By Kerry Johnson
WHEN MY HUSBAND and I were house hunting,
we searched for a home with a large yard. We hoped
one day to have children and get a dog, and wanted
a large area where they could play, a welcoming
space where we could entertain friends and maybe
even a spot where we could grow some vegetables.
We did buy a house with a huge yard. A huge
yard with no landscaping and poor drainage.
;irteen years later, we have the kids and the
pooch. And we ;xed the drainage problem (because
it rains a lot here). But that’s as far as we got.
So, it’s a lovely space—for our dog.
Now, as yet another spring arrives, it’s time to
make the yard suitable for the rest of us. But I need
help. So I turn to Costco. I ;nd that my favorite
warehouse club has everything I need for my project, from furniture to fertilizer, pruners to plants.
I start with Alex McGavin, who buys lawn and
garden items for Costco.com. He says the website
o;ers several outdoor furniture options that would
be perfect for entertaining, and encourages me to
consider one of the estate collections.
“We bundled our best-selling patio sets into
what we call ‘estate collections,’ ” he says. “Instead of
buying a dining set, a deep seating set and a ;re chat
set separately, our members can buy them together
and save money.
“We’re able to gain e;ciencies and can
negotiate a better freight rate by getting all
three of those to the member’s door at
once rather than having three separate
transactions. And we do that on many of
our patio sets.”
Alex shows me the 22-piece Saratoga
Formal Estate Collection. It includes an
11-piece dining set, a six-piece deep seat-
ing set and a ;ve-piece conversation set
with a ;re pit.
“If a member buys the collection,” he
says, “they are going to save almost $800
versus buying the sets separately from
Costco.” And that’s above and beyond the
value Costco o;ers on the
“All of our patio sets are designed by us, so they
are exclusive to Costco,” Alex explains. “And, we use
only premium materials and premium construction, so it’s hard to do an apples-to-apples price
comparison with other retailers’ sets. However, we
typically show a 25 percent or greater savings compared to similar items available in the marketplace.”
I remember that two of my friends are looking
for a patio set for their deck. I ask Alex if Costco carries anything suitable for smaller spaces like theirs.
“Absolutely,” he says. “The Hampton Deep
Seating Sectional on our site is modular, so you can
move it into di;erent con;gurations. It’s made up of
individual components, so you can ;t them any way
you want into your space.”
Costco warehouses also offer small-space
options, notes lawn and garden buyer Christine
Andreychuk. She shows me a three-piece woven
café set, with two chairs and a small table.
“It’s a woven wicker group,” she says, “and the
wicker is actually padded, so the seats don’t need
Best of all? “It’s $399.99,” she says. “Similar sets
cost almost $1,000 elsewhere.”
Woven café set for smaller spaces. Item #965469
© IRIANA SHIYAN/SHUTTERSTOCK
Create a more
Kerry Johnson, who writes
about health, consumer
and lifestyle topics from
her home in the Seattle
area, fills this month’s
consumer reporter slot
with this behind-the-scenes look at a Costco
program. Send questions
about this article to: