6 ways warehouse stores get you to spend too much

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Everything is larger than life at Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale Club. That includes product sizes, shelves and even the shopping carts.

Whether you're a family stocking the pantry on a budget or a soccer coach looking for post-game snacks in bulk, you can trundle some killer deals out the door.

Yet we also have to remember that, like any other retailer, warehouse stores stay in business because they know how to part us from our dollars.

Following are six tips to avoid being trapped by warehouse stores' tricks of the trade:

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6 Ways Warehouse Stores Get You to Spend Too Much
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6 Ways Warehouse Stores Get You to Spend Too Much

1. Ignore ‘warehouse’ decor

The floors are concrete. The beams are exposed. Stuff is stacked on plain metal shelving or on pallets.

Here’s what that Spartan appearance says to us consumers: “They don’t waste money on décor and carpeting and Muzak, so we’re bound to get unbelievable deals.”

Generally, that’s true. Just make sure that rushing to buy out of fear of missing a great price doesn’t keep you from doing the math. Remember, too, that low prices might tempt us to buy stuff we don’t need.

Photo credit: Getty

2. Remember that you are paying extra

Part of the reason we pay less at warehouse stores is that we shell out each year for the privilege of walking through the door. The annual fee offsets some of our savings.

Generally speaking, the membership fee will easily pay for itself, especially if you’re purchasing basics like over-the-counter medications, gasoline, tires, meat, dairy products and pet food.

At times, you can get a better deal at regular stores, especially when combining sales and coupons.

However, getting a pretty good price consistently at the warehouse likely beats getting super prices every so often at supermarkets and drugstores. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to fuss with coupons, warehouse stores might be for you.

Photo credit: Getty

5. Put on your track shoes

As soon as you enter the store, run. Do not be distracted by the bright shiny big-screen televisions, smartphones and other pretty toys by the entrance.

If you’ve been wavering about making a purchase on something like that, the discounted price tag might be enough to convince you. But if that new iWhatever isn’t currently in your budget, you’ve just made another decision: to carry a credit card balance or to withdraw money from savings.

It’s much better to wait until you’ve saved enough to pay with cash.

Photo credit: Getty

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