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Costco VS Sams

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I am moving to an area with a Sam's Club and no Costco. I've never even been in a Sam's. I love Costco and feel some trepidation. What do I have to look forward to ?

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  1. Costco IMO is far superior quality-wise (especially the food products/produce) than Sam's unfortunately.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jeanki

      I agree - and particularly the Kirkland brand stuff at Costco is great.

    2. Costco has better products (I concur on the Kirkland brand) and treats its employees better. No contest.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Lucia

        Don't know if this is the case everywhere, but here at Costco the employees are friendly and really helpful. You rarely unload your own cart. They will provide a box if you want one. At Sam's the lines can be a mile long. They don't open more registers. They don't help you unload the heavy stuff, and if you want a box, find one.
        Costco is brighter, cleaner, easier to get around. They have a better selection of produce, and the meat is better. Costwise they are pretty much even.
        When I had a Sam's club membership I would try to schedule a time when I didn't think it would be to packed, and get in and out as quick as possible. I look forward to my Costco trips, and will go anytime.

        1. re: Bobfrmia

          From what I'm seeing, there is a big difference from store to store.
          My post included no bias.
          I will say that I miss Best Kosher Dinner Franks from Sams. Had I not been changing my diet, I would have remained a member just for those.

          1. re: Bobfrmia

            My Costco carries Best Kosher Dinner Franks... and they are worth the occasional splurge. I've even found the low-fat version there on occasion.

      2. I have both memberships. I do not want to make a political statement! Sam's has certain things that I like better and Costco has things I like better. I agree that Costco has better meat, but Sam's has better chicken (at least in this area). As far as service or lack of service--I find them both the same.


        1. My experience is the same as pp48. I, too, have both memberships. Each one has certain items that the other one doesn't have, but overall, their offerings are similar, their prices are similar, their service is similar. If you liked Costco, you'll probably be happy with Sam's (and vice versa).

          1. I have memberships to both, and although Costco is closer and I shop there more often, I find that Sams' prices on the same items are occasionally a little bit cheaper, and each has a fair number of items the other doesn't have. They also seem to do a lot more free samples, and have a better selection on meats, and more things like restaurant supplies. In a nutshell, Sams' is more oriented toward business customers than Costco, but for those who haven't bitten on the standard anti-business union propaganda, Sams is a perfectly fine place to shop.

            1. Costco definitely has higher quality merchandise (in terms of non-food items, MUCH higher), though Sam's is often slightly cheaper when it comes to quotidian items. Costco's are usually cleaner, and in areas where there are both, have a better quality clientele. Costco also treats its employees as humans (i.e., pays them a living wage and provides insurance).

              1. Costco is better overall but you can get along with Sams if you dont have a Costco nearby. We have both memberships and shop at one or another in Oxnard, CA acorss the freeway from each other, Sams there has much shorter lines than Costco but seems to cater to a lower economic population than Costco, I think the only reason I sometimes go to Sams is the much shorter lines.

                1. I just switched to Costco when we finally got one. The ONLY thing I miss is the Guinness. Not only does Costco not sell it, Sam's had it for $1 a can (15-can case).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cackalackie

                    Try asking them to get it for you. The Costco here (Des Moines) has it.

                  2. My reply is from the perspective of shopping at BOTH Sam's and Costco, in *Morelia, Michoacán, México*.

                    Apart from the political/labor aspects, I would agree that Sam's carries far more restaurant supplies, such as baking pans and aprons. Both are about equivalent in "gourmet" items.
                    Costco carries MidAmerica Dairy Sharp Cheddar Cheese; Sam's does not. I can get Wright's Hickory Smoked, Thick Sliced Bacon at Sam's but not at Costco.

                    In the snack bars, the Cosotco hotdog is somewhat better than the Sam's, but neither compares to the Kosher franks in the East Hanover, NJ location. In fact, that East Hanover Costco is larger and much better stocked with a greater variety of goods than the Morelia store. (However, the partnership that has the Costco México franchise or license is constructing a multi-storey Comercial Mexicana hyper mart next door, with a parking deck above. That should give the not-too-distant Wal Mart Super Center a run for it's money.

                    For us, the Costco location is highly advantageous, as it lies a short distance into Morelia, but on the edge, not far from the exit to the highway to Pátzcuaro, where we live. Sam's is buried deep in a suburban location, often much traffic, but it is close to other attractive, upscale shopping meccas.

                    Although we took out a Costco membership last year when our Sam's membership expired, we recently renewed the Sam's card because only they carried the American made, "Life Style" folding furniture we needed. Since, we have found other "necessities" there.

                    Samples? Most of the samples in either store do not ignite my desire to try them. However, before Christmas, some pleasantly attractive young señoritas were passing out free tequila samples.