This week Costco, a warehouse consumer outlet known for low prices on large quantity items, opened it’s first auto parts outlet in Kirkland, Washington. “People want low prices, and we deliver that with volume,” said division manager Marckus Baech.
One shopper, coming out with 3 windsheilds for a 1999 Pontiac Aztec explained, “I didn’t need three of them, but at these prices, I’d have to be stupid not have two extras laying around.”
“I have enough extra parts to build a 1981 Ford Pinto after buying spare parts for my 1998 Ford Festiva, and I still spent less money than my car cost brand new!” exclaims and elated customer pushing a giant shopping cart full of car parts. “For just $26 I got this 15-pound pine tree air freshener. It’s rated at 16-years!”
Another shopper came in for brake pads and bought a three-pack for just $28. “I don’t think I really need four. I’ll just not do whichever wheel is in the best shape. Besides, if I really need four, I can buy six, and then I’ll have extras.”
One woman, who said we could not use her comments in the article, said that “Buying an 11-pack of spark plugs just makes sense. I only need eight, but it’s nice to have a few bonus ones in the garage just in case.”
Bob Aroobob is a factory worker in nearby Renton, Washington. “Well obviously I didn’t come in planning to buy the 24-pack [of air filters for my 1992 Buick Skylark], but it was under $100 so I looked at it as an investment.”
Other happy customers were coming out with the 11-pack of spark plugs, pairs of drive shafts, 7-tire combo packs, radiator bundles, four-packs of fuel injectors and Kirkland Signature bumper 9-packs. Some were disappointed that the famous Jack was not on sale, but how can it, it’s too recent and will only go on sale in a good while. Shoppers can be really demanding at times.
Nearby mechanic “Dave” who asked we not use his real name, Dave Bergh, said “we won’t be buying anything from them. They’re still higher than our wholesale cost, so it’s just [going to be] retail consumers going there.”
Baech explained that “not everyone needs to buy four left side mirrors at a time, but for those interested in saving serious money, they can buy them from us,” Baech explained, though I already said that at the start of the sentence.
Costco plans to demonstrate market appeal in this flagship location, then roll out nationwide later in the year.