US discounting giant Costco has opened in Melbourne and while some prices on IT and electronics are good, there isn't the deep US equivalent pricing some may have hoped for.
Costco, the giant US shopping club, has finally come to Australia. In the weeks leading up to its opening, some people (on Whirlpool and other sites) were anticipating it might revolutionise retail in Australia and bring US style discounts to food and household items.
Let’s not worry about packs of 48 toilet rolls or sacks of cat food that would keep puss well fed for all nine lives, rather lets look at stuff that really matters; cheap computers, home theatre systems and electronics!
Unlike Costco USA where prices are displayed on the web (http://tinyurl.com/5g3th9
) for all to see, Costco Australia’s website (www.costco.com.au
) is rather sparse with no details of products or pricing. This makes it very hard for someone who is not a member to firstly find out what products are available and secondly to see if prices really are cheap enough to bother paying the membership fee in order to actually get into the Costco warehouse.
Thankfully we have the Internet and thanks to a post on www.buckscoop.com.au
we have an indication of what’s inside the Melbourne Costco warehouse. Now to be fair our intrepid APC reporter has not actually been inside Costco to write down pricing but then again neither has he heard of anyone buying electronics at USA equivalent pricing.
In fact if you look at the information on the actual post at http://tinyurl.com/lfgmer
you will see that prices for electronics while lower than RRP are not that much to get excited about. For example, a Canon 450D dual lens kit at is quoted at $1249.99 which is quite a discount compared to the RRP of $1599 (on the Canon Australia website). However if you truly in the market for one of these things you would no doubt search the web and visit sites such as shopbot.com.au or myshopping.com.au where you may find the item cheaper. Of course if you were to go into your local Harvey Norman, Bing Lee or Good Guys and really haggle you would probably be able to better still.
Costco, unlike Aldi, does sell high quality brand name televisions from Sony and Samsung. However, the prices, while good, are probably not that much better than what you can get from a big name whitegoods retailer with a some negotiation and playing one store against another. The Costco ticket price for a Sony Bravia 40” KDL40W5500 full HD television is claimed to be $2099.99 ($2,100) which is around $500 below RRP. This represents a reasonable saving compared to even some of the better prices on the web but chances are the other retailers will match or better the pricing as almost no-one charges RRP for televisions.
The big advantage of Costco is that you don’t need to haggle which may be a big plus for some. On the other hand, even if you live in Melbourne to go to Costco you need to drive to Docklands (which is the equivalent of Sydney’s Darling Harbour – close to the city but hard to get to), park, pay your $60 membership fee and wait at the checkouts for (some people claim) up to 2 hours.
We will wait to see what happens but at this stage we doubt that JB Hifi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and Retravision will be shaking in their shoes just yet.