7 Odd Things You Can Buy at Costco

  • Surprising Things You Can Buy at Costco

    Costco Wholesale revealed its most expensive bargain yet this week -- a $1 million diamond ring. There's only one of these 6.77-carat rings, which is actually discounted from its $1.6 million value. The wholesaler has been selling engagement rings and high-end jewelry for several years, having already offered diamond in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. But this is the most expensive item to date. While Costco is best known for its cheap bulk basics and discount electronics, next to the 80-packs of toilet paper, 30-pounds of pasta and giant televisions you can find some surprising buys. Costco, while lumped in the discount sector along with rivals BJ's Wholesale and Target, actually claims to cater to a high-end shopper, noting that the average income per household for its demographic is about $100,000. This could be why Costco has been outperforming its peers, reporting a 13% surge in same-store sales in March, topping analysts' estimates of 7.4%. In comparison, BJ's posted a 5.3% increase, while Target actually saw its comparable sales fall 5.5%. Wal-Mart, which abandoned the practice of reporting monthly same-store sales data, has seen its U.S. sales decline for seven consecutive quarters. Costco has demonstrated strong traffic and membership trends, while gross margin improves. And while some of its unique offerings aren't the only, or even biggest, reason for its success, they certainly play a part. Here, then, is a look at some of the other unexpected buys you can find at Costco ... Photo Credit: Getty Images
  • Caskets

    Costco sells the basics for life and death. The wholesaler began selling caskets, perhaps coincidentally displayed right near the checkout aisle, in 2004, before expanding further into the funeral business. The coffins range from about $1,300 to $3,000, with expedited shipping available is ordered by 2 p.m. EST. Costco's funeral business also includes human and pet urns, which it introduced in 2005, and sympathy flowers, as well as other keepsakes. Photo Credit: Phil Scoville
    Cars, RVs and Boats
  • Cars, RVs and Boats

    Through Costco's Auto Program, members can buy cars, RVs and even boats, at pre-arranged prices set for members. The wholesaler works with more than 2,200 dealers around the country. Shoppers can browse cars on Costco's Web site, chose a vehicle and locate a nearby approved dealer. The authorized dealer then contacts the customer and sets up and appointment. There's no obligation to buy a car using once the appointment is set. According to Costco's website, in the past 12 months 500,000 members used the auto program to buy a car, boat or RV. Aside from purchasing automobiles through Costco, the company also offers online defensive driving courses, through FirstNet Learnings, as well as auto insurance and boat and RV refinancing, through third-parties. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Small Business and Personal Insurance
  • Small Business and Personal Insurance

    Buy your small business and personal insurance at Costco? Sure, why not? Granted, the company doesn't actually provide the insurance directly. Instead, it acts like a middleman to pair members with insurance carriers. Costco offers healthcare through Aetna and has teamed up with Delta Dental of California to offer group dental plan for families of individuals. Other health offers include electronic health records and practice management for medical practices. Outside of health insurance, Costco also works to provide auto and home insurance. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Mortgage Services
  • Mortgage Services

    Okay, you can't actually buy a house at Costco -- but the wholesaler can help you secure a mortgage. Members can chose from a group of national lenders that commit to low fees. According to the company's Web site, members save 64% on lender fees. Costco has teamed up with First Choice to provide this mortgage service. Lender fee caps are priced at $600 for executive members and $750 for business and goldstar members. The list of lenders includes CapWest Mortgage, RMC Vanguard, West Star, Wyndham, Sterling Savings Bank, Bank of Internet and Real Estate Mortgage network. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Wedding Dresses
  • Wedding Dresses

    As of March, shoppers can now buy their wedding dresses with their groceries. Costco is working in collaboration with bridal designer Kirstie Kelly to sell six exclusive wedding dresses for about 40% off their typical retail price. The gowns are sold at trunk shows at Costco warehouses around the country, and range in price from $700 to $1,400 in sizes 2 to 24. Aside from wedding dresses, Costco is attempting to become a one-stop shop for all wedding needs, selling floral centerpieces, invitations, honeymoon packages and offering catering packages. Photo Credit: Getty Images
    Vacation Deals
  • Vacation Deals

    Costco membership has many perks, one of them being cheap travel. There are several ways shoppers can use their card to gets deals on vacations. By subscribing to Costco Travel, members can get deals on cruises, theme parks, rental cards and hotels. Current offers include a seven-night package to Ireland from $1,099, a five-night stay in a beachfront hotel in Hawaii from $929, and a four-night stay in Los Cabos (which includes a $50 spa credit and $150 food and beverage credit) starting at $395. Costco also offers cruises through Disney, Royal Caribbean and Princess cruise lines, among others. Photo Credit: cornstaruk
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