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Old 14-08-2008, 03:07   #1
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Costco Marine Batteries

A while back I read a reply in a thread where the guy said he was going to just buy the Costco marine batteries. Did that ever happen? How did it work out? Comparing the stats on the stickers and the prices these guys sure look attractive. And with an 18 month warranty I can't see a good reason not to roll the dice.

Anybody have first hand experience with them?
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Old 15-08-2008, 19:44   #2
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I bought Exide golf carts at Costco and they did fine for 4-1/2 yrs, I did not see any Costco batteries at the time. Don't know how much help I've been though. George
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Old 15-08-2008, 20:12   #3
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Maybe not directly but you jump started my brain so thank you!

What I need to do is find out who makes the Costco batteries as they are certainly just something else rebranded. HHhhmmm...
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Old 15-08-2008, 23:16   #4
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There are only a few battery makers in the US.
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Old 16-08-2008, 01:32   #5
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What I need to do is find out who makes the Costco batteries as they are certainly just something else rebranded. HHhhmmm...
Johnson Controls makes them. I think ??
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Old 16-08-2008, 06:46   #6
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There is no such thing as a Costco label battery - as someone already pointed out, there are only a few battery mfgs in the U.S. and costco isn't one of them. Rather, they buy typically off-the-shelf old inventory and therefore discounted batteries from any one of a number of these mfgs so at any given time, you have no idea how old or who made the so-called Costco battery. You certainly can get lucky but just as often not so the question becomes why take the chance?
Amortized over the life of a good battery, figure out if you are saving more than a few dollars per year...
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Old 16-08-2008, 07:07   #7
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There is no such thing as a Costco label battery - as someone already pointed out, there are only a few battery mfgs in the U.S. and costco isn't one of them. Rather, they buy typically off-the-shelf old inventory and therefore discounted batteries from any one of a number of these mfgs so at any given time, you have no idea how old or who made the so-called Costco battery. You certainly can get lucky but just as often not so the question becomes why take the chance?
Amortized over the life of a good battery, figure out if you are saving more than a few dollars per year...
Unless you have some way of documenting that, I seriously question the assertion. Costco has a real winner in the Kirkland brand, and I very much doubt that they would jeopardize it by offering sub-standard batteries.

I recently replaced one of their auto batteries. It lasted about nine years. That's the kind of quality I have come to expect from the Kirkland brand.
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Old 16-08-2008, 07:07   #8
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For years, I have bought the deep cycle battery from Sam's/Walmart in the Group 27 size. Replace every three years..Just replaced all four, $84 each, including tax. So far, I have not had one fail. I use two banks of two batteries paralleled, and a 40 amp smart charger. I just can't justify the cost of the AGM or other sort of battery for my use...however, I do not cruise, mostly overnights and weekends, Gulfstar 37.
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Old 16-08-2008, 08:08   #9
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Unless you have some way of documenting that, I seriously question the assertion. Costco has a real winner in the Kirkland brand, and I very much doubt that they would jeopardize it by offering sub-standard batteries.

I recently replaced one of their auto batteries. It lasted about nine years. That's the kind of quality I have come to expect from the Kirkland brand.

Having worked with and for Costco for many years, I can assure you my comments are legit. If you have some basis by which you can contest what I've siad, I'd like to hear as I am not in the habit of writing something unless I know it to be true.

As I said, you can get lucky depending upon when you make the purchase but I can't understand trying to save what amounts to a trivial savings when measured over the life of a good battery
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Old 16-08-2008, 09:06   #10
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Having worked with and for Costco for many years, I can assure you my comments are legit. If you have some basis by which you can contest what I've siad, I'd like to hear as I am not in the habit of writing something unless I know it to be true.

As I said, you can get lucky depending upon when you make the purchase but I can't understand trying to save what amounts to a trivial savings when measured over the life of a good battery
My only basis for questioning your assertion is my experience as a long time Costco customer who has had great experience with with their Kirkland brand products including the aforementioned car battery. I have returned a couple of Kirkland products that failed after many years of use, and they have replaced them free of charge, no questions asked. They have a strong interest in protecting that Kirkland brand, IMO.

So I would be very surprised if they offered batteries that were not reasonably fresh.

Next time I visit Costco, I will take a look at the manufacture dates of the Kirkland batteries they are selling to see if any are more than a few months old. I would never buy a battery from anyone that was more than three months past manufacture date.... that way there is no "luck" involved.
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Old 16-08-2008, 09:40   #11
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I know absolutely zip about Costco's batteries and purchasing practices, but if it's true that they buy OLD STOCK and if their batteries are flooded and filled (not dry when sold) I do know that they will be seriously deteriorated in terms of capacity when they're sold.

Understand, not "may be", but "will be". Flooded lead-acid batteries which are allowed to sit at less than full charge WILL deteriorate because of sulfation, stratification, and other nasty things.

Understand also that voltage readings have little to do with capacity. A battery with seriously depleted capacity will still read "normal" voltage when fully charged.

It may well be that someone who buys these bateries will get "3-4 years of service out of them". The issue isn't so much longevity, as it is capacity. A battery with reduced capacity requires charging more frequently, and that has a cost (engine or generator run time, POL, etc.) and, ultimately, reduced longevity.

Therefore, buying cheap batteries may be very shortsighted.

Bill
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Old 16-08-2008, 10:51   #12
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Relax, everyone. Building an inexpensive battery requires a VERY big factory, and there aren't but five or so in the US. Foreign batteries cost too much to ship to the US, and the declining value of the dollar probably wipes out any remaining savings. Go to Exide's or Deka's websites, and notice the variety of batteries they make, all in black or white plain plastic cases. In many instances the only difference between a Costco Battery and a Sam's battery, (or for that matter between boat store A and boat store B) is the pretty label. Costco and Sam's sell cheap because they can buy by the freight-car load, or down-spec the product in some way to save another penny. But since doing so requires some change in the production sequence, its not likely that there are many qualitative differences in products.

In a seeming underhanded way, retailers can make comparison shopping difficult by using different rating methods or definitions of terms in their labelling. But in the end game, you are paying within a few cents the same price per pound of battery no matter where you buy it! The cost of manufacturing is a constant, and the cost of the component materieals rise and fall the same for all, so the only real difference is how much lead goes into each one.

That is unless you go for the Boutique Batteries like Rolls or ???
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Old 16-08-2008, 11:27   #13
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Sandy,

I think the part you are leaving out is the level up profit an individual reseller tries to squeeze out of the product. Even if they have the same purchase price from the distributor I would bet three of my limbs that West Marine's mark-up is DRAMATICALLY higher than Costco's.

Illusion,

What do you mean "worked with Costco for many years"? I would believe that when they started out they bought old stock, maybe it is even true for the rotating stuff they don't always carry, but I find that unlikely for the items they always carry and anything they put their name on. When I go in and suddenly they have a Patio Misting Kit and then a few weeks later it is gone again- sure. But the Kirkland brand shampoos, the car tires, the batteries, the meat... I just don't buy it.
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Old 16-08-2008, 12:37   #14
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Sorry, I just swung back by the computer and wanted to clarify...

I didn't mean "what do you mean..." as a challenge. I was just curious. I was pulling crap out of the hold and ruminating and thought, "Man, I hope I didn't sound like a dick..."

Anyway, so, was just curious.
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Old 16-08-2008, 15:58   #15
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Sandy,

I think the part you are leaving out is the level up profit an individual reseller tries to squeeze out of the product. Even if they have the same purchase price from the distributor I would bet three of my limbs that West Marine's mark-up is DRAMATICALLY higher than Costco's.

Illusion,

What do you mean "worked with Costco for many years"? I would believe that when they started out they bought old stock, maybe it is even true for the rotating stuff they don't always carry, but I find that unlikely for the items they always carry and anything they put their name on. When I go in and suddenly they have a Patio Misting Kit and then a few weeks later it is gone again- sure. But the Kirkland brand shampoos, the car tires, the batteries, the meat... I just don't buy it.

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.
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