Why you may not be saving money at Pricesmart

From the moment they opened, Trinis have been flocking to Pricesmart eager to shop American style without going through Piarco. No wonder, Pricesmart offers members-only snob appeal plus savings.

But many Pricesmart customers may not be saving anywhere near what they could at Pricesmart—worse, they may be losing money. 

Consider the following: 

If you're a Pricesmart customer, here's how you might not be saving money:  

You haven't factored in the cost of your membership 

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. 

You don't compare prices

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. 

You don't shop often enough 

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. 

You shop for yourself 

The idea of buying in bulk only makes sense if you can consume what you buy in a relatively short space of time, not leave items in your shelves for months before you need to restock. So large families, or groups of people that share one membership, are the people who really save money.

Pricesmart membership may not be for you 

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.  

But you can benefit from shopping at Pricesmart 

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. 

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Monday, 18 October 2021
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