Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart, is a warehouse store that sells in bulk and has many different deals and perks for its members. Much like the infamous Costco, you can buy all kinds of things at Sam’s Club, but maybe there are a few things that you should know. After all, knowledge is power and will only enhance your shopping experience next time you find yourself in Sam’s Club. Here are 10 Secrets You Did Not Know About Sam’s Club.
10. First Thing’s First; What Is Sam’s Club?
Most people are aware of this Walmart owned warehouse store. But for those who aren’t, here’s a quick guide. Founded in the early 1980s, Sam’s Club is a membership-only warehouse store opened by Walmart boss Sam Walton. Hence the name. Looking to take on the other big wholesaler, Costco, Sam’s Club sells you everything you could need, just in big, bulk buying quantities. While Sam’s Club has yet to take the wholesale crown off of Costco, it has established itself as a popular choice by many people. Over the years Sam’s Club has tried to do different things in order for them to stand out. Some have worked and some have not. One idea that didn’t work out for them was when they tried to conquer the Hispanic population by opening up a Mas Club. The Mas Club, which is Spanish for more, had a separate membership but that closed in 2014. Other ventures that Sam’s Club has done have worked. Car rentals, flights, cruises, and other vacation bookings have been a big success for them. However, it’s mainly the groceries and the food that people go to Sam’s club for and that is reason enough to sign up for membership.
9. Taste Testing
When thinking about grocery stores, there tends to be an assumption that money is the reason why the products are in the store. However, at Sam’s Club, there is more to the process than that. The way they determine their products is not through a business plan but a taste test. Not just any old taste test, it is actually a blind tasting. This means that the brand of the product does not matter and they will only be basing the product on its own merits. They have a rating system that is based out of nine, and in order for the product to be sold in any Sam’s Club location, they must score at least a seven-point five. This means each product must receive a minimum percentage of eighty-three in order to get put onto the shelves. Anything below seven point five do not get sold at Sam’s Club. The team is made up of a group that ranges between sixty-five and one hundred people. Of course, this is not to say that you will like all of the products sold, but it is refreshing to know that they have a standard that needs to be met in order for their products to be sold at Sam’s Club. It also helps with assuring customers that they are valued because they want their customers to have the best products.
8. Purchasing Choices
Buying in bulk seems like a wonderful idea, and people tend to go all out and just buy whatever they see. Bulk automatically means more savings right? Well, the answer is actually no. Just because something is in bulk, it does not mean you absolutely have to buy it. This might make shopping a little bit more complicated, but knowing this might help with the regret that often comes with unneeded purchases. One thing that Sam’s Club is doing to help with this is selling in bulk but still having individually wrapped items. That way the food can last longer. This might help when choosing which products to purchase because the things are wrapped individually, so you can have more control over how much to use at a time. One thing that might not be as worth it is meat products, because they are sold in bulk, it means there is more of it, and usually ends up resulting in high prices. Yes, even if the price is divided by the amount you get, chances are, it is still a little more pricey than the grocery store that is not selling in bulk. Things such as condiments, unless you have a large family, might not be the best buy because you will have way more of the product than needed. So, in some instances, the products may not be worth it because they may go to waste.
7. The Alcohol
Buying Alcohol is something that often comes up when thinking about shopping for groceries. For a true Sam’s Club secret, many people may not know this but Sam’s Club has its own brand of wine. The brand is called Member’s Mark. This brand has a Sangria, a Riesling wine, a Chardonnay and a Black Point Red Blend. This makes shopping at Sam’s Club interesting because most store, while they do have their own house brands, it usually does not extend to alcohol. However, Sam’s Club changes that assumption by having their own line of wine. Also, it gives you something new to try if you did not know that a house brand wine was available. The more choice, the more you can judge and decide what would fit your budget and needs the best. This secret is actually twofold because there is another thing that should be made known about Sam’s Club. Access to alcohol is not limited to those who are members of Sam’s Club. This means that if you have a party, or are just in the mood for picking something up to serve up with dinner, Sam’s Club might just be the place for you to get your alcohol. In fact, in some states, it would be going against the law to not sell someone alcohol simply because they are not Sam’s Clubs members. These two elements add to the experience of shopping at Sam’s Club.
6. Pharmacy and Café Access
Say, you are in a bind, and you just happen to be hungry and there is nothing but a Sam’s Club nearby. Or say that you realize you needed some over the counter medication, but the only thing close is a Sam’s Club. The problem is that you don’t have a Sam’s Club membership. Well, this may not be known by many, but the truth is, you don’t actually have to be a Sam’s Club member to access both their Pharmacy and their Café. Say you need a prescription to be filled up,? Sam’s Club will be obligated to fill in the prescription for you, even if you do not have a membership with them. By law, they are required to fill it in because they aren’t allowed to sell medication to members only. In terms of their café; it is also good news that you can go and enjoy some great food without being a member. Also, the prices are pretty good too. For example, they have a slice of pizza and a drink for 2.50$, and a hot dog and a drink for 1.50$. Having access with no membership allows people to come and enjoy some lunch at Sam’s Club. Although this secret doesn’t allow you to shop in their store, it does give you access to their pharmacy and their low priced and great tasting cafe food.
5. The Staff
When going grocery shopping, the people who work there are just as important as the customer. However, a lot of the time, the customer feels they rank above the employee. Often there can be disputes between the employee and the customer. At Sam’s Club, it might be a bad idea to exchange mean words with their employees. There are many reasons why you can lose a membership from Sam’s Club, for example, a bounced check or shoplifting, which seem to be classic reasons as to why a membership can be revoked. However, with Sam’s Club, it extends to how you speak to Sam’s Club workers. Yes, if you use inappropriate language toward an employee, your membership can be revoked. So, it is important to understand that the language used matters. There has been some speculation that Sam’s Club does not treat their employees the best. But this stipulation of revoking someone’s membership for how an employee is treated by a customer, suggests something slightly different. Sam’s Club at the very least cares about how customers treat their employees, and might even remove membership if that is not complied with. So, a quick tip, do not use foul language or try to disrespect a Sam’s Club employee when shopping in their stores.
4. Not Just For Groceries
There are many things that fill all of us with dread; doing our taxes, finding legal help or getting our health checked. None of these things are particularly fun and then can be even more grueling if we don’t know where to start. Luckily help is at hand, if you are a Sam’s Club member that is. While Sam’s club is known for being a wholesale grocery store, it also offers its members several perks that go beyond any normal grocery store. If you are a Sam’s Club member then they can help you with your tax filing needs. You can e-mail them or call them up to be put in contact with an advisor. They will help with both your personal taxes or any business taxes that need to be done. They even have an app for that! Sam’s Club also offers legal help and advice on things like starting a business, protecting your ideas, and so much more. As well as all things legal, Sam’s Club also offers a good health service. As well as general health services, Sam’s Club also offers medical screenings; such as blood and cholesterol. These services are critical to so many people and yet not everyone out there knows about them. Just another way that Sam’s Club is here to make life that little bit easier.
3. Payment And Checkout Options
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, there are multiple options for us when it comes to grocery shopping and payment. While contactless payment is very common in most stores and restaurants these days, Sam’s Club has actually gone one better. In 2016 Sam’s Club released an app that allows shoppers to scan each item as they shop. The app then stores the information and when you are done it automatically charges your credit or payment card. This way shoppers can bypass the line ups and checkouts and just leave the store after a hassle-free shop. While the Sam’s Club app may be a Godsend for all us grocery shoppers that don’t want to waste time queuing at the cash, Sam’s Club doesn’t except every form of payment. If you are one of the millions of people around the country that have a Visa or American Express card, then you’d better quickly find another form of payment. Because of the large processing fees, Sam’s Club doesn’t except those forms of payment. It does take many other forms and even has plenty of offers on sites such as Groupon which also can save you money if you sign up for a membership on the Groupon site.
2. In-Store Pickup
We’ve all had those days when we need to go grocery shopping but we are just not in the mood. Navigating the many isles and products, as well as the lines and lines of people. Sometimes it can all be too much. Well, Sam’s Club is here to make life a little better once again as they offer a service that makes getting groceries a little easier. While it may not be home delivery, which would be ideal, they have the next best thing and that’s an in-store pickup. What you can do is go to the Sam’s Club website and pick what you need on the site. As long as it is completed by 5 pm, someone who works at Sam’s Club will put your order together for you, and you can go pick it up from your nearest Sam’s Club store free of charge. This helps with having to travel there and spend hours shopping around now all you have to do is go online, order, then just get there and your shopping is ready. Another perk that Sam’s Club offers its members is that they can request and item. If you can’t find what you are looking for in your local Sam’s Club, drop them an email and they’ll look into carrying the item in the stores.
1. Early Shopping Hours
Having to go shopping with loads of people is not always the greatest thing. Having large crowds might deter you from wanting to shop during certain hours, or days. Also, with a place like Sam’s Club that has so many products, a pharmacy, and food to eat, it might be a lot more crowded for a longer period of time in comparison to other grocery stores. Well, Sam’s Club might have a way to help with that. As some of you may know, there are different membership levels. If you are enrolled in the Sam’s Savings membership or the business membership, then this perk/secret does not apply to you, unfortunately. However, if you are a Sam’s Plus member (which has a 100$ fee), then this perk might be your saving grace. Sam’s Club has something called early hours, which means from Monday to Friday the store is completely yours from 7 am to 10 am and on Saturdays, its 7 am to 9 am. This means that it is opened before the store usually opens up, and you can shop till your heart’s content without the large crowds. This can be incredibly helpful if you really hate crowds when shopping. This secret may not be known by many, and if you are trying to figure out which membership to buy, perhaps this early hour perk might be something to entice you to get the Sam’s Plus membership. It is pretty cool that they offer this because many other establishments that exist do not have this awesome perk.