Retail giant Costco is known for being the store that sells everything and in monstrously large quantities. You could go into a store with the intention of buying a few groceries, but let’s be real, you’ll probably be walking out with something you weren’t even sure you needed in your life until you saw it. Like a jar of Nutella you could use as a dumbbell weight or a teddy bear bigger than your car!
Costco is a great choice if you’re buying a gift for that person in your life who has everything, but somehow, we’re not sure they’d appreciate any of the following items. Costco has a reputation for selling some fairly odd stuff as it is when you think about it - drum-sized buckets full of pretzels and enough toothpaste to see you into the next millennium. But would you be as equally tempted to purchase a coffin on your next trip or a gigantic spider toy?
Customers probably never have a boring time browsing through the aisles here, which makes us ponder whether Costco is closer to a museum of curiosities than an actual store. Where else could you simultaneously stock up on jars of mayo and jam and also spot a helicopter for 70 bucks on your way out? If you thought bulk buys were the only strange thing about this store, you haven’t searched long enough. Here are 20 of the most questionable things found at Costco stores around the world. If you can cross even half of these off from your recent visit, congrats, you’ve won weird bingo!
20 A Selection Of Coffins
Starting us off nice and cheery are these delightful purchases. That’s right, some Costco stores in the US and Australia offer a wide range of caskets for their customers to peruse on their way to replenish their printing ink and pick up some strawberries. We don’t know about you, but choosing our own coffin is certainly one of the first things on our mind while popping in for some groceries.
In all fairness, funerals certainly don’t come cheap so you could say Costco are just looking out for their customers – just in a morbid and startling way. Apparently, some caskets go for as much as $3,000, so with Costco's priced at $360, coffins are a steal. Goody.
19 A Loose 18 Carat Diamond
Costco is certainly a store full of surprises, like when you learn that a few aisles down from the drums of gummy worms and vats of cooking oil, there used to be a spot selling a single loose diamond. US stores no longer sell loose diamonds either in-store or online, but at one time, you could actually purchase an 18-carat diamond on your weekly grocery shop! Mad.
The IF clarity 18.88-carat pink diamond used to retail on Costco's online store at $2,300,000, making it the most expensive item ever sold at the store. Costco really is in a world apart from any other supermarket.
18 A Doomsday Supply Of Food
It’s good to know that when TWD becomes a reality, good old Costco has your back with their totally necessary Emergency Food supply or ‘Doomsday Kit’ as we’re going to label it. Whether you’re a survivalist prepping for the apocalypse, or you just like the idea of never having to add crackers to the grocery list again, the doomsday kit certainly has its uses.
The emergency kit contains enough freeze-dried fruits and veggies to last a family of four for a whole year. Hopefully, you get a refund if you make it to old age though, right? (No free tin foil hats, unfortunately).
17 A Sample Stall...For Toilet Paper
Okay, of all the finds in Costco, this one is downright baffling. Customers at the chain’s Canadian stores had a more bewildering experience than usual at Costco when they came across a free sample stall... advertising toilet tissue. Seriously?
Surely, the whole point in sample stalls is to lure customers in with something they perhaps never tried before. (Costco might as well be pushing water or oxygen samples). Our bad, this isn't just any toilet tissue, it’s ‘cashmere’ soft. Also, sample stalls usually like to get customer feedback on their latest ‘product’. Do they expect shoppers to come back and rate their experience out of 5 or something? A big bowl of wrong.
16 A 10kg Chocolate Bar
Chocoholics of the world rejoice! Heaven exists on earth, and it can be found in the candy aisles at Costco Australia. The retail chain’s Aussie stores sell every sweet-toothed person's dream - Cadburys chocolate bars by the pallet load and weighing in at a whopping 10kg per bar!
It’s a good thing many Costcos also provide dental plans in store – because you’re probably going to need one for each individual tooth if you’re serious about devouring one of these. I’d like to say I’d take one of these home and make it last or share (pff), but this would probably be gone within a few months.
15 A Two Gallon Jug Of Massage Oil
Costco’s USP may be selling stuff in bulk. Still, there’s something pretty odd about selling something like massage oil in jug form – and two whopping gallons of the stuff to be exact! If you’re a startup massage parlor and your supplier lets you down at the last minute, then fair enough, but is anyone really coming in to pick this up on a whim?
The tiniest amount of massage oil goes a long way, so this quantity should last you a lifetime. Costco might make more money if they threw this in with the doomsday kits. After all, when the apocalypse dawns, we could all do with getting rid of a few tension knots.
14 Get Your Wedding Dress At Costco
At the risk of sounding too snobby here, is somewhere like Costco really the first place you think of for buying a wedding dress? Admittedly, weddings don’t come cheap, so any way you can cut costs on the big day has to be a plus, but there’s something odd about buying your white wedding gown at the same place you can get a wheel of cheese.
Costco might be a great place to stock up on a cheap feast for your wedding buffet or bachelorette party, but would anyone really get their one important gown from this place? Buy the bridesmaid dresses in bulk, sure, but not your wedding dress!
13 A Custom Portrait Of Your Pet...For $2,000
Everyone loves to take pride in their beloved pet, but few us are bothered about getting a professional portrait of them to hang on the wall (and even fewer people would be willing to splurge out $2,000 for the privilege).
Still, this is what a custom painted portrait of your pooch or feline will set you back at Costco. For near to the cost of a year’s worth of vet bills, you can have your four-legged friend immortalized in acrylic paint. Most pet owners don’t even have photos of their pet hung on the wall, let alone a painting. To each their own, I guess.
12 Stacking Baking Soda And Vinegar Together
The floor managers at this Costco store so knew what they were doing with this dangerous setup. Stacking the baking soda directly next to jugs of vinegar is just asking for trouble. For those of you who still remember their middle school science days, these two were the perfect recipe if you wanted to create a volcano explosion for the science fair. Oops.
The only store display that would be more ridiculous than this is if store workers began stacking rolls of mentos in between 2-litre coke bottles. Now that is living on the edge. Up your daredevil game, Costco!
11 Gigantic Spider Decoration
This doesn’t fall under trick or treat – it’s the stuff of nightmares. Costco is known to outdo themselves with their Christmas and Halloween displays and when they push the boat out for the latter, they definitely don’t shy away from freaking their customers out.
This terrifying hairy beast looks a little too realistic for our liking. Whatever happened to just making spider cookies and spraying fake cobwebs around the house come Halloween? Still, if you're in the market to scar the neighbor's kids for life, you can pick up this 4.5 ft long, glowing-eyed creepy crawly in US stores for $40. Bargain.
10 Costco Aren’t Spying On You, They Promise
Proof that it isn't just the items on sale that make Costco the baffling place it is, it’s sometimes the store in general. One customer paid a visit to the store washroom in his local Costco when he came across a strangely unsettling sign underneath the automatic sensor on the faucet that read: ‘This is not a camera’. Alrighty then.
Just a heads up for the future, Costco – it probably never occurred to customers that they could be being filmed in one of your bathrooms, although now that’s exactly what they’ll be thinking when they next wash their hands. Not weird at all.
9 A Case That Allows You To Take Your Favorite Vintages On The Road With You At All Times
If you’re a proud oenophile who doesn’t like to stop at building a personal home cellar for your collection (FYI, Costco also sell custom wine cellars), then you probably love taking your favorite vintages on the road with you at all times, and if that’s the case, this is probably the one thing missing from your life.
Some stores actually sell a wine carrier made from aircraft-grade stuff. Overprotective, much? This super strong 6 bottle vino holder is also a lockable safe, you know just in case you go for a picnic in a bad neighborhood. Costco’s next innovation? Maximum security chips.
8 The Costco Hot Dog That Packed More Heat Than Expected
Costco’s in store snack bar is generally well received by customers wanting an affordable snack to give them a quick power boost mid-shopping spree, but one customer's incident at a California store back in 2004 is enough to put anyone off their hot dogs for life.
When Olivia Chanes ordered a hot dog from her local store’s snack bar, she began wolfing it down when she suddenly bit down on something hard. It turned out to be a 9mm bullet lodged in the hot dog meat. Worse still – when she suffered abdominal pains later that day, x-rays showed she had swallowed an additional bullet undetected in an earlier bite.
7 Automatic Letter Opener
Honestly, how lazy do you have to be? There’s possibly more genius innovation in the beer drinking hat than there is in this thing. Certain Costco stores sell this beauty for homes and businesses – the Martin Yale Fully Automatic Electric Letter Opener. Yours for only $328! Hmm, I think we’d risk paper-cuts instead, thanks Costco.
When you hear the term ‘automatic’ slapped on a product, the very least you can expect is that it does the job faster and easier, but you can probably read your mail cover to cover in the time taken to place your letter perfectly in line with the blade mechanism.
6 A $900 Wheel Of Cheese
I like cheese as much as the next person, but a wheel of the stuff? The only benefit we can think of in buying cheese of this shape and size is that it would at least be easy to roll out of the store. Except they don't even give you that option anymore since this is an online exclusive purchase. Drat!
So what’s so special about this near $900 cheese wheel? Costco’s own Parmigiano Reggiano variety has matured for 24 months and is imported from Italy. Okay, but you could probably buy a plane ticket to Rome and try out a normal slice of this for the same price.
5 The Ab-Toner That Gives You A Shock
Costco is made up of walls and walls of junk food and super-sized jars of snacks as far as the eye can see. But they also like to look out for your fitness levels (or rather, give you a cheap deal on the quick-fix fitness solution).
You may have seen similar ab toning products on the market that suck in your stomach or create the indentation of a six-pack, but why not try something that shocks you into looking fit? The Slendertone Flex Pro armbands send intermittent shocks through your abs to enhance the definition at home. Where have you been all my life?
4 Fly Away In Your Very Own Helicopter For Just $70
In one of Costco's California stores, a genuine working helicopter was on sale for a scary retail price of just $69.99 (and no, we’re not talking about a kids remote control chopper toy!). We’re not sure whether the kid in all of us loves the idea of a helicopter this cheap or our adult selves are terrified. Probably the latter.
When local Orange County Brennan Smith snapped the super cheap helicopter on his Instagram, he simply captioned the bizarre find in the Costco parking lot with the hashtag ‘#why’. Why indeed? Just to put the crazy into perspective here – it costs more than double this amount to buy one of their 93-inch teddy bears. Think about that one.
3 A Dupe Tiffany Engagement Ring
It seems kind of surreal that at the same store where you can pick up 20-kilo pouches of dog food, you can also purchase engagement rings costing up to $20,000. If you’re in the market for a regular Costco value ring, however, their range of rings below $800 may be more your speed.
In a bid to perhaps seem more luxurious than a Costco engagement ring might suggest to some customers, the retail chain got in trouble back in 2015 for selling rings that claimed to be from the Tiffany & Co brand of jewelry. Not cool, Costco. You could have thrown in a free giant teddy bear and it might have swayed a few ring shoppers!
2 A $35,000 Painting Of The Giants 2012 World Series Win
Further proof that you really can get just about anything in Costco is this bizarre niche item found in Costco (probably not the first place you think of when it comes to sports artwork, or art in general for that matter). Still, Costco stores like to branch out and for a time, some stores throughout the US were selling limited edition paintings of the baseball world series.
Renowned sports painter Opie Otterstad was commissioned to paint a series of ‘celebration’ paintings to capture the last 15 years worth of victory moments and somehow, the San Fransisco Giants 2012 Win wound up retailing at Costco for an eye-watering $35,000. Yikes.
1 Christmas Trees In A Heatwave
When you walk into a Costco store, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to find and the deeper you go exploring, you probably forget what day it is. Costco certainly seemed to forget what month it was when they put this unseasonal display up in a Canadian store in early August.
It’s no secret that stores love to get prepared for the holidays, but what’s wrong with a November head-start for Christmas? Maybe it was a psychological stunt by Costco – stare at a Christmas tree long enough and you won’t feel quite so uncomfortable in the sweltering mid-summer heat on your trek back to the car. Smart move.
Sources: techeblog.com, thrillist.com, stayathomemum.co.uk, businessinsider.com,