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Dec 20, 2006 02:03 PM

Costco or BJs?

I've been a member of Costco for about 8 years now. However, I have never set foot inside a BJ's. I just got a free trial membership to BJ for 60 days and was wondering is there is significant difference between the two? Which is better and why? love to hear your opinions.


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  1. I think Costco wins based on the superior flood court and cleaner and brighter stores.

    The food at BJ's is pre-made and pre-wrapped self service stuff. The food at Costco, while not made to order is not as institutionalized as at BJ's.

    I find Costco to be much more brightly lit and cleaner than BJ's. The BJ's I use are somewhat dank and sad looking inside.

    I also love the seafood events at Costco (shrimp, crab legs, etc). I've never seen that at BJ's.

    If I lived near a Costco, I'd drop BJ's in a minute (though it IS acceptable.



    1. We don't have a Costco near us so we shop at BJs. Personally, I like it, although I can only compare it to Sam's Club, which is downright awful for more than one reason. The selection is good, the prices are good, we like the meat (I can't wait to get a coffin freezer so I can really stock up) and it's always clean and well-lit.

      You don't need to have a membership to go into the store, you just can't buy anything. I'd suggest going to the store and checking it out. What have you got to lose?

      1 Reply
      1. re: SarahEats

        I think you CAN buy stuff at BJs, but it's marked up 5 or 15%, then if you join they give you a refund.

      2. My 60 day free trial actually just ended. Since we are a household of two, with limited storage space, I didn't find a whole lot that I could take advantage of. I did enjoy the savings on paper towels and jumbo sized bags of snacks and chips for parties. They have limited beer and wine offerings but the savings are good. After your trial membership ends, they will send you offers for $15 off on a yearly membership.

        1. We love Costco, and it really is bigger and better and brighter than BJ's.

          But, Costco is a drive from us, and we happen to have a BJ's only three blocks away. So, with adjustments to be made, we've mostly shopped at BJ's this past year.

          They don't have the range of products, but I've ended up buying a whole lot of staple foodstuffs there - their selections of tomatoes in the summer were better than any market around here, which surprised me; they carry the most exotic potaoes and onions; fresh herbs in abundance, at rock-bottom prices; lovely fruits that move quickly off the shelves; and their meat department is in every way comparable to Costco, I've learned.

          They have a terrific Deli, too, with great sales. And their selection of cheeses is every bit as good as Costco, maybe a bit better.

          I've never gone to BJ's and not found what I wanted. Their prices, by the way, are excellent.

          Their pharmacy will match Costco prices if you have a prescription transferred or called in. Very accomodating, and they'll also special-order OTC stuff for you, like iron supplements that aren't usually found on the shelves of over the most refined drugstores.

          I can't say enough good things about BJ's, although I'm always going to be a Costco member. Give them a lookover and see what you think. You might be surprised.

          1. Personally, I like BJs a lot.

            Advantages over Costco:

            1) Deli is great. Good brands and they allow you to buy by the pound as opposed to buying everything prepackaged.

            2) Good pharmacy. They are very customer oriented.

            3) Prices seem to be lower on the items that I buy often.