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Old 16-08-2008, 16:03   #16
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I've dealt with a large number of different batteries in my boating lifetime.

There is only one "rule of thumb" that works:

You get what you pay for.

Any cheap battery will die an early death, costing you more in the long run.

Personally, I find Trojan brand batteries to be just about affordable and certainly well built to withstand the rigors of cruising.
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Old 16-08-2008, 17:50   #17
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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
As a wholesale purchase and distribution manager. It makes no diff to me what you decide to buy but I was intending my comments to be constructive.
There is no such thing as "kirkland" batteries - I believe they are one of a vast number of Johnson Control batteries made to Costco's spec which can and likely are substantially different (and not in a good way) than their name brand batteries, i.e., batteries they aren't ashamed to sell with their JC name on them... If not, the other option you can consider is they were JC batteries which stayed in inventory so long as to warrant a name change.
I would also be leary of the date stamp for reasons you can probably imagine.

My intent wasn't to debate but only to inform.
A few more questions, if you don't mind:

Were you directly involved in Costco's battery purchasing and distribution?

How are the batteries shipped to Costco? (with or without electrolyte)

Why would you be leery of date stamps, keeping in mind that deliberate mistatement could be fraudulent?
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Old 16-08-2008, 18:30   #18
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Originally Posted by speedoo View Post
A few more questions, if you don't mind:

Were you directly involved in Costco's battery purchasing and distribution?

How are the batteries shipped to Costco? (with or without electrolyte)

Why would you be leery of date stamps, keeping in mind that deliberate mistatement could be fraudulent?
yes.
batteries were shipped wet.
I don't know nor did I ever find out who labelled them with a date stamp but I was told that JC did not label them at point of mfg.
I have no first-hand knowledge, just supposition.

I have nothing against any discount merchant and often shop there myself but it's always good to know and weigh the alternatives in terms of not only $$$ but quality to make the best choice.
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Old 17-08-2008, 10:48   #19
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Amortized over the life of a good battery, figure out if you are saving more than a few dollars per year...

My brother has two Sam's Club GC2 6V batteries made by Johnson Controls and they are now six years old and have been used on a dumb regulator system with a two phase charge. They have also spent winters un-charged and on board his boat in Maine. The current price today for the Sam's Club GC2's is $66.87 he paid $44.00 each.

I had two Trojan T105's die in five years time and I had a MUCH better charging system than my brother and stored them properly over the winters. There was no rhyme or reason as to why they went bad and had always been maintained to spec with three phase charging and topped up with distilled water.

The current price today for a T105 locally, for me, is $168.00 EACH!!!

Both batteries put out and are rated for 225ah at the 20 hour rate and both batteries weigh almost exactly the same within ounces of each other.

So the Sam's Club batteries cost $101.13 MORE EACH than the Sam's Club GC2's. I have run the numbers and see NO WAY that the Trojan T105's come out as a better deal!!

About six years ago I used to pay $65.00 each for T105's so it seems they are getting awfully cocky with their pricing because Sam's can still sell the GC2 for $66.87 and at the same time I paid $65.00 for my Trojan's they were only $44.00 each or a $21.00 difference. Now that difference is $101.13 PER BATTERY....

I have seen no clear and repeatable separation in durability between supposed "quality" deep cycle batteries like Trojan's and supposed "junk" batteries like Wal*Mart, Costco or Sam's Club.

Unless you are buying Rolls batteries, from my personal experience with both "quality" and "junk" deep cycle batteries, they are more similar than different..
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Old 17-08-2008, 11:30   #20
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... from my personal experience with both "quality" and "junk" deep cycle batteries, they are more similar than different..
Actually, your described experience suggests that the cheaper batteries are higher quality. I hope you'll pardon my skepticism.
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Old 17-08-2008, 11:48   #21
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Date codes on batteries are used to determine return credit if you take one back in the limited warranty period. Stores have a vested interest in that NOT being post dated. THAT silly idea would cost them money!

All battery makers have regional or local distributors, so Costco/ Sams / Boater's World / West Marine don't buy freightcar loads of batteries and store them for a years in some dusty warehouse. The distributor constantly updates each store's battery stock as it gets sold down. Buy you batteries at a busy store, you'll get fresh batteries. Big buyers negotiate huge multi-year contracts for Batteries and delivery services for huge discounts, to be competitive.

The Evil Emporium (West Marine) is just the king of the hill in Marine retail. They are no more pricey than anyone else, on average. Remember, these guys know what everyone else is selling an item for. They are in business to stay in business. If Jack Rabbit Marine is in Bankruptcy, (and I hope that if he is he manages to get through it ok) he is an example of what happens if you aren't in business to stay in business.
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Old 17-08-2008, 11:54   #22
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I think the bottom line with buying a battery from Costco is that they generally do not sell junk. Second, if you do get what you think is a junk battery then they have a no hassle return policy.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:05   #23
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My wife swears by Costco. They don't have a huge selection of products ,but what they sell is usually a good quality . I'm also thinking of buying AGM Optima batteries from them. At such a selling volume ,I don't think they will try to push a junky product.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:36   #24
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What, exactly *do* people buy at Costco? I've never even been inside one... I had always imagined it was a store full of 5 gallon tubs of terrible tasting, unhealthy mayo loaded with diglycerides or something.

Now, there is one junker brand of battery I can attest to. I brought 6 Dekas back to turn in at the Trojan facility south of Miami, and we all had a good laugh at them... not only were they dead a year from purchase, but they weighed about 2/3 of what a Trojan of the same size/rating weighed. Absolute garbage.
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Old 17-08-2008, 12:56   #25
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Sully, think of Costco as a Walmart, but with more expensive and better quality merchandise still at very good prices. I normally hate shopping but this place is great entertainment for some reason. There is always something I see that I think I need, therefore I have never gotten out of Costco for under a hundred bucks. My wife should put me in horse blinders before I go in there.
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Old 17-08-2008, 13:24   #26
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What, exactly *do* people buy at Costco? I've never even been inside one...
So far this year - LCD TV, blue ray DVD player, a set of tires (installed), all of the chicken we've eaten, I don't even know how many diapers, Mach 3 replacement cartridges, home pregnancy test (whew!) and each time we go we get the rotisserie chick hot off the spit for $4.00. The have good pizza too.

And that is really not even scratching it. They have the best prices on most everything the carry. We get some cash back from our purchases which end up paying for the membership fee.

Costco rave complete
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Old 17-08-2008, 13:37   #27
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So far this year - LCD TV, blue ray DVD player, a set of tires (installed), all of the chicken we've eaten, I don't even know how many diapers, Mach 3 replacement cartridges, home pregnancy test (whew!) and each time we go we get the rotisserie chick hot off the spit for $4.00. The have good pizza too.

And that is really not even scratching it. They have the best prices on most everything the carry. We get some cash back from our purchases which end up paying for the membership fee.

Costco rave complete
Ugh... I guess I might have to poke my head in based on this post.

Do they have tours for non-members?

I know I couldn't buy any of the food, but the staples might be worth a look...
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Old 17-08-2008, 13:38   #28
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Sully, you are supposed to have a membership card to get inside but I think you can go to Membership and they will give you a pass or just let you go inside.

Oh yeah, bought a set of relatively expensive tires for a sports car for MUCH less than the local tires shops wanted.
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Old 17-08-2008, 13:47   #29
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Ugh... I guess I might have to poke my head in based on this post.

Do they have tours for non-members?

I know I couldn't buy any of the food, but the staples might be worth a look...
You don't eat chicken, beef, pork, green pepers, tomatoes, grapes or other food?

Staples.....yea.....plus pencils, pens, paper and tape.
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Old 17-08-2008, 14:12   #30
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You don't eat chicken, beef, pork, green pepers, tomatoes, grapes or other food?

Staples.....yea.....plus pencils, pens, paper and tape.

I don't eat:

Growth hormones, unnecessary antibiotics, mono and digycerides, hydrogenated oils, processed wheat flour, monosodium glutimate, disodium EDTA, polysorbate, processed grains in general and a whole hose of chemicals added to processed foods.

I also have to avoid products that are high in sodium to keep my blood pressure down (high blood pressure runs in the family and I used to have it). This means no prepared garbage food like TV dinners, frozen entrees, most breakfast cereals, prepared cookies, lunch meats, etc...

That pretty much rules out all the crap at WalMart, most grocery stores, and I can only assume places such as Costco.

Plus... I live on a boat. All that crap doesn't work out as well as making your own food when it comes to provisioning.

So yeah... I wouldn't eat any meats from Costco...

The vegetables? Maybe! Do they source them locally when in season?
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