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

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

We're thrilled to present this smart LearnVest story here on Savvy!

Discount 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

Keep reading for the side-by-side comparison.

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.

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Source: Flickr User Colros

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