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The Wholesaler War- BJ's Versus COSTCO

May 24th, 2006 at 09:50 am

Suburban American packrats like myself often feel the need to buy copious amounts of items as opposed to the standard supermarket portion. Wholesale shopping saves time and money IF done correctly. When I moved to this island ten years ago, I'd never heard of wholesale stores before.
Fast forward a few weeks later and BAM! I found COSTCO.

Don't get me wrong, I love the place. Where else could you buy institution sized coffee containers and hundreds of coffee filters for under ten bucks? Hubby spends that on three cups' worth of Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla (Extra large, extra cream and sugar). Yesterday at COSTCO we spent 100 bucks on things that would normally cost us three times the amount if purchased at an outside convenience store (gotta love brownbagging!!).

It is only after you embrace the love of shopping wholesale several times that you start to wonder what's on the other side of the fence. I knew COSTCO had a few competitors (BJ's, SAMs club) and so the frugal detective in me started to wonder, Could this BJ's be a little less costly? Heh heh....WRONG!

Last Saturday, Hubby and I intercepted a free sixty day membership pass to BJ's. I felt a little naughty, as though I'd defected to the other side of the wholesale cause but I quickly got over it. At first I was impressed because the store looked alot cleaner than COSTCO. Sadly, that was the only positive in my experience. Aside from a few minor things that aren't available in COSTCO, the rest of the items were equal or slightly higher in price. Green seedless grapes were $9.99 in BJ's while COSTCO has them for $7.99. The biggest jump in price I noticed was in the head and shoulders shampoo- BJ's has it for $9.99 while COSTCO's that and other shampoos for $6.99. The meats were MUCH higher in price... I'm talking at least four to five bucks in difference.

I'm thinking location might have something to do with the price difference? If there's one thing I learned from this experience it's this: IT DEFINITELY PAYS TO COMPARISON SHOP, EVEN IN WHOLESALE STORES!!


SIDEQUEST-

P.S: Our trip to BJs included a complementary backyard style verbal brawl. Two men fought verbally because one man apparently drove past the gas line (which had approximately ten vehicles waiting) and pulled up to an unoccupied pump in order to fill up his BMW. A few cars honked the horn and shouted a few things but One "special" pickup truck owner noticed, flew off the handle, and proceeded to name a few things he planned to do to said BMW owner. What the truck dude failed to realize was that foreign vehicles usually have their tanks on the opposite side. DUH! The pickup owner taught the rest of us innocent bystanders some innovative ways to conjugative expletives. All in all, it was a mighty fine spectacle to watch on an otherwise typical Saturday afternoon.

1 Responses to “The Wholesaler War- BJ's Versus COSTCO”

  1. baselle Says:

    It totally pays to monitor the unit prices in yer price book - Costco against the grocery store. I did and I was very surprised to find that canned tuna and canned tomatoes were a better deal at the grocery store. AA and AAA batteries, though, no contest. Costco. YMMV.

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