What is the Difference between Sam’s Club and Walmart?

You probably know that Sam’s Club and Walmart are similar in many ways. Maybe, you even know that they are owned by the same people.

However, what exactly is the difference between them, and what are the benefits of using one over the other?

What Is the Difference Between Sam’s Club and Walmart?

The difference between Sam’s Club and Walmart is that Sam’s Club offers products in bulk for members, and Walmart is a standard retail store with everyday low prices. While both stores are owned by the same company, they offer different products and prices.

Sam’s Club

First things first, let’s talk about Sam’s Club. What does the store have to offer? Are there advantages or downsides to shopping at Sam’s Club over Walmart?

So, here’s what you need to know:

  • You need a membership to shop at Sam’s Club. Standard memberships at $45 per year, and the premium option is $100.
  • Sam’s Club is usually cheaper per unit of product than Walmart.
  • Most items at Sam’s Club are only available for bulk purchases.
  • You can save around 20% shopping at Sam’s Club over Walmart.
  • Sam’s Club does not accept coupons.
  • With the membership, you can get cheap gas.


Now, you might be wondering why you would want to shop at Walmart if Sam’s Club is cheaper.

But there are actually quite a few advantages to shopping at Walmart as well.

  • Walmart does not require an annual membership fee.
  • Single-sale items are available. That means you don’t have to buy more than you need and can often spend less on a trip to Walmart than one to Sam’s Club.
  • Walmart offers better fresh produce.
  • Electronics are typically cheaper at Walmart.
  • Curbside pickup is free for customers.
  • Walmart accepts coupons.
  • Also, there are more brand options at Walmart.

Are Sam’s Club and Walmart the Same Company?

It’s important to understand that, technically, Sam’s Club and Walmart are different stores that are both within the same company.

However, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores are run differently, and they also offer different products, prices, and services.

Is Sam’s Club Owned by Walmart?

Sam’s Club is owned by the Walmart Corporation, which is owned by the Walton family.

Originally, Sam’s Club opened its warehouse doors in 1983 as an independent company. But it was purchased by the Walmart Corporation in 1990.

Consequently, Sam’s Club has grown into one of the largest wholesale clubs in the country.

Is Sam’s Club Cheaper Than Walmart?

When it comes to deciding if Sam’s Club is cheaper than Walmart, there are a lot of products to analyze!

The truth is that while Sam’s Club is almost always cheaper than Walmart for price per item, there are some categories in which Walmart is actually the cheaper option.

Luckily, Koopy did a study to find out which store is cheaper, and here’s what they found:

  • Groceries: Sam’s Club is 10.65% cheaper.
  • Health & Beauty: Sam’s Club is 42.8% cheaper.
  • Over-the-counter Pharmacy: Sam’s Club is 16.65% cheaper.
  • Home Essentials: Sam’s Club is 13.67% cheaper.
  • Electronics: Walmart is 0.4% cheaper.
  • Pet Care: Sam’s Club is 12.14% cheaper.
  • Baby Products: Walmart is 11.9% cheaper.
  • Clothes: Walmart is 0.33% cheaper.

As you can see, even in the categories where Walmart won, the margins are incredibly small. Overall, you can expect to save money shopping at Sam’s Club over Walmart.

Which Is Better, Sam’s Club or Walmart?

Deciding if Sam’s Club or Walmart is better is really up to you and what you need!

Sam’s Club is almost always cheaper regarding price per item, but you usually spend more when you shop as most items are only available in bulk.

However, you can purchase individual items at Walmart at any time, and you can even use a coupon!

Sam’s Club requires a yearly membership fee, whereas it’s free to shop at Walmart. But most shoppers agree that you make the money back from savings in just a few trips.

The bottom line: Walmart and Sam’s Club both offer all the services and products customers want and need, and you can’t really go wrong with either option.