Sam's vs. Costco

(Jane Reed) #42

There are only a few items I purchase as these monster stores and I’m buying only for myself. When the price of membership at Costco went up, I switched back to Sam’s. I can’t ignore a $20 difference.

(LeeAnn Brooks) #43

It’s more up front, but again, Costco will NEVER mark up a product more than 15%. And that’s the top end. Some products we take a loss on. Sam’s will not make that guarantee. Most products are marked up 40% or more.

Oh, and with the new tax plan that saved companies millions, Costco is passing it along to members and employees. They are rolling out a new product savings program where merchandise will be marked way down. The items will be specially signed and will change from month to month. They believe that extra money should go directly back to the employees and members vs stock buy backs and share holder profits (though some of it will go to shareholders too- just not the bulk of it).

(Doug) #44

All other things being equal, Costco sounds good to me. In looking at this price comparison from 2015 between Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale, it’s really mostly the luck-of-the-draw, depending on what one is shopping for. All 3 were quite competitive on price. Liking the store brands would be a huge plus.

(Edith) #45

I’ve been a Costco member since 1990. My only complaint is that it seems every time I’ve bought a product that I really like, they discontinue selling it. It seems like they say, “Oh-oh, Edith has bought this three times. Time to get rid of it.”


I do feel their meat is better quality than BJs. I got a cheap membership at BJs this year to try it out, but Costco keeps calling to me.


One thing that sucks about Costco is the cards they accept. Only debit and Visa are accepted. No more Amex. Can’t use MC either. Since my primary cards are Amex and MC I’ve had a few issues in the past, mostly with work related expenses though. Just something to keep in mind.

(LeeAnn Brooks) #47

Since we can only carry a limited number of products (approx 4,000 when suppernarkets carry over 200,000), we switch what we carry often. Here’s a hint. If you see a * on the right hand corner of the sign, it means we are discontinuing it. If you see this and like the product, stock up, fast.

(LeeAnn Brooks) #48

The reason we do that is because retailers pay 2-3% of the total sales in fees to the credit card company. By only accepting visa, we get to have an exclusivity contract with them and waive that fee altogether. It saves tens of millions of dollars that Costco uses to keep its overhead low and ensure the 15% markup guarantee. If we did things other retailer said did, like extended hours and accepting all credit cards, we would never be able to keep that guarantee and prices would rise.

(Mother of Puppies ) #49

Sams always appears to be dimly-lit and grimy.
Too depressing for me to shop there

Costco’s store brand products are great also


Isn’t COSTCO twice the price of BJ’s? I have BJ membership, and use it mostly for cheese, cream, and dog biscuits. Everything else is too expensive so I shop at Aldi

(Doug) #51

You used to be able to get a “Costco” American Express card, though - we live in crazy times.

Long ago, I think Amex charged 6%, while the other two big cards in the U.S. - Bank Americard/Visa, and Mastercharge/MasterCard were about 3%. Rates have been coming down - Amex now says it will charge an average of 2.37%.

(Edith) #52

Thanks! I will definitely keep that in mind.



I’m curious, how does the “15% markup guarantee” apply to things which go on sale? For example a blender that sells for $349 is suddenly on sale for $299. Do they sell at a loss for those sale items? Or do they call them “special buys”? Or is it one where if you tell me you have to kill me? I’m legitimately curious because I’ve seen Costco sale items for well over 20-30% off. And yes I am about to pull the trigger on a $350 blender, please don’t judge haha

(LeeAnn Brooks) #54

The sales are actually instant manufacture rebates, so it’s the manufacturer that’s making the mark down.

Unless you see a price that ends in 7. In this case it’s because we are discontinuing for quick sale. This can be done due to sell by dates or because we need the floor space for new incoming merchandise, in either case it’s likely we are taking a loss on the item.

(LeeAnn Brooks) #55

And if you’re talking about the Vitamix, I love mine.


I chose Sams only because they carry Premier Protein shakes - if Costco had them - that would be better in my book since I have always had a great experience there. I am enjoying Sams free delivery service though, so that’s a nice feature. We will see how that goes going forward.

(LeeAnn Brooks) #57

Um… Costco does carry Premier Protein shakes.

And offers free delivery on most items. Can’t get it from the warehouse, so maybe that’s what you mean. But definately from online.


@Anniegirl9 thanks - I’ll keep it in mind when my membership comes due. I do like Costco - such a great ethical standpoint.

(Alec) #59

Oh-oh… when I saw the headline I wondered if @Anniegirl9 was in here causing mayhem… sure enough…:clap::clap::joy::joy::see_no_evil:

(LeeAnn Brooks) #60

You expect me to pass up a Costco thread? :rofl:

(Alec) #61

oh, I thought it was a Sam’s Club thread? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Now, LeeAnn, say it after me, Sam’s… Club… come on you can say it…