Sam’s Club, the Wal-Mart division that caters to small business, is certainly popular. The membership-based buying outlets now number over 600, claim 47 million members, and have become America’s 8th largest retailer. So what’s the big deal? BizBest took a closer, inside look to identify the key benefits that aren’t always visible in one place.
Like its corporate parent, Sam’s Club specializes in super low prices – in this case, geared to products and services that small, local and main street businesses need and use the most. A regular Business membership is $35/year. Business Plus ($100/year) gets you extra savings on top of the regular low prices. Here is BizBest’s list of the top 10 most useful small business benefits of a Sam’s Club membership:
- The handy “Shop by Business” feature on the Sam’s Club website is a quick and easy way to find things for your type of small business or specific need. Shop by Business categories include restaurant supplies, office furniture, janitorial & cleaning, vending & concession, technology (projectors, computers, software, copiers), specialty business (salons, barber shops, construction and repair, retail and convenience stores), auto and tires, hotels and child card.
- Early Shopping Hours: Sam’s Club offers early shopping hours for small business owners from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. during the week.
- Merchant credit card processing: This program offers rates as low as 1.49% plus 20 cents per transaction, and no application fees. In addition, you get a free Sam’s Club Plus Membership for the term of your contract (worth $100 yearly).
- Click ‘n’ Pull and Fax ‘n’ Pull: Sam shops for you. Submit your online or faxed order before 5 p.m. and your items are ready for pickup at your local club the next day.
- Tech Experts: Free, member-exclusive help for any camera/camcorder or computer you buy at Sam’s Club.
- Delivery and assembly: Tech Experts will also assemble, deliver and install Sam’s Club items, starting at $59.
- SBA small business loans: Need working capital for your small business? This program offers loans of $5,000-$25,000 to small businesses and startups. Sam’s Club membership gets you a 20% discount on loan fees (a $100 value); low affordable interest rates with simple easy terms; and no collateral required.
- Check printing: Sam’s Club offers a full line of computer and manual checks for business, as well as business kits and check writing accessories.
- Extra savings and cash back: Combine a Business Plus Membership with a Sam’s Club® Discover and earn up to 2 percent cash back on a variety of purchases. Average savings are more than $500 for Business Members.
- eValues paperless coupons provide personalized savings on hundreds of items including office supplies. The eValue benefit is included in both the Advantage and Business versions of the Sam’s Club Plus membership. Sam’s Club estimates Plus Members save an additional $200 per year with eValues.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.