I have long enjoyed the benefits of warehouse club shopping. Until recently, Costco has been my choice of the two major warehouse clubs.
However, in terms of convenience, Sam’s Club has taken major leaps ahead of Costco in recent years.
One of the frustrations of warehouse club shopping is having only a few items but being stuck in a checkout line behind someone who may be purchasing several dozen — or several hundred — items. Neither Costco nor Sam’s makes any provision for this by having limited item ‘express lines.’
However, in recent years Sam’s Club has been offering self checkout lanes. These cater to the smaller purchaser and allow you to scan your own items with a hand scanning device. While the lanes are not restricted to smaller purchasers, most people buying in large quantities talk to have someone else take care of scanning the items.
There’s an App for That
While I was shopping in Sam’s Club yesterday, I discovered that they now offer an app which streamlines the process even more. Using the free downloaded app, you can scan the barcode of each item as you purchase them throughout the store using the camera on your smart phone. The app then tallies the amount of your total purchase and charges the amount to a pre- entered credit card. Thus, you can skip the checkout lines entirely by merely preceding the exit and showing your electronic receipt at the door.
I’ve asked people at Costco whether their store plans to implement either of these time-saving options. The response was ‘not to my knowledge.’
Costco continues to be my ‘go to’ warehouse store for two simple reasons: 1) the Costco store is physically closer to my house, and 2) I still think Costco has better meat than Sam’s Club. Additionally, while Sam’s Club seems to me to offer more ‘name brand’ merchandise than Costco, Costco’s ‘Kirkland’ store brand offers a money-saving alternative to many name brand items, and I find Kirkland products to be good.
However, if I can’t get to Costco during business member hours when lines are shorter, I will certainly consider traveling the extra distance to Sam’s Club because of the shopping convenience they offer.