The Secrets Of Warehouse Shopping
Do you get overwhelmed when you're shopping at a warehouse club, buy things you don't even need or wonder if you really got such a great deal? Kristan Cunningham and warehouse specialist Clark Howard share tips on how to best negotiate the popular warehouse clubs … you'll never shop the same way again!
Look for the codes. Knowing the warehouse clubs' secret pricing structures will help you make sure you’re getting the rock-bottom price. According to Clark, at Sam's Club, if there’s a "C" on the price tag, the item has been discontinued and if the item's price ends with a penny, it's been marked down. At Costco, look for an asterisk for discontinued goods and anything that ends with 97 cents for markdowns.
Buy private label items. Warehouse clubs' own private label products are sold at great prices. Clark's advice: Look out for Member's Mark at Sam's Club, Kirkland Signature at Costco, and the Berkeley and Jensen labels at BJ's.
Test it out! When it comes to beds, for example, Clark says, "You can't buy a bed without testing it!" So pull down the mattresses and test them out to make sure you're going to get a good night's sleep before you make your purchase.
Be careful with electronics. Warehouse clubs can give you a better return policy on TVs than electronics stores but you won't always get the best price. Clark explains that electronics stores may offer lower prices because unlike warehouse clubs, they tend to make more money on the warranties they sell you and not on the actual product.
Shop for just about anything. Everyone knows warehouse clubs sell paper towels, toilet paper and big jars of food, but keep in mind the variety of other goods as well: You can get gas for your car, a new couch, and even an engagement ring! And don't forget warehouse clubs' excellent prices for pharmaceutical products.
Go on an empty stomach! Warehouse clubs always have yummy food samples and great prices for a quick lunch or snack. Be sure to get your drink before you shop to take advantage of free refills!
Split a membership for cost-saving. You can share on both membership dues and the well-priced, super-sized items even if you don't have the extra storage space. If you are tight on room, pair up and share with a friend or neighbor so that you both can enjoy savings on multi-pack items.
And, don't forget Clark's number one tip:
Don't get a cart! What do you do if you get a shopping cart? You fill it! Shopping carts can lead to impulse buying. "I walk around with stuff in my arms," Clark says. "As I get tired I say, 'Do I really need that?'" Clark says it'll save you a fortune!
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