But many Pricesmart customers may not be saving anywhere near what they could at Pricesmart—worse, they may be losing money.
If you're a Pricesmart customer, here's how you might not be saving money:
You have to pay an annual membership fee of $39USD or about $267TT to shop at Pricesmart, and you must therefore earn at least that in lower prices before your savings can really begin. If you're a Platinum member, the cost is $84USD, or about $573TT.
Pricesmart doesn't make it easy for you to compare prices. Similar products have different weights, and many of the membership brands aren't available anywhere else. That doesn't mean you're not saving, but you may not, and most people don't check.
Your goal is not to breakeven with the cost of your membership card, but actually to save money. Therefore, you must consume enough to make Pricesmart a frequent destination of your shopping excursions. If you have products like paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, canned goods, and other items from Pricesmart that seem to linger in your home for months, then you don't consume enough for a Pricesmart membership to be worth it.
Everyone having their own membership card is a great idea for Pricesmart, but not for most people. You've saving money by buying in bulk, but that can't come at the cost of you warehousing products for long periods. If you're not buying for a large family, it doesn't make sense to store products for months, especially as some of those products like rice, flour, and cereal may go bad before you can use them.
There is power in numbers. Single people or couples can benefit from a Pricesmart membership if they use a membership for a larger group. Only two people can actually make purchases, but there's no law preventing those people from buying for a larger group of friends and family. That way, the savings from the bigger quantities can be immediately shared, and the buyers can return for more frequent purchases.
In this guava season, we have to think of every way we can save money and sharing a membership, not borrowing a card that doesn't belong to you, but simply having one Pricesmart membership represent a buyer's group can go a long way towards helping everyone in the group save money.