Leona Morales and her husband Neil came to Costco for food, but came out with other items.
“We got some cute baby clothes, toys, some avocados and a magazine," said Morales, a Costco regular.
You can call it the “Costco effect” that keeps customers coming to the world's leading warehouse membership chain over other local stores.
"What you would pay for at another store like Albertsons? Here, you can save more money on more things," she added.
And, no wonder Costco shoppers spend more than they plan. There are no signs or directory, so shoppers often wander and stumble across items they weren't expecting.
For many in Bakersfield, it's simply the lower prices. Gary Beeson and his wife drive to the Costco near downtown Bakersfield from Tehachapi. He says he loves to stock up on fruit, snacks, and cereal for his family.
"It's cheaper,” said Beeson. “You can buy a lot, and we do a month's worth of shopping when we come down.”
Spending more is impossible to avoid when everything is sold in bulk. Shoppers can buy a 60-pack of waffles, 90 eggs and dozens of packages of toilet paper and bottled water.
“It's part of the American psychology that more and bigger is better,” says marketing consultant Pam Danziger, who studies what stores do and why they do it. “What Costco does is it really understands their consumer, understanding what's going to excite them.”
“Items like Sony flat screens, Cartier watches, and Prada handbags could be in stores one day and gone the next.
Shawna Poe says shopping at Costco works for her entire family. "Costco has great prices,” she says. “And, when you have a family that you're feeding, it's nice to have the bulk of things to buy at a good deal."
Costco has a $93 billion empire. The CNBC documentary called “Costco Craze" aired Thursday night.