Shopping at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club can be a great way to save money on the things you need. But warehouse stores are also full of potential money traps, and these can quickly turn a thrifty shopping trip into a budget buster!
In today’s post, we’ll be exploring 7 common “money traps” at warehouse stores. Because once you understand the subtle ways these stores try to convince you to spend more money, the better you’ll start to get at sticking to your budget! :-)
7 Money Traps To Avoid When Shopping At Warehouse Stores
1. Seasonal Section
Most warehouse stores stock their seasonal and sale items right at the front of the store. The prices on these items are purposefully low, making them hard to resist for shoppers!
There are often genuinely good deals to be found here, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But those shiny deals up front can lower your defenses , leading to additional unplanned purchases. (And that’s exactly what they’re meant to do!)
2. Center Aisles
The interior aisles at Costco can be hard to resist, especially the ones near the front of the warehouse. That’s where you’ll find all the stuff that you makes you say “I never knew I needed this until right now!”
But you didn’t actually need that item, because you didn’t know it existed until you saw it in those alluring center aisles! If you’re often tempted by these sorts of impulse buys, stick to the outer edges of the store to avoid being tempted.
3. Big Shopping Carts
It’s no accident that most warehouse stores only have big shopping carts available! They know you’ll be more likely to toss something into your cart on a whim if you have the space for it.
So go ahead and use the giant shopping cart—just be mindful of what you’re putting in it!
4. Free Samples
Enjoying a few free samples is one of the more popular perks of shopping at warehouse stores. And while there’s no reason not to enjoy them, it’s worth understanding why they offer them in the first place!
Free samples can prey on your sense of reciprocity, creating an urge to buy the product you sampled or something similar to it. Buying one item you didn’t intend to buy isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not great for your budget!
5. Bulk Buys
While you certainly can save money by buying certain items in bulk at warehouse stores, that’s not always the case! While some items may be a steal, others may not be as good a deal as you think.
When you’re considering buying something at a warehouse store, take the time to do the math to figure out the price per unit. Compare that to what you would pay at a big box or grocery store to determine the best overall price.
6. Targeted Marketing
Many stores have targeted marketing campaigns these days, including warehouse stores. Sam’s Club in particular is well known for sending out incentives and coupons to shoppers based on their purchase history.
If you anticipate those targeted marketing offers ahead of time, you’ll be prepared! Do the math first to figure out if taking advantage of that offer is the best choice.
7. Final Offers
The ever-rotating offering of products at warehouse stores is meant to create a sense of scarcity. If products are coming and going all the time, you may be willing to buy a lot of something for fear that it will disappear!
While this is worth considering when making a purchase, it shouldn’t be the only thing you consider. If you don’t need the item or won’t use it regularly, there’s no need to worry about it getting discontinued!
What’s your best tip for shopping at warehouse stores?