Skip to comments.10 Things Warehouse Clubs Won't Tell You (Costco, Sams)
Posted on 09/20/2009 12:38:32 PM PDT by Dallas59
Below is an excerpt from the book "1,001 Things They Won't Tell You," which was published in May 2009 and highlights popular columns from SmartMoney's long-running "10 Things" feature.
(Excerpt) Read more at customsites.yahoo.com ...
Returns have always been hassle-free. How many places do you know that would take a return on an opened and empty bottle of champagne? All I did was take the empty bottle and the cork in (the wine was 'corked') and had them smell it.
"I wouldn't have drunk it either, sir" was all the guy said as he reached into the drawer and handed me my cash back. I had the same experience with a DVD player that was 3 years old.
I just showed them the receipt and they handed me the cash.
Coupled with the fact that it's a block away, you just can't beat it. Oh and their gas is a nickel a gallon cheaper than anywhere in the area.
Here’s a summary of the book :
Big corporations = evil
Sounds like Obamacare?
True of any store card.
Anyone who uses a credit card as more than a convenience is a fool. If you pay them off monthly when they come due they are a great convenience and you can get some nice perks.
This and everything else in your list is also true of every retail chain I am aware of (perhaps with the exception of the dues). (Sears, Kmart, Lowes)
One thing that Sams gives me that I find valuable is that they nearly always have the cheapest gas. That alone makes the membership worth it.
I don’t get the hostility to these stores. I save a lot of money by buying in bulk. It also means you shop less often, saving time and money. This list implies you wouldn’t have to stand in line at a regular store!
I belong to Sam’s and have for years. For a long time, the savings on a gallon of milk was enough to pay for the cost of membership.
Add to that the price of dogfood....I save about $15.00 a month buying it there. Of course, I am lucky that they carry the kind I feed my dogs. I also save on the cost of charcoal, which is good since I live in Vegas and grill year round.
some other items are worth the cost of membership overall. If I didn’t benefit somewhat financially, I wouldn’t remain a member.
As for the whole receipt thing, that is truly the least of my concerns. The receipts are marked so that shoppers cannot come in with a receipt, load up on items and then present the receipt at the door as if the items had been paid for at the present time. It is a protection of their customers as far as I can tell.
Our family loves Costco. It’s like everything else though. Economically wise consumers know how to purchase effectively. ;-)
Not unique to warehouse stores. It’s the “default” for nearly all stores, nowadays.
We’ve dumbed down our society, and, for the love of saving a penny or two, we’ve all been reduced to the lowest common denominator.
Get used to it. ..and get back in line! LOL
I like the choice, have never had a problem, and save money. Don't like it? Don't join.
“Anyone who uses a credit card as more than a convenience is a fool. If you pay them off monthly when they come due they are a great convenience and you can get some nice perks.”
AMEN. We have NEVER paid interest on a credit card.
As libtarded as Costco is, I can’t fault their prices on milk and gasoline, my wife and I more than pay for our membership on just those two items alone. Plus it is quicker for me to get to Costco than any of the grocery stores in our area (commerce traffic lights suck big time). I really don’t mind it. and to top it all off wife and I can have cheap date night 2 hotdogs, 2 drinks and split a churro for less than $5.00 gotta love that..:)
What makes humor funny is that it is rooted in the truth. Heck, I’ve seen stuff that laughs, successfully at everything from Reagan to Obama to ME. But this piece was not even a little bit funny. It had nothing in common with what I have experienced in any warehouse store.
That is true with any business! Employees need sleep too.
What a crock.
What ‘small animals’?
And what jewelry experts won't tell you is that if aren't buying jewels as investments (which you don't do retail anyway) you are wasting your money for any quality that can't be seen with the naked eye. Man made diamonds are 2-5% the cost of natural and nobody will ever know if you don't tell them. In fact, cut crystal will likely do if all you care about is how it looks from 2-5' away.
Decent buy on tires. Return policy is good.
I’ve recently found better meats locally that aren’t farmed fish or artificially grown.
Computer monitors and hard drives are a safe buy.
I’ve found all the chain markets vary 2-6 months at a time depending upon commodity. Used to always shop Trader Joe’s, now Henry’s is a great source for wine, produce, and deli selections.
Al Norman, anti-Wal-Mart activist
She was done before I could call her boss to stop her.
That's when he and I discovered she couldn't speak English at all.
Then there was the puke that decided he just had to pick up my brand new chocolate birthday cake for the daughter-in-law and put it in a different basket ~ took it out of my hands. He smeared it all over the inside of the plastic container.
All the while I was telling him "Leave me and my cake alone" He wanted to fight. Fortunately I had my largest son immediately behind me so he stepped forward. The kid started whimpering and called for someone to help him. I told his boss when he got there to boot this t**d out. It went downhill from that point on.
Usually those guys are pretty compliant about not messing up the pastries. BTW, never saw that kid in the store again!
I wont have a card that has an annual fee nor one that has a charge on each purchase. The card companies get fees on every purchase paid by the store. That cost is built in to the price of everything you buy anyway. Why should I pay twice for the use of the card.
Also a warning to everyone not to use the credit card checks that they send along in your billing envelope. They are a major scam.
They will start charging you interest from the day you use it. Shred them the day you open the envelope.
DO NOT under any circumstance throw them away un-shredded. Anyone could take them out of your trash and use them and you will be billed.
They're right about that.
And they know that they will loose in court unless they say no to almost everybody.
The courts rightly expect zoning commissions to treat everybody the same.
Our Sam's is great because it's never at all busy; in and out without getting that "dirty" feel we get at their parent, WalMart.
Bonus - snack bar's huge Nathan's hot dog/drink combo for $1.50 is about the cheapest lunch around.
What union shill wrote this tripe?
Your tire comment is spot-on. I recently took the Mustang to the delership and asked the service guy about the cost for a set of tires and he said that I’d be better off getting them at Costco. Better price, better ongoing customer care (balancing, rotating, proper inflation, etc.) and faster service. I heeded his advice and have been 100% satisfied.
Plus, Costco fills their tires with nitrogen and it’s supposed to make them last longer and improve mileage. Time will tell if that’s the case, but I have no complaints at all so far.
They don’t tell me anything, but i shop there.
I’m not a big Costco fan, but this list is nonsense.
I agree with you — returns there are a breeze. Gas there is as cheap as it gets around here.
Their credit card won’t bankrupt you — certainly not if you’re Net 30.
Years ago, I did a study on how someone could maximize the value of food stamps to get the most food, most food diversity, best nutritional value, etc. What an eye opener.
Used intelligently, the typical amount of food stamps in my State for a person could feed four or more people, if done with a six month plan. However, the typical food stamp recipient, using typical shopping patterns, can easily blow their entire month’s supplement in a week, just trying to feed themselves.
To start with, plot the grocery stores in your area, then price the same 100 items at each store, and you’ll likely see tremendous variation. So if you buy ahead a little, and instead of having one shopping list, have say, four, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.
Right now, I’m amazed that in just one store, dairy prices are completely irrational. Sometimes milk sales are such that a gallon is cheaper than a quart, and there is a typical variance between brands with milk from the same dairy, of a dollar and a half.
Sales are great, and coupons are great. However, a lot of sales and coupons are “disingenuous”, meaning the product is inherently overpriced, or inflated so the store looks generous by giving a discount to its normal retail price.
Buying in bulk is great, if you have the storage space and the ability to preserve the food. If you do, you should always tag it with a large print “use by” date. It’s no bargain if it goes off on you.
Or just call the credit card company and ask them to stop sending the blanks checks with your bill. Worked for me.
I have never had a long wait at check out nor when leaving for the door checker to mark our receipt.
“I dont get the hostility to these stores.”
It’s hostility to success.
You don’t like it? - don’t go there! In fact you have to pay to enter, so unless you really want to go there they don’t want you.
You certainly can’t beat Costco on their Kirkland line of blue jeans. They are 15 bucks a pair and are as good as Wranglers any day.
I don't find it exciting at all but extremely irritating.
When we had three kiddoes in diapers at the same time, the money we saved on Sam’s Club diapers made up for the membership fees.
We used to get boxes of diapers the size of small hay bales. (Disposable. Someone who lives where diaper service is available can save the planet).
Once the kids were out of diapers, we stopped going to Sam’s.
It definitely served a purpose at the time.
Uncle Sam’s One Stop Weight Reduction and Disposal Center
...or unions good, non union bad.
Costco sold us somebody’s returned pager. I wish I could say they handled it well, but they really messed up.
Whatever they say about Costco, they are superb about returns. The quality of the products sold is usually superior to what is found elsewhere. You might find some items cheaper elsewhere, but when you use their coupon books, you’d have a hard time beating their prices with the sharpest shopping savvy. Online shopping for big ticket items often includes shipping and delivery - which local merchants cannot begin to match in my area.
You don’t want to know.....
I use the shredder ( for many many things) but that is a good idea, just in case someone gets them.
I’m a Costco fan.
They beat every other store, Sears, Target, etc. on customer service in a national survey.
Buy a TV there, they extend the warranty another year.
Their meat and vegetables are superior to Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc. And cheaper, significantly cheaper.
What’s not to like?
You should ALWAYS buy your TVs and Electronics at COSTCO. They automatically extend the 90 day manufacturers warranty to TWO YEARS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great deals at Costco. Note how Costco keeps flowers and bulbs far away from produce and cheese. Many supermarkets have them in the same section because they look nice together and that is a good place for impulse sales. They don't care that the gases from cut produce and cheese shortens the life of flowers by days.
In Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers Amy Stewart tracked the business from growers in California and Ecuador, the auction floor in Holland, importers in Miami, high line florists in NYC, Costco and others.
She quoted a broker who said anyone who doesn't give Costco the best price and best quality is dead. Costco will never deal with them again. She wrote that florists buy there because often they can't get a better deal from their own wholesalers.
I was a member of BJ’s (loved the place) and since they closed I have Costco and recently switched to Sam’s (has more to do with the brands they carry than anything else).
Both places save me a fortune on the things I buy consistently, and I am not a “brand name” shopper. But for staples like paper towels, toilet paper, fabric softener, cereal, altoids, snack packs, and other stuff, they are unbeatable. Just an example; a 16oz box of Quaker granola cereal is about $4.50 or so at Walmart (cheapo Sunshine brand is no cheaper), but I can get a 2-pack of 34.5 oz bags for $8 at Costco.
The only complaint I have with these discount stores is you cannot always count on them to have all the same items month to month but any other retailer has the same issue on some level.