Which Wholesale Store Is Better: Costco or Sam’s Club?

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Costco Vs. Sam's ClubDiscount warehouses are your answer if you’re looking to stock up on hors d’oeuvres for your next dinner party, get the latest electronics and buy a new futon for your living room all in one trip. Costco and Sam’s Club are the wholesale reigning kings, offering their members a convenient one-stop-shop for all of their big and small household needs. But the question is: Which store gives you more bang for your buck?

Product analysis website Cheapism recently did a side-by-side comparison of the two wholesale stores. Here’s a look at the breakdown of this heated face-off.

Membership Fees: Both stores offer tiered membership options with higher membership costs translating into perks such as discounts and cash back. Sam’s Club has a cheaper basic membership fee with more in-store benefits. Costco has a higher membership fee but includes services like car and home insurance as well as discounted travel. Costco’s top-tier Executive Membership offers refunds, which is a great deal for big shoppers.
Winner: Costco

Payment Method: Both stores accept cash, check and credit card. While Costco only accepts American Express credit cards, Sam’s Club also takes MasterCard and Discover.
Winner: Sam’s Club

Shopping Cart: Cheapism bought the same items from each store and tallied up the costs. Sam’s Club was cheaper overall, but the price was misleading as Costco’s packaging yielded more items, giving them a lower unit price.
Winner: Costco

Websites: Members can shop online by creating an account on the store website. Sam’s Club has an additional Click N’ Pull option that allows members to buy online and pick up their items in-store the next day.
Winner: Sam’s Club

Installation and Delivery: Costco doesn’t offer delivery or installation services for items bought in the store. Instead, customers transport their purchases home on their own. Sam’s Club delivers and installs furniture as well as electronics, and they have a 24/7 tech support line for electronics.
Winner: Sam’s Club

The final verdict? Sam’s Club ekes out Costco, but only by a very small margin. Warehouse stores can help you save a bundle but only if you take advantage of all of their services. To find out if they’re right for you, read more here.

Image credit: coconut wireless/Flickr

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, you don’t list the most important reason to choose Costco over Sam’s Club: Walmart owns Sam’s. No unions, alleged massive discrimination against women, exploitation of workers in China … I could go on. I boycott Walmart and Sam’s.

    • http://www.adela.vn/dich-vu/thiet-ke-profile-cong-ty.html thiet ke profile

      This is true

    • justanemployee

      I used to work for a company (something like Walmart) with UNIONS, and here is the sad side of it: you cannot get rid of BAD employees. They are not productive, call off work 2-3times/week, curse and yell at customers at several incidents. And yet, we cannot fire them because of THE UNIONS. Of course I support unions since they protect employees for the good reasons.

      • ellaquince

        That is not true. You can fire union employees just as you can fire nonunion employees, you just have to build a record and have a good reason. Union employees have protection from being fired for bad reasons, not for good reasons. I work in a union shop and people here have been fired when they didn’t perform up to expectations or if they broke any important rules. But they couldn’t be fired just because a new supervisor wanted to bring in his/her own new people, or any other bad reasons.

  • Anonymous

    I just found a place called “Printapon” where I can get my fav. restaurant coupon for 90% off!! all you have to do is just print and take it.