Although the calendar says Spring, it is definitely still Winter here in Wisconsin. As we were trying to find something to do today that didn’t require spending time outside, we decided to take a research trip and visit Costco in Grafton, Wisconsin. Up until January, we have been members at Sams Club for about 11 years or so. It has served our needs, but we have heard that Costco is better. So we went off to find out for ourselves.
We received a one-day pass which allowed us to look around, but not buy anything. If we wanted to purchase an item, then we would have needed to purchase a membership. The cost of memberships at Costco are $50, as compared to $40 at Sams Club. Costco accepts cash, checks and American Express. Upon reviewing their website, it also states that they accept debit/ATM cards; however, this was not revealed to us at the store.
The prices of the items are very comparable to Sams Club. Mark noticed that the Costco brand, Kirkland, has a little more variety in the items offered as opposed to the Sams Club brand. They seem to offer all the items that we purchase regularly at Sams Club. There are two things we heard that sets Costco apart from Sams Club: the meat department and the excellent customer service. We cannot really speak to the customer service, as we really didn’t shop there, we just walked through. The meat department, though, lives up to its claim. The prices were reasonable, and the quality of the meat excellent.
Overall, we had a positive impression of our visit. We did not purchase a membership, because we were not anticipating not being able to use our credit or bank cards. At the membership desk the representative seemed to be encouraging us to apply for the American Express card, which is not something we want to do. We are satisfied with the credit cards we have, and don’t need to add more credit to our financial situation.
We have decided to wait until we are settled in our apartment in Clermont, and see what kind of storage space we have available to us. It makes no sense to obtain a membership if we have no place to store the items we buy. We have found that in the past with our Sams Club membership it really does pay for itself, and we are certain the Costco one will as well, but we think it’s a decision best left until after we’re settled.
We’d love to hear your good/bad experiences with Sams Club and/or Costco! Which one do you think is better, and why?