Sunday, December 2, 2012

Costco vs BJ's

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to check out the new Costco that opened in Concordville, PA. I wanted to do a trial run of the store to see if it was as great as everyone has claimed it to be. I started by getting gas at the member only gas station at a very cheap $3.34 per gallon. So far, my trip was worth it! Once I entered the store, we enjoyed our shopping experience. My daughter most especially loved the free food samples at the end of every aisle. It was when I checked out that I was able to make my final decision if I was purchasing the $55 yearly membership or not. After the cashier finished my order and I handed over my manufacturers coupons, she informed me that Costco DOES NOT ACCEPT MANUFACTURER'S COUPONS! I truly was in shock as I stood there with about $20 in coupons in my hands. When I asked why, her response was that Costco already has low prices and they offer a warehouse coupon booklet to their members. When I responded that BJ's offers low prices AND warehouse coupon booklets AND accepts manufacturers coupons, her response was a snippy "You can go to customer service and have your membership refunded if you aren't happy."
After my initial shock wore off, I emailed Costco's corporate office looking for an official statement on their coupon policy. Here is their response:

"Dear Angie,

We appreciate you taking the time to email Costco Wholesale.
Costco Wholesale does not accept general manufacturer coupons. We have our own coupons and promotional offers, which are distributed to members in the mail and at our locations at various times throughout the year. We are able to offer consistently low prices because our buyers negotiate the best deals with our vendors. Manufacturers often will simply ‘load’ the cost of a coupon program into the original pricing of their product. We will not permit our vendors or buyers to do this since there is no advantage to the member. Thank you for your continued patronage and please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

Thank you,

Costco Wholesale Corporation"

As the CEO of our household, my job is to make sure our house runs like clockwork, part of which includes the financial aspects. With that in mind, I clip and print coupons on a daily basis as well research the best sales and prices. I have to tell you that the prices at Costco were fair but would have been much more competitive if they had accepted manufacturer's coupons. It is a case by case decision for each CEO of the household, but based on the location, coupon policy, membership price, and product prices, this CEO is sticking with BJ's!!!


  1. I have a membership to Costco and never again! I miss BJs. They have a better frozen food selection and that helps me since I have kids. Coupons are essential as well.

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