Costco or Sam's Club?

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squirm
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Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by squirm » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:16 am

I drove to Costco on Sunday to pickup a some pills from the pharmacy for our dogs. When I got there there was no parking except for behind the building, so that's where I parked and trekked inside. There was a wall of people just waiting at the registers. Funny enough I walked to the pharmacy and they're closed (We don't have a Costco membership, but we can get items from the pharmacy).

After that, I drove over to Sams Club (we have a membership there) (about a half mile away from Costco), parked next to the entrance under a tree. Walked inside and got everything I needed (Sams doesn't carry the prescription at their pharmacy, but hey their pharmacy was at least open). Walked over to the register where there was no waiting, then got gas (again no waiting) and left.

20 years ago we had a Costco membership (elsewhere), we bought things there just like we do now at Sams...fruits,veggies, pet food, milk, blah blah blah. We've never been disappointed with the fruits, veggies, meats, etc at Sam's either. Also, we recently purchased a bunch of bath towels that seem very good in quality. The nicest thing is shopping without bumping into people all the time.

I haven't purchased any clothing at Sams, not keen on the quality (usually buy clothing at Kohl's or Macy's) so does Costco have decent clothing?

IMO
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by IMO » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:32 am

You'll find almost a Costco like cult. Never question the cult.

Have had memberships at both. OBJECTIVELY is pretty much a toss up on most things. Examples, Costco has their farmed salmon, Sams has their farmed salmon. Each as their generics like toliet paper, etc. Quality differences, maybe, but I'd only believe blind product comparisons because the cult bias runs deep.

Clothes, eh, pretty much same type of things. These are often branded clothes but they have generics. Each has some sporting goods, outdoor goods, etc.

What I think the difference is in product returns. Costco seems to have a premiere return policy. Does Sam's? I've never tried so I can't say?

Parking/crowds: Sams is hands down better.

Here's a funny difference someone told me once, you can't buy gifts for people at Costco because they will know where you got it, may already have it, and know what you paid. If you buy at Sam's club they won't know those things.

Prepare for the onslaught of Sams Club hate . . . . :beer

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:43 am

I would base it on proximity to your house. Costco and Sam's are both good options.

Maybe you can tell by the level of business at certain times which one is preferred by the masses. Maybe not.

We do not go to Costco on Saturday or Sunday. Unless we really need something. Even then I usually pass on the weekends.

Go on Monday at 10 am or Tuesday at 2 PM and you will find shorter lines and less people. Locations vary as well based on where you are at.

I have no preference other than Costco is closer to us. Easier to get to. I like the clothing options at Costco. I usually wait until they are closing out things. Wearing some shorts I got for $2.99 last fall right now. Bought 4 pairs for $2.99. ($14.99 was the original price). If they have your size left, the closeouts can be very good.

Quality items, few selections, sizes are 32, 34, 36. No in between sizes on anything. If you are a 33 waist, you are out of luck.

We had 2 Sam's Clubs. The newest/best location/closest closed down leaving a huge building and gas station sitting empty. Kind of sad.
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Thegame14
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Thegame14 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:52 am

we have a BJ's Warehouse membership, their hours are MUCH better, Costco is so crowded because their hours are so limited, that is less time to spread among their customers.

frugaltigris
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by frugaltigris » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:01 pm

I had Costco membership for 2 years, I gave it up. I have continuous Sams (plus) membership since last 6 years. No plans to give it up.

For me shopping is about value, and Sams fills that spot perfectly. I spend more at Costco buying unecessary things, not at Sams. Costco is over-crowded, Sams is good. Sams has a great app and opens at 7 AM for plus members. Sams has cashier-less counters, that's great.

Sams has regular grocery and household items cheaper than Costco.

Sams has great clearance sale and a good return policy.

Sams gives free health checkup 4 times a year which includes blood sugar and cholestrol.

Sams has great pharmacy discounts.

Yes, Costco is a cult (like Apple) and I have seen the dark side :-) But I am contrarian investor

As a true Boglehead and trying to be millionaire nextdoor, I will stay with Sams even if someone pays for my Costco membership.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by junior » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:02 pm

Where I am Sam's has a bunch of self checkout registers so traffic moves quickly. I don't believe Costco had those last time I was in one.

dcabler
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by dcabler » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:21 pm

I have memberships at both because there are things that one has that the other doesn't OR when both have what I'm looking for, sometimes I prefer one over the other.

yes, the parking lot at Costco can be crazy. Never had an issue at Sam's, but they've closed a lot of their stores over the last couple of years, which makes me wonder if the near-empty parking lot is a sign as to why that's happening.

Pro-Tip for our Costco: Thursday afternoons are nearly empty for whatever reason. Avoid Sunday afternoons.

Cheers!

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bertilak
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by bertilak » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:25 pm

So, Costco is unpopular because it is too crowded?
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JMacDonald
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by JMacDonald » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:27 pm

squirm wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:16 am
I drove to Costco on Sunday
I usually go to Costco first thing in the morning, no problem parking or paying at the register. It just depends when you go.
Best Wishes, | Joe

caffeperfavore
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by caffeperfavore » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:31 pm

bertilak wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:25 pm
So, Costco is unpopular because it is too crowded?
Yogi Berra said it best: Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

Costco treats and pays its workers better - if the reports are true. For me, that's the tiebreaker. I'm a happy Costco member and don't feel any need to switch.

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HueyLD
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by HueyLD » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:33 pm

My local Costco opens at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it was a breeze to show up at 9 a.m. No lines anywhere.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:34 pm

bertilak wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:25 pm
So, Costco is unpopular because it is too crowded?
It is like a Yogi Berra-ism.

Costco is SOOO popular nobody goes there anymore. :wink:

OOPs. Yogi was already quoted....my bad...
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frugaltigris
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by frugaltigris » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:42 pm

Sams knows how to manage crowd. Costco wants people to stay in store and buy more.

researcher
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by researcher » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:21 pm

IMO wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:32 am
You'll find almost a Costco like cult. Never question the cult.

Prepare for the onslaught of Sams Club hate . . . . :beer
+1

I never realized how cult-like Costco supporters were until I read a thread here several months ago.
You should search for it and read the many bizarre responses.

Essentially, they feel the sun rises & sets on Costco and that Sam's Club is run by Lucifer himself.

KT785
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by KT785 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:22 pm

Wife and I have both memberships, won't likely be renewing Costco next year though. We've had a Sam's (Plus) membership for a number of years now and recently moved to a new city with a number of Costco locations nearby so we figured we'd try it out for a year and see what all the to-do was about.

Agree with all the other posters re: the crowds, lines, etc. My wife cannot stand going in Costco because of the crowds, and more than that, how slow all the customers in the store meander around.

I've also tried out a handful of their generic (Kirkland Signature) products and compared them with Sam's (Member's Mark) and didn't notice any quality difference. Costco does seem to carry some niche health-food items, but much of that I regard as gimmicky and in too large of quantities to be useful (Sam's does carry organic generics as well though).

As someone who is interested in business models and consumer behavior, I can understand Costco's approach on a holistic level. Costco appeals to a certain socio-economic demographic (given it's product selection and store placement, among other reasons) and those groups are less likely to have an affinity for Walmart and, by extension, Sam's Club. Ultimately, those who buy-in to Costco's model do frequently exhibit a cult-like attachment to the brand (anecdotal experience). Many of those I know regard Costco as a "destination" as opposed to merely a place to stock up on needed items--this may contribute to the crowds and milling-about that compounds the issue.

I on the other hand, can get in and out of Sam's Club quickly because I nearly always know where everything is (even if I've never been to that location) and can check out on my phone instead of waiting for a register. As a Plus member, I can also order most items online and get free shipping; in my experience, many items purchased from Costco online are priced higher than in-store.

I will admit however, that Costco does seem to have a better selection of furniture, but I'm not inclined to buy those types of items at a warehouse store unless the same item is available at a traditional retailer and I can price-compare.

One other thing of note, and this applies to both Costco and Sam's: I recently purchased a new flat-screen television and both stores carried the same model I wanted. Decided to ultimately check out Best Buy to research a few other models and found the same model there. The model number was off by a digit and I asked the sales rep what the difference was, he said they're the same though the Sam's and Costco model are made in a different factory (expressly for those stores). Price was $50 higher at Best Buy but, strangely enough, the picture quality was significantly higher. I checked settings on all three models and they were set the same. It's possible Best Buy has better lighting, but I also noticed the collective reviews/rating were better for the Best Buy model than the ones at Sam's and Costco. Ultimately bought the one at Best Buy . . . just something to be mindful of in that, like with outlet stores, I suspect many of the "name brand" items (including electronics) are made specifically for Sam's and Costco and may be of inferior quality.

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megabad
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by megabad » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:32 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:43 am
I would base it on proximity to your house. Costco and Sam's are both good options.

We do not go to Costco on Saturday or Sunday. Unless we really need something. Even then I usually pass on the weekends.
+1

To respond to OP. I have not and would not buy clothes at Sams or Costco. I am not a fashion diva, I just don't see anything that is a good value there.

I think Costco's Kirkland brand food items are better values, Costco car buying is better, Costco return policy is better.

However, costco membership is more expensive for me (by a lot) so it is a trade off.

Basically I buy maybe 3-5 things at big box stores that pay for the membership (many times over). Both Sams and Costco have those things (food staples) and they have them cheap.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:34 pm

Costco and it's not even close. There's nothing that's better at Sam's Club than it is at Costco. Many items are similar quality/price, but many other items are better at Costco than Sam's.

TNWoods
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by TNWoods » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:35 pm

My experience is that Sam's house brand stuff is inferior to Costco's, especially with chocolate.

My Sam's produce is always problematic, damaged, bruised, rotten with fruit flies, often I just leave and go to my normal grocery store.

Sam's / Walmart work with manufacturers to make a cheaper/lower quality versions of things without labeling it as such. Buy some Glad brand drawstring kitchen garbage bags in the giant bulk box from Sam's, and watch cardboard poke holes right through it when you take it out. Wrangler jeans are of much lighter weight denim, etc.

I would have a Costco membership in a heartbeat if I had the choice, but the nearest one is a couple towns away.

Sam's does have one insanely great thing - their app that allows you to scan items as you shop, and pay as you walk to the exit. Show your phone QR code as you exit and avoid all the lines.

TNWoods

btenny
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by btenny » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:35 pm

The Costco stores by us are crowded on the weekends. They serve all kinds of free food samples on those days so there are just a lot of people browsing around and eating. In fact my wife and I can avoid buying lunch by eating the various samples while we shop. :happy :happy I also like the hot dogs and other food court stuff for a low cost quick lunch. But we mostly avoid weekends due to the crowds. Going mid week early in the AM is best and not too crowded.

The gas stations at Costco are also very low cost plus you get 2% off the listed price on a credit card rebate. So gas is a very good deal. We have all the locations memorized for this reason alone.

I never shop at Sams Club because my wife hates Walmart. She is sure most of the merchandise is low quality and poor products from abused suppliers. From the few times we have bought stuff there I agree. There are reasons those items are low cost because some feature or attribute is reduced on the Walmart items.

Good Luck.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:41 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:21 pm
IMO wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:32 am
You'll find almost a Costco like cult. Never question the cult.

Prepare for the onslaught of Sams Club hate . . . . :beer
+1

I never realized how cult-like Costco supporters were until I read a thread here several months ago.
You should search for it and read the many bizarre responses.

Essentially, they feel the sun rises & sets on Costco and that Sam's Club is run by Lucifer himself.
Apple, Costco, and Subaru are the greatest examples of branding in the modern age. The loyalty of consumers to those three companies is fascinating to me.

I was a Costco customer for many years, it simply doesn't meet our needs so I gave it up about 4yrs ago.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Stinky » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:42 pm

junior wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:02 pm
Where I am Sam's has a bunch of self checkout registers so traffic moves quickly. I don't believe Costco had those last time I was in one.
We have memberships at both Costco and Sam's. Sam's has about 8 self-checkout lanes, Costco has none.

I rarely stand in a line at Sam's. Checking out with the self-checkout is a breeze.

I ALWAYS stand in line at Costco. No matter the time on nights or weekends, there are 6 or so people in every checkout line. There's no self-checkout at my local Costco.

So I choose to go to Sam's, almost exclusively. I just hate to stand in lines.

(Plus, the three-meat pizza at Sam's "Deli" is so good, gooey, and greasy. That pizza is my comfort food vice.)
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by sport » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:48 pm

My local Sam's Club closed up a few years ago due to "competition and lack of business". The competition is a Costco store which is successful.

I just bought gasoline at Costco at 40 cents per gallon below the prevailing neighborhood price.

ctuser1
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by ctuser1 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:52 pm

BJs.

Its local for me, prices are similar AND they explicitly allow coupon stacking (their own coupons + manufacturer coupons).

We also have a costco nearby. Once in a while, when I need to get a new set of tires I will get a membership. I try them for a month or two, but invariably end up returning the membership because the prices simply are not competitive after coupon stacking at BJs.
Last edited by ctuser1 on Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:53 pm

I like Costco.

But I'm not one of the mindless zombies wandering aisles, buying everything in sight.

I go early. I have a list. I get in and get out (often I am checking out before the official opening time of 10am).
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anil686
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by anil686 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:55 pm

Just to answer the OP - clothing at both are very similar. I have returned items at both and they are both very similar with their return policies. Costco is outstanding - I have also never had a problem with Sam's either. The biggest difference to me has been the customer service experience - much better at Sam's IMO with little wait to check out (app to check out as well), and click and pull items where you can order a day ahead and pick up including groceries. However, Costco has a much better travel website and great travel deals. For mainly that reason, I keep both memberships. Sam's - full disclosure - just restarted their travel section but I have not seen the deals I see at Costco. I have done four international trips and two cruises with Costco - I have never been disappointed with their travel services. Hope that helps...

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by KT785 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:55 pm

sport wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:48 pm
My local Sam's Club closed up a few years ago due to "competition and lack of business". The competition is a Costco store which is successful.

I just bought gasoline at Costco at 40 cents per gallon below the prevailing neighborhood price.
In my neck of the woods, gas is consistently the same price at both Sam's and Costco (around 20 cents cheaper per gallon vs. everywhere else).

My metro area has 3 Costco locations (all in upper middle class and affluent areas) and 6 Sam's Clubs (3 in close proximity to the Costco locations and 3 in blue collar areas).

KT785

KT785
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by KT785 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:03 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:41 pm
Apple, Costco, and Subaru are the greatest examples of branding in the modern age. The loyalty of consumers to those three companies is fascinating to me.

I was a Costco customer for many years, it simply doesn't meet our needs so I gave it up about 4yrs ago.
As an Apple aficionado and Subaru owner, I joined Costco and wanted to like it . . . . but ultimately, while I can articulate the value I derive from Apple and Subaru, Costco's value over Sam's just simply isn't there and I find much of the affection for Costco to be, in-part, it's being juxtaposed to Sam's (Walmart) and all that conjures up for some people.

KT785

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:30 pm

For any cult where you have to pay just to be able to shop there.....it is wise to periodically price out a basket of normally purchased things. I have done this at BJs and Costco. (We have no Sam's....they knocked it down years ago and put in a Target). The times I've made comparisons to (not even cheap) alternative stores who allow you the grace of purchasing without making a blood oath and signing the sacred pledge and so far, the so called expensive stores have been cheaper every time. Your basket might be different from mine. Or maybe your blood oath is truer.

.....and as much as I like Market Basket, Sunday, when all I wanted was a cold can of soda, I walked in/out of MB and went over to the convenience store. I splurged that 75 cents over a 50 cent can to save 45 minutes of standing in line.
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by JBeck » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:34 pm

Costco for large family; Sam's for smaller family

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by NAD83 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:37 pm

Sam's check-out app is worth it IMO. I'm unsure if Costco has the same thing, but you just scan items using the app on your phone and when you're done, hit pay (with a debit/credit card connected in the app) and walk out. Very slick.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by shorty313 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:55 pm

I miss our Sam's club. It closed about 18 months ago due to Costco competition. It was closer to my work for a lunch shop, I could use 'click and pull' (pre-order) plus 2.5% back on ebates, or in store I had the option of self serve line or pay by app, where you scan as you go and pay over your phone. Never really crowded once Costco moved into town 3 years ago. Several of DH's scripts were free. And their aisles had signs to make it easy to find stuff.

A year ago we bought a costco membership. It expires this month and I won't be renewing. Yes their stuff is good, but I'm pretty sure I end up spending WAY more than I would otherwise with Aldi and local grocery. Lines are tough, and FORGET the gas line. No signs inside which make you walk the whole store (by design, I know). I found it frustrating overall. If I get desperate for something I have several neighbors willing to take me in the future. And my parents, though they are much further away (long time members since it was Price Club back in the 90s!).

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Nowizard » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:15 pm

Yes, there are often lines at Costco, but they move very quickly. Costco has very wide parking places, an advantage for your vehicle and something I appreciate. They also have excellent hearing aid sections and quality aids for excellent prices. Sam's is fine, but we prefer the layout and cleanliness of Costco, though that could be specific to a particular location. We have also found the employees at Costco to be more helpful, positive and with less turnover.

Tim

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tennisplyr
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by tennisplyr » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:21 pm

Usually crowds mean something is popular and is of value....you're choice.
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Fletch » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:22 pm

I prefer Costco for QUALITY of merchandise and food and SERVICE (ease of returning items if necessary), the main important variables for me. Not that Sam's is bad, just that Costco is better. I also am satisfied with Costco PRICES; they may not be the absolute lowest but are good enough. I also like the Citi Visa Card from Costco. For shear convenience, I prefer Amazon if I know exactly what I want. Items show up on my doorstep in a day or two.
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by bertilak » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:48 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:15 pm
Costco has very wide parking places, an advantage for your vehicle and something I appreciate.
Wide parking spaces is one of my favorite things about Costco! Easy in, easy out, never dinged by another car's door.

Even when crowded, people come and go often enough it is usually (not always!) easy to get a spot close in.
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Xrayman69 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:05 pm

Costco is our family’s choice.

Parking in the parking lot away from entrance doesn’t seem to bother me as it allows me to get more steps in for the day. Fill up gas tank once a month then will shop for bulk staple items and large ticket electronic items as needed.

Not my style for clothing typically except for t shirts and sports socks on an as needed basis. Seasonal clothing for the kid (summer and winter clothing) seems to be a good deal as the kid is going to grow out of it, and typically made well enough to donate after the season.

The fruit and veggies are typically higher quality than local grocery market (but not fresher than the weekly farmers market).

Will order a fresh whole pizza by phone when in line and pick up pizza on the way out (along with the $1.50 hot dog and Pepsi (I’m so weak).

Typically less than 1 hour round trip for all of the above at a casual leisurely stroll pace on any day of week that it happens to be to include weekends. I would never go to Costco if I was in a “rush” nor do I go shopping for a single item typically except large ticket items. This year we needed a new TV the day before supper bowl and went in and seemed to get a deal that we have been satisfied with since.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Rob5TCP » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:07 pm

Several times, I've done a test. I've shopped at Sam's club and kept a record of what I bought (mostly stuff from my list).

I've done the same with Costco and always come out with 2x my list. For some of the organic products I buy, Costco seemed to have better quality. I've seen much better reviews and better quality from Kirkland than I did from Artisan Fresh at Sam's.

Costco is closer, so that is a plus. But, even if it wasn't I would still end up shopping there over Sam's.
Last edited by Rob5TCP on Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

runner3081
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by runner3081 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:24 pm

Sam's Club for us, by far. Not as busy, good prices, etc.

They were next door to each other (Sam's and Costco). Sam's Club closed and we never joined Costco.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:25 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:33 pm
My local Costco opens at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it was a breeze to show up at 9 a.m. No lines anywhere.
That might not be popular with your employer that operates on traditional business hours.

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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by SimonJester » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:39 pm

You need both... Costco consonantly moved their merchandise around their store to create intentional confusion and keep customers in their store longer. Im not talking about something move a spot or shelf over, its like one week the bread is by the produce, then next week its all the way on the other side of the store next to the tires.

Costco has has better made in the store meals, better liquor, thicker hormel precooked bacon , way better pulled pork. Meat selection are evenly matched. Sams club wins hands down on toilet paper, dont even want to talk about the months of agonizing sand paper like experience with the Costco brand TP. Sams club has better frozen hot wings...

I do not buy bulk produce at either store as we never seem to use it before it rots.

Sams club plus member hours for getting in and out, I spend twice the time in Costco as Sams. At our Costco there is no non busy times any time period they are open every day of the year expect black Friday.

Costco eyeglass appointments were $30 higher then Sams and booked out 3+ months. The wife got in with same the same day she called with Sams.

Our Costco pharmacist was one of the rudest I have ever experienced, wont go back to them...

So its a love hate relationship with both stores... Get the plus memberships and might get close to paying for the yearly membership fee in the cash back rebate...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

tibbitts
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:50 pm

Costco has just moved closer to me, but still too far away, so Sams for me.

michaeljc70
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:56 pm

bertilak wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:25 pm
So, Costco is unpopular because it is too crowded?
Exactly! And Costco is opening store and Sam's closing them because Sam's is popular?

I much prefer Costco. Costco is much closer to my house. Even if they were the same distance, I would choose Costco. I have both memberships as I get a deal on the Sam's membership and for $20-$25 or whatever I buy enough to make it worthwhile. Sam's where I live (Chicagoland) are in "off" areas. Costco is in way better areas/towns/neighborhoods.

I find the employees at Costco to be leaps and bounds better than the employees at Sam's. Sam's does have self checkouts (though I have seen Costcos that do, mine doesn't). Sam's has the Scan and Go app which I love which you don't even have to go to a register with (scan items on your phone-no liquor though).

Don't go to Costco on the weekend and you will avoid a lot of parking/crowd issues.

Breaking things out, Costco has more interesting "surprise" items (things you didn't plan on buying but buy and probably didn't need :shock: ). Sam's is better on baked goods. Overall, the non-food merchandise at Costco is a little higher end.

iamblessed
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by iamblessed » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:35 pm

Costco wins for organic food.
Sam's is better for non food items.
My 2 cents on it. I love organic food so you know where I am at.

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squirm
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by squirm » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:42 pm

The parking spaces are the same widths at the Costco and Sams near us, or at least I can't tell the difference. But there is a madness in parking at Costco vs Sams. I thought I was going to get hit when I was at Costco just due to all the cars all over the place. The employees at Sams, I have never had an issue with, they all seem nice esp the checkout register clerks.

I still vote for Sams just due much more relaxing atmosphere, I don't leave the store frustrated and upset.

bac
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by bac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:55 pm

I just joined Costco, spurred by a promotion making it close to free. When it first opened in my area, years ago I got the impression that the quantities were too much for a single person and the selection too limited (one or two kinds of toothpaste, for example). In the intervening years, I worked an easy walk from a Costco for perhaps 10 years but never got in it.

I have had a BJ's membership for 10 years. More my speed (smaller size, broader selection, easier parking), but we'll see how Costco compares these days.

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Socrates
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Costco blows away Sams club

Post by Socrates » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:58 pm

Costco is much better. They also carry higher end items too. High end electronics, I have seen clothes sold at Nordstrom there.....outstanding wine collection.

In terms of crowds.....each store is different. I have have been to some that are very crowded - always...others not so much. I always try to go on a Tuesday or Wednesday and my local Costco is pretty empty.
“Don't waste your time looking back. You're not going that way.” ― Ragnar Lothbrok.

Pomegranate
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Pomegranate » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:21 pm

The real cult is Costco’s $1.50 hot dog + soda :sharebeer

lack_ey
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by lack_ey » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:24 pm

If you're at Sam's, get the app and use Scan & Go, especially on a busy day. Scanning items with your phone as you go and skipping checkout is pretty rad, though there may still be a little bit of a bottleneck out the door. It's also handy to keep tabs on what you're buying and the cumulative price as you're filling the cart.

Tire/battery service and some other misc. things have gotten better. The experience is improving, maybe. Produce quality and general assortment I'm going to assume will vary somewhat by location and the supply chains, etc.

Costco tends to aim a little more upmarket in certain areas, but probably varies significantly by location as well, and what competitors are selling, given the demographics and footprint relative to Sam's Club.

Costco recently raised the hourly base wage to $15; Walmart/Sam's was up to $11 early last year. I don't know which would be considered a positive from the shopper's perspective. Depends what you're going for, I guess.

indexfund56
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by indexfund56 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:31 pm

I have memberships to both, but have found Costco to be much cleaner with faster lines and more friendly employees. Sam’s is usually understaffed and their clothing items are far inferior to what Costco offers.

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Random Musings
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Re: Costco or Sam's Club?

Post by Random Musings » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:51 pm

For us, no decision. Costco is far closer than Sam's, nicer employees and cleaner. Just learn how to avoid the peak times, including days when their coupons start and end.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ

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