2017 Costco Thread


#81

I was just expecting Dragonbones to chime in about that.

Personally, I just buy the smaller stuff, since those huge batches are suitable for businesses or large families. There is Waitrose, which is tasty, not to many weird ingredients. Or I get sandwich spread. That means I do not buy Costco mayo.


#82

A bunch of different points:

I’ve made garlic aioli many times. Dead easy with a food processor. Mayonnaise is basically the same idea. Main problem is it only lasts 3-4 days (raw yolks). But you can get small jars of mayonnaise at Jason’s or City Super - I go through so little mayonnaise that I almost always wind up throwing even those jars out.

Timtams: as far as I know, currently only available in Costco, although I’ve seen them on occasion at the different Indonesian groceries.

For kitchen items like food processors usually ordering through Amazon still winds up cheaper than buying here, but not all things can be delivered (I couldn’t get Lodge frying pans shipped here), and you won’t have the same options for repairs if the product breaks. And no, there’s no problem bringing sharp items through customs. Taking them carry-on is a different issue.

You can buy slow cookers here. Carrefour has at least one brand regularly in stock these days.


#83

The Instant Pot I mentioned is an electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, frier, etc. all in one programmable marvel. Many people prefer the reliable CrockPot, even though, yes, there are local versions.

TBH, most needs are filled by a Tatung rice cooker. Nevertheless, new arrivals like what they know. And old hands like to reminiscence.


#84

We bought one of those jugs of mayonnaise and also never finished it. We now buy small bottles at Matsusei or wherever when I get on a sandwich kick. The Kirkland mayo sits there for months and months, taking up about half a shelf in the frig by itself. I imagine you can make a thousand sandwiches with that mega jar. Even if you make it to only around halfway through the tub, you won’t have any desire for another sandwich for six months or so. It’s good, but the mental scars are permanent. Avoid the Kirkland mayo.


#85

To answer various posts above, yes, Costco Xizhi has had manchego for a good while now. The Italian cheeses are good value. The mayo is too big a jar for most, and you can get small jars at fair prices at Carrefour. It’s very easy to make at home, but then it’s raw egg yolk based, which some people won’t care for, and which doesn’t last long. And I don’t understand what all the fuss over this or that credit card is about. Haven’t you people ever heard of cash?

PS – saw more Lodge skillets at Xizhi last week.


#86

Hey guys is there a ‘best’ Costco in Taipei? I usually go to the Neihu one, but sometimes their selection of stuff is kinda meh.


#87

The Neihu one seems like the smallest.


#88

Is the chocolate almond milk ever coming back?!


#89

The thing to do is, after checkout, go to the staff at the computer terminal nearby and ask them. They can look up whether or not an item is on order, or even in stock at another branch. Repeat every month or so to get the best info. And write suggestions for the suggestion box to encourage them to stock what you like.


#90

Seen at Guandu Costco : Cherry flavored Dr. Pepper. Around 400 for a 24 pack.


#91

Oh, I really want to buy an Instant Pot. Yeah, definitely cheaper here. Walmart has a deal for one for about $30. How do you use a slow cooker there? Aren’t the outlets and wattage different?


#92

Eh, you are now in Japan, so I understand your worry about voltage. But if you bring US stuff and plug it here, no problem. From Japan, no problem. Funny outlets? That would be Europe.
Maybe 3 prong outlets might be harder to find in old places but most modern ones do have them. If they don’t, a simple plug for 20 ntd can solve the problem.

Sharp knives and other stuff that might be regarded as weaponizable -such as a Swiss army knife- should be packed in your checked luggage, never carry on or you wil certainly never see it again. That includes nail files and nail clippers BTW.

That reminds me I bought this great knife in Japan, awesome stuff. Bring serrated bread knife, a good one is rather rare/expensive.

Before you come, raid the closest Japan Costco and load up on tea, genmaicha. And cookies. Taiwanese people love Japanese stuff and will make great -and rather inexpensive- warming gifts.


#93

Yeah, I had to bring a converter to plug in my laptop and other stuff.

Nice. I should just buy stuff from Daiso or another hyakuen shop. Actually, I have a lot of stuff I could just give away…

Side question: Is it customary to give gifts to your boss and co-workers when you meet them for the first time? Also, are you supposed to bring back souvenirs for your co-workers and boss whenever you come back from a vacation trip?


#94

I’ve seen Taiwanese bring back snacks for their team or friends, but not everyone they work with. Usually best to give the boss something for guanxi purposes.


#95

I see. In Japan, you are supposed to bring back souvenirs from the place you visited on your vacation and give them to your co-workers and boss. You should present a gift to your boss and co-workers (and even when first visiting a friend’s home) when you first meet them.

It can get expensive.


#96

It is not enforced by custom here in Taiwan, but it is nice. I usually bring stuff to my neighbors because I like them, they like me, we get along well, and little things make the relationship get along better.

Maybe someone will do something nice for you here. Maybe they will help you find something you need or go out of their way to translate something. A little gift is a nice thank you. Then will refuse it at firts, you have to insist at least 3 times -local custom. If they really do not take it, well, you tried.


#97

3 times? lol. Are you supposed to open gifts in front of the person or wait until you go home?


#98

Allegedly wait. But varies. Most people gift cash. Very tricky to get the gifts right. But food -not chocolates, not very popular overall here in average- Japanese stuff -works with most but there is acertain older portion that hates Japanese stuff because of the war, so beware- cute things work well… mostly. Foreign liquor and other seemingly expensive stuff also impresses.

Stick to Costco. Then the loss if they do not like it is not much.


#99

" Is it customary to give gifts to your boss and co-workers when you meet them for the first time?"

Not AFAIK. If you visit friends or relatives after a long time, coming from abroad, yes; if they have kids, yes, something for the kids.

“Also, are you supposed to bring back souvenirs for your co-workers and boss whenever you come back from a vacation trip?”

It’s not an obligation AFAIK but it’s a very common and nice custom, and I recommend you do it, for relatives, friends and close coworkers and your boss, e.g. your local team (8-30 people) but not the whole company if you’re in a larger company. It doesn’t have to be particularly expensive things, just local delicacies like green tea cookies.


#100

Of course you CAN get one if you have a good job and CAN BE ANNOYING!!! Call the Membership manager. It worked for me.
It’s also better to show some credibility, maybe a US credit card history to show them. It’s not that it will grant you anything “official” but it will make a better argument.

In my case, I had a few credit cards from Taiwan for several years. Then all of a sudden Coscto quit the relationship with the “We are family” card in favor of the one that uses the Tree logo (Cathay?, I don’t really care).

My wife and I both applied for the new card. After thirteen years of paying credit card bills on time (with the help of automatic payments) my wife got the credit card and got a rejection letter.
For convenience since I got to Costco more often we rely on my credit card.
I called the membership director and asked him how all of a sudden I went from valued customer to some who was rejected. Plus, because Costco has a very good rewards program (store credit for making purchases over the year) not having a credit card would also cost me more than 1 thousand dollars in points that our family relied on.

The manager heard my story and argued with the bank on my behalf and the next week, I got my card in the mail.
It’s practically illegal to discriminate. Even if there is a loop hole where you can be discriminated against, don’t let on. To get credit cards and my other things, like cell phone accounts and the like, you have to argue. Sometimes if anything looks like extra work such as using another form for foreigners, they will just say what you want just can’t be done.