Just because journalists keep repeating the lie that bricks-and-mortar establishments cannot compete against Amazon, it doesn’t mean that it’s true.
Costco sells this memory foam pillow for $24.79.
Scanning the bar code with the Amazon iOS app brings up the same item selling for $39.99 + $3.99 shipping. Not even close.
Needless to say, I did not buy the pillow through Amazon.
Amazon started off as a bookstore, so it must offer the lowest prices on books, right? After all, that’s the reason why independent bookstores cannot compete with the online goliath.
By no means is Costco a bookstore. At best, it offers a rotating stock of selected books all in one convenient aisle. However, since I’m in Costco on a weekly basis, I do browse and see what books Costco has for sale on occasion. Bookstores? Not so much.
So, Costco is selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days for $7.99.
Target is selling the same book for $9.99, or 25% more!! So much for being a discount retailer.
Amazon sells Dog Days for $10.39, which “saves” you 26% off the list price. But that is 4% more than Target and 30% more than Costco.
A while back, there was some controversy over Amazon’s price check promotion. The assumption in all the complaints is that Amazon offers the lowest prices and that bricks and mortar stores simply cannot compete. That is not true.
Lately, the weather has been blazingly hot. So, I was thinking ice cream during a recent visit to Costco.
Costco was selling the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker for $39.99.
Using the Amazon iOS app, I scanned the bar code and came up with this:
Costco beats Amazon by almost 30%!
Next item, which must be a Cinco de Mayo special: Casa Maria Natural Stone Mortar & Pestle.
$14.99 from Costco.
From Amazon, it was $45.87 + Free Shipping. This stone mortar and pestle is heavy. So, shipping must cost the retailer a small fortune. When I searched for the same item again today by scanning the bar code, Amazon returned a price of $32.89 + $12.99 Shipping (or $45.88).
The lesson is don’t buy into the myth that Amazon always offers the lowest prices. For large bulky or heavy objects, this is particularly true. What Amazon does offer is convenience. You don’t have to drive around town to find a specific item that a bricks and mortar store may not have in stock.
Spring has arrived. I know because Costco has been selling soil, compost tumblers, tomato plants and other gardening supplies lately. I’ve been thinking about the Lifetime Dual Composter Model #60072, which Costco sells for $149.99. Amazon sells the Lifetime 60072 Dual Compost Tumbler for $230.49. I guess the 81 pounds in shipping weight skews the economics of purchasing from Amazon.
Since my initial Nikon D600 sighting at Costco, the manufacturer’s instant rebate had increased $100 to $400. The final price for the D600 kit is now $2,889.99.
Are full-frame DSLRs going mainstream? I spotted the new Nikon D600 at Costco, perhaps just in time for some Christmas shopping. For $2,989.99, the D600 package includes the camera along with two lenses: 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR and 70-300mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED.
The package also includes a Nikon DSLR/Tablet Computer Shoulder Bag, a WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter, and a 32GB SD Memory Card.
The Anji Mountain Bamboo Chair Mat from Costco is my latest attempt at protecting the hardwood floor from the office chair.
The first experiment involved a carpet runner that slid around and wasn’t quite large enough. After the first experiment failed, I tried a plastic floor mat. The shelf liner kept the plastic floor mat anchored in place. But dirt would get trapped under the mat, and the plastic floor would move around just enough that its abrasive presence would be noticed.
I’m hoping the felt-backed bamboo floor mat is the answer. No Amazon Prime when ordering through Costco, but the delivery was within a few days of the order.
The 48″ x 42″ mat comes in natural or dark cherry for $99.99. If the mat holds up, I’ll switch the remaining plastic mats over to the bamboo chair mats.
I already have a vacuum cleaner. I actually like my existing vacuum cleaner. I just don’t like to vacuum. So, a strong endorsement from a friend led me an iRobot Roomba.
I spotted the iRobot Roomba 595 at Costco.
A quick check on Amazon.com told me that it was selling for much more online. So, Costco it was.
The vacuum is not quite ready out of the box. So, charge it once it gets home since it takes a few hours to be fully charged.
The center button deploys the vacuum cleaner. I only followed it around the house the first day observing its cleaning pattern, which is not how a human would vacuum. On its maiden voyage, the vacuum cleaner cleaned a few rooms and returned to its home base. So, I scheduled it to vacuum every morning.
The manual said I had to empty the vacuum every day. Initially, I was concerned with that “burden.” However, when I return at the end of each day, I actually look forward to seeing how much the vacuum has picked up. Surprisingly, the vacuum picks up quite a bit of dust each day, which leads me to believe that vacuuming weekly (or even less) doesn’t quite do the trick.
During the winter, the selection at the local Farmers Market is pretty slim. One vendor was selling gorgeous flowers.
However, in terms of food, all I saw was the basic staples: potatoes, onions, and carrots.
I picked up some fresh brussel sprouts and beets. I am looking for some Gold Nuggets, but my favorite citrus vendor has not been there for a few weeks. Sunkist tells me that availability begins in March. My fingers are crossed.
Costco is now selling the Nikon 1. Available in white, red and black, the Nikon 1 J1 two lens zoom kit includes NIKKOR 10-30 mm f/3.5-5.6 VR and NIKKOR 30-110mm f/3.8=5.6 VR lenses, along with an 8 GB memory card. A $150.00 instant rebate drops the price to $749.99, which is the same price as Amazon