Membership in these club stores does not come free; each requires you to pay before you purchase a single item. Sam’s Club charges $40 for basic membership, BJ’s $50, and Costco $55. Each of the three clubs also have a premium membership tier that costs about double and pays members a small amount of cash back based on their annual purchases.
Customers may believe they’re paying for a chance to save money, but some experts think membership fees actually cause consumers to spend more.
“Right after you join a warehouse club, the first thing you think is ‘how am I going to earn back that entry fee I just paid?’” said Brian Wansink, a professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University. “It creates a spending, but also a justification mentality.”
As a result, Wansink says, you’re going to spend more so that you feel like you’re saving more.
“We have this basic view that buying in bulk is cheap. We clearly come home with a lot more stuff; we end up spending more because we are motivated to save money.”Page 2 of 4 | Prev Page | Next Page