I actually prefer BJ's Wholesale club. It's pretty much the same thing, but unfortunately is a bit of a drive for me. I LOVE the fact that they have an onsite butcher and deli case.. I frequent Sams quite a bit and the prices are even better if you purchase meats but the case!
i don't know what Sam's club is...but as for Costco...i don't shop there...those big box stores take away biz from the small local merchant...and i feel strongly that i should not have to pay a fee to make a purchase at a store - that ole membership thing doesn't make any sense to me ...i see it as a marketing ploy...being a member to spend money makes me chuckle all the way to my bank...but that's just me....groups are dangerous...just sayin'!
I prefer Costco, but I have never seen a Sam's Club, so my only comparison is Walmart. I avoid Walmart most of the time unless I have to pick up prescriptions, which I have to get there. I do get good buys at Costco, but as with all big box stores, you have to know your prices, because some items are not great deals. I'm an executive member, and so I save a lot getting checks printed, on credit card processing, and on other services, and these pay for the price of membership. I also get my American Express card with no annual fee. You can't beat their deal on pumpkin pie when they have it in season. I couldn't make it for less. I've never had bad service. I just wish they'd build a Costco in the North County so I would not need to drive so far to go there.
I've had memberships to both and prefer Sam's Club. It seems more oriented to the consumer rather than the business owner. It also seemed to me to be a little cheaper. Not for the same merchandise from the same manufacturer but for general purchases.
Costco has good pricing, but in general seems to have higher quality stuff there than Sam's Club, resulting in higher prices. For the most part I would prefer mid level quality and a cheaper price.
I'll probably let my Costco membership lapse this year. The past year or two it seems that their pricing has risen considerably, to the point that a little shopping around can beat it. I like their selection in many cases, (they have stuff I can't find elsewhere) but places like Home Depot, Toys R Us and Winco very often beat their prices now. I was buying my prescriptions there but even Walgreens and WalMart now beat or equal them in prices. I also hate the long check out lines even though there are two stores within 10 miles of me.
I generally shop at BJ's Wholesales but I do shop at Sam's since I have membership there also. I decide which one to shop at based on what it is that I am planning to buy since these places do sell some items that are not common among them in terms of brand names and services.
For those unfamiliar, Sam's Club is a Costco/BJ's like warehouse club owned by Wal-Mart. It is, however, very different than a normal Wal-Mart. Based on what I am hearing, it sounds like BJ's might be pretty interesting as well. I just saw that CNBC was airing a program on Costco and why people loved them so much, but it sounds like there may not be a consensus on Costco/Sam's/ or BJ's.
Costco, the nearest one here in my place is 28 miles.
Up here in Canada, it would have to be a comparision between The Real Canadian Superstore and Costco. Costco is great if you can use large quantities in a short time (which I can considering I have 5 kids -- three which are teens and one a preteen. ) However, Superstore has items that are much less expensive and there is no membership price. I prefer Costco for meats/dairy while Superstore provides an excellent assortment of produce and bakery items. I shop between the two and another store.
I don't know of a BJ's here, so I can't comment on it, but we have Sam's as well as Costco here, and I've had memberships at both. My vote is for Costco - I had an extremely negative experience at Sam's several years ago - it was so bad they gave me a year of free membership. Even then, I couldn't stand to go in the store after that. Aside from that history, the Costco is cleaner, more pleasantly configured and has a better selection of many things. Both stores are easy to get to for me (and not too far), so distance is not a factor.
The Real Canadian Superstore huh? That one is new for me. If your 5 kids eat like I did when I was a teenager, I bet you are buying everything in bulk.
Sounds like your Sam's experience might make a good hub... I would certainly read it.
28 miles. Sounds like you are pretty committed to make that journey. I am lucky to have both options with a few miles of the house.
Thanks all for the discussion.
Thanks for the idea, T.R. Brown - I hadn't thought of that. It was mostly a customer service issue (not product related - guess I should have mentioned that), but it was so bad that I don't even like to drive past the store since then. To be fair, the manager to whom I reported the problem tried hard to 'make it right,' but the incident was inexcusable, and of course we have other choices (Costco).
I agree with the point that paying the annual fee isn't always a smart economic move. When they have good prices. though, they are indeed quite good. The best time to hit one of these stores is when they open a new one and have amazing (truly amazing) specials that are door-buster priced.
I have both Costco and Sam's Club memberships, but strongly prefer shopping at Costco.
I find most of the products of better quality, starting from the fruit and veggies (strawberries in particular).
Plus Costco has a lot of the products we would not stay without at a decent price, like balsamic vinegar, mozzarella di bufala, the best rotisserie chicken, fresh bread loaves, etc.
The only reason why I have both is because Sam's is much closer to my home.
I had a Costco membership, but never had a Sam's Club membership. So, which is better isn't known.
However, I will say that I presently have a BJ's Wholesale Club membership and it's more valuable to me than any other membership I have to any other location. BJ's Wholesale Club happens to be better than Costco in my assessment in my marketplace in Western Mass.
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