Lower Tier Interstate batteries @ Costco?

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4,113
Location
SW Ohio
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.
How common are 51R batteries ? That will be a factor too. If there's another battery that's just a bit smaller, they may have chosen to substitute the smaller one. It will fit (may not be optimal on CCA, etc, but that's their decision) and they stock (1) battery vs (2).
 
Messages
4,113
Location
SW Ohio
Originally Posted by y_p_w
As far as I can tell, the Costco Interstates are exclusively JCI. When Interstate buys from JCI, Exide, or East Penn...
It's entirely possible that in your area, Costco batteries are from JCI. In another area they're from East Penn. In another area, they're Exide. Same thing appears to go with Walmart - regional variations in the OEM supplier of their batteries.
 
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5,387
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by hallstevenson
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.
How common are 51R batteries ? That will be a factor too. If there's another battery that's just a bit smaller, they may have chosen to substitute the smaller one. It will fit (may not be optimal on CCA, etc, but that's their decision) and they stock (1) battery vs (2).
51 and 51R are the same size/performance (just reversed terminals), and pretty much as small as one can find in any OEM-sized battery in a car. But the deal is that for some reason the 51R is available at Costcos here but not the 51. I see other stores like WM, Batteries Plus, Sears, Autozone, O'Reilley's where there are as many 51 as 51R on the shelves. Not sure why our local Costcos just don't seem to have one that's close in popularity as the other.
 
Messages
5,387
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Originally Posted by y_p_w
As far as I can tell, the Costco Interstates are exclusively JCI. When Interstate buys from JCI, Exide, or East Penn...
It's entirely possible that in your area, Costco batteries are from JCI. In another area they're from East Penn. In another area, they're Exide. Same thing appears to go with Walmart - regional variations in the OEM supplier of their batteries.
Sure. I do remember when JCI was the exclusive supplier of Interstate car batteries. JCI had a website where they had a listing of various brands which were JCI exclusives.
 
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1,057
Location
WV
Costco and Interstate have a good relationship. Interstate made the Kirkland batteries for them. Then they decided to carry the Interstate batteries. They get them cheap but they have to service/replace etc. They are the same quality batteries. They just don't carry every one. I could not get a battery for my MB there nor could they order it. I have a Kirkland battery that has been in my Ford 150 for years and it's still strong. My daughter has a Kirkland battery in her MB with 216k on the car. Been in there a long time. Still strong.
 
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5,387
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by loneryder
Costco and Interstate have a good relationship. Interstate made the Kirkland batteries for them. Then they decided to carry the Interstate batteries. They get them cheap but they have to service/replace etc. They are the same quality batteries. They just don't carry every one. I could not get a battery for my MB there nor could they order it. I have a Kirkland battery that has been in my Ford 150 for years and it's still strong. My daughter has a Kirkland battery in her MB with 216k on the car. Been in there a long time. Still strong.
Interstate has no manufacturing. They've always been a distributor and marketer. Their biggest traditional relationship was with the former Johnson Controls battery division (now Clarios). Costco used to directly purchase Kirkland Signature batteries from JCI.
 
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1,017
Location
dayton oh
kirkland is a "sticker shop" i deal with a local interstate dealer and you would be surprised how many house brands,vehicle brands,and relabels of others to their brand. most interstate products differ only in the case from other jci product. when i needed some golfcart batts for a solar install they came off of a u.s. battery tagged pallet and the guy applied the stickers as they sat on my truck. they had just gotten the shipment and had not prepared them yet.
 
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5,387
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by kc8adu
kirkland is a "sticker shop" i deal with a local interstate dealer and you would be surprised how many house brands,vehicle brands,and relabels of others to their brand. most interstate products differ only in the case from other jci product. when i needed some golfcart batts for a solar install they came off of a u.s. battery tagged pallet and the guy applied the stickers as they sat on my truck. they had just gotten the shipment and had not prepared them yet.
JCI (or whatever they're called now) has a variety of different battery types, but I don't necessarily get that their American made flooded batteries are of any lower "tier" or not. They may be tailored for different requirements such as higher CCA or higher longevity. I look at the JCI made OEM batteries. They're typically lower CCA rated with thicker plates. It may not sound as impressive, but I'd rather have that in my climate since thicker plates tends to result in a battery that lasts longer. I think one reason for specifying those is that a lot of new cars sit on the lot, and that might help. But Interstate retail batteries are always in a translucent white shell. The Costco Interstates are black. I don't think that white is an Interstate exclusive, but that's something that's a signature of their retail line.
 
Messages
1,770
Location
Cincinnati, USA
^ Doubtful, all the OEM factory batteries I've seen with lower CCA were just a lower tier battery, not thicker plates, picked by the OEM because it cost less. One way to tell is that they weigh less due to less lead. I mean when both are flooded, not factory AGM replaced with aftermarket flooded.
 
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Messages
1,057
Location
WV
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Originally Posted by loneryder
Costco and Interstate have a good relationship. Interstate made the Kirkland batteries for them. Then they decided to carry the Interstate batteries. They get them cheap but they have to service/replace etc. They are the same quality batteries. They just don't carry every one. I could not get a battery for my MB there nor could they order it. I have a Kirkland battery that has been in my Ford 150 for years and it's still strong. My daughter has a Kirkland battery in her MB with 216k on the car. Been in there a long time. Still strong.
Interstate has no manufacturing. They've always been a distributor and marketer. Their biggest traditional relationship was with the former Johnson Controls battery division (now Clarios). Costco used to directly purchase Kirkland Signature batteries from JCI.
I would bet that Interstate and Costco's Kirkland have certain higher standards than most even if they come out of the same factory. All of Kirkland branded items have high standards as in "equal to or better than" the brand name products.
 
Messages
98
Location
Portland, OR
I used to deal with the Costco DC in Sumner, WA in an old job. From what I remember, Costco previously bought batteries direct from JCI and handled them all directly; these were the old black and gold batteries. That was changed in 2014 or 2015 when Costco switched to using Interstate. The reason was that they could leverage Interstate's distribution network by switching them to vendor managed inventory.
 
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2,011
Location
california
Interstate does not manufacture batteries. The are a battery marketer. Johnson controls is one of their manufacturers. Whether Costco interstates are the same as non costco...who knows. Even if they weigh the same the plate paste formulation could be different..
 
Messages
3,323
Location
Kansas, USA
Just got a Costco battery for the RV last week guess I should of weighed the old OReilly battery and the new one. Off hand the weight felt about the same. I don't see a company having two lines for batteries.. a friend of mine visited a antifreeze plant and he said both house brand and national brand came off the same lines just different bottles and labels.. same thing.
 
Messages
98
Location
Portland, OR
Originally Posted by wrcsixeight
Interstate does not manufacture batteries. The are a battery marketer. Johnson controls is one of their manufacturers. Whether Costco interstates are the same as non costco...who knows. Even if they weigh the same the plate paste formulation could be different..
Yes that is correct. Interstate is just a distribution network that contracts out their manufacturing. Right now, they mostly use Exide as I recall. However Costco switched to using Interstate for their distribution as it now is vendor managed inventory.
 
Messages
4,113
Location
SW Ohio
Originally Posted by Eric Smith
I don't see a company having two lines for batteries.. a friend of mine visited a antifreeze plant and he said both house brand and national brand came off the same lines just different bottles and labels.. same thing.
Very true. From a high-volume manufacturing standpoint, it makes NO sense to produce smaller batches of products that have minor differences just for label or brand reasons vs producing the same product in 2x, 3x, 5x, etc the volume and then put it in different packaging.
 
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2,043
Location
WY
I don't know about manufactured Items like batteries but in the paper mill I used to work at their were minimum criteria and testing required for different commodity papers/linerboard. We would manufacture to a minimum cost per ton out the door unless the buyer contracted for better product which some of them did. I could see this with batteries but don't know for sure.
 

wdn

Messages
1,255
Location
NH
Write to Interstate corporate headquarters and inform them that Interstate battery store manager told you the Interstate batteries sold b ly Costco are of inferior quality to those sold as his store. Include the store number the letter and ask for clarification from Interstate. Be sure to cc: Costco corporate headquarters in the letter, and mail the same letter to Costco too.
 
Messages
1,770
Location
Cincinnati, USA
^ Seems like a big waste of time to me. Interstate will probably pat the manager on the head for trying to sell more batteries, and Costco has more important things to do than a witch hunt for that manager, which they have no control over, can't fire since he isn't employed there, and hearsay makes for a poor lawsuit if there was any. I guess costco could go on a crusade and email Interstate a nasty message like "Cut that out" and interstate can fire back "didn't happen".
 
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1,680
Location
WA
Costco dropped their 42 months warranty to 36 months.

Wal-Mart EverStart Maxx is the same price but has 60 months warranty. 3Yr + 2 Yr prorated. also lots of stores everywhere in case of return.
 
Messages
1,770
Location
Cincinnati, USA
^ Good to know. Walmart is not only a buck cheaper than Costco for the last Maxx I bought, but also it's not just that stores are everywhere but also those near me are open 24/7. I mean before the pandemic, now various portions close between 7PM and 10PM and the auto care center is completely shut down, though the battery racks are accessible from the main store, just walk a cart back and grab one to take to a front register.
 
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