[Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
munemaker
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

[Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other wholesaler clubs]

Post by munemaker » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:28 pm

There is a local Sam's Club in our area but it is a 90 minute drive to the nearest Costco.

There are a lot of Boglehead fans for Costco, but I don't read much on here about Sam's Club.

Does anyone have experience with both? Are they comparable, or is Costco superior? If so, why?

Appreciate any comments.

Thanks

Erwin007
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:29 am
Location: Intermountain West

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Erwin007 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:45 pm

Several other forum posts on this already if you do a search.

We were Sam's Club members for 8 years before joining Costco. Night and day difference in favor of Costco. Customer service at Sam's club is abysmal. I would drive 90 minutes to Costco over Sam's Club down the street if it were me, having experienced both.

Quality of products higher at Costco in my opinion, and particularly the meat department and produce. 90+% of our grocery shopping is done exclusively at Costco.

abner kravitz
Posts: 214
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 7:42 am
Location: Beaufort County, SC

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by abner kravitz » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:49 pm

I have belonged to both, and would give Costco the edge, for better quality, selection, and service. However, I have a similar situation as far as distances, and go to Sam's. For me, driving a couple of hours to a store isn't going to happen. I find Sam's meat to be pretty good (better than typical supermarket), and paper towels are paper towels.
Last edited by abner kravitz on Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gill
Posts: 3661
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Gill » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:49 pm

We belong to both, but find we don't go to Sam's very often since Costco opened. Their lines of merchandise are somewhat different, with Costco having more upscale merchandise and Sam's being better in certain hard goods.
Gill

User avatar
StevieG72
Posts: 588
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:55 pm

Sam's club for small business owners.

Costco for the consumer.

If I was just shopping for my family it would easily be just Costco.

Sam's club caters to small business needs and I have been a member for many years. I am not impressed with what they offer the average consumer and would not be a member if it was not for my business.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

runner3081
Posts: 822
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by runner3081 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:01 pm

We have a Sam's and Costco across the street from each other (more or less).

We went with Sam's for 2 main reasons.

1) Crowds - Always much slower at Sam's with plenty of checkout folks around. Hardly every a wait. Costco, well, it is a disaster, and I am not a fan of paying for the privilege of waiting in line.

2) Cost - We found that the items we buy, basic cheese, meat, etc is cheaper at Sam's Club.

sport
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by sport » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:03 pm

In my area there was a Costco and a Sam's Club about 5 miles apart. The Sam's Club closed due to "competition and lack of business". The Costco store was and still is very busy.

student
Posts: 1379
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by student » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:17 pm

I don't have much experience with Costco but I am satisfied with customer service at Sam's Club. I usually use the app on my phone to scan the items.

*3!4!/5!
Posts: 1256
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:47 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by *3!4!/5! » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:40 pm

munemaker wrote:There is a local Sam's Club in our area but it is a 90 minute drive to the nearest Costco.

There are a lot of Boglehead fans for Costco, but I don't read much on here about Sam's Club.

Does anyone have experience with both? Are they comparable, or is Costco superior? If so, why?
I might choose Costco over Sam's Club if it involved driving an extra 90 seconds.

Driving an extra 90 minutes would be absolutely insane.

infotrader
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:39 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by infotrader » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:47 pm

Both stores are of the same distance for me.
I have executive membership with Costco, and got free membership from Sam's last year, and will not renew the latter.
I think there is not much price difference between them. When they have identical items, Sam's is cheaper. The difference is shopping experience and merchandises that they carry.
Waiting in lines is the only thing that I dislike at Costco, but I will definitely NOT drive 90 minutes for it.

furikake
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:13 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by furikake » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:57 pm

Sam's Club is better if you need restaurant supplies stuff for your restaurant, and there isn't a line, they are always not busy, you can use the Scan & Go app and don't even have to check out with the rest of the shoppers. We have membership at both, because Amex gave out free membership to Sam's Club, otherwise I'm ok not going to Sam's Club or just go once a year at their open house. There are a few things we buy at Sam's Club - crab cakes (better tasting than Costco's before Costco's supplier changed their recipe) and chicken with broccoli, and Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Everything else I think Costco is better. I don't like the Costco line, so I go during the week during the day, but they're still busier than Sam's Club at weekends.

I also go to Sam's Club for gas because there is no line, and their prices are almost always the same as Costco's because they're within a mile of each other here. My Sam's Club membership is ending soon, will stock up on those freezer items and chocolate chips and won't be renewing unless it's free again.

User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 3450
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by BolderBoy » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:54 pm

co
sport wrote:In my area there was a Costco and a Sam's Club about 5 miles apart. The Sam's Club closed due to "competition and lack of business". The Costco store was and still is very busy.
Same scenario in the Louisville/Superior area of Colorado. The Sam's store closed in 2007 (I think) when it was determined that most of the people living near the Sam's were driving past it for 3 miles to get to the Costco.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

WL2034
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by WL2034 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:07 pm

I really wouldn't drive 90 minutes longer to shop at any warehouse store. I would just go without or buy local. I mean, you have to REALLY be stocking up to make a 3 hour commute and the cost of transportation even close to worth it.

As for Costco vs. Sams, it's a no contest for nearly everything. Yes, Costco has longer lines. Because a lot of people shop at Costco. Because people like Costco. If they were within 5-10 minutes of each other, I would only shop at Costco. If Costco was too far away, I would just not shop at a warehouse store.

squirm
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by squirm » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:48 pm

Depends how you value your time and atmosphere My wife and I will eat at a not so nice restaurant that is nearly empty in order to enjoy the atmosphere instead of being crammed in a nicer one that has better food.

We avoid Costco like the plague, it's always a zoo with long lines. People really go through all that just to buy a gallon on peanut? no thanks.

EagertoLearnMore
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by EagertoLearnMore » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:29 pm

Sam's Club will sell and install a new car battery. Costco sells batteries, but will not install them. Costco has very good coupon deals on tires. Don't know about Sam's Club. Quality and selection of merchandise at Costco seems better.

User avatar
Dendritic Tree
Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:20 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Dendritic Tree » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:42 pm

I've been a member at both. There's a reason the lines are longer at Costco. Quality is better all-around at Costco compared to Sam's, no contest. Plus I rarely wait more than 5 minutes even when it's a "zoo" - they typically have managers on the floor doing air traffic control and helping pre-scan items in your cart before you make it to the register.

We recently moved to a town with a Sam's but no Costco. Now our nearest Costco is about 1hr 15 min away. We go less often now but there are certain Costco brand things we can't do without (a lot of their stuff is better than "name brand" to us). You'd better believe we make that drive and stock up.

Helo80
Posts: 437
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Helo80 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:43 pm

Both have pros and cons. I'm glad that both exist as they keep each other honest.

At Sam's, I get a 5 cent discount on gas that is already competitively priced. Costco tends to be a nightmare getting in and out of their gas station. Sam's takes more credit cards and right now, I have been getting 10% cashback with my Discover it card for every Sam's purchase (5% quarter plus 5% new customer match incentive). So, new glasses, car batteries, and a general home stock up took place at Sam's this quarter.

Sam's also has a lot more locations --- so tire wise, I find both Costco and Sam's to be fairly competitive with each other, but if you have a problem tire wise that needs warrantied, Sam's is around more locations. A few years ago, I forget the exact reason why my tire got warrantied (I think unrepairable flat), and Sam's voluntarily prorated out the cost of the tire for me.

Costco tends to be pickier about where they locate stores --- generally more affluent areas.

Sam's tends to run more specials on their membership incentives than Costco does ---- most recently, I re-upped for $45 with $20 gift card, a free chicken, 36-ct dinner rolls, and apple pie. Where as Sam's usually has something twice a year, Costco has had maybe one in the last five years to my recollection.

Furthermore, not sure if it's just my area, but standard Costco meat cuts just suck. Sam's, wherever they're pulling from, tends to have more tender and better tasting cow meat. I don't buy any meat at Costco anymore because of this.

knight rider
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:06 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by knight rider » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:50 pm

I was a member of Sam's Club for a year or so. It always seemed like an oversized Wal-Mart. Costco has much better products, especially their Kirkland brand. As was said above, there's a reason the lines are long at Costco!

core4portfolio
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:12 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by core4portfolio » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:23 pm

Erwin007 wrote:Several other forum posts on this already if you do a search.

We were Sam's Club members for 8 years before joining Costco. Night and day difference in favor of Costco. Customer service at Sam's club is abysmal. I would drive 90 minutes to Costco over Sam's Club down the street if it were me, having experienced both.

Quality of products higher at Costco in my opinion, and particularly the meat department and produce. 90+% of our grocery shopping is done exclusively at Costco.
I dont drive 90 miles however I have lot of grocery stores and bj, sams club within 2 miles radius except costco at 8 mile radius
I drive 8 miles to costco even just for milk...
When we move to any new location, we try to get apartment close to Costco since most of our purchases are at costco and farmers market
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

Teague
Posts: 849
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:15 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Teague » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:26 pm

I belong to both, premium member at Costco and regular member at Sams. Stores are located across the street from each other.

Pro Costco:
Quality is generally better.
No-hassle returns.
The 'treasure hunt" - cool new things appear frequently.
When I try something new there, I am rarely disappointed. At Sam's I'm much more concerned, due to past experiences.

Pro Sam's:
Not nearly as busy. I use their pharmacy for that reason too.
I spend much less money at Sam's. This is because I am usually not tempted to try cool new stuff, because there isn't so much of that there.
Sams has a few things Costco doesn't. Need a 2lb. bag of grated Romano cheese? Sam's has it, Costco doesn't.
Once every great so often, a big-ticket item will go on clearance at a really steep discount.
Sam's will sell a single gallon of milk, at Costco it's a 2-pack.
Semper Augustus

Lindrobe
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:35 am
Location: Mishawaka, IN

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Lindrobe » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:42 pm

Wow, I can't believe the overwhelming preference for Costco so far. I favor Sam's Club myself. The Costco in my town has been open about one year, but the Sam's Club has been around much longer. You can barely find a parking space at the Costco though. I am not a shopper, stick to only the items on my list, and rarely try new products. My main goal at Sam's Club is to save money on any item that I can buy in bulk. Most of the items I buy at Sam's do not vary much in quality (coffee, bottled water, string cheese, bread, plain Greek yogurt, cereal, toiletries, vitamins, prunes, almonds, boneless skinless chicken breast, and beer).

My Sam's Club does not sell gas while Costco does. The gas discount is nice, but it would be out of my way to get gas at Costco so it kind of becomes irrelevant for me.

*3!4!/5!
Posts: 1256
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:47 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by *3!4!/5! » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:43 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:
munemaker wrote:There is a local Sam's Club in our area but it is a 90 minute drive to the nearest Costco.

There are a lot of Boglehead fans for Costco, but I don't read much on here about Sam's Club.

Does anyone have experience with both? Are they comparable, or is Costco superior? If so, why?
I might choose Costco over Sam's Club if it involved driving an extra 90 seconds.

Driving an extra 90 minutes would be absolutely insane.
Time is important. I can really only think of one advantage that Costco has over Sam's Club, and that is that the lines are much faster at Costco.

anil686
Posts: 636
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 12:33 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by anil686 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:46 pm

I have memberships to both - and agree with much of the above. I probably would not drive the 90 minutes to Costco but the quality is superior to Sam's IMO. However, Sam's has quality meat on par with a good grocery store (in house butchers as well). Good deals on similar brand name products and quick in and out. They also have a wider selection of Apple products and better gift card options for Disney which matters to my family.

Costco does have travel options which I also use and like their Kirkland brand which I put on par with a brand name product. In summary, I would not drive 90 minutes to get to a Costco though...

munemaker
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by munemaker » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:27 pm

Thanks everyone who responded!

Sounds like the overwhelming consensus is for Costco overall, but not worth a 90 minute drive; however Sam's excels for small businesses and certain items such as meats. Good to know.

cholan
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:29 pm
Location: new york

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by cholan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:40 pm

The thing about Costco is they select one or two products in a particular category and i like it-because the shopping has been done for me ( for example a kettle, bed sheets, paper, led lights etc...
...leaving not a rack behind.

User avatar
pondering
Posts: 858
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:04 pm
Location: 412-977-3526, originally 718-273-2422

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by pondering » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:18 pm

The Scan and Go app is a real time saver.

Costco is 20 minutes further away, about twice as far and we go to it much less often.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

sport
Posts: 6122
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by sport » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:50 pm

Teague wrote:Sam's will sell a single gallon of milk, at Costco it's a 2-pack.
Apparently they are not all the same. Here, Costco sells milk in single gallons.

danaht
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:28 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by danaht » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:09 am

This is a tough decision. I really like the Kirkland brand items. Sam's club also has some really great items too. Lately - I just don't like going to Costco because of the long check-out lines. Sam's Club has a phone app that allows you to checkout using your phone - so I'll never need to wait at Sam's Club again. So, I prefer the convenience of Sam's Club right now. note: I find the produce for both Sam's Club and Costco more expensive compared to grocery stores. In fact - I find it really strange that a gallon a milk is usually $1 cheaper at my local Walmart than at Sam's Club. So, I rarely buy produce or milk at either one.

myleaf
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by myleaf » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:35 am

Costco's Gas is Tier 1 (specifies a certain level of additives ??), Not sure about Sam's Clubs Gas.
Costco Gas Station is very busy for me unless you go when the store is not open.
"Never met an electron I did not like"

User avatar
MN-Investor
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:04 am
Location: Twin Cities

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by MN-Investor » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:48 am

Costco has Top Tier gas, Sam's Club does not. We always fill up our cars at Costco.

Like many of the posters here, I prefer Costco. However, we do shop at Sam's Club too because there are a few items that they carry which my husband prefers which Costco does not.

By the way, check unit prices when comparing Costco and Sam's Club. The bags of chips or the bags of Babybel Cheeses may look the same at the two stores, but the Sam's Club bag will be smaller than the Costco bag. The Costco item may be less per unit.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

squirm
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by squirm » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:51 am

There's a Costco with gas by the freeway as we're heading home. There's usually a deep line. Saturdays it's insane. Top tier or not, doesn't seem worth the time. I've always used the cheapest gas and never had any fuel injection issues.

munemaker
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by munemaker » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:01 am

MN-Investor wrote:Costco has Top Tier gas, Sam's Club does not.
Please explain the term "top tier" gas.

Around here, there are almost no brand name stations left, just convenience stores. One convenience chain sells CITGO branded gasoline. I never really looked at any one of these as being any better than another. Does it matter? Is CITGO top tier? I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles and never had a problem related to gasoline.

BW1985
Posts: 1714
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by BW1985 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:03 am

Costco and it ain't even close. That said, I wouldn't drive 90 minutes to go there.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

BW1985
Posts: 1714
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by BW1985 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:05 am

munemaker wrote:
MN-Investor wrote:Costco has Top Tier gas, Sam's Club does not.
Please explain the term "top tier" gas.

Around here, there are almost no brand name stations left, just convenience stores. One convenience chain sells CITGO branded gasoline. I never really looked at any one of these as being any better than another. Does it matter? Is CITGO top tier? I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles and never had a problem related to gasoline.
"The intention of the TOP TIER™ Detergent Gasoline standards is to create a winning situation for gasoline retailers, auto manufacturers and drivers. Currently, many gasoline retailers provide fuels with lower-quality additive packages that can build up deposits on fuel injectors and on intake valves. Others can build up deposits in combustion chambers and may lead to intake valve sticking. These lower levels of additives can have negative impacts on engine performance and vehicle responsiveness."
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

S&L1940
Posts: 1539
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am

have two Costco locations equal distant, usually time our visits to less crowded hours like weekdays 4.30 - 5.00 when folks are rushing home to pick up kids, prepare dinner, end of work day. always do the self service scan. crowded sometimes but not that much
Sam's, I know they are out there - I get promo ads. Yet, I have no idea where they are located. they send out generic flyers without a local address and I have yet to pass a Sam's while traveling the neighborhoods.
most of food and home goods spend goes to Costco, then BJ's and finally farmers market. supermarket a short walk from home; we do the walk for exercise, turn around, no purchases, and return home.
our Costco locations are in different neighborhoods - one upscale the other a mix of multiple levels and some commercial buildings. store layouts and featured items are different yet pricing seems to be the same
BJ's gas - with 10 cents off when using their credit card - is the better deal
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

User avatar
MN-Investor
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:04 am
Location: Twin Cities

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by MN-Investor » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:13 pm

munemaker wrote:
Around here, there are almost no brand name stations left, just convenience stores. One convenience chain sells CITGO branded gasoline. I never really looked at any one of these as being any better than another. Does it matter? Is CITGO top tier? I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles and never had a problem related to gasoline.
CITGO is top tier - List of Top Tier licensed brands.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

munemaker
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by munemaker » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:17 pm

MN-Investor wrote:
munemaker wrote:
Around here, there are almost no brand name stations left, just convenience stores. One convenience chain sells CITGO branded gasoline. I never really looked at any one of these as being any better than another. Does it matter? Is CITGO top tier? I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles and never had a problem related to gasoline.
CITGO is top tier - List of Top Tier licensed brands.
Wow! Thanks! Had no idea...

SuperGrafx
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:36 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by SuperGrafx » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:45 pm

Costco may as well sponsor this forum.

Never understood the devotion to that place.

kjvmartin
Posts: 996
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by kjvmartin » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:52 pm

runner3081 wrote:
1) Crowds - Always much slower at Sam's with plenty of checkout folks around. Hardly every a wait. Costco, well, it is a disaster, and I am not a fan of paying for the privilege of waiting in line.
There's a reason everyone wants to go to Costco!

User avatar
Rob5TCP
Posts: 2950
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Rob5TCP » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:56 pm

I've gone to Sam's club a few times - but the amount I purchase is less than a 1/4 of what I purchase at Costco. I find more of what I want and I like the quality selection better at Costco. I no longer go with my friend when he goes to Sam's (though he sometimes comes with me to Costco).

When I buy electronics, I like the extra year Costco adds to the warranty. I've never had to use their "concierge" service, but I hear it is quite good.
Plus I like that they treat their employees well and don't have to train them to go use government assistance (as Walmart did).

spoco79
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 8:59 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by spoco79 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:58 pm

I have both, and both are relatively close to home. I agree with the above poster. Sam's is a lot better for business purchases (office supplies, tech, etc.) and Costco is better for consumer.

mw1739
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by mw1739 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:10 pm

After a nightmare trying to return at TV at Sam's Club less than a week after I bought it, I cancelled my membership and joined Costco. The shopping and customer service experience makes it my preferred shopping destination.

User avatar
MN-Investor
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 9:04 am
Location: Twin Cities

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by MN-Investor » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:19 pm

SuperGrafx wrote:Costco may as well sponsor this forum.

Never understood the devotion to that place.
Since the folks on this forum are devoted to sound financial decisions, all you have to do is read their responses. It's not rocket science. Just common sense.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

squirm
Posts: 1075
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by squirm » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:58 pm

SuperGrafx wrote:Costco may as well sponsor this forum.

Never understood the devotion to that place.
The last Costco my wife and I stopped at was in Hawaii. It was a complete zoo there with long lines and the snorkel gear we purchased was crap. The food prices wasn't anything to write home about either. We regretted stepping foot in there, esp while on vacation. Never again.

SuperGrafx
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:36 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by SuperGrafx » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:10 pm

MN-Investor wrote:
SuperGrafx wrote:Costco may as well sponsor this forum.

Never understood the devotion to that place.
Since the folks on this forum are devoted to sound financial decisions, all you have to do is read their responses. It's not rocket science. Just common sense.
Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

There are better alternatives to Costco. Just saying.

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 3163
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:24 pm

Its seems crazy to me that anyone would even consider a 90 minute drive to shop at a particular warehouse store - let alone one respondent that stated he WOULD drive an extra 90 minutes to go to Costco versus Sam's Club. Surely any realized savings are chewed up with the 180 minutes of wear-and-tear on your vehicle.
A BJ's Wholesale is the closest warehouse-club store to me but it is a 15 minute drive and I felt that was too far (not to mention the lines they have there - we would lose another 15 minutes of our time fighting through the crowd and waiting in lines - which is similar to what I have heard about the costco experience - no thanks).

User avatar
mfswatz9
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:03 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by mfswatz9 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:44 pm

Costco by far! Sam's Club reminds me of a Walmart where I don't shop either. If my Costco was not convenient, I would not join Sam's.

windrose
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:15 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by windrose » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:01 pm

I am no longer a member of either (small home and household, neither really close by, and prefer to shop at places open later hours, so not really worth it for me) but at one point I was a member of both.

In my area, I'd say 75-80% of the items were the same...and both carried items I liked, that the other did not. If I were to join either again, I'd probably go for Sam's, because they do a better job of handling the crowds.

Costco may be more popular, but that is no excuse for not having all the registers open when there are long lines, which was pretty common. Also, I liked the previously mentioned scan feature at Sam's.....employees would approach you in line with a hand held device, and ring up your order, so when you reached the check out, all you had to do was pay. This made the lines move much faster, and there is no reason Costco could not do it as well....maybe they do in some areas, but not mine.

S&L1940
Posts: 1539
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by S&L1940 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:47 pm

mw1739 wrote:After a nightmare trying to return at TV at Sam's Club less than a week after I bought it, I cancelled my membership and joined Costco. The shopping and customer service experience makes it my preferred shopping destination.
the only time Costco questioned a return was a TV 1 week after purchase. all they did was have someone unpack and plug it in to make sure it worked and then ring up the credit. sometimes it bothers me that they don't ask why I am making a return, they simply give out the credit. in fact our local Costco expanded their return area, more people to service the returns...
comments about long lines are interesting; ever go to CVS or Walgreen's with their bank of unmanned registers? same with supermarkets and department stores, many check out points, few open registers.
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

Doom&Gloom
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Sam's Club vs. Costco

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:08 pm

I have read so many comments, here and elsewhere, from rabid Costco fans that I have been eagerly anticipating a Costco opening nearby in the not-too-distant future. However, after reading this thread, I'm not so sure I will even join when it opens. As of right now, the only motivation I might have is to get hearing aids (I am approaching "that time") as I have read glowing reports of the value of those from Costco.

I had a temporary "complimentary" membership through my job at Sam's years ago, but I never really saw the attraction. I never considered signing up after my comped membership expired.

Post Reply