You can't even walk around the warehouse without a membership. There have been times where I'll walk in the exit to go to the tire center, and I will get screamed at by the employees checking receipts telling me to show my membership card. They are REALLY anal about that.
Cashiers will also give you a lecture if you are with somebody when you're checking out to pay, you show your Costco card, and the person you're with pays. The cashier expects that the other person be added to your account (you can add one person from your household to your account). But that's how they make their money, is with the stupid membership.
Honestly I wouldn't get a membership, since I can generally get gas and most items for a similar price elsewhere. Bulk food is about thr same price at Smart Food Service/Cash and Carry. When there are these clearance deals they are usually extremely YMMV and not generally worth it.
Have to disagree. I've been a Costco member for years, and love the high quality, curated products the store offers year-round. The Kirkland products are phenomenal, and prices for seasonal products are almost always below other retailers. Add the Costco rebates and unique Citi card which gives additional cash back, and the membership cost is basically paid for and then some (4% back on gas).
I will also say I want Costco to enforce the membership, so that non-members cannot shop there. Those membership fees not only cover certain overhead, but also serve to provide the company ways to offset othet costs that it uses to pass on savings.
It's also just not fair to members and takes away from them.