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Sams kind of made me mad

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Sams kind of made me mad

Old 10-27-02, 07:33 PM
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Sams kind of made me mad

OK, so I get my hands on a 1 day guest pass to Sams...so I go, and look around, find the Saturday Night Fever DVD for like 13.88...im like cool...so I go up to the register...when I check out, I noticed that they did something like a 10% markup...and they also added salestax...I went ahead and didnt say anything about it because even with the markup it was still the cheapest I had found it...but still it gripes me how they marked something up 10% on me.
Old 10-27-02, 07:39 PM
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I believe all [or at least the two I have used] of the discount clubs do that for non members. I think it used to be 5%, but they apparently upped it to 10%.
The good news is, unless they changed their policy, if you buy a membership in the next x days [a week or so, I think] they will refund that 10%.
We've been a member of either Sam's or BJ's for at least the last five years, and definitely get our forty bucks a year worth out of it. But as always, YMMV. We have a freezer in the garage and buy a lot of frozen stuff in large quantities; paper goods don't go bad, and while their DVD selection is not great, the prices are pretty good. I think I got the Simpsons S2 set for five bucks less than anywhere else; and my wife got French Kiss for 10, where the cheapest I had seen it anywhere else at the time was about 25. I wonder if they have 24 in stock; going to have check when I go tomorrow [for Halloween candy--I almost save the forty bucks right there.]
Old 10-28-02, 12:11 AM
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Re: Sams kind of made me mad

I believe, if you looked at the small print on the one-day pass, it says that non-members are charged a 10% premium. As far as the sales tax goes, they are a retail store.
Old 10-28-02, 11:31 AM
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Where did you get the one day pass?

I didn't think that Sams had the markup anymore on their passes. Did the pass indicate that there was a 10% markup? Last spring I had a three day pass without markup, I picked up a couple of tires for my car ($200+ total).

As far as Sams goes, though, in the 1980s I had a lifetime membership (with 5% upcharge) to Sams. In the 1990s they decided that all lifetime memberships were no longer valid, and took the card away from me. So, I refuse to pay membership to them since they took my lifetime membership away from me, but I do stop by every month or two to buy alcohol.

Yes, non-members can purchase alcohol from Sams without markup. The next time you are in the store (assuming you are 21 or over), just take the alcohol to the register and indicate that you are not a member. Most likely the cashier will tell you "I'm sorry, this is a club store, you must be a member yada yada yada", at which point you just need to ask for a manager who will ring it up for you. There should be a sign above Sam's liquor department which states this (the sign says things like: "membership not required for alcohol purhases, must be 21 or over to purchase alcohol, no 5% surcharge for alcohol purchases" etc). Again, most cashiers are clueless, but the managers know the rules (though I have run across clueless managers also, had to go to a second manager).
Old 10-28-02, 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by Heat


Yes, non-members can purchase alcohol from Sams without markup. The next time you are in the store (assuming you are 21 or over), just take the alcohol to the register and indicate that you are not a member. Most likely the cashier will tell you "I'm sorry, this is a club store, you must be a member yada yada yada", at which point you just need to ask for a manager who will ring it up for you. There should be a sign above Sam's liquor department which states this (the sign says things like: "membership not required for alcohol purhases, must be 21 or over to purchase alcohol, no 5% surcharge for alcohol purchases" etc). Again, most cashiers are clueless, but the managers know the rules (though I have run across clueless managers also, had to go to a second manager).
I'd be willing to bet that this varies by state. you still have to be a member in MI to buy alcohol....but since liquor control and sales laws are different in every state there are probably varying rules for places like Sam's and Costco as well.
Old 10-28-02, 05:24 PM
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Regarding the purchase of liquor in club stores without having a membership, it is a Federal Law that prohibits any Club store format from requiring that a customer pay a membership fee to purchase alcoholic beverages. So I am pretty sure that you really don't need to be a member in Michigan to purchase alcohol.

Again, don't bother asking the clerks, most of them don't know what's going on.
Old 10-30-02, 07:04 PM
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Does anyone have a cite for the federal law that prohibits a Club store from requiring membership to purchase alcohol? Some of my friends don't believe it so I'd like to show them it in writing.

Thanks.
Old 10-31-02, 12:05 AM
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I wasn't sure why they allowed it, so I wrote to Sams headquarters and asked them. The line "Federal Law that prohibits any Club store format from requiring that a customer pay a membership fee to purchase alcoholic beverages" is from their response to me. I never asked for a citation. I did do a brief search for it, but couldn't find it.

In Sams there should be a sign in the liquor department which clearly states "Membership not required for alcohol purchases." It will be a big blue sign hanging from the ceiling, along with rules like "sales prohibitied to minors, no sales to dealers, membership upcharge does not apply to alcohol purchases", etc. I assume that other club stores have similar signs, but I don't know since I've not been in other club stores.

I just picked up a couple of bottles of wine from them tonight (without being a member). I asked the clerk while we were waiting for a manager to approve the sale how many people she'd seen buy alcohol without a membership, she said that I was only the 2nd or 3rd one she'd seen in the four years that she's worked there.

Last edited by Heat; 10-31-02 at 12:07 AM.

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