costco parking signI’ve been to Costco a few times now and for the most part parking hasn’t bothered me. On opening day they were swamped and parking was free, which was great.

The second time I went there I was slugged with the $5 Harbourtown carpark which was marginally annoying but acceptable.

After having finished my larger shopping trips today I head out on the Long Haul Trucker to see how bicycle shopping at Costco would work.

Thank god I didn’t bring the car, the Costco parking charges are now on display and they must be delusional if they think their rates are even remotely fair.

The one hour free period is a joke. I was there on my bicycle today, browsed a bit to check the prices of some bigger ticket items I am keen on, bought 2 packs of beef, milk and Nutella (I was going to buy Cocopops but the big box wouldn’t fit in my pannier!) and had a hotdog + drink afterwards.

I came in at just over 40 minutes.

I fail to see how anyone doing a larger shop is going to come in at less then an hour unless they ram people out of the way, don’t eat at the cafe, somehow manage to get a queueless register, FLY back to their car and just throw everything into the boot however it fits.

At 6 for 2 hours parking, even if you went once a month you’ve already raised your savings threshold from $60 (the membership cost) to $132. Two visits a month and all of a sudden you’re trying to saving threshold becomes $204. That’s on top of extra petrol to get there.

For a company that is providing a carpark for it’s loyal membership customers and presumably not relying on carpark fees, charging inflated hourly rates is a joke. Especially when there’s a much larger (but more inconvenient to take a trolley back to) Harbourtown carpark next door charging $5 all day.

In comparison Ikea down at Victoria Gardens have a brilliant parking system. It’s free for the first hour and if you spend more the $5 at Ikea it’s free for four hours. They validate your carpark ticket at the checkouts and if you forget they even have a person out the front who’ll validate it for you.

Now that’s good value.

Sorry Costco but you’re carpark charges are rubbish. Fix them.

The cafe today was a bit of a schmozzle too. The prices are still great but the coke machines were utterly broken. Two had no ice left and the other one had ice but was completely empty of drink. The Pepsi max I got from one of the no ice left machines was also ridiculously flat. Like cordial flat.

The sauces didn’t look to grubby today so I tried them out with my hotdog, mm nice. The onions though were a different story, I’m not sure who designed that machine but instead of getting onions out of them all you got was onion juice.

Probably won’t be going anywhere near that thing again.

On a plus note while snooping around the carpark I did spot an underground bicycle parking facility I hadn’t seen before.

bicycle parking in costco carparkInterestingly they’ve gone for the vertical peg style system which is kinda annoying but better then nothing. I’ve enhanced the brightness of the photo otherwise it was very dark and dinghy in there. As you can see there is lighting but for whatever reason it was switched off.

The undercover bicycle parking area is sandwiched between the tyre fitting area and the stairs leading up to the main entrance.

Personally I still prefer the convenience of the red beam parking out the front but if it’s raining I’ll probably leave my bike down here. I’ll most likely just wind up securing it to a sign in the carpark though rather then hoist it up in the bike parking area.

Long Haul Trucker’s aren’t exactly light.

Lastly I took it upon myself to use the Costco feedback forms (located to the left of the ‘merchandise pickup’ area behind the registers to give Costco my feedback.

Dear Costco,

What’s up with the carpark prices, you guys need to rethink those prices pretty quickly.

Also PLEASE stock some freaking milo already!