Which Is Cheaper: Amazon Prime Or Costco?

If you’re a savvy shopper, no doubt you’ve wondered: Which retailer is cheaper—Costco or Amazon Prime?

Turns out, Costco is the winner. And it’s not even close.

To answer the question, Business Insider visited a Costco store in Richmond, Virginia, and checked prices for 19 items, ranging from a pressure washer and a TV to Ziploc sandwich bags and a 3.5-pound bag of Hershey’s Kisses. Then they compared their prices to Amazon’s advertised prices for the same items for their Prime members.

Costco photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

Three of the 19 items were the same price. As for the remaining 16 items, 15 of those items were cheaper at Costco.

You might be thinking, well, they’re probably a couple dollars cheaper, so the difference in price isn’t such a big deal.

If by a couple you meant a couple hundred, sure. When Business Insider checked out from both stores, the Costco shopping cart was $500 cheaper than Amazon Prime. Of the items BI used to compare prices, a SharkNinja vacuum was the only item cheaper on Amazon Prime than at Costco.

Before we declare Costco the outright winner though, there are some benefits to having an Amazon Prime membership rather than a Costco membership.

Yes, a Costco membership is cheaper than Amazon Prime, with a basic Costco membership costing customers $55 a year and Amazon charging $99 a year for Prime membership. But with Amazon Prime, you have free two-day shipping on millions of items and free access to books, music, TV shows and movies (as well as other hidden perks like unlimited photo storage). More brands and sizes are offered on Prime—some of the items Business Insider reviewed were cheaper on Prime in different package sizes.

Amazon photo
Photo by William Christiansen

As for Prime’s prices, some of the items listed were sold by a third party through Amazon, which means Amazon then has no control over those prices.

So, if you like a certain brand that you’re sure Costco doesn’t carry or love the free two-day shipping, Amazon Prime membership is the way to go. Otherwise, take a trip to Costco and you’ll be sure to save money.

Check out the full pricing breakdown of the products that Business Insider tested here.