It’s so simple to find great deals at wholesale clubs because their basic principle is bulk buying, which automatically saves you money. But, let’s face it, wholesale clubs are in the business of making money. As usual, the phrase “buyer beware” still applies. Fortunately though, you can find the best deals possible at these stores if you know how to shop smart. Stores like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club offer brand name and commonly sought-after merchandise at prices below retail. These items include groceries, home furnishings and electronics, among many others. Although these stores charge customers an annual membership fee, the cost of joining pays for itself after a few visits. Here’s how to uncover the best deals at wholesale clubs and make the most of your membership account.
Look for the mailed circulars from wholesale clubs where you have an account. Usually sent monthly, these shopping guides promote deals on their already low-priced merchandise. Typically, you can even pair a coupon with the sale price to get savings that surpass promotional deals.
Make a list of your household staples every month to find out which items you need. Plan on searching for these at the wholesale club at least once per month, or as often as your family needs. Keeping a list of these items handy will help you shop smarter.
Match the wholesale club’s deals to prices offered by other retailers. Be careful to take note of each item’s model number, name and price. If you know how much other stores are charging, you’ll know if the club is really offering the best deals in their promotions.
Pick up the flier at the wholesale club’s entrance as soon as you walk in. These “daily deals” offer club members additional savings. Often, these fliers promote unadvertised savings on several items which are good only for that day.
Buy the product of better value whenever you need to stock up on something basic like breads or cereals. Don’t get in the mindset of brand loyalty. These types of merchandise are often manufactured by the same companies under different brands. Know that these things will be similar, despite the difference in price.
Wait until big-ticket merchandise like HDTVs, computers and other technology items go on sale before buying them. Most stores offer holiday-themed sales. After-Christmas sales are the best times for finding cheap deals on big-ticket items.
Bring large tote bags and other empty containers with you to the wholesale club. Most clubs do not provide boxes or bags, although they do provide free shopping carts to transfer purchases to your car. If you arrive with plenty of tote bags, you won’t think twice about snatching up deals to carry out of the store.