[I’ve got an outstanding Guest Post today from Rick, he normally writes and blogs about technology, but today he’s sharing his thoughts about some products he wishes Costco would sell, as well as areas where Costco could really expand their member benefits. This is a great list with some things that I’ll bet we’ve all wanted to see at Costco, at one time or another. I particularly like the idea about airline tickets being sold separately, or even as part of an a la carte vacation purchase through Costco Travel. And I love the idea of them selling fresh herbs in the produce section too. So take a look at Rick’s list and let us know what you’d like to see at Costco.]
Given that we all are addicted to Costco it’s fitting to share what we think about certain things that we want but don’t necessarily have. When I discuss my Costco Addition to my friends, one of things I always tell them is that “everything they sell is good”, and for this list of things I wish they sold, I know I’d like what I got. As usual, Kimberly (OF COURSE) already blogged about this topic in 2009, but I offered my take with a new twist – so here goes. Here is my list of 10 Things I wish Costco did sell!
- Herbs in the Fresh Produce department. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle on getting fresh herbs in quantity to my liking for my recipes. Specifically basil, as when I need it I need a lot! I know Costco would take care of me there.
- Express carwashes. I know that these facilities and associated equipment have a lot of maintenance overhead, but I really wish the automobile experience could be complete with Costco here. I’ve bought a car with the Costco program, I’ve purchased tires at Costco and almost all of my fuel is purchased there. I’ve not purchased Insurance, however but that is available online.
- Oil changes. Much the same reasoning as above, but an operation that has both the car wash and oil change is a profitable line of business. I can hope that they’d add it; you know I’d give it a try!
- College tuition. Maybe I’m ahead of my time here, but I have three kids (age 1,5 and 8) and I’ll need to get them through college somehow. If I had a few percentage points off, like the auto program, at a list of colleges or universities, I’d be a happy camper!
- A broader beer selection. I guess their wine selection has spoiled me, but I consistently feel that the beer section could use a bit more variety. I’ve found that the warehouses here in the United States and more so around the world that the selection varies in my personal measure of “awesome” or “not awesome”. For example, when I visited the Auburn warehouse outside of Sydney Australia I loved their beer selection. Conversely I was in a warehouse outside of Ottawa Canada and I don’t think it sold any beer (there may have been one option however). I realize some laws and regulations come into play, but I’d really like to see the warehouses that can sell beer up the game a little bit.
- Back-Up child care benefits. My prior employer offered backup child (and elder) care as a benefit. That was the coolest, most versatile benefit ever. If Costco offered it, I would imagine many members would take them up on it somehow. Even if “blocks” were offered, so imagine that you bought up to 5 days per year and it would cost a certain amount. I loved this benefit, and wish it was a more popular offering.
- Visa and Passport agency services. I do quite a bit of International travel, and for many of the destinations I have to submit my passport to an agency that will get the proper endorsements for the country I’m preparing to visit. This is tough as I have to give up my passport for a few weeks and hope that they turn it back quick. I’d love to see Costco have a discount or preferred vendor that gives members the rush treatment by default.
- Landscape and property management services. This may be inherently local, but there are a number of semi-nationwide landscape and property management groups. I hire persons to mow my grass and do things like snow removal. I’d love a 5% discount from these types!
- Airfare only options for the Travel portal. I’ve booked full packages from the Costco Travel site, and there are actually quite a number of good ways to get value there. I feel we are just missing standalone airfare options of some type, even like those dodgy companion programs that come with some of the premier credit cards would be a good comparable offering.
- Sideways wish: Keep American Express. The news from February is really hitting me hard. I hate to draw a parallel to one of the other large warehouse clubs but at some point they did introduce that second form of credit card payment. If I can’t use my American Express at Costco, I’ll probably be alright. I really will (LOL). But, it’s almost as associable to use my American Express card at Costco as the hot dog priced at $1.50 in the United States warehouses. I just hope that they can find a solution, dropping the exclusivity of American Express – I’m fine with that. But I’m very interested in what happens!
- Bonus wish – but it has already been granted! Did you notice that in most of the United States warehouse food courts the point of sale terminals now have credit card machines readers? This is nice as I don’t always have cash, and I likely forget or change my mind at checkout so I didn’t always add it to my main purchase. When I visited a warehouse and food court in Ottawa Canada; they thought it was an amazing idea to pay for food items at the main checkout. Let’s hope credit card machines arrive at all food courts soon!
That’s my wish list, but surely you have your own! What would you like to see Costco sell? This can be sold either in the warehouses or online. Share your comments below.