The Real Difference Between Costco And Sam's Club, According To Reddit

Reddit is the message board that always has one thing — plenty of opinions. When it comes to discussing retail rivals like big box, big names Costco and Sam's Club, Redditors don't hold back. Shares user Tslara, "I'm not knocking it, but Sam's Club is really just Walmart with bigger quantities and somewhat stronger customer demographics," (via Reddit). In fairness, it makes sense that Sam's Club would have many similarities with it's sibling store Walmart, but that similarity does seem to help make a larger distinction between Sam's Club and Costco. As Tslara continues, "Anyone who thinks Costco and Walmart are really comparable has been drinking too many Great Value wine coolers (if such a thing exists)."  

It sounds like some former Costco employees may have been enjoying those wine coolers a little too much, as described by former Costco employee CactusBoyScout. The Redditor shares, his experience, "When I worked at Costco, almost any time someone got fired, they ended up working at the Sam's Club across the street after." What's more, apparently the bar is pretty hard to hit to before you're shown the door at Costco, as CBS elaborates, "It's pretty hard to get fired from Costco so people who did were usually pretty bad employees. That's who ends up working at Sam's, quite often. Costco rejects." 

We'll let you be the judge of that last statement, but at Mashed we love and support all food workers everywhere. 

Redditors see Costco and Sam's as similar but not equal

And while the employees likely work hard and deal with some crazy retail customers, there are also differences in product. User grptrt says, "Kirkland brand: superior product at a discounted price Members Mark brand: anything to generate the most profit." While quality may be a matter of opinion, it's a fact that Sam's Club offers a larger variety of national name brands and Costco offers a larger variety of private label brand, such as Kirkland, although these are often still made by national names like Starbucks (via Investopedia). Interestingly, Costco has significantly higher sales than Sam's Club, but Sam's Club parent Walmart sells more than Costco. 

"For the customer Sam's and Costco are broadly very similar. Costco has some better products (especially store brand items), Sam's has more national brands, and Sams has waaaaay better technology (scan and go, curbside, real time inventory, etc). It's kind of a wash really," says user chejrw. It's true that both stores operate with similar membership models and large, bulk quantities of goods. As chejrw further notes however, there are some rather vastly different employee policies, "Now, if I was looking for a job, no comparison." Technically, the company comparison on Indeed rates Costco generally higher across all metrics than Sam's Club.

That said, Costco and Sam's Club are highly similar, and also serve different areas of the U.S. Both store can be great consumer options for savvy shoppers, but will leave a strong set of opinions on Reddit.