Updated on 05.23.07

Seven Reasons Why I Chose Sam’s Club Over Costco

Trent Hamm

Sam'sIn the recent past, I mentioned that our new home’s location has a Sam’s Club and a Costco almost the same distance apart, and now that we will finally have storage space, the opportunity to really take advantage of warehouse shopping became clear.

To decide which one we would go with (a significant decision, because both have membership fees in the $40 range), I took a trip to both stores in the last week, mostly to mill around, see what was available, check prices on some specific items I know we’ll buy in bulk, and then use that information to make a decision. Although Costco had some advantages (better electronics selection, somewhat nicer layout, and fresh produce while Sam’s had none), the advantages of Sam’s Club were too much to overcome. Here are seven reasons why I chose Sam’s Club over Costco.

Location, location, location Although the two stores are roughly equidistant from our future home, Sam’s Club is much closer to my daily commute. This is a significant advantage for Sam’s Club, though not a deal maker.

Diapers, diapers, diapers Sam’s Club has better diaper prices than Costco on the brand that we use (Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers), but both are far better than the local department stores and also better than Amazon. Given that we have a child still in diapers and another one on the way in September, this is a very important factor for us.

Item selection I made a list of fifteen specific food items that we regularly buy that aren’t obvious common ones, ranging from specific fruit juices to our preferred brand of oats in bulk. Sam’s Club had a higher percentage of the specific items, and on the ones that they both had, the prices averaged out to be almost exactly even (Costco was cheaper by one cent on the total of seven items).

Help The help was highly variable in both places (depending on the person). I asked three questions of three separate people at each location. The best person at each one walked me straight to what I needed. The worst person at Sam’s Club got me to the right area quickly, then radioed for help. The worst person at Costco walked around in circles for a while, basically said that she couldn’t help me, then wandered away.

Distractions How many times did the store distract me into considering another item? This is mostly a way of seeing how the store’s layout convinces me to strongly consider items I wasn’t intending to buy or even look at when I came into the store, and the fewer such items, the better. Aside from the entrance area where I was distracted by a big screen television, I basically wasn’t distracted in Sam’s Cub – everything was spread out and open and sorted in an obvious enough fashion for the most part that I quickly found what I was looking for. In Costco, I was distracted several times – not good.

Checking out Since I was only in each store as a “guest,” I watched the checkouts for a bit and timed how long it took a few people to get through the line (I had time to burn when I made the visits, but when we have a house and another child, time will be important). The Sam’s Club checkouts were much busier (many more customers), but more checkouts opened quickly and the overall average time for both stores wound up being about the same.

Cleanliness Surprisingly (because I expected it to be the other way around), the Sam’s Club store seemed much cleaner than the Costco. Neither one was what I would describe as dirty, but the Sam’s Club had more of a “freshly-scrubbed warehouse” feel to it, whereas the Costco did not. Although this seems like an aesthetic choice, it does matter at a place where you may be buying foodstuffs.

While Costco did have a few specific advantages, Sam’s Club was the clear winner for me. Considering the membership fee is $40, the time spent figuring out which was better for me was worth the effort.

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  1. Hannah says:

    The Sam’s Club has no fresh produce? Huh. That’s the main reason why I joined the one in my town (plus we don’t have a Costco). Mostly I just buy produce , cheese, coffee (they have a fair trade whole bean brand that I think is a really good deal), and their rotisserie chickens. I try really hard to stay out of the other sections because there are way too many tempting things…

  2. David says:

    We have chosen Costco just based on the fact that Sam’s club is a Wal-Mart in disguise, and we do not shop there on principal. Even if Costco cost me more, I am happy to spend the extra dime or quarter to not support Wal-Mart.

  3. hunior89 says:


    I respect your opinions and enjoy your website, but if Sam’s Club and Costco are really that close in your estimation, go with Costco.

    Costco provides a good, livable wage too its employees and also health coverage. Sam’s Club does not. People earning livable wages built this country Without a livable wage, credit is strained and savings suffer. Just food for thought

    Paul McKenzie

  4. DavidB says:

    Did you compare credit cards? Sams uses Discover and Costco uses American express. I personally have an American Express (the costco card) that gives me 3% back on eating out, 2% back on travel, and %1 percent on everything including costco purchases.

    How about services? Costco has a realty service, and loan service that give hefty rebates (I am talking in the hundreds to the thousands, depending on the prices of the homes). Costco also has very cheap check printing. Costco has highly discounted auto insurance.

    Did you think about wages paid to employees? Costco makes it a point to pay their employees very well and to give them benefits. Walmart is not known as such a nice place to work.

    Did you compare their websites? I haven’t and it would be nice to see you update your article with some additional criteria.

    Obviously you can see that I am a Costco fan. I have never paid to be a member at a Costco because i earn enough in rebates from the $100 excutive membership and the house buying programs to cover the cost for some time.

  5. hickepedia says:

    What David said – Wal-Mart’s business model is not one that I choose to support, even if it’s less expensive than other alternatives in the short term. Adding up the product miles for all of those cheap Chinese goods equals a total that’s not sustainable in an era of rising fuel and production prices. When you factor in the cost to local communities that Wal-Mart’s pricing and labor practices represent, you get a very unpalatable whole.

  6. Tyler says:

    Get over it! Don’t believe what these unions tell you about Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is an efficiently run business and there is no disputing that. I’m sure that if you owned a retailer/grocer, you’d want to expand like Wal-Mart does. Offering low prices to consumers and businesses (like Sam’s does) is good for everyone regardless of what you think. You can say goodbye to “Mom and Pop” stores because they can’t compete. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

  7. guinness416 says:

    Yeah, as above. I had friends who worked at Costco – it’s a big box which pays a liveable wage, and that’s (sadly) rare enough that we go out of our way to shop there too, savings be damned.

  8. Brentis says:

    Seriously?? Guess you didn’t look at the produce or meat and take that into consideration. The meats and fish at Costco are fantastic quality. Further, Costco only marks up their products at max 20% of their cost, Sams does not.

    I would go to Sams if I only needed bulk Walmart items – toilet paper/diapers. I would go to costco if I needed to buy some food and drink as well as some quality patio furniture for a party.

  9. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    I don’t buy produce or meat at any warehouse store. That’s what farmer’s markets and local butchers are for.

    Anyway, here’s a Consumer Reports comparison of the two chains.

    As for the politics, Sam’s Club does pay more than twice minimum wage, while almost every local business pays minimum wage to its workers. Which one should I support? There are many sides to every story.

  10. mitchell says:

    almost every source (i checked others) says that costco pays around 40%, on average, more than sams club or wal-mart, as well as having much better and higher quality benefits.

    as someone who’s lived in a city where both a walmart and a costco has moved in down the street (at different time periods), and as someone who knows walmart and costco employees, i can definitely say that costco is a better company all around and has earned my respect and business.

  11. beloml says:

    I’m curious about why people assume Costco pays more than Wal-Mart. In my part of Central Texas, we don’t have a Costco but I know that Wal-Mart pays quite a bit more than Target.

  12. Michelle says:

    Pleeeeze don’t shop at Walmart or Sams! It has just killed the small town I live in. Our economy is awful now, so I cannot justify saving myself a few bucks when so many families are now unemployed or underemployed. Do consider that some of the taxes you pay are to provide Medicaid and food stamps to Walmart employees. In Georgia, Walmart employees are the biggest consumers of the state health care program! This isn’t economical for taxpayers at all. I’ll pay a bit more just to be able to live with myself.

  13. Heather says:

    Um….beloml, did you read the articles about the salary differences between the two companies? There’s no assumption about it.

  14. Sarah says:

    It’s not an assumption. See here (Costco pays 40% higher wages on average than Sam’s Club and offers the vast majority of its workers benefits).

    If you have an interest in the economic health of your neighbors and your community, it’s worth considering Costco over any Wal-Mart offspring.

  15. moiety says:

    beloml, speaking as somebody also in Central Texas, Costco here can pay easily what I make at Dell. Well over $10/hr, and the employees are consistently friendly and helpful. People assume that because it’s simply true.

  16. Jon says:

    We’ve had memberships at both, and overwhelmingly prefer Costco. The quality of goods and food seems to be better there. And I am impressed with their record of supporting their workers.

    We buy our food at Kroger and Costco, and avoid Wal-Mart whenever possible. I don’t like them for several reasons, not only because of their effect on the mom-and-pop chains, but because of their hardball tactics with their suppliers.

  17. acetone says:

    The difference in membership price is more important than the $40 price in determining whether the research was worth your time. If the difference between Sam’s Club and Costco memberships is only $10, then was it still worth your time? I just read your blog on computing how much our time is worth.

  18. Karthik says:

    I echo what a few others are saying here… that Costco has better wages for its employees, better quality food items, and in fact better cleanliness than Sams (in my experience). Now, the membership fee: Did you consider the Costco Executive Gold membership? It costs $100, but gives you 2% cashback on most of your purchases. For quick numbers, if you shop $250/month, you’ll get $60 back at the end of the year, which is the difference from the Sams $40 membership. If you shop more than that, or if you decide to get a big screen TV for example, of course you get more money back, up to $500/year. I’ve had excellent customer service experience with costco.

  19. Stefan Hayden says:

    beloml: check out the wikipedia entry to find out lots of great info about why Costco has so many loyal customers.

    this is also a great article that talks about Castco’s amazing cooperate culture.

  20. woody says:

    This isn’t a “union” issue… It’s a tax issue. One thing to consider is how much you’re paying to subsidize Walmart in your area via your taxes.
    Walmart often doesn’t offer health care, instead pointing their employees to Medicare, Medicaid, etc. That causes not only a strain on the system, but means YOU are paying for their health care, instead of the richest family in the nation. (Combined, the seven Walton family members that own Walmart have more wealth than Bill Gates.)

    And don’t let Walmart fool you on the hourly wage issue. Often in places where they are required by local laws to pay a higher wage, they offer fewer hours per person to keep employees in the qualifying bracket for govt programs. Look at the average monthly income of employees of each place to get a real comparison. Double minimum wage may sound nice, but if you’re only getting 20 hours a week (that randomly shift, so you can’t work a second job easily), it’s not that good.

    Walmart has also pulled nasty tricks in some towns, demanding wavers on local taxes for their first year or two to offset the “cost of building”. Towns are so desperate (or greedy) for the long term revenue that they go for it. Two years later, Walmart moves to the next town over and leaves an abandoned warehouse that’s too large for anything else to use. In the mean time the local mom & pops (who don’t get a tax free subsidy) go out of business.

    So really, is it worth saving a buck on a pack of diapers while driving up your tax base and running smaller businesses out?

  21. Leslie M-B says:

    I have a hard time supporting any business connected to Wal-Mart. In addition to all the (in my opinion) abusive practices to which Wal-Mart subjects its employees, I lived in an Iowa town of 8,000 whose downtown district (and much of its community life) was decimated by Wal-Mart.

    And I love Costco. I’ve read a few articles on how much people enjoy working there. I chose my grocery store (a local Sacramento Valley chain, Nugget) in part because it ranked as among the best places to work in the country. Labor matters a lot to me (hence my 20% tip policy I mentioned on an earlier post today).

  22. Kitty says:

    I don’t do clubs mainly because I am single, have no storage space and I travel a lot for business. But I have to comment about customer service and asking questions. I have now gotten to the point where this is very important to me. If I ask a question and don’t get a good answer I fire the store. There is a Walgreens near me and they play music at an exceedingly loud volume. It’s convenient to my daily commute but I shop elsewhere because of this.

    I think if we all fired our stores because of disinterested/uninformed staff (and loud music) customer service in this country would improve.

    On a side note, when I shop at the local grocery store I am often met with a cashier who treats me like he/she would rather shoot me between the eyes than ring up my purchases. I lived in Japan for a year and the grocery store cashiers there apologized for touching my produce and taking my money and then bowed to me when they gave me my change. We could all learn something from this kind of customer service.

  23. amy says:

    Thanks for the good comparison but I just can’t bring myself to shop at Sam’s Club……or
    Wal mart.

  24. AM says:

    Sorry and no offense, but there is no way you can convince me (or most others commenting) that Sam’s Club is a good choice! I gladly pay a few extra dollars to support a company such as Costco. As far as distractions go, I consider it comparision shopping for future reference. And if you walk straight to the back of the store and start with some of the perishibles (their meats are second to none and perfect for bulk freezing, their milk/butter/cheese is a deal, too) and work your way towards the front, the distractions become minimal, as I want to get the cold stuff home quickly. They’ve got a terrific return policy and are just good all-around neighbors, unlike WalMart. Plus, their $1.35 Mocha Freezes are the BOMB!!!

  25. Bendy says:

    Just as I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, I don’t shop at Sam’s Club.

  26. Shaine says:

    I compared prices on diapers back when we had an infant. Nobody can compete with Wal-Mart, except for Sam’s. I found that if you go for brand, Sam’s is about 1 cent cheaper than Wal-Mart. However, if you don’t care about brand, Sam’s wins through their store brand.

    I have nothing against Sam’s or Wal-Mart. They depend on the SAME cheap overseas labor that Costco does. You’re just kidding yourself if you think otherwise. In addition, if Costco HAD a Wal-Mart, they’d kill mom and pop shops as relentlessly as Wal-Mart. Don’t kid yourself. Your family is first, then politics.

  27. Andamom says:

    There was a primetime news show awhile back on Costco. I fell in love with the company right then and there… We bought our bed from them, love their baby wipes, and get wonderful produce there — In fact, the cherries, blueberries, and strawberries I have had there are more fresh and juicier than the ones I get in my local market. I don’t feel a need to support the behemoth Walmart either –.

    Oh and here’s the story… http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Business/story?id=1362779

  28. I love the fact that you took the time to determine your 15 most bought items and factored that into your decision making process. Does most bought = quantity, frequency or cost?

  29. Andrea D says:

    @woody – THANK you! Yes, exactly. Wal-Mart, and by extension, Sam’s Club, works hard to look good, but they’re just plain dirty when it comes to wages, benefits, and employee relations. I know several people employed by Costco, and they make enough to lead normal, middle-class lives. They just do business better than Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart.

  30. spudnik282 says:

    Wow. Ignoring the Costco vs Sam’s Club storm that has come from this post. What got me was that you spend the extra money on name brand diapers. That seems to go against everything this site is about.

    Now I’m truly confused, the world is not as clear as it once was.

  31. david says:

    Thank you Woody, for such a great comment. I wish more people thought about the bigger picture.

  32. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    I’ve talked about the diaper issue before. I’ve tried tons of different store brands, Luvs, Huggies, Pampers, and a few others, and we simply go with the most reliable ones. It’s worth a few cents more per diaper to not have 2 or 3 per bag tear on us, leak in the night, and so on. Reliability is more important than saving a few cents a diaper – it boils down to a total cost of ownership issue.

  33. Rosie says:

    I started shopping at Costco (then Price Club) when they had a location a mile from my house that was the first warehouse club in the area. Then I worked there for two years. I was a loyal customer for many years afterwards, then tried Sam’s when it came to town. For a few years had memberships at both (The Costco was in a new location by then, further from home and a block away from the Sam’s), then finally let the Costco membership go because I wasn’t using it as much and more of the name brands I prefer and regularly buy were only available at Sam’s. I couldn’t justify two memberships. Every few years I go into Costco, ask for a guest pass at membership (you can get a one-day pass on request if you qualify for membership) and spend an hour studying the current selections. Still sticking with Sam’s. It works better for me, though I have nothing against the other. Several family members who were devoted to the old Price Club (and traveled an hour each way to shop there) have also switched as both stores located in their areas. I find Sam’s to be more customer service oriented. I’ve also saved substantial dollars on their auxilary services (photo developing, car rental discounts, check printing, etc.. Don’t know if Costco now has those. Will soon need to check out their eyeglass prices.

    BTW, I avoid Walmart if possible, not because of politics, but because it’s too big, lines are always too long/slow, it’s cluttered and disorganized and it takes too long to get in and get out. It always seems to be in a state of disarray. But, on its side, it does have almost everything and is open late. Good for emergency runs.

    I do my grocery (non-bulk) shopping at a locally-owned store reknowned for its customer service (also do my banking there), and most of my house/garden shopping at Big Lots and Lowes or the local garden shops.

  34. Melody says:

    I also don’t shop at Sam’s because it is a Wal-mart company. I worked for Wal-mart in the late 80s, and everything you’ve heard is true, in my personal experience.

    Past that, back when I did shop there, when my kids were toddlers, I hated that every time I bought clothing for my daughter at Walmart, somebody else at her school or our church was going to have the exact same dress/sweater/whatever. I got tired of having the same candle set and ink pens and whatever else in my home that my mother and six of my friends had in their homes. Same. Same. Same. Same. Same. Wal-mart causes a bad kind of conformity.

  35. Stephen says:

    Have to agree with many others here, in that i refuse to shop at WalMart and hence Sam’s Club because of their practices.

    So I shop at Costco. I think they are both pretty much the same, selection is a tiny bit different, but pretty much the same store.

  36. GHoosdum says:

    I think it’s obvious from these comments that Costco is a company that inspires loyalty, both in the customers and the employees.

    When I first became a Costco customer, I started as a “Gold Star” member (low level of membership) and shared the membership with someone else. I was initially shopping there for the convenience and prices alone.

    As time went on, as I learned more about Costco’s business ethic as a company and that of the CEO, and as I learned more about the product and service offerings, I eventually upgraded to an Exective membership and I have found myself preaching the good word about Costco to anyone who will listen, particularly if they are in the market for a house.

    My home purchase two years ago was through Costco’s services, and I received $750 cash back in Realty services and a $400 Costco Cash card for using the loan services. Refinancing this year to a fixed rate will net me another $300 Costco Cash card. Obviously I more than make up for the $100 membership fee for the Executive membership each year. If I don’t, though, Costco always offers a back-refund to the Gold Star membership to guarantee you get your money’s worth out of the upgrade.

    I’m obviously rambling here, but I (and it seems many others as well) just can’t say enough good things about Costco. As time goes on, loyalty to the company just continues to grow. It’s the only big box store I know of where I know the cashiers personally for over five years (because they never want to quit) and the retail employees can make as much money in a year as I do as a Business Analyst.

  37. Jim says:

    I am very surprised at how many people have accepted the propaganda put out by unions and others concerning Walmart. Walmart (and Sam’s) have changed the way retailers do business in this country for the benefit of all consumer. For every town center that was allegedly harmed by a new Walmart coming in with lower prices, there are hundreds of stories of towns that testify to the opposite. Trading the higher prices charged by inefficient smaller stores and the inflated incomes of such monopolists, many more families now enjoy a higher standard of living because of Walmart and many people who couldn’t get any job, even at minimum wage in such communities, have now become productive citizens with incomes far in excess of minimum wage. If people enjoy paying higher prices at places that oftentimes pay lower wages than Walmart, they should continue doing so without bad-mouthing Walmart over what is essentially political propaganda.

  38. Mitch says:

    Someone referred to “bulk Walmart items – toilet paper/diapers.” I think this is an interesting turn of phrase. Anyone care to expand?

    I have mixed feelings about Sam’s/Walmart and am willing to make some tradeoffs.

    When I was growing up in a medium city, my folks had a Sam’s membership (it was Sam’s Wholesale for a while), so the only Walmart items were toys during our annual Christmas visit to Walmart (just as close as any other store, but less comfortable). There’s no Costco in that town; I’d never heard of it until long after moving to the big city.

    When I was single in the big city, I went to Sam’s every few months for things like juice (membership free through work) and never went to Walmart. Mostly went to the big grocery chain in town, and on occasion the Whole Foods for WW pasta, but WF is just as claustrophobic as the Christmas Walmart of my childhood.

    Now I’m in the small city, we use a mixed grocery strategy. Only the health food place carries a WW flour we like, for example, and SO will not go to Kroger’s because it’s expensive money- and privacy-wise. So Walmart is one of three stores we go to. Will need to stop at Whole Foods for fettucine next time we are in Big City. This may change as different stores come into town.

  39. hartsf says:

    Costco wins hands down in terms of quality and consistency. Sam’s will beat on price, but usually you get a lesser product.

  40. Tyler says:

    I know that the post was about Sam’s Club but the comments section has turned into a referendum on Wal-mart. I’m impressed by how many people on here refuse to shop at Wal-mart bu the fact of the matter is, I cannot afford to not shop at Wal-mart. When you’re counting pennies…

  41. Lee2706 says:

    We have a Sam’s Club and a Costco down the street from us. Although both places get many goods from overseas (same factories, different labels?) at least Costco pays their employees better.

  42. Kate says:

    I’m a member of BJ’s as we do not have either a Sam’s Club or Costco nearby. Our BJ’s is conveniently located for me near the airport, and I have to pickup and drop off my husband there frequently as he travels so much for business.

    We moved to this area less than a year ago and I joined BJ’s pretty much automatically as I had previously been a member of Costco and assumed the savings were assured. But I’m finding out that this isn’t necessarily the case.

    For about the last six months, I’ve kept a detailed price comparison book of the grocery, toiletry, cleaning and household products we typically buy at either BJ’s or other supermarkets. I’ve been STUNNED to see through my own research that BJ’s rarely has the best price on anything I buy. So far the exceptions are toilet paper and ziploc bags. The savings on these items are not large compared with the next cheapest retailer. There’s no way I’m making back my cost of membership by saving less than a quarter on a huge amount of toilet paper or a buck on 132 ziploc bags. I’d have to buy a ton of these items each year to make back my membership fee.

    The longer I live in this area and discover other places to shop, the worse BJ’s fares in my price comparison quest. Even with family living here, it’s still taking me a while to learn the different retailers. One of the most surprising things I’ve found in my research is that the most upscale-looking supermarket, Wegman’s, beats the pants off other stores that look less fancy such as Giant and King’s/Weis. And small retailers like an independent Italian deli offer several imported cheeses at prices MUCH lower than the supermarkets and even beat BJ’s by 50 cents per pound or more.

    I would strongly recommend that everyone who wishes to shop frugally keep their own price comparison book. When you know who in YOUR area has the best price for the items YOU buy, you have an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal. Unfortunately, you have to build this tool yourself and it does take time. No one can hand you this information. But there’s nothing quite like rock-solid knowledge. With a self-compiled price comparison book, you immediately know a great sale price from hype. You can stock up with confidence when you find a good sale.

    I won’t be renewing my BJ’s membership in a few months. But I will ask family members to pick up a few items for me a couple times per year. And I’ll need to find a new place to buy gas. Gas is my most frequent purchase at BJ’s right now. I save a few pennies per gallon, but even that’s not enough to make up the $40 membership fee per year.

    Bottom line is: don’t assume that any store has the best prices on anything. Do the actual comparison.

  43. Eugene Bowers says:

    Most of the comments regarding why people do not shop at Sam’s Club seem to relate to the company’s personnel policies. I wonder if those folk know the personnel policies of the other companies they patronize. There are a lot of companies that pay minimum wage and don’t offer benefits to their employees. I wonder if those folk avoid other companies because of their personnel policies. When I go to purchase an item I’m looking for the best quality at the lowest price.

    A Walmart recently opened in my area and the line of people trying to get a job at Walmart was staggering. They probably had 10 applicants for each job opening. These people were not forced to work at Walmart but maybe it was the best job they could find at the time. I’d like to think that the same applies to anyone who works at a low paying job anywhere.

  44. clkl says:

    We keep kosher. The price of the Costco membership is almost entirely paid for by our savings in the frozen chicken!

    The 25lb bags of bread flour and 1 lb. bags of yeast also make the membership worthwhile.

  45. steve says:

    Can’t believe how many play into the pure politics and propaganda put out by the anti-Walmart groups. I shop both Sam’s club and Costco as each store has a specific product mix. I perfer Costco because of the superior produce (that also is more expensive) and faster checkout. Costco seems cleaner and more “professional” also.
    Now the politics, I worked in retail grocery years ago and my father spent his life in retail grocery. The Mom and Pop stores and the regular retail grocery chains treated their employees no better than any of the big box stores do, to include Walmart. As a matter of fact Walmart pays better and gives better benefits than most of the other retail stores in our area.
    As to asking cities for special tax considerations that is not just a Walmart thing. businesses in high demand do that all the time. At the moment our city is trying to entice an Associated Foods store and is negotiating a hefty tax break to get them to come in instead of moving into the city next to us. Why, because the city still ends up with more net taxes collected even after the tax breaks.
    The city next to us just got a commitment to get a new Walmart Super Center and we all cheared. Why, because with the Walmart a lot of other smaller retailers will follow and we get more shopping choices. Yes, you lose some stores but you gain many others. Businesses have to learn to change over time if they are to stay in business. Some have and thrive in the shadows of Walmart. We have a family owned store nearby that is over 150 years old. They have survived Sears, K-Mart, and now Walmart. How? By slowly adjusting their product line to compliment the competition instead of competeing against the competition.

  46. Mike says:

    This is a pretty humorous thread with everyone going on about living wages, taxes, health care and what not. Especially in light of the fact that your U.S. Senate is about to sell you all down the river by giving 20-80 million illegal aliens amnesty. Call them today and urge a no vote on S. 1639.


  47. s says:

    they just jack up the prices you dont save nothing membership rebate is a joke just giving back some of your money like a slot machine does.

  48. c says:

    I thought this post was comparing prices, product, etc. not politics. I shop at Sam’s Club for several reasons: on the items I buy, they tend to be slightly cheaper; Costco kept discontinuing the items I like most and offers no comparaboe substitute; but mostly I shop at Sams because Costco refuses to open till the middle of the day. 10:00 is too late for shopping at a warehouse type of store. That is evident by the number of people who line up to get into Costco at 10:00. I don’t think they have more loyalty, just anxious to get on with thier day. I do have a big beef with both stores though. Why do my items have to be taken out of one cart, put into another one, then I get stopped and the items get counted again on the way out? Seems a little excessive. If they would just put the money they spend on those personel, into putting more people at checkstands, we would never have to wait in line. And ‘hello’ an express option would be real nice too.

  49. Ally says:

    Granted I am slightly biased on this subject as a Sam’s Club employee…but I have to agree with you here. First, for those of you who mention Sam’s wages…Don’t believe everything you hear. Costco claims to pay so much more…But first, you only get paid that if you want to A. Work third shift, B. You are forklift certified, and C. Have a certain amount of retail experience. I’ve done a report for a college class on Sam’s Club vs. Costco on wages for the basic, no experience cashier…THEY PAY THE SAME.

    Number two…What’s with the anti-Walmart? Come on people. You can’t lie. You push all this stuff about how Wal-Mart is Satan, but seriously…No..one…can…beat…their…prices. This is why they shut out small mom & pop stores. Their prices own. If you’re rich enough to avoid Wal-Mart, why are you shopping at a warehouse club anyway? Go to your Whole Foods and pay $10 for a loaf of bread and leave us alone.

    Anyway, I would choose Sam’s (and did before I worked there) over Costco for a variety of reasons, but forms of accepted payment is a huge reason. Sam’s membership gives you the option of applying for a private label (run through GE Money Bank) credit card, or a cash back Discover card (also run through GE). They also take Mastercard. Costco takes ONLY Amex. Not that many people have Amex. It’s almost an obsolete credit card reserved for those who are big, BIG spenders. Which, again, if you are…Why are you shopping warehouse clubs?

    What I really get sick of is people attacking the customer service. As a Sam’s employee, I apologize for bad experiences, but we always try to rush people through the line as fast as possible, opening every checkout and pre-scanning orders so all you have to do is swipe your membership card and pay. Also, Sam’s offers Click’N Pull and Fax’N Pull services, which you can fax your order ahead of time, walk in, pay, and you’re done. It’s all ready when you get there. Costco does not offer this. Just a suggestion for those of you who think all Sam’s cashiers are idiots and the lines are too long.

  50. steffie says:

    I shop only at Costco – and they always take my VISA card…I hate Sam’s Club and I stay out of Wal-Mart at all cost. I will never shop any other ware house but Costco.

  51. Michelle says:

    Boy, my neck hurts reading this debate. Everyone is entitled to an opinion so here is mine. My husband worked for a local grocery store as a manager for 10 years, went to Sam’s Club 12 years ago starting out making more than that local grocery store paid just as a regular entry level employee. Maybe our store is different, but it is clean, employees are kind, lines move quickly, produce is fresh and meat is much better than alot of the bogo offers in the grocery adds. Of course my Bro. In Law cuts the meat so I know it’s in good hands. From an employee point of view, the company raises money for Children’s Miracle Network, has company family get togethers, and co workers are a close nit family and help each other out in times of need. Oh yes, and they have so many insurance plans to choose from ranging in price, the lowest being the cost of one meal out in a restaurant. Our family loves Sam’s Club.

  52. Tim says:

    We shop Sam’s because we don’t have a Costco within a two hour drive. We buy mostly produce (which comes from Canada by the way,) the Rotisserie Chicken which we use for soups. Coffee, Yogurt, OJ, Meats and Cheese. There are good deals and deals to watch out for, same as in any retail store.
    I’m not a fan of Wally Worlds, Sam’s is tolerable.
    Sams is not an agenda for us just a convenient place to fill up our shelves at a reasonable price.

  53. Lori says:

    I bought some flank steaks a few years ago at Sam’s…was I sorry I did. They had injected it with some sort of liquid for tenderizing…the texture was strange and the taste was off. The meat at Wallymart is the same. I avoid Walmart because of that AND because of their labor practices.

  54. Kevin says:

    I have a Sam’s Club membership. I’ve heard all these ravings about how great Costco is, but there is one BIG problem. There aren’t many Costco’s around. There might be between 1 and 5 Costco’s in most states (at least where I’ve looked) and on average there are between 10 and 15 Sam’s Clubs per state. For example, TN has 16 Sam’s Clubs while Costco only has 2 stores. Iowa has 8 Sam’s and 1 Costco. North Carolina has 22 Sam’s Clubs and 5 Costco’s. Colorado has 15 Sam’s Clubs and 5 Costco’s. Get the picture now? So if you travel, good luck finding a Costco wherever you’re going. You can find multiple Sam’s Clubs everywhere. So buying gas at Sam’s discount is better, especially if you travel. Secondly, I just checked the price of some naproxen sodium (generic Aleve) for example and found Sam’s is $1.17 cheaper than Costco. Naah, I’ll keep my Sam’s Club membership. If people are switching to Costco which has FAR less stores than Sam’s Club and items are a bit more expensive than Sam’s Club just because the employees at Costco smile more and the floors have less lint on them, then they really shouldn’t even be buying a membership in the first place. The ideal of a membership is to find value and save money on items, not chit chat with employees. Therefore, I see no valid reason to switch from Sam’s Club to Costco.

  55. Clint says:

    Sam’s club is a great deal, period. I have been going there for years and just did an internet search for price comparisons between Sam’s and other warehouses. Sam’s wins these hands down, of course some say the quality is different.

    As far as Sam’s and Walmart’s employees and some of the comments post here, get real. Let me ask you this, if its such a bad place to work then why would anyone? Like they are the only employer in town (probably not the case). So, either people believe that employees of Walmart are unintelligent or there is only one place to work. I don’t think either is true. Guess what? Walmart has created more millionaires than any other company through there employee stock investment program. All I am saying is don’t believe everything you hear. Everyone is after the big guy and in this case its Walmart. They have to have fair compensation or guess what? NO ONE would work there!

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