Sam's Club Online Store: Members welcome!
Written: Apr 27, 2005
Sam's Club has been a staple for our family for several years, starting when we lived in Iowa. We became members in 1999 and have often found that our membership fees ($35/yr) were well worth the price as we saved much more money over the long run. As we added family members, the diapers alone paid for the membership many times over, and that doesn't include the deeply discounted bulk foods, office supplies, books and clothing.
When we moved back to rural Montana, we debated whether or not we should continue with our membership to Sam's. After one trip to visit my parents we realized that even with infrequent trips to the store we were going to pay for the membership, as we loaded up on needed items each time we were there. When we go online shopping for items that we think Sam's may carry, we will price check the online store, SamsClub.com, and even with shipping included we often come out ahead to buy from the website.
SamsClub.com is the online presence for the brick and mortar store of the same name. Named after Sam Walton, founder of Sam's and Wal Mart, SamsClub.com carries a large percentage of the items that the physical locations have on hand with the convenience of shopping from your PC. Sam's (both online and physical stores) buy in quantity and bulk to reduce costs to you, the customer. If they have it, chances are that it is at a better price than you can find elsewhere, either on the web or in stores. One caveat, however, is that you may not be able to find the same items twice, as they buy in bulk and may not order the same items at a later date!
SamsClub.com carries a wide assortment of items, very much in line with what you can find in the physical stores minus some of the food offerings. I have shopped online for electronics, computer accessories, clothing and media (CD's, DVD's) and there is much more to choose from. The site is broken down into business needs and personal needs, and within these areas are drill down searches ranging from electronics, furniture, and jewelry to office supplies and tires
Yes, you can order your tires online and have them mounted and balanced at the physical location of your choice! Since their inventory is constantly changing along with some static items, I will just say that if you are looking for a specific item, enter it into the handy search bar and see if they carry it
The only downside to SamsClub.com search is that it seems to be very slow in comparison to other websites I shop at. Perhaps that is due to their large inventory, but I doubt it.
SamsClub.com offers auctions as well, although I don't often frequent them. I have found that the auctions on SamsClub.com generally go for at or above the cost that you could find the item for in the store or through another online etailer with rebates, so I don't look much. You can probably find some good deals, but I don't have the time to sit and watch them. Besides, they often have items that I really don't need in the auctions, and therefore I would be spending money wastefully by getting caught up in the auction excitement
Another neat function of the website is the Click and Pull shopping on SamsClub.com. You enter in your nearest store for pickup and you can shop the inventory of that particular store. Set up a list of items you want pulled and then go to the store to pick them up. You avoid shopping in the store altogether, yet you also avoid the shipping and handling charges of shopping online. We utilized this feature a few times while living in Omaha.
I recently needed a new cordless phone system to replace our 2.4GHz units as we were starting to notice interference on our wireless network related to what we suspected was the phones. We knew that we wanted a Uniden brand in the 5.8GHz range, and an answering system with two handsets would be ideal. Performing a search on Epinions/Shopping.com narrowed it down the Uniden TRU-8880-2 system, and the lowest price for a new system was shown as $150.50 at a company I had never heard of. Searching SamsClub.com yielded the same phone system for $119.78! Obviously I was going to purchase from Sam's.
Ordering from Sam's is simple. Find the item you want and add it to your cart. At this point you can continue to shop or proceed to checkout. Here you will find many options for payment, including Sam's Club Credit, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Also available is a personal checking account payment and a Sam's Club shopping card. While I am happy to see that the big three cards are available for payment online, it just reminded me how frustrating it is that in the stores you can only use the Discover card or Sam's Credit
I chose to add this to my Sam's Credit line and then chose to ship the package 2nd day air for $15 as opposed to ground or next day for varying rates.
As I placed this order on a Sunday, I didn't expect the order to ship same day. I did however receive an order confirmation email shortly after placing the order and then a shipment confirmed email complete with tracking number two days later. The package was shipped from Belton, TX, in two days via UPS and arrived in a well padded box with no problems whatsoever.
Overall, I have been very pleased with my orders from SamsClub.com, and this one is no exception. I received the phone system I wanted at a discounted price from a reputable vendor in an acceptable amount of time. All of my orders have been satisfactory, so if there is something you wish to buy from SamsClub.com (and you are a member) I recommend buying from them without reservation.