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Twotoes

Costco vs Sams Club

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1 hour ago, Twotoes said:

The real question was at the end of his post asking which club to join, Sams oCostco?  Not sure why he did not just come right out with it.

I did. It’s the title of the thread. 

Sometimes the title has nothing to do with the post.  The title is an intention grabber in a few words.  To me it is more to the 8 sentences writen that take a lot more thought that matters. Kind of like writing a check, writing the dollar amount $634.72 takes less thought vs writing it six hundred thirty four dollars and seventy row cents.   

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We have both cards that we share with another family member so we only pay 1/2 the annual fees.  We are primary on Costco so get the cash back on purchases on that card and are secondary on the Sams Club card so they get the benefits.  

We recently bought a truck through the Costco Auto Program, first time we have used the service.  The convenience, money and time savings will keep us Costco members as long as they are around.

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We have had both but that was when we were in the sticknbrick.  Now we only maintain the Sam's membership.  We may only visit one once a month but can easily save the membership fees early in the year.  

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A little over a year ago I switched from Costco to Sam's.  There is no clear overall winner.  Even store to store, there are huge variations in what they have.  Each one beats the other in specific ways, but not overall.

Sam's is the clear winner in:

Fresh veggies and fruit--highest quality.
Healthy options with reduced junk factors, salt, etc.
Beer selection and price.
TVs and some other electronics.
Overall frozen food quality and selection.

Costco is the clear winner in:

Whisk(e)y selection and price.
Certain cuts of red meat (but not all).
Outdoor stuff like gazebos and seating.
On-site propane fill (most Sam's just do exchanges).
Store are just EVERYWHERE in the West.

I find them exactly the same on:

Optometry, prescriptions.
Auto batteries, tires, etc.
High quality dog food.
Chicken, fish, prepared foods.
Gasoline.

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Costco's wine selection is MUCH better. :D

Since we are in the west most of the time, the change from Sam's to Costco was a no-brainer for us.   And added plus is that several Costco's now have DIESEL fuel - the one in Bellingham, WA  is an easy in and out with the motorhome!

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17 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

Costco's wine selection is MUCH better. 

For those of us whose wine tastes are more plebeian, Sam's does carry Black Box wines but only in WA have we encountered a Costco that carries box wines!  😀

The most unique Costco we've shopped at was the one in Bellingham that has an entire refrigerated room for milk that is being bought by the carload by, I was led to understand, Hindus most of whom live on the Canadian side of the border.

FWIW, we've shopped at Costco since ~1990 when it was Price Club.  That's when I learned that the name had nothing to do with the "prices" the store charged, but, rather was the name of the founder, Sam Price!😂

Edited by docj

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Off the subject, but on the Costco at Bellingham--was returning from AK trip and came thru the border crossing near there...cars were lined up at the crossing and had to wait a while.  After crossing thru, the outside lane never moved as much as the inside lane did. Farther on, the traffic hangup was all the BC license plates turning into the Costco...

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docj the founders name was Sol Price not Sam. Sam was the founder of WalMart. Sol Price started FedMart in San Diego. Sold it to a German outfit that ran it into the ground. Sol took the proceeds from the sale and started Price Club which was later sold/ merged with Costco. 

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On 2/10/2019 at 9:23 AM, docj said:

For those of us whose wine tastes are more plebeian, Sam's does carry Black Box wines but only in WA have we encountered a Costco that carries box wines!  😀

The most unique Costco we've shopped at was the one in Bellingham that has an entire refrigerated room for milk that is being bought by the carload by, I was led to understand, Hindus most of whom live on the Canadian side of the border.

FWIW, we've shopped at Costco since ~1990 when it was Price Club.  That's when I learned that the name had nothing to do with the "prices" the store charged, but, rather was the name of the founder, Sam Price!😂

How would Costco’s dairy department know a customer’s choice of religion? 

Is that info on your Costco card now?

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Yes, mine has a picture of a 1956 Chevy pickup with pontoons welded on the side, indicating that they know I'm Cuban.

Seriously, Costco and Sam's both serve regional preferences including religious ones.  The stock in the hispanic areas includes things for Catholic ceremonies, in my area they don't.  Some areas have Mexican Coke in glass recycled bottles, some don't.  (Coke made in Mexico uses real cane sugar, not HFCS, and many Mexicans won't drink HFCS).  

 

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They just go through a lot of dairy, and there are several distinct immigrant groups on both sides of the border.  Notice this is a ‘I was lead to believe’ explanation for large volume of sales.

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

They just go through a lot of dairy, and there are several distinct immigrant groups on both sides of the border.  Notice this is a ‘I was lead to believe’ explanation for large volume of sales.

Sorry Barb, but you are wrong this time.  People from Canada wearing funny looking head gear hit the dairy section of the Bellingham Costco like flys on a Gut Wagon.  I've seen this.  Watched Costco put out a pallet of milk and before they could load another one, it was gone.  Not one person that was not wearing the funny head gear got anything off that pallet.  Talking with friends that live in the area, they tell horror stories about dealing with the people from across the border at that Costco.  At one time there was even a petition going around to try and get Costco to designate 1 day a week for NO CANADAIAN CUSTOMERS TO BE ALLOWED in the store.

 

Joe

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3 hours ago, Twotoes said:

Sol took the proceeds from the sale and started Price Club which was later sold/ merged with Costco. 

Quote

The History of Costco. The company's first location, opened in 1976 under the Price Club name, was in a converted airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard in San Diego.

Jeffrey H. Brotman and James D. Sinegal opened the first Costco in Seattle in 1983. The Price Company (corporate parent of Price Club) and Costco merged in 1993 to become Price/Costco. In 1997 the corporate name was changed to Costco Companies, Inc., and in 1999 the present corporate name was adopted.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Striper said:

Sorry Barb, but you are wrong this time.  People from Canada wearing funny looking head gear hit the dairy section of the Bellingham Costco like flys on a Gut Wagon.  I've seen this.  Watched Costco put out a pallet of milk and before they could load another one, it was gone.  Not one person that was not wearing the funny head gear got anything off that pallet.  Talking with friends that live in the area, they tell horror stories about dealing with the people from across the border at that Costco.  At one time there was even a petition going around to try and get Costco to designate 1 day a week for NO CANADAIAN CUSTOMERS TO BE ALLOWED in the store.

 

Joe

I’d drive to Bellingham to watch Costco guards having all customers produce passports or other guvvermint issued ID as proof of religion no wait citizenship...

Why don’t they stock more milk?

 

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1 hour ago, noteven said:

Why don’t they stock more milk?

It sounds like they try. At least, what I read said they brought out a pallet of milk and it was cleared before they could load another one.

I don't drink milk but I do like Black Raspberry flavored Sparkling Ice water. Apparently, so do my neighbors. Today, Dave got to Target just as they were stocking the shelves so he took two of the three cases they brought out. Since I drink two or three bottles a day and I was down to three bottles, Dave knew one case wouldn't last long. The next person along might wonder why they don't stock those shelves. Sometimes it is the timing.

Linda

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3 hours ago, noteven said:

I’d drive to Bellingham to watch Costco guards having all customers produce passports or other guvvermint issued ID as proof of religion no wait citizenship...

Why don’t they stock more milk?

 

 

Oh Ya, that would be fun to watch.  What I saw happened in the old Bellingham Costco and they just didn't have the room.  The new store, open a bit over a year now, is a lot bigger so they can stock more product such as milk that goes so quick.  Those folks will fill a shopping cart with nothing but milk.  It is still a zoo if you don't get there early and get out before the cross border crowd hits.

Only reason I sometimes visit that store is that being a larger store they carry some items that the more local, Burlington, WA, store just doesn't have the room to carry.

Joe

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Man, I think this tread is getting udderly ridiculous.  I don't think it's all that black and white.  I'm going to hoof it on out of here before anyone catches on.

 

Edited by Carlos

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I thought OP asked the question after a short explanation. How else should they have asked? The dilemma is why some don't read the whole post before answering? Cosco is 20 miles and Sam's club is 9 miles from my base. But I can get as good prices on most of what either stocks, and don't have to buy the over size packages. So I'm no longer a member.

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If one of the main reasons you may be joining Sam's or one of the other clubs is to save money on booze, then be sure to check closer for the states you may be living in or traveling in.

In Florida the booze is in a separate addition to the building, only beer and wine can be sold in the grocery section.  When you go into the booze building at Sam's in Florida you do not need your Sam's membership card, the price is the same for everyone.  

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You don't need a membership in AZ either for booze/beer/wine, prescriptions, hearing aids, and glasses.  You can tell the person at the door and the cashier that you're only buying non-member items.  Or just go in through the customer service door, that's what I do.  

Edited by Carlos

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I am in AZ and was told by the local Costco that you do need to be a member to get hearing aids. Sams did not require a membership. My friend is a member and I got my passport photo at the nearby Sams with her being there using her membership card. I have determined that neither club is a benefit to me because I am a solo and do not buy in bulk. So I guess I will stick to WalMart for now. Thanks for all your replies. 

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If your friend doesn't use their second card and is willing, they can put you on it.  I put my brother's girlfriend on mine.  My wife will never go on her own, so she doesn't need a card.

Also you are correct on hearing aids and glasses, I was wrong.  It's the exam that you can get without a membership.  The hearing exam is even free.

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1 hour ago, Twotoes said:

I have determined that neither club is a benefit to me because I am a solo and do not buy in bulk. 

We were on our son's account and would probably not save enough to pay us to belong either. When you live in an RV bulk buying can take too much space and weight. 

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Sam's is much better about having non-bulk that is useful even in a small space.  Many of the frozen foods are in normal portions.  We always keep the natural fruit smoothie/juice bottles, and they come in a normal size pack of 12 small bottles (grocery store sells six large bottles--same difference, but the small bottles fit in the fridge door).  The fresh produce is normal-sized, as is the bagged produce.  You can buy a single melon, six bananas, things like that.  It's really not a bulk-only place.

 

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