A trending TikTok video posted by @moises.n12 shows a Sam’s Club that isn’t in tip-top shape, calling his first experience “a lil ghetto.” The clip feeds into the ongoing Sam’s Club vs. Costco debate, itself rooted in class.
The 13-second video, captioned with #theghetto as one of the hashtags, has over 98,500 views. The voiceover and overlay read: “My first time going to Sams Club after going to Costco for years. This place a lil ghetto.”
The poster first shows empty stock racks, with whole aisles blocked in yellow “aisle closed” tape. But then, the poster shows some random items, including big boxes of honey buns, super-sized bottles of hot sauce, bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and other snacks. Once he’s apparently paid and back outside, there are rows of carts beside a pole, haphazardly organized.
One commenter defended Sam’s Club and its purchase variety: “SC has more variety, pick up, scan n go, online ordering, bigger food court, online food court ordering. still love Costco but they need to evolve. Another wrote, “I have both memberships, but sams is top tier in other aspects. Scan and go, curbside, and you can place a pizza order on your phone.”
One user also preferred Sam’s Club based on time saved: “I be saying this when I’m waiting in those long lines at Costco. Sams SCAN N GO, curbside and scan n go my pizza order!” The poster replied, “I tried to scam n go if you know what I mean.”
Sam’s Club uses a combination of technology and store policies to prevent customers from leaving the store with unscanned items via their Scan & Go app. The app should ensure that all items in a customer’s cart have been scanned and paid for before they reach the exit. However, it is widely known that it is possible to place unscanned items strategically so you leave them undetected.
There is also an acknowledged class and value proposition argument—even the word “ghetto” indicates class warfare. Costco is known for its excellent deals. But in March, Yahoo! reported on a comparison study of Costco and Sam’s Club shoppers, which found that Costco shoppers tended to be higher income.
The Daily Dot contacted @moises.n12 via TikTok comment and Sam’s Club via email for further information.