insur. payments via CC and the rest are bill of materials for constructing a homemade RV.

The 2% cashback gets nice when you get into the upper 5 digit area. Real money.
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Old 02-14-2015, 07:07 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Several years ago I read a study that grouped shoppers according to their incomes. The two groups were: 1. Costco/Nordstorm shoppers and 2. WalMart/Target shoppers.

Guess which group had the higher income?
Odd pairs, but Nordstrom/Costco customer incomes would be significantly higher, your question is meant to imply surprise? If you're saying the Walmart/Target customers have higher incomes, I'd like to see the study - I don't believe it for a minute.

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Target, whose shoppers' median household income is $60,000.

The median household income for shoppers at Wal-Mart's discount stores is anywhere from $42,000 to $45,000, estimates Craig R. Johnson, president of retail consultant Customer Growth Partners.
Rich spend, others scrimp, retail reports show | CNS News
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The average Nordstrom customer [not household], in contrast, earns $100,000 each year.
http://www.joshuakennon.com/a-look-a...-store-client/
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Costco shoppers [again, not household] have an average income of $85,000--not surprising, because Costco tends to locate itself in affluent suburbs.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ke-costco.html
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:48 PM   #71
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Odd pairs, but Nordstrom/Costco customer incomes would be significantly higher, the question implies suspense? If you're saying the Walmart/Target customers have higher incomes, I'd like to see the study - I don't believe it for a minute.
Me neither.

I think Costco shoppers are very quality conscious. They can afford the quality, so they prefer to buy it when it's good value. I don't trust Walmart that much although it can be the best option in some cases. We don't go to Target much at all - been marginal most times we've tried.

We really don't shop at fancy stores like Nordstroms.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:49 PM   #72
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I shop a lot at Costco and have favorite items that I buy at Target. Haven't spent any time at Nordstrom in years. That is not to imply that Nordstrom doesn't have excellent values, its just that I my nice stuff isn't getting a lot of use.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:42 PM   #73
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I shop a lot at Costco and have favorite items that I buy at Target. Haven't spent any time at Nordstrom in years. That is not to imply that Nordstrom doesn't have excellent values, its just that I my nice stuff isn't getting a lot of use.
This is me. Costco weekly for groceries. Target about once a month for misc. stuff. I haven't been inside a Nordstrom in years... ever since they eliminated the dress code at work and we could wear jeans/flip flops... Even less reason now that I'm retired. Nordstrom had high quality - but it's more formal than my lifestyle.
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:14 AM   #74
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I'll say WalMart/Target shoppers just because it's counterintuitive. And I'm pretty sure that LBYM-type people don't go into Nordstrom much.
Maybe, but.... we rarely buy clothes or other stuff, but when we do, we often get it from Nordstrom on sale and/or online and wear it til it melts away.

We rejoined Costco last spring after many years' absence to buy some patio furniture online there. Not sure if we will keep the membership; although we do like the store, we have a hard time using the quantities up.
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:41 AM   #75
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Maybe, but.... we rarely buy clothes or other stuff, but when we do, we often get it from Nordstrom on sale and/or online and wear it til it melts away.

We rejoined Costco last spring after many years' absence to buy some patio furniture online there. Not sure if we will keep the membership; although we do like the store, we have a hard time using the quantities up.
Just the toilet paper and paper towel prices pay for our yearly membership. I also have no problem using up the quantity of TP I buy at Costco.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:32 AM   #76
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Not sure if we will keep the membership; although we do like the store, we have a hard time using the quantities up.
Studies have shown that you're more likely to use lots of something if you have a large supply; with that in mind, I'm careful about buying only things we use in measured quantities such as vitamins and supplements (we use a lot of them) and things that won't go bad before we use them up. This year the membership has already paid for itself with DH's hearing aids; we'll be downsizing this year so I'm sure we'll be buying things for the new place once we get settled in. We'll have to look at the renewal question late this year and see if it still makes sense.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:37 PM   #77
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I just accompanied my wife to Costco so she could spend the AmEx reward worth near $300. Just recently, looking at my Quicken screen I realized that the Costco membership cost us $119. That's pretty steep, and I did not think that we would spend enough to get that much kickback, particularly in recent years when we shopped for groceries at Costco less and less due to being empty nesters.

My wife takes care of recurrent bills and card rewards, so I just let her choose what she said made sense for us. We still have another year to see what to do about the AmEx/Costco separation.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:04 PM   #78
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I just accompanied my wife to Costco so she could spend the AmEx reward worth near $300. Just recently, looking at my Quicken screen I realized that the Costco membership cost us $119. That's pretty steep, and I did not think that we would spend enough to get that much kickback, particularly in recent years when we shopped for groceries at Costco less and less due to being empty nesters.

My wife takes care of recurrent bills and card rewards, so I just let her choose what she said made sense for us. We still have another year to see what to do about the AmEx/Costco separation.
I always cash those in, including the Costco rebate. That way I get the rewards on the spending! They always ask if I want to apply the reward against my bill and I graciously decline.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:51 PM   #79
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A reward on the reward. We could have gotten a couple more bucks or whatever out of that rebate check. That's the right way to do it.

My wife did not spend all of it, and we did end up getting some cash back.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:05 PM   #80
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I just accompanied my wife to Costco so she could spend the AmEx reward worth near $300. Just recently, looking at my Quicken screen I realized that the Costco membership cost us $119. That's pretty steep, and I did not think that we would spend enough to get that much kickback, particularly in recent years when we shopped for groceries at Costco less and less due to being empty nesters............
$110 would be for the executive membership. If you don't get enough rebate to pay for the added cost of the exec membership from the additional 2% back that this level of membership gives you, Costco will refund the difference between the basic and executive level membership fee.

http://www.costco.com/join-costco.html
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