Should you buy a water softener at Costco?
Probably not. Costco doesn’t offer the best water treatment systems.
By buying a water softener with your Costco Cash Card, you’re limiting yourself to only one brand of water treatment system: EcoWater. EcoWater treatment systems may not be right for your home, and it’s always a good idea to shop around before you make a final decision.
Here’s the first reason why you shouldn’t buy a water softener at Costco:
Not Every “Deal” at Costco is Actually a Deal
Costco markets itself as a wholesale retailer essentially. They sell the same products as the grocery stores, but they do it in a warehouse, in bulk, before they ship those products to the stores.
And, since they sell everything in bulk, therefore saving a bunch of money on transport, they can sell those goods to you at a much lower price than your local big-box grocery store. That’s true evenafter you shell out the cash for an annual (expensive) membership fee.
For the most part, the system seems to work just fine.Cheapist wrote a review of common products sold at Costco. They found that 43 out of 50 items were, in fact, cheaper than Kroger (although I don’t think Kroger is the least expensive grocery store to compare).
With that said, however, I’m sure you’ve had the experience of running into a product at Costco and thought to yourself, “Wait a second. I can buy thatway cheaper at the grocery store.” And, not only that, but it was sold in a pack of 12 when you only needed one.
For example, Squawkfox found that, compared to a local grocery store, “fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat” was much more expensive at Costco.
Regardless, for our purposes, we’re just trying to make a couple points: Not everything at Costco is a deal, and they don’t offer a whole lot of brand variety.
EcoWater Water Softener Reviews: The Costco Water Softener
After inquiring about a Costco water softener, Costco will send an EcoWater representative to your house to “test” the water and give you a free in-home consultation to determine what system is best for you.
Right off the bat, that’s a warning sign. We’ve written before about the ease with which you can test hard water at home. All it takes is a hard water testing strip, and you can buy those online from Amazon for $10.
So why would EcoWater send you a representative? Simple: because the representative is really just there to sell the system.
This is a really old trick in the world of water softening sales. Even though it’s a pretty simple concept to grasp, many people still don’t understand how water softeners work. When you send a “specialist” to their house -- someone who appears to be on the same level as a mechanic or electrician, most people are inclined to buy whatever they’re selling.
There’s nothing necessarilywrong with that. It might be a bit shady of a sales tactic, but as long as you’re getting a good deal on a great water softener from Costco, you should have no reason to complain, right?
What are People Saying about EcoWater Water Softeners?
If you want to know everything you need to know about EcoWater Water Softeners, check out this discussion fromsome potential customers in Orange County:
“Looking to find opinions on anyone who may have recently installed an EcoWater softener/refiner via Costco. I was quoted almost $5000 for the ERR3500, then a $500 costco cash card gets sent 4 weeks after install.”
Again, this is another red flag. Check out our article on whether or not youshould rent or buy a water softener and you’ll find that most water softeners, including professional installation, are going to cost amaximum of $4,000.
Here’s what another said:
“Besides the pricey unit, the Extremely pushy attitude from the rep. who kept asking me why I cannot sign the contract now made me extremely uncomfortable. She quoted me the most expensive system. After I asked her any lower price point option, she finally gave me the other basic model but kept telling me how bad that unit is.”
This lines up with exactly what we thought might happen. When most water softener companies send a representative to your house, they’re really nothing more than salesmen. Don’t be swayed into making a decision on the spot. Always weigh your options before moving forward.
Conclusion: Should You Buy a Water Softener at Costco?
Our verdict: almost definitely not.
There’s nothing inherentlywrongwith the water softeners sold by Costco, but 1) the units are very expensive and 2) there’s a lack of brand variety. You might think that, because you have a Costco membership, everything you buy there is going to be cheaper than anywhere else. As it turns out, that’s not true for fresh fruits, veggies, meat, and even water softeners.
Even after you get the $500 rebate in the form of a Costco cash card, if you’re anything like that one OC resident, the system will still set you back $4500 including installation. The average cost of a water softener should be anywhere from $600-$3000, and the ones with $3000 are certainly on the higher end (designed for big families, bordering on being viable for commercial use).
Plus, we don’t know about you, but we don’t like having to turn down pushy salespeople. Why invite one into your home before you’ve done the proper research?
Additionally, there are much cheaper alternatives on the market that are so easy to install your local plumber can do it (or you can, with a little bit of DIY knowledge).
Check out our store if you want to see some of thedeals we’re offering. Also, check outour blog to learn more about the various types of water softeners. Our goal is to help you stay informed so that you can make the best decision as a consumer, and our bet is that you’ll decide to buy one of our systems
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