Costco and 5W-50 Syntec.....just don't understand this one!

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Sep 8, 2005
Went to a Costco warehouse in the city, and was having a look at the prices in their lube center: 5W or 10W-30 GTX oil change, $21.99 (great price); 5W-20 GTX oil change, $22.99 (again, great price); and Castrol Syntec 5W-50 oil change, $38.99. Good price, but whats with the grade? After, I looked at the oil selection in the store, and it was like in the lube center - for synthetic, they only sell cases of Syntec 5W-50, and they had LOTS of them. Why would a store like this base its synthetic oil sales on an obscure and basically unecessay grade like this? I can understand they are trying to sell cheap products, so if Castrol isn't selling a lot of 5W-50, they offer it to them to sell cheap. But it brings up another question: if Castrol is having trouble selling the 5w-50 grade, why make so much of it? If most people in NA look in their owners manuals, or ask about oil grades, they are told 5 or 10W-30. No-one would usually recommend 5W-50, so why would a store not at least offer some of these more popular grades? Just seems like a pointless waste of shelf space......
Seen it used it several European cars and is the stock factory grade on the new Ford GT in case you happen to have purchased one.
Yeah...Ford seems to have gone ga-ga for this grade - it is also the fill in a new 'Shelby' variant that is coming out. And this from the company that uses 5W-20 as the preferred grade on almost every car they build! Get a feeling Ford is pulling a fast one - 5W-20 on regular cars that they don't care if they live past warranty, and 5W-50 on cars they want to last, and be able to kick butt on the street and track! Ford owners are just lucky that 5W-20 oils are so well blended that the cars will last on them!
I still say it RIDICULOUS that they only sell the 5W-50 grade....even if they are catering to foreign cars manuals, there are very, very, few, if any, that recommend this grade first - most likely it is an option after 0W-40 or 5W-40..... Not that oil is their main business - the store is always packed with people shopping for food, just seems that a waste that is you are going to the trouble of offering this product, to offer one that very few will buy....but they do have VERY cheap Formula Shell 5W-30 and 10W-30....
5W50 is by far the most popular syn grade here. Mobil sells shiploads of it's most widely available grade M1 5W50. M1 10W30 and 15W50 available from mobil distributor only.
Originally posted by addyguy: just seems that a waste that is you are going to the trouble of offering this product, to offer one that very few will buy...
If it wasn't selling they wouldn't continue to stock it.
Costco is driven by numbers. If it sells and they can buy in lots that sell before the bill is due, it's on the shelves. By that I mean, if they can sell 100 units of somthing in 80 days they will ask for 90 day terms on the purchase. If the vendor wants more of his product in the store, he has to go to 120 days and so on. So, if you see Castrol Syntec 5w-50 on the shelves, it's selling. Costco never deals with their own money for stuff it stocks in the store. You may also ask why Costo's return policy is so easy. They take things back they know the customer has screwed up and broken. It's because the vendor eats all the returns. It only costs Costco the time it take to refund you money (the vendor's money). Belive me, 5w-50 must be selling.
Well, 5w-50 must be selling IN CANADA at any rate! Now we have Mobil 1 5w-50 TOO! I guess it's a real competitive shoot-out - Costco has Castrol and Wal-Mart has Mobil 1. BOTH of them must be selling it, or they wouldn't stock it! Cheers JJ
5w50 is a grade listed as an option in a lot of foreign car owners manuals. They are probably taking advantage of this.
Regarding the claim that it sells, the simple explanation is that consumers are dumb. I bought a case just because of a cheap price before my BITOG education. Average consumer will see low price and ignore grade as they don't really understand it or care about it. It would be a good choice for hot climates like Australia, but here in Canada it is the exact opposite of what we need. More people are likely to need 5W20 for winter than 5W50 for summer. I am with you addyguy, perplexed. Clearly their motives are financial. They can probably get it on the cheap and fool enough customers to buy it with the cheap price. Regarding foreign cars, at least here in Ottawa the majority of vehicles are smaller Hondas and Mazdas, which are at most 5W30. Perhaps in July and August one might want to go up to 15W40 (say for vans/SUVs/trucks), but that would me more than enough viscosity. I am working away my 5W50 mistake in the bike and lawn tractor, mixing in bit by bit. Actually as I loose viscocity in the bike (feel it in the clutch) I added less than qt of 5W50 and boy did I notice the difference. That is some high viscocity for ya [Frown] )
Yip, seen Syntec 5w50 in Costco for over 5 years now. I always reach for the Shell dino oil seeing it is a great price.
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