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 Post subject: Sams vs the Big "W"
PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:22 am
Posts: 82
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
So last weekend I was shopping. First trip was to Walmart for some basics, second trip was to Sams. Well I did a little bit of comparison shopping, and found 4 out of the 12-15 items were cheaper at Walmart! The items were also in smaller quantities. (the remaining items were not available at W, since it was not a Super Center).

The most ironic part of the trip was when I walked in to Sams, they had a table where they could run your card and demonstrate how much you "Saved". Amazing; i saved $400 bucks by shopping there! When asked if they compared prices to Walmart, the answer was NO. Hmm, I wonder why they wouldn't compare prices on the cheaper store.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:03 am 
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Of course the best part is they're both part of the same company! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:49 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:32 pm
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Cleverbeans wrote:
Of course the best part is they're both part of the same company! :lol:

Yeah, you knew that, right, nesterenes?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sams_Club

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:23 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:41 am
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I'm a WMT worker. No, we don't price match with Sam's and they don't price match us.

Usually, Sam's is cheaper anyway, but not always, it can vary obviously. If it's something mundane and every day like eggs sometimes Walmart wins, if it's a TV or something higher priced Sam's usually wins.

The reason for this is simple: you pay a fee to shop at Sam's, shopping at Walmart is free. Two different cost structures, two different prices.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:39 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:05 am
Posts: 182
Location: Baltimore, MD, USA, Earth
Further, retail pricing is about more than just the price of one item.

For example, a store may sell bread at a loss, but mark up lunchmeat. Knowing that most people who buy bread also buy lunchmeat, they make up more than the loss on bread via the gain on the lunchmeat. A lot of thought and planning goes into retail pricing, and it can vary because of the target market, the items available in the store, the membership fees, etc.

In nesterenes case, perhaps Sams can charge a little more because they offer more goods and it's more convenient? Perhaps the Wal Mart is charging less on those items to attract a certain buyer.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:01 pm
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Location: Ohio
I would go with Walmart because they have the better prices and you don't have to have a membership

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:22 am
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Good point on target marketing. I never thought of that.

As a customer I would expect, since I'm paying for the membership, every item to be cheaper at Sams vs Wal. Additionally, when buying in bulk, I expect a price break. I'm finding the more I price compare Sams to Wal, that's an illusion. (60 vs 24 pack waffles .02 cents cheaper per @ 24 w/ walmart). Buying in bulk should save money.

The bottom line is, if I can get it cheaper from a different store owned by the same company, then I feel ripped off paying for membership.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:19 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:16 pm
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donnyg16 wrote:
I would go with Walmart because they have the better prices and you don't have to have a membership


I'd go with never shopping at Walmart. Give me Target anyday. Prices are just as good and I don't have to be seen in a Walmart

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:41 am
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Well and some more thoughts from the "insider" (haha).

The average Sam's customer has a different profile than the average Walmart customer. Most Sam's customers earn a little bit more money, own their own home (or make mortgage payments on it), have different buying habits etc. So there are small differences between the two stores.

Sam's Club is also real big on getting the attention of small business owners, usually.

I for one can't really take advantage of bulk purchases for lack of room, and the fact that the better part of the stuff might go bad before I finished eating it all. Unless I bought a lot of things I really can't afford anyway, a membership at Sam's would be a net loss for me and I can buy a membership at a small discount being a WMT monkey.

I have talked to the people who work at the Sam's and compared notes. FWIW, the consensus tells me that the 10% (limited) discount I get as a Wal Mart monkey is a much better perk, financially, than free Sam's club membership they get.

But we're also low paid retail workers with different buying habits than our own customers. Figure that out.

As for who's more convenient, that just depends. My store is open at 4AM. Sam's, is not.

If you are feeding five or six people and have a house and good sized appliances so that you could store this bulk food and consume it before it freezer rots, I bet if you cranked it out Sam's would probably save you money in the long term because you'd be making less overall trips to the store, paying less per ounce, etc.

If you live in a rented room by yourself like me, Walmart seems to be better.

So there you go.

And for the record I don't shop exclusively at Walmart even though I work there. I tend to buy meat, produce, hardware, and certain other things elsewhere even though it costs just a little bit more because I don't like what Walmart sells in that department. I tend to use the store to buy basic staples that are the same no matter where you buy them, so you just might as well buy it at Walmart and save.

Target, etc. aren't much more expensive per se, but if you look carefully Target is often 5-15 cents an item higher on stuff. When I consider that, plus the fact I'd have to drive to Target and consume more fuel and time, I say Pass. But that's just me. I do go there when they put stuff on sale, sales at Target can be awesome sometimes.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:01 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:25 pm
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I prefer to use coupons at the grocery store and at CVS and Walgreens and stay out of the large wholesale clubs. You will save more money using coupons than shopping at large wholesale clubs.

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