12 Sam’s Club Secrets Employees Want You To Know

Don't shop at Sam's Club without knowing these game-changing insider insights.

sam's club logo at front gate
Updated July 18, 2024
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Sam’s Club is a great place to save on groceries and other items. But you might save even more if you know how to use some insider tips.

Check out these club secrets that employees want you to know so that you can save more money or simply be a better guest the next time you visit a Sam’s Club.

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You can shop online without a membership

wolterke/Adobe sam's club logo at front gate

Is there something you want from Sam’s Club even though you don’t have a membership? Check the retailer’s website and see if you can order it there and have it delivered. Non-members are allowed to shop this way.

However, Sam’s Club charges an additional 10% fee for non-member purchases. So, factor that fact in when shopping.

You shouldn’t leave perishables on shelves

ltyuan/Adobe freezers having frozen food inside store

If you decide you don’t want those eggs or ice cream bars after all, please don’t leave them on a shelf.

Sam’s Club employees would like you to return them to where you got them in the freezer or refrigerated section. They can be difficult to clean up if left on shelves.

It’s OK to ask employees for help

Jacob Lund/Adobe salesman directing woman towards aisle

There may be something you’re looking for but don’t see. If so, Sam’s Club employees will be happy to help out.

Feel free to ask the butchers behind the counter if you’re searching for a particular type of meat or check with customer service to see if they can help you find another item.

The employees want you to be satisfied with your membership and are willing to help out.

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Get your Sam’s Club Cafe order in early

Joshua Resnick/Adobe carboard with pepperoni cheese pizza

Sam’s Club can be busy on nights or weekends, and it may be hard for staff to prepare a 16-inch pizza for you right before you leave.

Instead, consider stopping by the Sam’s Club Cafe and putting in your order for large items like pizzas before you start shopping. When you’re done, your order will be hot and ready to go right as you walk out the door.

You can save on prescriptions without a membership

Nemanja/Adobe happy pharmacist explaining medicines to customer

Prescriptions are expensive, so shopping around and finding the best deals is an excellent way to save money shopping.

The Sam’s Club Pharmacy may have lower costs on some of your prescriptions, and you don’t need a membership to fill out a prescription there.

You can’t use coupons

Heorshe/Adobe shelves with products at sam's warehouse

Sam’s Club won't accept the coupons you clip. Instead, keep an eye out for Sam’s Club Instant Savings, which features a variety of price breaks.

Remember that warehouse retailers can save you money even without coupons compared to your local grocery store because you’re buying in bulk.

Sam’s Club price-tag codes reveal important information

Liubomir/Adobe woman at store checking dairy products

Pay attention to the numbers in the bottom left corner of Sam’s Club price tags. There’s a letter at the end of them that could tell you quite a bit about the product.

Reports say these letters can tell you if a product will be on the shelves for a while. According to these reports, an “A” means “active,” signaling the product will be around for a while and is unlikely to be deeply discounted anytime soon.

On the other hand, clearance items are marked with a “C,” and seasonal items will have an “S.”

Using the app makes shopping easier

Drazen/Adobe man scrolling smartphone with grocery basket

Sam’s Club has a great app for members to make shopping a breeze and help you find good deals.

Download the app to your phone and take advantage of features like Scan & Go, which can help you scan purchases, pay for them via the app, and skip the checkout line.

It’s OK to use Walmart gift cards at Sam’s Club

Kenishirotie/Adobe man holding walmarrt gift card

Walmart owns Sam’s Club, so you can use a Walmart gift card for your next shopping trip at Sam’s Club.

The deal can also be reversed, allowing you to use Sam’s Club gift cards at Walmart. And those same gift cards can also be used to shop online at the websites of either store.

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You shouldn’t be afraid to buy the store brand

progressman/Adobe woman shopping for snacks at store

Store brands can be a great way to save extra money without compromising quality.

Check out Member’s Mark items at Sam’s Club. They can help you keep more money in your wallet and may be just as good as the name-brand competition.

It’s rude to shop too close to closing time

Joni/Adobe frozen fishes with sale at sam's

Sam’s Clubs usually close at 8 p.m., but you generally are allowed to continue shopping past closing time if you are still in the store.

However, remember that employees can’t leave until the customers are gone. That means employees may have to work past closing time until all customers complete their shopping.

So, show some courtesy and try to wrap up your shopping and check out before 8 p.m.

You might be able to buy alcohol without a membership

trongnguyen/Adobe wine on shelves at costco wholesale store

Some state regulations forbid retailers from restricting alcohol sales to members only.

Check if your state requires stores to sell alcohol regardless of membership status. You might be able to save some extra cash at places like Sam’s Club to stock your bar even if you are not a member.

Bottom line

dglimages/Adobe beautiful woman handling grocery after shopping

Sam’s Club is a great place to get ahead financially by saving on bulk purchases. You might save even more cash by following some of the tips above.

You can also use this list's employee secrets to become a better Sam’s Club customer.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.