Financial Fitness


Buying a car through a superstore: Is it a better deal?

Posted at 7:40 AM, Sep 08, 2018

If you’re a member at a superstore like Costco or Sam’s Club, then you already know the great deals. But, did you know another perk is that you can buy your car through them? 

These superstores work with auto dealerships to determine a fixed price and the superstore acts as a broker. Tim Jackson with the Colorado Auto Dealers Association says the superstores are making money off their sells. 

Because places like Costco get paid to be the middleman, the prices of their vehicles are not always the lowest price. 

“If the consumer really wants to get a better price on a vehicle they probably will be better off shopping it between dealers and ultimately have it delivered by a dealer without the intermediary," Jackson said.

A perk to buying your car through Costco, Walmart or Sam’s Club is that they do their own background checks on the dealerships. They look for the best prices, reputation and even customer satisfaction index scores. 

Jackson warns about a few downsides, especially when it comes to trading a vehicle in to buy a new car.

"The dealer is prepared to value and price the trade," Jackson said. "They can’t do that in the contract with a Costco because there are so many unique characteristics with each trade."

When it comes to financing, customers are more likely to get more options through a dealer. 

People who dislike negotiating to get the best deal will be more comfortable buying at a superstore.