SAMs or COSTCO

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Hi, need an expert advise... SAMs club or COSTCO. Which membership is better. I am not a big shopper but trying to save some extra bucks in whatever I spend. Thx

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It's been $1.50 for years all round the country and the food court is nicknamed "Cafe 1.50" lol.

SuperOcean (Dec. 05, 2012 @ 3:39a) |

Thank you so much for the explanation! You're right that it makes more sense to upgrade to executive if a person is spe... (more)

VivYip (Dec. 05, 2012 @ 6:19a) |

Check with the pharmacy at Costco. Perhaps they could recommend some nice/calming pills. Of course, check with your ow... (more)

horizon6 (Dec. 05, 2012 @ 7:28a) |

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Whichever is most convenient for you. I have both memberships, but use Sam's Club most because I pass it twice (to and from work) everyday. Whereas my Costco is a 30 minute trip. Overall I think Costco has better deals/pricing (especially when they have sales), thus the reason I keep the membership even though I only get there 3 or 4 times a year.

Need to make sure its worth it.

What would you buy and how much would you save? Do you live near one?


Everything being equal I would go costco.

Thank you, Both are at same distant and nothing is in my way from office. so i feel both are same considering the commute.. I spend around $300 per month and mostly for house hold items... i am considering offers and regular prices...

Marlin1975 said:   Everything being equal I would go costco.

+1 Better return policy, better sales, better selection.

It depends... Sometimes they have specific brands you might be used to and the other doesn't.

Method of payment also. With regards to CCs, Sams only accepts Discover and Mastercard - No Visa/AMEX. Costco I know accepts AMEX but not sure on the other ones.

Regarding return policy, Sams has a good one. Costco's used to be superb - ie return a TV years down the road - but it's not what it used to be.

I pass Sams also from/to work. Just on milk and bread alone, I make up the membership cost...

i go to both, but company pays for the Sam's Club membership....

(location-wise, the costco and Sam's Club for me are within 2 blocks of each other...sam's in the morning, costco on way home from work)

that being said, do you expect your purchases mostly for personal use or do you plan to buy stuff for the company?

personally, I costco, but I have to admit advantages to each club.

costco:
pro
overall better shopping feeling
more residential purchases
borderline better quality
one doesn't need to pay for the any additional discounts (coupons)
also, if you have an idea on what youll spend in a year (any big ticket purchases make it even easier) then get the executive membership that gives 2% back
wonderful return policy

con:
only uses AMEX in-store (sam's allows both discover and mastercard)
membership price starts at $55 and $110 for executive (sam's has business membership at $35)
hours are usually 10 to 8 (saturday opens at 9:30...day after thanksgiving is maybe 9am) (sam's early hours for businesses starts at 7am everyday but sunday i think)
this one is debatable -- the prices aren't really online and has no in-store pickup (Sam's Club has click & pull)


Sam's Club
pro:
base membership starts at $40 ($35 for business) plus membership at $100, i think
click& pull and early hours (very convenient)
accepts mastercard & discover
you can use WalMart gift cards in Sam's Club
business geared
has clearance items
price sometimes is cheaper (usually by 10 cents compared to costco)

cons:
the quality just slightly feels cheaper sometimes
feels emptier and still has lines despite this
the plus membership (or advantage, ehateer, it's the $100 one) provides "additional" discounts...but the regular membership doesn't...costco's coupons are good for ALL memberships
no 2% back for the $100 membership


It's all subjective. Do trial memberships for both and see which you like. For me, I selected Costco because of the location and being able to find better quality items at Costco.

Which runs a gas pump in your area? Costco is about 13 cents cheaper right now in my area, than ANY other pump (including the military exchanges.)

Sam's Club doesn't have a pump, here.

It doesn't take long to cover membership with these differences.

I LOVE Costco for everything - food, photo shop, clothing, electronics. The have a GREAT return policy and friendly employees at my local warehouse. I have the Costco American Express card and I use it for everything. I get up to 3 % back for most items I buy. Costco rocks!

potluri040 said:   Thank you, Both are at same distant and nothing is in my way from office. so i feel both are same considering the commute.. I spend around $300 per month and mostly for house hold items... i am considering offers and regular prices...

Costco food quality is better. "Executive" membership (which is $110 per year) will give 2% back per year + Full year road assistance. You wrote that you spend $300 per month.

So $300 x 12 = $3600 per year.
2% of $3600 is = $72.
$110-$72=$38 (that is what the card will cost you).

Also, with the "Executive" membership, you can apply for AMEX card (which will give you additional 1% to 3% back per year).

Gosh I had to chime in because I had a Sam's membership and then went to Costco because a friend knew me very well and said I would like it better. Boy was she right!!!!
I buy a lot of natural and organic food and believe it or not Costco is "very good" if you are into that type of eating. They also run a pretty tight ship in regards to the merchandise they allow to be sold in their store. They have been known to start meat and poultry recalls because of their strict testing. The big corporations know this so many don't fool with Costco. Which I think is awesome!

I have always been treated like I am a "valued MEMBER". That has not been my experience at Sam's. Also if you ever take a look around at the staff at Costco... THERE ARE NO KIDS working there! I would even include the 18-21 year old's as well. And that is because Costco is actually a "real job" and pays their employees a decent salary and provides good benefits. I have really started paying attention to which companies I give business to and I really appreciate how Costco treats their workers.

VivYip said:   

Sam's Club
pro:
has clearance items


Costco also has clearance items.

costco treats their employees better than WalMart/Sam's Club. if part of your calculus is supporting businesses that treat their employees with dignity, like they are partners and not chattel, then add points for costco.

Brooklyn Costco has hot dog and unlimited refill soda for 1.50$....

There are two Sam's in my city and the nearest Costco is ~200 miles away. I bought something from Costco (online with a non-member surcharge) just a few weeks ago, and I'm not a member of Sam's. If a Costco opened up here tomorrow, I would join immediately. This seems like a no-brainer for anyone who lives near both stores. There probably isn't a retailer in the country, especially a B&M retailer, with a higher level of consumer satisfaction than Costco. I've been considering joining Sam's again, but only because I don't have the option to shop at Costco.

I would prefer to have Costco 'Executive Membership', you'll accumulate rewards on your purchases, receive a Cash Back checks to your home address.

Thank you everyone... I used to go to Costco... so just tried SAM's today after getting few positive responses from this forum but yes as most of you said...COSTCO is much better when it comes to choice.. SAMS had very less choice. The gas price is same at both locations today $3.19, so i feel I will go with COSTCO... Many thanks every one..

I have both. I like both, however, there are Sam's Clubs almost everythwere where Costco is a little bit more limited locations wise. I recently purchased my tires at Sam's, because I felt that I was getting a better deal. Costco had a tire for the same price, but I liked Sam's offering better. I think it really boils down to which one is closer to you. The one thing I noted was that Costco seems to have slightly cheaper prices on most things. We also purchase beef from there, and I do not like the beef that they offer at Costco. It is very greasy when cooked compared to Sams, and it is roughly the same price at both stores.

drnyinyithan said:   Brooklyn Costco has hot dog and unlimited refill soda for 1.50$....

SOP at Costco Warehouses. It's almost a badge as is the $4.99 warehouse size rotisserie chicken.

used to work at sams club, and currently a costco member (no sams by me)

if your primary purpose of shopping is for a small business retail, or otherwise, then you will find more items suited for your small business at sams.

if you are a semi affluent shopper, you will find more things at costco that suit your fancy.

wads

Having a baby... which is cheaper for diapers, baby food, and such ?
Thanks everyone I love reading your experiences.

Try reading here too
http://addictedtocostco.com/

You might find this hard to believe (I did when I first moved here) but Sam's and Costco are literally a couple of blocks apart (a warehouse shopper's dream), so I belong to both. As mentioned above, Sam's accepts Discover and MasterCard credit cards, while Costco is American Express only. However, if you sign up for the Costco AmExp card, there are additional Cash Back perks. Costco also refunds 2% of your year's purchases if you opt for the Executive membership (I think it's $50 more than the regular membership), so you should factor that into which membership you choose.

Judging by the crowds at my clubs, Costco is always busier than Sam's, perhaps because they offer more tasting samples.

BTW You should ask about new member bonuses at Costco. They often are worth the amount of the annual membership (regular), thus making your first year free.

suckers pay to shop

We have memberships to both but we prefer Costco for the following reasons:

1. Better quality food & merchandise. One example: Ground Beef. Costco requires their beef supplier to run an extra "test" to ensure the customer is getting a safe product. Some vendors refuse to meet Costco's mandate and, as a result, Costco will not purchase from these vendors. Costco ground beef is approx. $2.99/lb. in our area and well worth it for peace-of-mind. Delicious too.
2. Customer service - far superior at Costco. No comparison. Costco is a good company to work for and the employees obviously value their jobs. Sam's employees are WalMart employees. They seem to hate their jobs.
3. Great samples. Go during weekend lunch hours to sample the quality of the food.
4. Nice roomy parking spaces...less likely for nasty door dings. My pet peeve but I love the room spaces for loading the car.
5. Coupon books - usually every month, great deals on a variety of items.
6. Nice prices on eyeglass frames & lenses.
7. The best rotisserie chicken...$4.99 for a tasty 3 lb (I think it's 3 lbs) cooked chicken. Try the pizza too.

skh12 said:   suckers pay to shop

People pay when you shop. FAR items excluded.
Costco members pay a membership fee up front each year for lower prices all the time. Executive members often earn the membership fee or more back over the course of each year.
Suckers pay higher prices as they shop and lose in the end.

It depends on what's important to you.

Sams has signs on every aisle listing the items, like a supermarket. Costco is a warehouse without a map. Good luck finding what you're looking for but shop there enough times and eventually you know where everything is, unless they move stuff around.

Sams usually has shorter checkout lines, depending on when you go. Costco is packed with people all the time, probably because they can't find what they're looking for. Good luck finding a parking space.

Sams has self-checkout lanes and it's the best! I heard some Costco places have them too but not in my area.

VivYip said:   i go to both, but company pays for the Sam's Club membership....

(location-wise, the costco and Sam's Club for me are within 2 blocks of each other...sam's in the morning, costco on way home from work)

that being said, do you expect your purchases mostly for personal use or do you plan to buy stuff for the company?

personally, I costco, but I have to admit advantages to each club.

costco:
pro
overall better shopping feeling
more residential purchases
borderline better quality
one doesn't need to pay for the any additional discounts (coupons)
also, if you have an idea on what youll spend in a year (any big ticket purchases make it even easier) then get the executive membership that gives 2% back
wonderful return policy

con:
only uses AMEX in-store (sam's allows both discover and mastercard)
membership price starts at $55 and $110 for executive (sam's has business membership at $35)
hours are usually 10 to 8 (saturday opens at 9:30...day after thanksgiving is maybe 9am) (sam's early hours for businesses starts at 7am everyday but sunday i think)
this one is debatable -- the prices aren't really online and has no in-store pickup (Sam's Club has click & pull)


Sam's Club
pro:
base membership starts at $40 ($35 for business) plus membership at $100, i think
click& pull and early hours (very convenient)
accepts mastercard & discover
you can use WalMart gift cards in Sam's Club
business geared
has clearance items
price sometimes is cheaper (usually by 10 cents compared to costco)

cons:
the quality just slightly feels cheaper sometimes
feels emptier and still has lines despite this
the plus membership (or advantage, ehateer, it's the $100 one) provides "additional" discounts...but the regular membership doesn't...costco's coupons are good for ALL memberships
no 2% back for the $100 membership


We have membership to both clubs as well. And it all depends on which gives the better deal. The only thing with Costco is that when they have a sale on taxed items you are taxed on their original prices not the sale price, whereas Sam's taxes only the sale price. Costco also has True Earnings AMEX card which allows you to save 3 to 4% extra on gas and another 2 to 3% on travel and restaurants everything else 1%, depending on the type True Earnings card you have. Living in Cali, the price we have save for gas has more than paid for the having to join either club. Although Costco is much is closer, by 7-10 miles, it's very convenient having the option to go both places.

Thats all over costco

drnyinyithan said:   Brooklyn Costco has hot dog and unlimited refill soda for 1.50$....

I have both. Costco is way better (price, choice, quality, cs service)

Costco Milk $2.69, Sams Milk $3.39

I use both.
Sam's gas today was $3.02 (Atlanta, Northpoint), other outlets averaging $3.21 in our area.
For higher end products Costco return policy and selection is better. Costco has better staffing; concerned, helpful employees, better check-out, adequately staffed service desk. Costco carries a little better quality merchandise and more organic vegetables.
Sam's has better gas prices, cheaper fresh vegetables.
Better deals for toilet paper, paper towels, detergent at grocery stores when on sale and using coupons.
Just my 2 cents worth.

potluri040 said:   Thank you, Both are at same distant and nothing is in my way from office. so i feel both are same considering the commute.. I spend around $300 per month and mostly for house hold items... i am considering offers and regular prices...
If you are spending 300 per month, you'll not really save much money by going to Costco or Sams. You tend to spend more when you visit these clubs. If you can fill in gas there, you can save enough to justify the membership cost. Or if you have any plans to buy some big ticket items/use their pharmacy. Otherwise, you are better off clipping some coupons and visiting your local WalMart/target.

a few more cents from me...

fivetalents said:   

Costco also has clearance items.


Yes, but it's a little less obvious to the casual shopper (at least at my local store...the Sam's Club usually either has the sorta returned items/clearnace items on a sorta abandoned rack/shelving area looking thing...Also, Sam's sometimes has the clearance items right next to the cashiers if it's early in the morning. (esp food/snacks)

liljose13 said:   I have both. I like both, however, there are Sam's Clubs almost everythwere where Costco is a little bit more limited locations wise...We also purchase beef from there, and I do not like the beef that they offer at Costco. It is very greasy when cooked compared to Sams, and it is roughly the same price at both stores.

You just reminded me! ^_^ I don't know if this is a pro/con depending on the person, but...

Costco, depending on area, offers some items are lean towards the ethnic makeup that shop there.
(As least for my area:

chinese sausage, jasmine rice, mooncakes (the rice alone is like $8 savings per 25lb bag!)
basmati and masuri(?) rice (the basmati is brand name and generic)
korean hot pepper sauce, seaweed, frozen mackeral, and a roadshow of the puffed ricecakes (pongtegi? It's huge and yummy) (they tried kimchi, but I don't think it worked))

meat-wise, I think costco carries smithfield and golden kist and one more...and in general the higher costing meat(?) (I'm not liking their boneless short-rib...it's more like fajita cut or something..for soem reason it's lean as crazy...oh well)
nice cheeses
fage greek yogurt (along with a whole bunch of others)
and a strangely addicting organic milk

Sam's Club:
chicken they carry perdue chicken
organic milk is horizon
the bone-in short ribs are great
the instant noodles are nongshim (i love costco, but i will never buy instant noodles from costco)

msrazzle said:   
Judging by the crowds at my clubs, Costco is always busier than Sam's, perhaps because they offer more tasting samples.
BTW You should ask about new member bonuses at Costco. They often are worth the amount of the annual membership (regular), thus making your first year free.


chrismc329 said:   ...
4. Nice roomy parking spaces...less likely for nasty door dings. My pet peeve but I love the room spaces for loading the car.


qcumber98 said:   ...
Sams usually has shorter checkout lines, depending on when you go. Costco is packed with people all the time, probably because they can't find what they're looking for. Good luck finding a parking space.

Sams has self-checkout lanes and it's the best! I heard some Costco places have them too but not in my area.


msrazzle might be in my are! (just teasing) on the serious(?) side, the costco is livelier in my area and parking's packed if you come even an hour or so after opening. (To be fair to Sams club, it also might be because Sam's Club's hours are stretched out more...and the click and pull makes it REALLY convenient...Also, sam's clubs allow people to checkout-out using other registers if they're open, like the tirecenter, jewelry, and tobacco) The parking spot itself is roomier at costco though, I think...
I forgot about the new member bonuses...there's a few that run throughout the year...some even online through mypoints and mentioned on fw... (new member and not good for renewals...especiall not for executive membership. =( )

The promotions from Sam's Club seem to be close to the holidays (july 4th, thanksgiving, and a few others) Sam's also offers open house days...

Costco all the way. Once I had both for a year and I went to Sams may be twice.

Whatever is closest....tie goes to Costco bc of return policy

mainomega said:   Having a baby... which is cheaper for diapers, baby food, and such ?
Thanks everyone I love reading your experiences.


Different stores carry different brands- No Pampers at Costco only Huggies and their Kirkland Brand... Both have similac sensitive and costco was about $2 cheaper for the same sized container. I think Costco does carry the Pampers Pull ups but honestly the Amazon Mom and subscribe and save is cheaper than either store and they come to your front door.

Both will allow you a free tour I would take in your monthly shopping list and price out every item at both and see which brands that you prefer are carried!

I've had Sam's for almost a year, I think it was a Groupon offer to begin with, and am on the fence about renewing. I thought I read somewhere about Sam's offering discounts for renewals, but have yet to receive one. Are there renewal deals?

Skipping 46 Messages...
samdix said:   For us, Sam's works out better. Not as crowded, we're happy with the products and prices, and self-checkout lines to eliminate the wait! I'll agree that Costco frequently has some nicer products, but I get dangerously close to losing my temper in a Costco warehouse trying to navigate through the crowds. That's just me, though.

Check with the pharmacy at Costco. Perhaps they could recommend some nice/calming pills. Of course, check with your own doctor and be sure to read all of the instructions and warning message that accompany any pills you buy.

( Maybe all the people crowding and waiting at Costco know something about the Treasure Hunt )



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