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October 03, 2006


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What it comes down to is the business model. Costco puts firm caps on how much they sell their products for over the supply price. I think it's something like 14% for national brands and 15% for Kirkland branded products. Wal-Mart sells their products for as much as they can make while still being cheaper than their direct competition (such as grocery stores and Target).

Personally, I would buy a product at Costco rather than Wal-Mart even if it cost more at Costco for two reasons:
1. Unbeatable customer service. Costco has never let me down. Wal-Mart usually does.
2. Business Model. Costco's business model is friendly to customers, employees, suppliers, and even competitors. Wal-Mart's business model is friendly to those consumers who care only about the price of an item and to China, but very unfriendly to local small business, suppliers, and to the employees.

2 notes about what you wrote:

1. Costco does not take manufacturers coupons, but often has their own coupons which are usually a great amount off. AN example of this is the Acne Free system that sells at both COstco and WalMArt. Walmart sells the 1 month supply for 16.99 while Costco sells the 3 month supply for 27.99. Well every couple of months they send out a Store coupon for $8 off. That cuts the price down to 19.99, only $3 more than the one month supply at WalMart and you have 3x times as much treatment.

2. You can keep and take medicines such as pain relievers after they expire. They do not instantly become dangerous on the date printed on the bottle. Again if you aren't going to use most of it within 2 years of the expiration date, a smaller bottle is still a better deal.

I completely agree with what the first commenter said about Wal-Mart's business model. I quit shopping there in 2003 and I will NOT go back. That also goes for Sam's Club, which is the same company.

Having said that, a more fair comparison would be CostCo vs Sam's.. but the brands at Sam's are the sale as WalMart, for the most part.

SuperTarget has very good grocery prices on many items compared to our local grocery stores here in the Tampa area FWIW. I buy my favorite cereal (Kashi) at CostCo, which happens to have the specific variety I like in large double boxes for a very good price, but Supertarget sells the same type, single box, 2 for $5 usually, while the same box at the other local grocery stores (Publix, Albertsons, Kash n Karry, now called SweetBay, and WinnDixie, whihc is still barely in business these days) ranges from $3.29 to $3.99.. for ONE box. :-p

Not all of the Wal-Mart brand beauty stuff is of comparable quality- I bought their generic version of the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Moisturizer, and it was not worth it.

If you REALLY want to save money, check out the rebate programs at CVS, Rite Aid & Walgreens. After several months using these programs, I've come to the conclusion that I should never have to pay more than a few cents for the following: deodorant, shampoo, pain relievers, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes. You have to have absolutely no brand loyalty & take what's offered, but hey it's mostly free!

Walmart is by far a better option. Huge selection of products, lower price and in reasonable quantities and more locations than Costco. It's a NO BRAINER

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