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Old 01-13-2019, 02:42 PM
 
88 posts, read 87,989 times
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Should one get BJs or Costco membership ?
please help decide by providing some pointers

both stores are easily accessible
Costco discounted gas is open to non members as well.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:49 PM
 
Location: NJ
3,859 posts, read 8,744,188 times
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It all depends on what you buy. Both stores offer trial memberships. Your best bet is to visit each store and compare prices of the things you buy most. I used to have a BJs membership and I found their prices to be no better than the typical Shop Rite sales price, so I did not continue my membership. I know several people with Costco memberships and they love it. But again, it all depends on what specific items you buy.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:27 PM
 
13,884 posts, read 16,513,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansky View Post
It all depends on what you buy. Both stores offer trial memberships. Your best bet is to visit each store and compare prices of the things you buy most. I used to have a BJs membership and I found their prices to be no better than the typical Shop Rite sales price, so I did not continue my membership. I know several people with Costco memberships and they love it. But again, it all depends on what specific items you buy.
+1
Many years ago, I decided to give both BJ's & Costco a try for one year, so that during that year I could make an informed decision as to which one I preferred.

My observations regarding electronics were that BJ's was consistently more expensive than Costco, for comparable models. No, the difference was probably no more than $10, but--all the same--BJ's was always more expensive for those goods.

As to food, the only area where I found BJ's to be superior was in regard to their selection of imported cheeses. Other than imported cheeses, my impression was that, if somebody wanted the world's largest bag of Doritos--or other junk foods--BJ's was the place to go. On the other hand, if somebody wanted things like organic extra-virgin olive oil, top-quality prosciutto, excellent quality coffee beans, US-prime meats, and really good produce, Costco won--hands down--on price as well as quality.

Obviously, I did not renew my BJ's membership, but I continue to be a happy Costco shopper.

Incidentally, when it comes to gasoline, BJ's can't prevent non-members from buying gas because NJ law prohibits "club membership" as a criterion for purchasing gasoline. However, BJ's gasoline does not meet Top Tier standards, so--once again--BJ's fails in regard to the quality of their products. (Costco's gas does comply with Top Tier standards.)
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:59 PM
 
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I’ve been going to BJs since back in the day. My father joined the one in East Rutherford shortly after it opened in the mid-80s. Back then, you had to be a union member to join.

While I kind of liked going there with my dad when I was 13 or so, as an adult I found the shopping experience there maddening. I got my own membership for a year or two, then stopped going there for years, until recently, when I signed up again because of a $25 first year membership special.

As for Costco, well I never set foot in one until about six years ago. Why? They had a phenomenal price on an audio receiver I wanted. That was the only reason I joined. Since then, I’ve pretty much kept my Costco membership active. The shopping experience is 10x more maddening than BJs, but it’s worth the torture for certain things. What, you may ask? OK, here...

- Glasses. The glasses at Costco are better quality and 1/4 - 1/3 the price of the ones I got from my local optometrist. The pair of progressives I got from them last year was $259, all in (and I have a very strong prescription).

- Croissants and Ruggelach. They have the best prices on the planet on both. And they’re both great quality.

- Major appliances. When I bought my house, I got an excellent deal on a washer & dryer from Costco. Plus they extend the warranty on most appliances from one to two years.

- Other surprises deals. I got a nice garage shelving unit for $189. Last year, I bought a real deal (88 weighted keys, hammer action, etc.) digital piano set with bench and stand for $325. I’m gonna learn to play Linus and Lucy and Tiny Dancer on the thing before I die.

So why keep the BJs membership too? Well, they have better hours and are a lot less busy than Costco. Plus, they do have some things that Costco doesn’t have, like in-store delis with great prices, and big 64 oz. bottles of Naked smoothies for $5.99 each (they’re about $10 in a typical supermarket). And $25 per year is pretty reasonable. Costco’s membership is $60 per year, and never gets discounted, although they will sometimes give you a gift card or coupons for free items if you’re a first time member.

Both offer (mostly) high quality house brand items, but, overall, Costco offers more variety and higher quality items.

If you have to pick one place or the other? Costco, unless the membership fee is too steep for you, then a $25 BJ’s membership is a good deal. As long as I can renew my BJ’s membership for $25 per year, I’ll keep both, otherwise I’ll stick with Costco.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:35 PM
 
13,884 posts, read 16,513,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zhelder View Post
The shopping experience is 10x more maddening than BJs, but itís worth the torture for certain things. What, you may ask? OK, here...

- Glasses. The glasses at Costco are better quality and 1/4 - 1/3 the price of the ones I got from my local optometrist. The pair of progressives I got from them last year was $259, all in (and I have a very strong prescription).
I assume that the "maddening" shopping experience has something to do with the length of the check-out lines. Is there another Costco that you could visit that doesn't have such long lines? I normally go to the relatively new Costco in North Brunswick, and the check-out lines there are always much shorter than those in Edison, and even a bit shorter than the lines in their Bridgewater store. I do go to the Edison Costco a few times a year to stock-up on wines and spirits, but that is my only reason to go to that particular store.

Even the gas station at the North Brunswick Costco has substantially shorter lines than their Edison gas station.

Consistently, year after year, Costco Optical Services are the top-rated "chain" optical store in The US in Consumer Reports' rankings. Only independent opticians are higher-rated for service, but their prices are also substantially higher than Costco's prices.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Southern Most New Jersey
989 posts, read 734,845 times
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I can't speak for Costco because I don't have one in my neck of the woods. But I do enjoy BJ's. Joined for the fish selection. While frozen it is top notch and they sell a lot. Cold cuts are less than my local grocery. Fresh meats are also top notch (Prime or Select). Great bags of baking potatoes, apples, etc. The list goes on and on..

I suggest you walk both stores then decide.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:49 PM
 
14,458 posts, read 4,509,545 times
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Where I live I have both and go to Costco .

1) cleaner store ,better in house items and their meats are fantastic we all so get very good prices on the bulk medicines we need (advil ,etc) Kirkland brand is excellent.

2) BJ's , seems to always be out of what it was I needed and like I said the store sanitation .
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:15 AM
 
300 posts, read 726,578 times
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No contest, Costco all the way. BJ’s will go sam’s club way in central jersey: lot of them closed.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:22 AM
 
Location: NJ
23,178 posts, read 29,156,172 times
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generally, the better choice is the more convenient one. if that is really equal, then i think costco is better. i am a fan of costco.

i was a BJ's shopper when i lived in brooklyn because it was the most convenient for me. that was 10 years ago so i cant speak on the current state of BJ's. i wasnt unhappy with BJ's back then but i still felt costco was better.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Southern Most New Jersey
989 posts, read 734,845 times
Reputation: 1486
Stop throwing BJ's under the bus.

BJ's is the cleanest store in my neck of the woods. A guy or gal on a floor cleaner machine early morning when I am there. May be an anomaly but I doubt it. I always see the manager (Craig) walking around. Lots of fresh food to eat. Way ahead of my local grocery where I have to check the expiration date on everything but toilet paper...
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