General Question

jca's avatar

Do you or have you ever shopped at Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's?

Asked by jca (36043points) September 22nd, 2008

if so, what did you like about the store? what did you not like? How do they compare to each other?

For the record, I have and I love Costco. Sam’s is ok.

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29 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

I have shopped at Costco for years. Bulk is what I like best; it’s just cheaper to buy this way. They also get brand name clothes and electronics for cheaper than retail. I usually do most of my holiday shopping at Costco. I’d say it’s definitely worth the cost of membership. (I say that as a person who doesn’t pay for membership; my in-laws pay.)

bodyhead's avatar

I’m with you. Sam’s is ok but Costco seems to have better quality stuff. I love to shop at these types of stores but I don’t have a membership. I have been thinking of getting one to Costco even though I went to Sam’s all last year.

jca's avatar

i use costco for cat food, diapers, garbage bags, meat (buy in bulk and freeze), books, pharmacy (pharmacy prices for presc meds are usually cheaper than other places), optical, all kinds of stuff. any time i need something i check costco first.

autumn43's avatar

I shop at BJs and have been a member for about seven years. We don’t have a Costco near us, and I don’t shop at Walmart, so Sam’s is out of the question, as well.

Since a new BJ’s near me sells gas – I’m very happy. They are usually at least four cents cheaper than the cheapest station around.

BJs has a good variety of things and I like to stock up on some things. There were a few times when I bought a 10 lb. bag of something, or 472 packages of stuff that I realized I didn’t need as much as I thought and was never going to use it before it expired. So, I now know how to shop the bigger packaged items.

I went to Costco a few times with my mother-in-law and found it to be pretty comparable to BJs.

Nimis's avatar

I have shopped at both Costco and Sam’s Club.
But now I am feeling a little sad that we don’t have BJs here.
Bulk shopping would be so much more entertaining.

FightOnRon's avatar

I shop at Costco all the time. IMHO thier meat is above the quality we have here in our supermarkets, buying in bulk saves money if they have what you want, the prices are cheaper, thier electronics (for the most part) are a good deal as is their return policy and my wife buys all her glasses form them. If you are a pet owner, you should know that the Costco dry dog food (Lamb and rice formula) is rated one of the highest qulity dog foods and less then half the price of the equivalents and top notch compared to almost all supermarket brands.

marinelife's avatar

I have shopped at Costco. I found it useful for some things, and not so great for others. For one thing, best not to get addicted to a certain product, because many times it will just disappear after a while. By the same token, it is not a good place to shop if you are looking for all the lastest stuff, because it takes a while for new products to be added.

Also, I used to moan about needing a Costco 12-Step Group. It is very hard to resist things when they are “such a good buy,” but sometimes one should resist. I think it took two years to use most of the 5 lb. bag of dried shiitake mushrooms I bought (because it was such a good deal) since there are only two of us!

loser's avatar

I’ve shopped at Costco.
Nothing like 12,000 Q-Tips!!!

asmonet's avatar

We have BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and Costco here… I refuse to shop at BJ’s cause if any of my guy friends find out it’s perv city. :)

Besides, I love Costco like my mama. I find those most random crap, that I can actually USE.

Snoopy's avatar

I have a membership to Costco. I had a membership at Sam’s Club.

I think the quality of products is better at Costco. I didn’t think we needed two of these types of memberships… bye, bye Sam’s Club.

We have an Executive Membership and their American Express. We buy in bulk and purchase our gas there….I am very cost conscious and routinely find that the regular Costco price is better than the grocery store’s sale price.

A couple of pearls that I have learned about Costco…..

*If you pay the extra for the Executive Membership at Costco and don’t recoup the cost of the difference between that and a regular membership, they will return your money.
*They will take anything you purchased there back as a return, even without a receipt, no matter how long it has been since you purchased it….
*They have Costco Concierge. Free tech support on all electronics as long as you own the product. It is fabulous.
*Their cakes are huge and only $15. Personalized for free. Taste fantastic.

(as you can tell, I love Costco)

robmandu's avatar

@Snoopy’s right on re: Costco. You can buy a laptop computer there, use it for three months, and if not satisfied, return it for a full refund—no restocking fee, even! Other returns (not computer, tv, mp3 players) can be made up to six months after purchase.

18” huge pizza for $9.99.

Free food samples all the live long day.

Gas is 7–25ยข per gallon cheaper than just down the road.

And thanks to pupntaco for turning me onto hencho en Mexico Coca-Cola.

Snoopy's avatar

@rob. I forgot about the Pizza! Love that pizza!

our Costco doesn’t have the 6 month limit on non-electronic stuff. Maybe they are just looser w/ the rules…..?

brianru's avatar

what about the $1.50 1/4 on hot dog and 20oz drink????? Oh, and massive boxes of gum and granola bars :)

mzgator's avatar

We don’t have a Costco here where I live. There is a Sam’s Club right down the street, and we do most of our shopping there. We shopped at Costco in Hawaii. Our friends who live there have a membership, and we loved it. We buy lots of things in bulk, and we realize a good savings from doing so.

jca's avatar

i generally like costco better than sam’s but what sam’s does have that’s different is they have some really unusual books. i bought one once on I Love Lucy and it was like a scrapbook of Lucille Ball’s life. It had replica of her marriage license and stuff like that, along with her life in photos. sometimes they get these quirky things like that and they’re a fun find. as far as regular books go, costco has most of the bestsellers.

i went to costco today and their gallon of milk is $3.19. can’t beat that.

Snoopy's avatar

@jca $3.19?! I start to get hives if it goes above $2.75! I must be nearer the cows. Moo.

jca's avatar

a gallon for that price? you must be nearer the cows for sure. i live in the NY Metro area – maybe that’s why. it’s usually at least $3.75 or more around here.

Snoopy's avatar

@jca whoa. Can we get into trouble for interstate distribution w/ intent to sell milk? We might have a business opportunity here…..
last week it was on sale for $2.39. We got an extra gallon to freeze

jca's avatar

$2.39? wow. what state do you live in. i’m going there on my next vacation and come home with a truckload of milk.

dalepetrie's avatar

Yeah, I shopped at Sam’s Club for like 20 years…they were just located closer to me. It’s great, but I was always a bit torn because I hate Wal Mart’s business practices. But the gas prices alone made it worth the cost of membership, and they sell the pants I wear for like $18 or so. They also have these HUGE bags of Macadamia nuts for like $9 or $10. Free samples, books & movies, a pharmacy, we could get pizzas and pot pies, and yes milk is cheaper there than in the grocery stores. But then they opened a Costco much closer to my house, and I dropped Sam’s Club in favor of Costco’s membership. The membership is more, but their business practices are about the best in retail in the entire country. Yes, I’ll mirror the sentiments about the cakes being cheap and delicious, the meat is high quality, the milk is usually under $2.50/gal here (cheapest outside Costco in my area is $3.25), the butter is cheap…good veggies and fruits, samples, electronics, books & movies, etc. We don’t have a BJs around here though.

autumn43's avatar

I paid $3.79 for a gallon of milk last night here in MA (and that was the store brand). $2.39? Wow.

Maverick's avatar

I buy my favorite socks at costco (speaking of which, I should probably go soon) but most everything else they sell is way too excessive for me. Although I must admit that I dream of having one of those giant pies they sell one day!

robmandu's avatar

@Maverick, true that! I like croissants… but don’t need 62 of them at one time. But oh man, one day I might just try.

dalepetrie's avatar

robmandu – last time we went to Costco, we bought a pack of croissants (I think there’s actually 16 of them, though it might be 24). Between my wife and son (I don’t eat them) they were gone in a week. And they freeze well.

dalepetrie's avatar

Oh yeah, and milk was $2.59 last weekend at Costco. It’s $4.29 in the grocery store and $3.25 (if I buy 2 gallons @ a time at the gas station).

And we got one of their pumpkin pies, $5.99, that went within a week as well.

jca's avatar

they have great pumpkin pies at costco. also their cheesecake is great too – both are too big to have at home unless you’re having a party. have had the pumpkin pie at sam’s club and it was gross.

robmandu's avatar

Ever try their birthday cakes… with the pudding layer in the middle?

dalepetrie's avatar


That’s all we’ve been buying lately…we’ve bought cakes for the last 3 birthdays, a baby shower and something else in the past few months. $16 for half a sheet and EVERYONE thinks they taste amazing. I think we’re going to try one of their carrot cakes for my wife’s birthday next week.

jca's avatar

they have a good carrot cake at costco. my only criticism of their cakes is that i think the icing is so sweet, like very sugary.

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