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Sam's Club Verus Costco

RhinoRhino TheRhinLOLRegistered User regular
edited October 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Anyone use both of these?

Basically I'm looking at it and it comes down to this:

Both of them are the same distance away
Sam's club is $35.00 for a membership and Costco is [effectively] $40.00 (I get a $10 pre-paid card though a deal; so basically $50.00 for membership, but get $10 worth of free goods).

So, they are fairly the same.

What I'm looking at buying is mostly non-perishable goods.
Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, canned good, soap, etc.
Some food stuff.

No need for any type of electronics or entertainment.

So I was just wondering A) is the membership worth it (am I going to be able to "make that membership fee back" by buying in bulk instead of just buying large quantities at walmart/target) and B) if so, which would you say gives better prices? Sams or Costco?

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Rhino on

Posts

  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Bulk discount store memberships aren’t the great deal they used to be. Many of the dry goods that clubs sell in bulk are available at any big box store, and most of the inexpensive food is low-quality, pre-prepared frozen stuff. It will save you some money if you have a couple teenagers to feed, but otherwise it’s only a good idea if you really like frozen burritos, pizzas, tacos, and miscellaneous snacks.

    supabeast on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2007
    bullshit.

    The deals still exist, it just takes picky shopping. On any given grocery trip you'll want to hit Costco first, get whatever you can at good prices, and skip everything else and just get that at a normal grocery store.

    Really good examples:
    Pure Vanilla Extract: I got a 500 ml bottle for like $6. That's even cheaper than most bottles of artificial extract, nevermind real vanilla.
    Kikkoman Soya Sauce: I got like 2 litres of the good stuff for $6.50, which is incidentally, about the price of two 300 ml bottles of it normally.
    Kashi Cereal Lovers Pack: Double the Kashi goodness, comparable price to a normal sized box at the grocery store.
    Cheese: Generally much cheaper.
    Zuchinni: 5 pack for $4 at Costco, $1.30 per at the grocery store. Mushrooms are a similar deal. Bell peppers and potatoes cost the same as a grocery store would charge.
    Pasta sauce: The girl has a thing for these fancy pants pre-made pasta sauces and the tomato based ones are pretty decent healthwise, so I get the 3 pack for, you guessed it, like $6 or so. They're $3 or $4 each normally, so not a huge savings but it adds up.
    Pasta: Dirt cheap, BUT, you can get whole wheat pasta that's still high in fibre and yet also dirt cheap.

    The real clincher though, is photo printing. I had 8 8x10s printed and pretty much paid for the membership right there. They're $1.50 per print, regular 4x6s are $0.18. You can even order online and pick up in store if you're getting digital prints made. You cannot beat the photo printing prices anywhere, and the quality is superior to what you'll get at WalMart.

    These are all prices in Canadian for the record, but for the purposes of illustration, etc., etc.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2007
    DrDizaster wrote: »
    These are all prices in Canadian for the record, but for the purposes of illustration, etc., etc.

    So, the same as American dollars, then? :P

    Doc on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2007
    Doc wrote: »
    DrDizaster wrote: »
    These are all prices in Canadian for the record, but for the purposes of illustration, etc., etc.

    So, the same as American dollars, then? :P

    Yes, except for the rude insistence of retailers on both sides of the border to refuse to grant us comparable prices to what Americans pay.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Verus?

    Verus_o.JPG?

    Magus` on
  • colawarscolawars Pittsburgh, PARegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I have a personal membership to Costco and a work membership to Sam's. I frequent Costco more because their snackbar pizza is fucking fantastic. I'll order whole ones to go rather than delivery. And the hot dogs are awesome as well. Hebrew National all the way...

    I also find better clothing deals at Costco, along with shoes and inkjet carts. It's also the only place i found a Wii in January.

    My coworker bought a car through Costco and she couldn't be happier. I don't know what the bonuses are, but she's telling absolutely everyone to check it out. I'll be researching the tires they sell when I need them, as their bulletin boards show a good savings.

    Bulk anything is a good deal, if you have the room to deal with it. You just have to think mathematically while you're shopping. Do you have room for 48 rolls of toilet paper? Will that half gallon of salsa be used entirely before it goes rancid? Take a calculator with you if you need to. The savings are there if you're diligent.

    colawars on
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  • Filler Inc.Filler Inc. Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I worked at costco, and trust me.

    Get a costco membership.

    They are amazingly better to their customers then sams club is.

    You can return anything, even an open jar of pickles that is 5 months old.

    Filler Inc. on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Costco is a better company, and the employees are better paid and treated well. That shows in the service and care of the store and customer.

    A lot of things will be similar between the two -- they both have memberships to each other (and BJ's and other wholesalers) to compare prices. Cereals, pickles, whatever. The best thing to do, actually, is to simply go to each one and talk to the service counter. Say you're interested in a membership but want to look around first. Walk around with a pad of paper, and jot down the things you would buy (and the price). Then go to the other store and do the same thing. See what's different. They do change regionally.

    My parents go to Sam's Club because it's the only one that's close, and they purchase a lot of fresh food there. They enjoy the meat selection, the frozen hors d'oeuvres, etc. They don't pick up the things that you would buy at a regular grocery store, like peanut butter in giant tubs, because they don't have space for something so big.

    EggyToast on
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Well, you can either chose to support a massive corporation that likes to trample over everyone that gets between it and profit, or you could support a company that actually treats its workers well.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    My experience is far better with Costco than with the others. I buy meats and seafood and things like vanilla extract and spices that are way, way cheaper than anywhere else. They've also got great deals on wine.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
  • ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I like costco, only for the fact that i can never find anything i want at sams club.

    But i also eat a lot of frozen food, so getting a box of like 50 frozen mini pizzas for 13 bucks is a fucking awesome deal.

    For stuff like toilet paper, dish soap and what not, its usually not a huge savings, but theres a savings, only "downside" is you need to buy it giant quantities (Their boxes of tide are huge) but you can look at it like a bonus if youre lazy, you wont need to go back as soon.

    Zeon on
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  • TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    To be honest, both are big companies, one is just a subsidiary of a bigger company.

    From my experiences:

    Sam's Club has better giant crab legs

    Costco is better at getting tires and installed correctlyt he first time than most tire-only stores (like NTB)

    Sam's Club has better electronics selection (like the HP all-in one computer bundles)

    Costco has better produce

    Costco seems to have a lot more peddlers inside the warehouse selling odd things (like portable hot tubs, some iron folding thing from Switzerland, etc.)

    Costco is cleaner (this one varies by location)

    TexiKen on
  • SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    TexiKen wrote: »
    Sam's Club has better giant crab legs

    Really? The ones at Costco are amazing (the Barents Sea king crab legs), but I've never had the Sam's Club ones.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
  • TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Six wrote: »
    TexiKen wrote: »
    Sam's Club has better giant crab legs

    Really? The ones at Costco are amazing (the Barents Sea king crab legs), but I've never had the Sam's Club ones.

    Alberston's used to have the best, but they closed up in Houston and Austing (only one left there). So I find them at Sam's to be the best. In terms of quality of meat, both are good, it's just that the ones at Sam's Club are HUGE.

    TexiKen on
  • SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    TexiKen wrote: »
    Six wrote: »
    TexiKen wrote: »
    Sam's Club has better giant crab legs

    Really? The ones at Costco are amazing (the Barents Sea king crab legs), but I've never had the Sam's Club ones.

    Alberston's used to have the best, but they closed up in Houston and Austing (only one left there). So I find them at Sam's to be the best. In terms of quality of meat, both are good, it's just that the ones at Sam's Club are HUGE.

    The one's at Costco around here are absolutely gigantic - I've never heard of crab legs any bigger than Barents Sea ones.

    20040920084044.jpg

    Edit: A little digging shows Sam's club is selling the Russian ones too - so they're the same.

    Six on
    can you feel the struggle within?
  • BoutrosBoutros Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I worked at costco, and trust me.

    Get a costco membership.

    They are amazingly better to their customers then sams club is.

    You can return anything, even an open jar of pickles that is 5 months old.

    Costco's once insanely lenient return policy is now less amazing. I once returned my one year old 20 gig ipod to Costco after it broke (they didn't ask or care if it was broken) and I left the store with a 30 gig video ipod and 20 bucks. You can't do that anymore.

    Edit: apparently the crackdown is only for electronics, pickles are still fair game.

    Boutros on
  • RhinoRhino TheRhinLOL Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    haha... so in this internet forum battle it looks like Costco is the winner. They're membership is $5.00 more; but I'll eat that cost since you all seems to like it better.

    Also I have space to store things. The people that lived in this house before me had an insane cabinet fetish and for some reason installed massive amounts of cabinets... and worst case is I can just leave it stacked in the corner . If anyone has a problem with it being out in the open, I'll just be all like "You can't have any of my 5 gallons or peanut butter or giant crab legs". haha.

    First trip, I'm just going to go in and right down the prices to everything I need and then compare it cost wise to a unit value I can find on the internets or at walmart/target.


    thanks guys.

    Rhino on
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  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Six wrote: »
    My experience is far better with Costco than with the others. I buy meats and seafood and things like vanilla extract and spices that are way, way cheaper than anywhere else. They've also got great deals on wine.

    I'd be careful about the wine there. I don't believe they ship using climate-controlled trucks.

    Gihgehls on
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  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    You can get some great deals on tires at Costco as well, plus I've bought brand new just released games (like Super Paper Mario) at Costco for $43.

    Ganluan on
  • PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2007
    CostCo is a much better company. In all aspects - employee treatment, customer service, and product.

    PeekingDuck on
  • frylockedfrylocked Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    At my costco, they have gas for like 5-10 cents cheaper per gallon. Might not be a huge deal... but still kind nice.

    frylocked on
  • CruixCruix Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    I'm casting in another vote for Costco.

    And even if you don't plan to buy any electronics NOW, you may in the future, and Costco's almost always has the best deals on things like televisions.

    It's really a great store, you stand to save a lot of money. I'm not sure if it's just with a Business membership there, but I know every 6 months or every year, Costco's sends my dad a gift certificate that's a certain percentage of all of the money he's spent at Costco's in that period of time. Which was very, very nice.

    And yeah, the return policy is only on electronics. The reason why they're restricting the return policy on electronics is because people were buying a PC and then returning it two years later for no reason, but they'd just all of the money back and then get a brand new PC for free. So, you can see where the problem was. It's not really Costco's fault that people are cheap.

    The return policy on everything else still stands, of course. I've also never bought anything from Costco's that wasn't amazing -- I feel like they only carry GOOD products, which is nice. You can also get the discounts on their website, too, and use your membership code. I'm not sure if you can do this with Sam's Club.

    Cruix on
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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited October 2007
    Alright, my family has a costco membership, my aunt has a sam's club membership.

    In comparison:

    Costco has more staff to help, from my experience (although I've only needed them to get a tv for me)

    Costco was alot less cluttered

    Costco has an ACTUAL butcher in the meat section, rather than some kid (May vary by store)

    Costco has much better prices on electronics and games (In Sam's Club I actually found a couple games that were priced more than they were at Walmart)

    Also, from watching a documentary I've learnt that Costco is alot nicer to it's employees. They get paid fairly well, and work in a relaxed environment. (Even the CEO comes and wonders around in the same uniform (well, they really only seem to have like... little vests that they wear over their normal clothes)) And bassically, they'll bend over backwards to make you happy

    Oh, another thing: I believe Sam's Club carried alot more "no name" stuff. Whereas Costco tends to have the brand name stuff at the no name price. So rather than really saving money (if you're the kinda person who buys the cheap stuff) you'd bassically be getting better quality for your money. They do carry the less brand name stuff too, incase you'd otherwise be going without completely. (I got my 46" DLP for the same price as I was seeing 32" ones at the time)

    Wezoin on
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