If you’ve ever been tempted to “cheap-out” and buy the “generic” Kirkland Costco batteries…I got BIG news for you. DO IT! Like every time you shop if you can. It turns out Costco actually contracts with a VERY popular name-brand battery manufacturer to produce their batteries for them. Same goes for their hearing aid batteries. Here’s everything you need to know about buying batteries from your local Costco.
What Batteries Does Costco Sell?
Costco currently sells the following batteries:
1. Alkaline Batteries
Not only do they sell the Kirkland brand but they also sell Duracell. They sell AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V sizes.
Much to my surprise, the Costco CEO recently divulged that Kirkland batteries are actually made by Duracell.
So why pay up to 35 cents more per battery with Duracell when you can opt for the Kirkland brand knowing that the quality is probably identical.
Is their a chance Duracell is producing a sub-par battery and putting the Kirkland label on it? Yes, of course.
But from personal experience, and from talking to others, I have found very little difference in quality and life expectancy.
Look at it this way, even if the Kirkland brand was only 80% as good as Duracell, you would still be ahead in terms of price.
2. Hearing Aid Batteries
Costco only sells their own Kirkland brand hearing aid battery. But they get rave reviews both in terms of price and how long they last.
Many reviewers actually said the Kirkland brand lasts 2-3 times longer than major brands like Rayovac and Power One.
Kirkland hearing aid batteries will cost you $0.23/each on average, while you’ll pay close to $0.50/each with the leading name brands.
I’ve also read that the Kirkland brand hearing aid batteries are made by Ray-O-Vac as of 2016.
Trying to track down if this is still accurate, let me know in the comments if you have any insider information on this.
3. Auto, Marine, RV, and Tractor Batteries
Costco no longer sells a Kirkland branded car battery as it’s been replaced in recent years by the Interstate brand.
Some people believe that the Kirkland car battery was such a good battery that Costco wasn’t making any money on them as they were lasting for 7+ years.
So, in comes the Interstate brand with a 3.5 year replacement warranty and according to Consumer Pete, an “optimized warranty period so that people’s car batteries will die outside the warranty period with no recourse.”
Buyer be warned.
I really wish Costco would bring back the Kirkland car battery as it was a GREAT thing for consumers.
Conclusion: Always Shop Smart
When buying batteries, there’s little evidence to suggest that buying the Costco store-brand is not the smart way to go.
But be warned that quality and life expectancy can quickly change.
This is especially true if Costco tries to lower their costs by skimping on the quality of their Kirkland batteries.
Ask the Reader: What has been your experience buying Costco batteries? Let me know in the comments section below, thanks.
By Kyle James
Photos courtesy of Costco.