Wholesale Club Shopping Online
OK! Before you read my entire article, I will tell you the summary. Costco and BJs are worth giving a one year membership a try. Costco will even refund you at anytime if you are unhappy.
Worst case, a wholesale club membership only costs you a couple of dollars a months. You spend more than that on a cup of coffee. Wholesale clubs become money drains only when you feel obligated to use your wholesale club for everything because you paid a membership fee. That is not necessary to get your money’s worth out of a wholesale club membership. If you have a wholesale club membership, that does not mean you have to buy everything there!
I can only comment on Costco and BJs wholesale clubs. I have never used Sam’s Club even though it is right across the straight from their owner, my favorite nemesis, Walmart. I, like most people, have a love hate relationship with Walmart. You usually can’t beat the prices but hate what they stand for. The truth is for a savings point of view, Walmart offer many items in bulk now. I shop there enough to stock up on TP and paper towels without paying a wholesale club membership. (Walmart should be paying me a membership fee! or at least offer a frequent shopper club!)
I had been a member of BJs for 10 yrs, until I let my membership lapse last month. I realized my once weekly visits had lapsed into every couple of months, to longer than 3 months stretches. I do not need Bjs anymore because I have the time to comparison shop and can get out more easliy now that the kids are in school.
I have been a member of Costco for 2 yrs with a business professional membership. I use Costco for many of my business purchases so I switched to only using Costco instead of having both memberships. Bjs and Costco carry most of the same things. Costco has a more ofice supplies, toys, etcs I need for my online retail business.
I feel Costco and Bjs are equally professional and offer good customer service. BJs has the benefit of accepting MFR coupons and accepts all major credit cards! Costco only accepts checks and American Express in their warehouses (they do accept all major credit cards online though) BJs lines seem to move very quickly, and their aisles, at least at the ones I have been to, are better organized.
BJs was a lifesaver when my children were babies. With triplets plus one, I went through a lot of diapers and baby wipes. OK, now I need toilet paper in bulk, but as I mentioned before, I can get bulk TP at Walmart and Target too. I do have the luxury of many shopping choices nearby.
When my kids were babies, I could not follow the sales for the best prices because getting out with 4 babies was tough! BJs also offered the huge double seater shopping carts. My membership fee was worth the ability to safely strap all 4 kids and do all of my shopping plus get a bunch of boxes I could use for packing and shipping on my eBay business! (How did I strap in 4 kids? Well, the shopping carts with the toy car in front fit 2 kids, and the shopping cart also had double seater in the carriage. So worth it!)
I could get my eyeglasses reasonably at BJs, tires for the minivan, coffee and even my copy of People magazine – two of my few vices. I also purchased a lot of our clothes there. Quality clothes like Levi’s jeans, Dockers Khakis, Polo Oxfords, and Carters clothes for the kids. We stocked up on socks and undies too.
So although the grocery prices were not great compared to what I could find at local supermarkets, the convenience more than made up for it for me.
With small kids, one stop shopping is best! Of course, I would always end buying stitckers, snacks… loved the crossiants I would eat two in the car while driving around with all 4 kids sound sleep surrounded by our BJs loot.
Of course, the crossiants would go stale in a day, and I actually ended up paying a fortune for the two I ate! Some things just aren’t meant to be purchased in bulk. Cheerios, Huggies, wipes, and paper towels… yeah families with small kids need those in bulk!
I use Costco mostly for business purchases. I also find the same deals as BJ’s on name brand clothes for my family. Their prices are good on toys and gift items. I am an authorized retailer for many of the same MFRs represented at Costco in the toy, furniture and gift departments. I can tell you the Costco markup over actual wholesale is only 10-12%. You are getting a great deal. I use them to supplement my stores when the MFR has a backorder on a certain item. AND there are also a lot of eBay sellers making a nice profit off of dropshipping Costco items to customers! That is how good their prices can be!
I use Costco for seasonal and big purchases, like tires. We will eventually get that extra shed we need. I will make most of my big purchases and business purchases ONLINE and have them shipping to my front door. Now you can wholesale club comparison shop from your couch. Both BJs and Costco have great websites, and good deals online.
Costco and Bjs carry major name brand toys, bedding, baby, and electronics items online that may not be available in their warehouses near you. They even have exclusives with some MFRs on certain products. For example, if you want the most gigantic wooden Barbie Dollhouse by Kidkraft, you can only find the Grand Villa at Costco.com.
Costco also had the best and fastest photo processing for our holiday photo cards this year. I created and ordered our Christmas photo cards online on a Friday night, and picked them up at my local Costco Saturday morning.
When you are trying to decide if the $35-$50 is worth the membership, look beyond bulk purchasing rotten tomatoes! Look at what you can get and still be thirfty, online!
I never had success with fresh fruits and veggies at BJs. Nothing ever lasted long enough for me to get my money’s worth. I prefer paying money for fresh produce. The only exception is that Costco does have some cool exotic foods, and ya gotta love their bakery!
Buying in bulk can save you money. You have more choices now than when wholesale clubs first started popping up. you have Target, Walmart and similar stores. You also have wholesale clubs online on the internet. BJs and Costco are definitely worth a try!