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What Should I Consider When Shopping at Warehouse Stores?

Shopping at warehouse stores is now quite popular. People are devoted to stores like Costco® and Sam’s Club®. Such stores very often have great deals, not just on food items and household standards like paper supplies, but also on small appliances, furniture, china, and electronics. There are some things you should consider if you decide shopping at warehouse stores is the plan for you; such shopping has both pros and cons.

Many warehouse stores will require you to pay a yearly membership fee. The fee is not steep, but before you pay it, consider how frequently you plan to shop at a warehouse store. If you only plan shopping at warehouse stores once or twice a year, the fee may mitigate any savings.

On the other hand, if you regularly use the warehouse store, the savings you get on purchases may exceed the membership fee by a great deal. Even if you only use a store like Costco® to purchase gas, lower prices may definitely in a year’s time still save you money. If you own a business, be certain to get a business rather than standard membership, which usually costs the same. The business membership often allows you to shop at earlier hours than regular customers with less time spent in lines and a less traffic-filled store.

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Shopping at warehouse stores proves a very different experience than shopping at standard grocery stores. Stores are often jam-packed, and it may be difficult to find anyone to assist you. Also, consistency in being able to find the same things may vary. You can’t always depend on the same deals, or even the same items if the warehouse store has gotten a special purchase of an item. Really good deals may sell out quickly too; so you might get to the store only to discover that it has run out of the very thing you want.

Be prepared to buy in bulk when shopping at warehouse stores. They often confer lower prices to you by packaging and selling in bulk quantities. Consider whether you have the storage space for 24 rolls of paper towels or a flat of mineral water. Also, when buying fresh items, unless you plan to prepare a large quantity of something at one time, be ready to break up packages into separate freezer bags to freeze what you won’t use things immediately. Pay attention to dates on fresh items and ask yourself whether you’ll reasonably be able to use things within the safety use date.

Warehouse stores do not always offer the best prices. Though many prices may be low, do some comparison checking on items like toilet paper, paper towels, and on anything else you buy regularly. You may find that some items are not such a great deal after all, but when you are shopping at warehouse stores, these items may seem like a good deal, or you may assume they are so since everyone knows you “save money” at warehouse stores. Really check and make sure your bulk purchases do save you money; don’t just assume these purchases are money savers.

A few things offered may not be good deals and are often very tempting. Warehouse stores can feature clothing, DVDs, video games, and books. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t assume your savings on other items automatically gives you permission to buy items that aren’t on your list. Stay away from the temptation aisles, and recognize that particularly books and DVDs may be more cheaply purchased elsewhere.

Don’t forget that you shouldn’t limit shopping at warehouse stores just to shopping at your local store. Many of these stores have Internet sites, which offer deals on high end merchandise like electronics and furniture. If you’re considering buying a new couch or mattress, or purchasing a TV set, check the Internet prices to see if your warehouse store offers you a better deal. Do recognize that most warehouse stores may not offer delivery, or do so at a very expensive price. When you purchase these large items, especially in the store, be prepared to figure out how to get them home.

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