Why Buying At Convenience Store Chains Is Better Than Buying In Bulk At Warehouse Clubs

October 09, 2014

Regular shoppers at warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club and others always save money when they buy their daily needs of essentials at these places. Since these stores have bargaining power with their manufacturers/vendors for the bulk supplies that are picked up each month from them, warehouse clubs can afford to pass them on to their customers. Buying in large quantities sometimes brings down the overall per unit price but during special discount seasons a product at local convenience store may sometimes cost lesser. If you have a large family then buying food items, household cleaning liquids, books, bathroom essentials in bulk every month makes sense otherwise they can get spoilt.

As convenience store chains provide the same variety of products as warehouses club you can use them to buy small quantities of essentials. Here is a list of things that you considered were being offered real cheap at warehouse clubs but in reality can be bought in other places at a lesser price.

  1. Books and electronic storage devices – People who have recently purchased a collection of books, movie or music DVDs, USBs or empty DVDs, and are boasting to their friends about the bargain, would be disappointed to know that buying from Amazon can save them almost 20 percent. If you are a book lover and the heady smell of new books is like wine, become a member of public libraries in your area and you can enjoy them for free.
  2. Large electronics – Warehouse clubs give great offers on large electrical appliances like televisions, food processors, refrigerators, and washing machines etc., which are generally clubbed together with other small products like iron, hair dryers or others which may not be of the brand you prefer. Instead of buying expensive appliances that you may regret at a later date it is better to buy these electrical goods from Best Buy, Sears, and Frye’s or even Wal-Mart.
  3. Branded cereals – So you thought buying large cartons of cereals was a bargain in comparison to buying small cartons. Unfortunately that is not the case as prices on branded cereals are the same irrespective of the quantity as they are sold in pre-packed cartons. So instead of buying a huge carton of cereal and forcing everyone to eat it better get a variety of options for every member of the family.
  4. Milk – People generally go overboard over low milk prices at warehouse clubs and buy several liters. They then have to pour it down the drain as you can only use milk for limited purposes within a day or two. Convenience store chains also sell milk sometimes at a discount which you can buy in smaller quantities for use.
  5. Stocking on soda – Kids generally tend to gulp down soda cans during summer. If you think that warehouse clubs are the best place to buy them at rock bottom prices check out the prices at your local grocer store. Since they offer discounts on several brands of fruit juices and energy drinks during this period, chances are you can end up saving more at a local store than a warehouse store where you may have to buy dozens of cans of the same soda variety.
  6. Detergents and cleaning products – If you are determined to buy your supply of washing detergents, bleaches and toilet cleaners from warehouse clubs then check on manufacturing date and buy latest ones. Powder detergents will last longer than cakes and liquid washing bleaches therefore buying them is a better option.
  7. Fashionable clothing – Do not buy your fashion garments from warehouse clubs as generally these are seconds and low quality stuff from your fashion label. Better buy your clothes from departmental stores which specialize in selling clothes which can be tried on before purchase.
  8. Condiments and spices – It is unlikely that you are going to finish that large bottle of hot sauce or spices all by yourself within 3-4 months as that is generally the shelf life of these products. So unless you are planning to host a large party at home for friends and family where these things will be used in great quantities stick to buying from local grocer.
  9. Lotions, creams, shampoos – Now let us get to the part where all of us are convinced that buying large bottles and tubs of creams, lotions and shampoos from warehouse clubs save us several hundred dollars every year. But unless there are several people in the family using the same brand of these products buying these products in bulk is not viable as they expire within 6-8 months and unused products go waste. Bulk purchases at low prices always look appealing, it is only when you see them piled up you realized the futility of buying on bulk when there are few users at home.
  10. Toilet paper and paper towels – There is not much difference in price levels at warehouse clubs and convenience stores of paper products as these again have a standard price which manufacturers rarely reduce. If you buy during sales or discounts at convenience stores they cost almost the same.
  11. Canned products – Your local supermarket will give you a better deal on canned goods and you can have savings of 20-30 percent on them. If your local convenience store has its own brand of canned products then they will hold discounts on them on a regular basis and they will cost lesser than national or local brands at a warehouse club.

So does this mean that warehouse clubs do not offer value for money? If that would have been the case these brands would not be growing and expanding branches across the nation. Warehouse clubs do offer good discounts of 15 – 40 percent from conventional stores on average. But there is no guarantee that all products are priced lower than your local convenience store and you need to do a little homework before buying from warehouse clubs. Make a comparison of per unit cost, loyalty discount, membership fees and quantity that you have to buy or need before you make the next purchase at warehouse clubs.