Sydney finally gets its first taste of larger-than-life US retailing giant Costco today, with an array of technology products at prices not normally seen here.
GALLERY: See inside the new Costco
On offer are discounted computers, televisions, digital cameras, LCD monitors, security surveillance, sound systems, printers and GPS units.
To buy from Costco, you must be a member. Membership for one year costs $60 for individuals ("Gold Star Member"), or $55 for businesses.
One significant tech purchase, however, more than justifies the membership fee.
The Sony Bravia KDL40EX520 40-inch Full HD LED-LCD TV is on the Costco floor for $999.99. The same television is at JB Hi-Fi for $1241, a hike of $241.
The Toshiba DX1210 all-in-one PC sells at Costco for $1599.99. You can spend $300 more at Harvey Norman to buy it for $1898.
The Microsoft Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 Keyboard and Mouse combo sells at Costco for $79.95. This product is at OfficeWorks for $149, a difference of almost $70.
The Nikon D3100 DSLR Twin Lens Kit at Costco is $899. It's also available at Harvey Norman for $1249, a difference of $350.
Located in Lidcombe in Sydney's west, Costco is a store of contradictions. While the housing is a huge concrete-floor Bunnings-type warehouse, inside is a trove of top brands and designer labels. There is no cheap junk to be found in any department.
The tech corner at Costco sits to the right of the entrance near the optometrist.
Following its grocery lead of stocking the top three brands in any given segment, Costco offers three brands of televisions: Sony, Samsung and Panasonic.
The entry level TV is a Samsung 19-inch high definition (720p) LCD for $239.99. If you need something a little bigger, a monster-sized 55-inch Sony Bravia sells for $1599.99.
What you won't find
If you want an iPad or a mobile phone, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Costco does not stock any Apple products that means no iPods, iPads or iPhones. "We don't have a relationship with Apple," is the explanation from Costco Australia country manager Patrick Noone.
Nor will you find any mobile phones of any description at any of its Australian stores (the Melbourne Docklands store has been operating for almost two years, while the Canberra store opens tomorrow, Friday 22 July). But Noone hasn't ruled this out entirely mobile phones may be offered at a later time.
All teched out
Aside from tech, there are plenty of other areas to spend your money on in Costco. Discounted groceries, fresh fruit and vegetable, clothes, glasses, bakery goods, meat, pet food, baby goods, tyres, jewellery, appliances, toys, books, and appliances fill the hundreds of shelves. Even though the Sydney store is one of the smaller Costco stores in the world, there are over 3,000 products to browse through.
It's addictive. You'll be back over and over again.
The Costco Auburn store is located at 21 Parramatta Road, Lidcombe. You can sign up for membership online.
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