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Old 02-10-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
 
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Default Wholesale (Sams, BJs, Costco)

I'm considering joining one of these wholesale stores. Which do you prefer? I don't live near a Costco but I've heard it's good.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:14 AM   #2
 
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I have been to all 3 and we always end up keeping our Costco membership. They sell high quality items at good prices.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:15 AM   #3
 
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I have a Costco membership of my own, and a Sam's membership because we have the spare card on my in-laws' membership.

We tend to like Costco a little bit better for most things - they seem to have better produce in general which we like. But, Sam's is just fine, and also is located about 5 miles from our house while Costco is about a half hour away. So, we end up at Sam's more often.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:21 AM   #4
 
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I would probably make the determination by which is the easiest to make frequent stops at. That said, Sam's is the only one remotely close to my area, and it is an hour away. $25 a month vs gas and drive time = why bother.

I am no help. Hehe
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
 
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We just got a Sams near us and as membership was essentially free, we thought - why not? They don't carry a lot of our brands but I've gotten a few rando deals on things like conditioner, razors, and dog treats. If you eat a lot of packaged foods, you may find more savings. They do carry fresh stuff but I haven't really checked into it. They have a HUGE liquor selection, though!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
 
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We just got Costco close by about 18 months ago. We originally got that membership because there was one near our vacation home.

I always kept BJ's and Sam's. Once we joined Costco, I gave up BJ's. There are certain things I buy at each, that the other doesn't have. If you get the Amex (only credit card that Costco takes) you get % back on all purchases, including 3% on gas anywhere. Makes it worthwhile. Sam's only takes Mastercard, so you may want to take that into your planning.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
 
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If you get the Amex (only credit card that Costco takes) you get % back on all purchases, including 3% on gas anywhere. Makes it worthwhile. Sam's only takes Mastercard, so you may want to take that into your planning.
My Mom says that makes it more then worth it. She almost exclusively shops there, and says the money she gets back is fantastic.

My Dad says for big purchases, the prices and service can't be beat. They got their hot tub, mattress and some patio stuff. He says the quality is great, and the savings at the time were better then he could find elsewhere.

For me it's not worth it, nothing I really buy enough of to make it worthwhile. I usually do a shop with a friend at Christmas for baking stuff (big bags of nuts are a great deal) and for plants in the summer with my Mom. The garden center here is really good and their pre-made hanging baskets long out bloom any others I pick up.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:58 AM   #8
 
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We just got Costco close by about 18 months ago. We originally got that membership because there was one near our vacation home.

I always kept BJ's and Sam's. Once we joined Costco, I gave up BJ's. There are certain things I buy at each, that the other doesn't have. If you get the Amex (only credit card that Costco takes) you get % back on all purchases, including 3% on gas anywhere. Makes it worthwhile. Sam's only takes Mastercard, so you may want to take that into your planning.
What cards does BJ's take?
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
 
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BF has a Costco membership and he really likes it. Sams is Wal-Mart, and I'm iffy about supporting them. I've never been to a BJs.

Costco also pays well for the industry and has high employee satisfaction.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymack View Post
We just got Costco close by about 18 months ago. We originally got that membership because there was one near our vacation home.

I always kept BJ's and Sam's. Once we joined Costco, I gave up BJ's. There are certain things I buy at each, that the other doesn't have. If you get the Amex (only credit card that Costco takes) you get % back on all purchases, including 3% on gas anywhere. Makes it worthwhile. Sam's only takes Mastercard, so you may want to take that into your planning.
What cards does BJ's take?
I don't know what credit card BJ's takes, but all of them take cash/check/debit card. My only credit card is a Visa, so I generally use my debit card so I don't have to worry about having cash or writing checks.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:44 AM   #11
 
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Costco hands down. Don't forget about their online store. Lots of good stuff there too. I like that my costco suppports local businesses. And as some of you know, I relied on costco as a resource for lots of home construction materials.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
 
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My BFF used have a Costco membership. While the stuff they sell is usually good quality, she found that often buying in bulk didn't save her a lot of money. I never considered it because: 1. I'm single and live alone 2. I live in a small studio and don't have a lot of space to store bulk items.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:06 AM   #13
 
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Costco is a local company that pays living wages and supports the community. Sam's is Walmart. That right there is enough for me to go to one over the other.

Costco carries a lot of higher end and quality brands. They also have a very liberal return policy. Their prepared food is usually pretty good and you can get amazing deals on fresh food like meat, cheese, and fruit.

However, I wouldn't bother with joining unless there was one close by that I could hit on weeknights. Costco on the weekend is hell.

I'm not sure if the other places do this, but Costco lets you share your membership with non-family so it's basically half price. Two of my sisters share their membership and I share one with my mom.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
 
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For me it might depend on which is closer to my house.

That being said I've shopped at all 3 and BJ's and Costco would be in the top running over Sam's. I liked that we could use manufacturers coupons and they had store coupons at BJ's and they carried a lot more of the brands that we normally use. We had BJ's the 4 years we lived in CT and I pleased with it.

Now we have Costco because it's our only option and I've been fairly satisfied with it. They don't always carry the same stuff though so I can only periodically get some of the specific things we use. I don't know if they try things out to see how well they sell or what, but that's been kind of frustrating. I do know they sell specific things based on area because I can't get the milk we drink at the one near our house, but the Costco in the next town over does carry it.

You should be able to go to any of them and at least walk through and check out what they have and how much you think you'd be able to purchase there and maybe that would help you decide.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #15
 
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I'm hesitant about Sam's just because. People say it's great, but I wasn't so sure. I tried to do a walk through, but they wouldn't allow me. They wouldn't even give me a day pass. So naturally I said bump that.

I went with BJs. I went through with a day pass a few weeks back. I saw some stuff that I like and use a lot of (TP, Chobani, dried cranberries, oatmeal).

Thanks for all the feedback. If we had a Costco near me, I would have joined Costco. But driving half an hour or 45 minutes to get there doesn't appeal to me at all. And I know I'd never go.

BJs is like half a mile farther away from me than Sams. Sams is two miles from my place.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:02 PM   #16
 
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Sams is owned by Walmart. I won't support them. You really couldn't pay me to shop there.

Costco is a good company, known for treating women and minorities well, and they pay good benefits and a living wage. I would have a membership if there was one close to me.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:03 PM   #17
 
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Unless the price has increased I thought BJ's had the lowest yearly fee for membership as well. I found myself missing BJ's after we moved here and didn't have access to one any longer. The lower fee, better selection and being able to use manuf. coupons meant we saved more money in the long run.

I can't believe Sam's wouldn't give you a day pass! That is ridiculous, I wouldn't have signed up there either.
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The amount of time from slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is exactly one bananosecond.
I do have a secret yen for pink in unexpected places. ~ninja dog
I've decided that I'll never get down to my original weight, and I'm OK with that--After all, 8 pounds 2 oz. is just not realistic.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:06 PM   #18
 
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BJs is 50/year
Sams is 40/year

Like I said, no Costco nearby to compare prices.

All I know is I got 12 greek yogurts for 10 dollars and 48 rolls of toilet paper for 10 dollars. There's some decent looking produce in there, too.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:44 PM   #19
 
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Another vote for Costco. The Kirkland signature (Costco's generic) hair stuff is great and they have the best smoothies at the snack place. Yes, I know these are trivial reasons, but since everyone else already gave the substantive arguments... go and get a berry smoothie.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #20
 
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I shop costcos. the people who work there are great. the people who shop there are as bad as the people in walmart. But i'm willing to go to get the savings. i bake a lot, so a 50 lb bag of flout for 13 bucks was a steal!

they pay the cashiers around here 15$/hr!!
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