Costco vs. Sam’s Club — Which Wholesale Retailer Fills Your Shopping Cart?
Stocking up on everything for the office, from coffee to paper clips, can be a lot for office managers to keep up with. However, going to wholesale stores makes this task a lot easier. When buying office supplies in bulk, not only do you make fewer trips to the store, but you end up saving the company a bit of money.
But which one should you go to? In this edition of BUZZBATTTLE, we’ve paired megastore Sam’s Club up against its main rival, Costco, to see who comes out victorious as the ultimate superstore.
We’ve compiled the facts, but we’re leaving the decision up to you. So look over each section, then vote for your favorite wholesale retailer in the poll below.
CEO: W. Craig Jelinek
HQ: Issaquah, WA
Store Locations: 618
Facebook Likes: 879,844
Accepts Manufacturer’s Coupons: No
Stock Price as of April 19, 2013: $104.45 per share, 52 week change of 20.58 percent
Annual Sales: $88 billion
CEO: Rosalind G. Brewer
HQ: Bentonville, AR
Store Locations: 602
Facebook Likes: 1,105,460
Accepts Manufacturer’s Coupons: No
Stock Price as of April 19, 2013: $78.29 per share, 52 week change of 31.49 percent
Annual Sales: $50 billion
Round One: Return Policy
Some items, including computers, cameras, MP3 players, cell phones and televisions, must be returned within 90 days of purchase for the refund. Items purchased through Costco.com can be returned to your local store for a refund, including reimbursement of shipping and handling fees.
Round Two: Apps
The app lets members create lists and add items from their list right to their virtual shopping cart, read and write product reviews, view upcoming events at their local Sam’s and shop an extended selection of “online only” products. Members can use the “Click ‘n’ Pull” feature to pick items to get pulled and picked up at their nearest Sam’s Club location.
Round Three: Memberships
Executive Business Membership: $110.00. Executive Members enjoy an annual 2 percent reward (limited to $750.00 annually) on almost all Costco purchases and can add six additional cardholders for $55.00 each. Executive Business members can take advantage of savings on services such as check printing, payroll services and identity protection. They also receive roadside assistance at no charge for vehicles enrolled in Costco’s auto insurance program and are even offered special travel perks.
Executive Gold Star Membership: $110.00. The Executive Gold Star Membership includes a free household card and provides the same 2 percent annual reward that executive Business Members enjoy. They also receive additional discounts on many Costco services.
Business Membership: $55.00. Costco’s Business Membership includes an additional household card at no charge, and the ability to add up to six additional cardholders ($55.00 each).
Gold Star Membership: $55.00. This membership allows you to purchase products for personal use and provides one additional card for free.
Advantage Plus: $100.00. Advantage Plus members enjoy early shopping hours, starting at 7:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, 8 percent off name-brand prescriptions and 40 percent discount on a number of generic prescriptions. When Advantage Plus members use the “Click ‘n’ Pull” to order online by 5:00 p.m., their order will be pulled and ready for them the next day. The Advantage Plus membership also comes with no-cost flat tire repair, car battery testing and wiper blade installation.
Advantage: $40.00. Advantage members receive two annual membership cards, free flat tire repair, car battery testing and wiper blade installation service, and the “Click ‘n’ Pull” service.
Business Plus: $100.00. The Business Plus membership allows you to add up to 16 memberships at $35 each, gives you access to “Sam’s Instant Savings,” access to early shopping hours, Sam’s “Click ‘n’ Pull” service and the same prescriptions savings given to Advantage Plus members.
Business: $35.00. The Business membership provides you with one primary card, one household card and the ability to add up to eight memberships. Business members can bring in invoices and enjoy free cost comparisons per item, early shopping hours and access to Small Business Administration (SBA) loans from $5,000.00 up to $25,000.00.
Final Round: The Champion of Wholesale
Both of these wholesale giants have their perks, so now we want you to tell us who you think offers the best value.