In today's article "Are home services a good deal at Costco and Sam's Club?", I mention that Costco and Sam's offer services on windows, patio doors, bathtub refinishing, hooded gutters, heating and air conditioning, carpet, cabinets, window treatments, and countertops.


When I talked to employees at a number of the companies, I was told that the discounts aren't that much deeper and in many cases are the same as getting a bid without a warehouse club membership.

But one way that some contractors such as heating and air conditioning can sweeten the deal with Costco is to offer a gift card of several hundred dollars or more. Most members assume wrongly that the credit can only be applied against future purchases. The good news is that the gift card can be taken to the service desk and redeemed for cash. 


It's the same as when Costco members get a rebate voucher from their American Express card or Sam's Club members get one from their Discover card in February. You can take the rebate to the register  to pay for purchases or take it to the service desk for cash.


Anyone want to comment on your experience with Costco or Sam's Club home service contractors? I interviewed more than a dozen Costco shoppers in various Twin Cities locations and no one had used the services. I also put a note on Facebook asking for customers who had used the service. No response.

Earlier this summer I compared prices on Hunter Douglas window blinds and found Costco's prices the same as several local sellers. Not only was I surprised that Costco's price was not lower but that the price was virtually the same from every seller. Hunter Douglas must be controlling its prices carefully. If that's the case, choose a dealer with excellent customer service.