Warehouse shopping is a form of retail shopping involving the purchase of products in bulk. Sometimes referred to as wholesale shopping or bulk shopping, the idea behind warehouse shopping is to buy household goods that are used regularly by the family in larger quantities at a lower per unit cost. In theory, the end result of this activity is to allow the household budget to cover more purchases than would be possible otherwise.
The process for warehouse shopping varies around the world. In some countries, it is necessary to join a warehouse club before it is possible to shop in the facility. Often, this membership shopping arrangement involves nothing more than a modest annual fee. In general, the membership pays for itself after only a few bulk purchases.
A second approach to warehouse shopping is simply the ability to shop in a warehouse that has been opened to the general public. Often, these types of warehouse shopping opportunities contain large lots of household goods that were acquired from closeout sales or goods that were slightly damaged in transit and sold at a loss. The damage is usually cosmetic and does not impact the function of the items. This allows consumers to purchase as many units of an item as they like, but pay a unit price that is significantly lower than the cost of a unit of the same product that was not damaged in some way.
With just about all warehouse shopping facilities, the consumer is responsible for transporting the goods from the premises. While this is relatively easy when purchasing household goods such as canned or paper products, it can be a more complicated task when furniture or other larger items are involved. Some warehouses offer delivery for a fee. However, the delivery fee may effectively make the overall cost for the item no cheaper than purchasing the same item at a local retail outlet that provides free delivery.
While shopping at a warehouse does appear to have a number of advantages, the growing trend of warehouse shopping has created some situations where the unit price for some goods is not appreciably different from the pricing that is found in discount retail stores. While there is no doubt that warehouse shopping in general is one of the more cost-efficient types of shopping, a consumer is well-advised to compare the prices available at the local warehouse to other shopping options in the area. There is a good chance that the savings on particular items will be non-existent or minor at best.