Lower Tier Interstate batteries @ Costco?

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Tried to purchase a group 75 Interstate Battery at Costco for an Anniversary 1993 Corvette. I went to Interstate's website and found the correct battery application. Went to Costco and was told that they don't stock it nor can they order it. I went to the local Interstate Battery Dealer and met with the Manager. Manager stated that Costco buys Interstate batteries in bulk and get lower tier quality batteries. He further stated that you could only return the battery to the original Costco (No other Costco) for purchase. Interstate batteries do not warranty Costco Interstate Batteries purchased at Costco, per the Manager. Any truth to this? I like Interstate Batteries and Costco has great return policies. IDK?
 
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35,763
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ME
It's plausible they have different distribution and labelling. Walmart for example gets different Goodyear (viva) tires that only warranty at WM. I don't see them able to sabotage batteries (through planned obsolescence) with that alleged level of precision. The machining isn't that tight and the materials aren't much to choose from. (There's "better lead" with more purity but every battery makers wants that.) With costco having fresher stock and higher turnover, their batteries are probably better just by that tie-breaker. The independent distributor just sounds like an angry old man. Weigh a Costco battery and an Interstate one of the same group size with similar warranties/ promotional (silver/gold/platinum) tiering.
 
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182
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Maryland
I can't address the Interstate Battery Store Interstate battery vs Costco Interstate battery quality issue, but I can say that a Costco in Omaha, NE warranted a Costco Interstate battery purchased in Maryland with zero problems. I did not have the receipt, but they were able to look up the transaction in their computer system. All I needed to tell them was approximately when I purchased the battery.
 
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2,213
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Lyndhurst NJ
Yes, we cant warranty them at my shop, theres a sticker and the numbers should show only Costco can handle it. My battery guy says they are of lower quality, but he doesnt deal with our local Costco store personally, so he may just be saying what theyre telling all their guys. Your local Interstate also sells refurbished batteries sometimes, depending on whats in stock locally.
 
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Port Huron, MI
Found this on Costco website: Costco Battery Warranty Limited Warranty Costco Wholesale provides this limited warranty to the original purchaser. This battery, when used in a passenger vehicle corresponding to or smaller than the vehicle manufacturer's recommended size and capacity, is free of defects in material and workmanship. This limited warranty is effective for the battery's designated warranty period, or for as long as it remains in the vehicle in which originally installed, whichever is shorter. The designated limited warranty period is indicated on the battery itself. If there is a defect in material or workmanship (not merely the battery being discharged), this limited warranty provides that upon return of the battery to any Costco Wholesale warehouse, excluding Puerto Rico, the battery will be replaced or the purchase price refunded, excluding fees and taxes. Refunds will be given for the life of the battery warranty as stated on the battery itself. To obtain a new battery or a refund under this limited warranty, the original battery must be returned to Costco Wholesale within the warranty period. YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, WITH RESPECT TO ALL LOSSES WHATSOEVER, SHALL BE AS SPECIFIED ABOVE. IN NO EVENT SHALL COSTCO WHOLESALE BE LIABLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND. TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW IN YOUR STATE OR JURISDICTION, COSTCO WHOLESALE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANYOTHER EXPRESSWARRANTY,IMPLIEDWARRANTYOF MERCHANTABILITY, IMPLIED WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULARPURPOSEORANYOTHERIMPLIED WARRANTY. Proof of purchase is required for all claims. This limited warranty is void if the date coding on the battery is removed or destroyed. If more than one date is indicated, computation will be made using the earliest date indicated. If a passenger car battery is used in a commercial vehicle, diesel vehicle (not including passenger automobiles and pickups), truck with a carrying capacity of more than one ton, lawn tractor, snowmobile, recreational vehicle, golf cart, or marine vehicle, the limited warranty is reduced to a free-replacement period of six months and a pro rata limited warranty period of one half the indicated life for that battery. The same policy applies to golf cart and marine batteries that are used for commercial purposes even if the battery was made for that application. Costco Wholesale Corporation PO Box 34535 Seattle, WA 98124-1535 1 (800) 774-2678 www.costco.com US Cont. April 2, 2018 No totally wrong.
 
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America's Dairyland
Same sad story that says Walmart gets lower quality Mobil1 than the rest of the free market. Utter bull. Costco has a lower markup and a required membership fee to join, they make their margins elsewhere.
 
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Next time I'm in Costco, I'm going to speak with someone in person concerning the warranty and tier level. I downloaded the PDF concerning the warranty mentioned above. Thank you Mr. Ferguson. Again, Costco has always been great. Although; I found it odd that Costco couldn't get a group 75 battery for the Vette. Yeah, I don't like bad mouthing competition without justified facts. I don't believe everything I'm told. Sources are important.
 
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CA
Originally Posted by LotI
Same sad story that says Walmart gets lower quality Mobil1 than the rest of the free market. Utter bull. Costco has a lower markup and a required membership fee to join, they make their margins elsewhere.
There maybe something to that story. With the exception of 1, every Costco/Interstate battery I have purchased for myself or for my friends has lasted less than 3.5 years. Almost every other brand has lasted longer for me.
 
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SW Ohio
Of course a competitor is going make up some story like that, that being Costco sells "cheaper" batteries. A sales rep at Best Buy told me that the TVs sold at Walmart are factory rejects too.... As for the warranty, I'll put money on it that the deal is something like this: Costco buys a huge volume of batteries from their supplier and on top of that, they agree to waive warranty coverage. Their price gets lowered further with that deal. This is why other resellers of the same battery "name" won't -- and shouldn't -- touch those batteries.
 
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CA
Why would Costco sell an inferior battery and then offer a 42 month full replacement no questions asked warranty?
 
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CA
Originally Posted by user52165
Why would Costco sell an inferior battery and then offer a 42 month full replacement no questions asked warranty?
It's advertising. Most cars that need a battery are 3-4 years old already. So when the second one dies, it is 6-8 years old and is either with its second owner, or the car is at a repair shop who replaces the battery with a different brand.
 
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Originally Posted by user52165
Why would Costco sell an inferior battery and then offer a 42 month full replacement no questions asked warranty?
I concur. But, in this case. Costco couldn't order the battery.
 
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WY
I hear that Costco gets the good batteries and Interstate gets the blems, seconds and marginal testers.
 
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Originally Posted by sloinker
I hear that Costco gets the good batteries and Interstate gets the blems, seconds and marginal testers.
Lol! .......
 
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Virginia
Maybe in part because those batteries are sold "fresher and newer"...???? That does help A LOT I believe... Getting a hold of a really old dated dust bunny battery from somewhere will be just about guaranteed to fail much sooner than later. Flooded batteries lose 5-12 percent of their charge per month sitting uncharged... That adds up awful quickly. A battery sitting for an entire year with no charge ever added will lose a lot of capacity.
 
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Cincinnati, USA
There is nothing inferior about the Costco batteries. They are the same thing, in the same CCA rating. They don't sit around for a year discharging, it is routine for battery sellers to top off charge on aging stock. Of course this is not a guarantee that all do, but if you're that worried about it, take along a multimeter and measure the voltage.
 
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5,245
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San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by Dave9
There is nothing inferior about the Costco batteries. They are the same thing, in the same CCA rating. They don't sit around for a year discharging, it is routine for battery sellers to top off charge on aging stock. Of course this is not a guarantee that all do, but if you're that worried about it, take along a multimeter and measure the voltage.
I'm not quite sure that they're identical. As far as I can tell, the Costco Interstates are exclusively JCI. There are various types, although for the most part I agree that they would never try to sabotage them. It sounds like Costco gets them at a really good price, where they have to warrant them, and where they don't have the typical Interstate service where they come by and rotate out stock and charge them before putting them back in stock - to keep them from sulfating. When Interstate buys from JCI, Exide, or East Penn, they take on responsibility for the warranty. I'm not quite sure why Costco has gone through Interstate when they used to deal directly with JCI, but they likely do that for a reason. The other thing is that Costco saves money by limiting distribution. In my are they don't have any Group 51, although they have 51R.
 
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2,026
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CA
"The other thing is that Costco saves money by limiting distribution. In my are they don't have any Group 51, although they have 51R" It's not just distribution with Costco, size of store matters. There are 10 Costcos in my area and none carry exactly the same of anything from cereal to batteries etc. Try a bigger Costco, you might find it.
 
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Originally Posted by user52165
"The other thing is that Costco saves money by limiting distribution. In my are they don't have any Group 51, although they have 51R" It's not just distribution with Costco, size of store matters. There are 10 Costcos in my area and none carry exactly the same of anything from cereal to batteries etc. Try a bigger Costco, you might find it.
I've looked at every Costco in my area, and even some outside. Every single Costco in my area is massive. I've heard of Costco Group 51s being available in the Seattle area, but none in Northern California. Years ago I bought a Kirkland Signature Group 51 for my wife's car, but lasted less than 2 years after several instances where my wife left the map lights on as well as several jumps. It also needed a new door sensor, where the headlight warning chime wouldn't go on because it through the driver side door was closed. Costco gave a full refund of the purchase price (plus a return of the core fee) but they didn't have a replacement available. I ended up getting a special (pickup only) on a DieHard Group 51 that lasted for 7 years. But then I looked again (Costcos around me still don't have any) and the cheapest battery I could find was a Deka Group 51 for about $75 at Lowe's. That was an adventure too since they're not a car battery seller per se like Home Depot. They charged me the core fee but wouldn't accept my core because they couldn't take in an old battery.
 
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