Boxed.com vs Costco – Which One is Better?

Boxed vs Costco

Traditional brick and mortar stores are still the go-to for many people, but online shopping has definitely taken the world by storm. Why leave the comfort of your home when you can conveniently order your essentials (and more) with just a few clicks?

Since online retailers are popping up left and right, day and night, and every second it seems, it is hard to get yourself out there and make a name for yourself. One online wholesale retailer has been making quite a presence it the past couple of years though – Boxed.com.

What IS boxed.com? It is an online membership-free wholesale retailer. They offer direct delivery on bulk-sized packages through their website and app.

Today, we are going to review Boxed.com, comparing it to the good old trustworthy brick and mortar and online wholesale retailer, Costco.

Listing the pros and cons of each, we’ll see if one emerges as a clear winner or not.

Boxed vs Costco. Let’s go!

Costco 101

Ah, Costco. We have been shopping at Costco for many years. Costco is a membership only wholesale retailer. They offer different membership packages. From Gold Star to Business Executive, people pay annual fees and then have access to shop at the brick and mortar locations as well as on Costco.com.

With hundreds of locations worldwide, Costco sells everything from groceries, toiletries, and appliances. So here is the rundown.

Why shop at Costco?

Quality – Quantity

Costco does not compromise quantity for quality. Besides name brand items, Costco’s own Kirkland brand has earned a great reputation. From food, vitamins, and household essentials – you will not miss your brand name items. Kirkland items are pretty much dupes for the brand name options.

Bakery

Costco Bakery - boxed vs Costco
Costco has a wonderful selection of baked goods. You can buy freshly baked loaves of bread, dozens of bagels, and sweet pastries for a significantly low price. They have ready to take birthday cakes and take orders for customized cakes. This is ideal for children’s parties where you need lots of cake to feed many mouths.

Free Samples

Let’s be real. Many Costco members probably plan to eat their lunch at Costco for free – by taking every sample being offered that day. If you make a couple rounds around the store, you can possibly eat some bread, sausage, and dessert to keep you full for a few hours. And yes, samples are offered to hopefully get you to like and buy the product in bulk – but that’s just how it works,

Food

After making your many rounds around the store, you may be very hungry. Well, that is one great plus of Costco’s brick and mortar locations. They have food court kiosks. The kiosks sell all beef hot dogs for $1.50, pizza slices for $1.99, sundaes for $1.65, churros for $1.00 (yum) and many more delicious and more than affordable options!

No Questions Asked Return Policy

It is exactly what it sounds like. You can basically return an item at Costco and get a full refund, no questions asked. The only exception is electronics, which must be returned within 90 days, and alcohol and cigarettes which legally cannot be returned.

Costco Gasoline

Costco Gasoline
We have an entire article dedicated to the benefits of Costco’s gasoline stations and the Kirkland Signature Gasoline. The stations are set up to run as efficiently as possible – you can pump gas into your car no matter which station you are at, their prices are typically a few cents lower than other competitors. Check out all the benefits of Kirkland Signature Gasoline stations here. It is Costco’s gasoline which means you can go get some shopping done before or after.

Costco Services

Costco not only has its own Kirkland Signature Gasoline stations but also has a tire and auto shop. The customer service is top notch. We have gone to the auto shop on numerous occasions to get new tires, get the alignment checked on our cars, and always leave more than satisfied.

Costco also has an Optical department that we visit yearly; the optometrists are excellent and there is a wide variety of glasses and contact lenses to choose from. Another service that Costco has is a pharmacy (always a plus). They also have a bakery where you can stop by to get ready-made items, as well as place orders for customized cakes.

We’ve been Executive members of Costco for over 10 years. $120/year is well worth the money. The 2% cash back can pretty much cover the cost of a year or more worth of annual membership fee with the amount of shopping we do at Costco. Kirkland products are one of the few house brand products we enjoy purchasing.

They are always more than great quality for an ideal price.

From their Kirkland brand popcorn (which we love) to their household supplies, to their gasoline, and clothing – there’s an abundance of treasure awaiting you at Costco.

Kirkland popcorn - boxed vs costco

It’s always a fun time when you spend your day going up and down the aisles at Costco. There are a variety of different products to try out, and samples to encourage you to try out these new and exciting things. You could go into Costco and buy dinner for your family, groceries and household items for the week, and a winter coat or Easter dress!

Costco is truly the one-stop shop.

Boxed.com

Alright, now here is the 101 on Boxed.com. Founded in 2013, it can definitely still be considered a young and growing company.

Their company goal is to “make shopping convenient and fun, so you can focus on things that really matter”.

We think that statement sums of the mindset of everyone living in this day and age.

Convenience is the priority – get things done so we can have some fun. The layout of the site makes it easy to browse through their selection of products and find what you need. Boxed.com does not ask for a membership fee. There is a first order discount of 15%. Shipping is free for the first order, and afterward, all orders qualify for free shipping if they are $49 or more. Anything lower in total price will ship for $6.99.

Why shop at Boxed.com?

We went through the basics above. Here are five reasons why you should shop at boxed.com (or at least check it out; it’s always fun to check out new things!)

Convenience

We cannot reiterate this more than enough. With just a few simple clicks, your household necessities, groceries, and fun, aka impulsive buys can be on their way to your doorstep. You do not need to leave the comfort of your own home – you don’t need to get out of bed and make yourself look semi-presentable since you aren’t going to a physical store filled with lots of customers!

Boxed Up

While Boxed.com does not require a membership, you are more than free to join Boxed Up. This is an annual membership of $49/year. With this membership you have access to free priority shipping on all orders, earn 2% cash rewards and exclusive perks. The great thing is that if you are not too sure about the membership, you can try it for free for 30 days. Check out their membership faqs here.

Quality – Quantity

Boxed.com offers brand name quality products at affordable prices. You can buy your groceries, toiletries, and other household essentials at a great price. Check out the vast variety of products they offer. Just like Costco, they sell outdoor products, appliances, and everything in between as well.

Favorites List

Once you sign up for boxed.com, they keep track of all the products you love under a Favorites List. This list keeps track of all your go-to items in one place, so you do not have to go through pages of items to find the one package of toilet paper you always buy. You can browse through your favorites list, so shopping is always convenient and speedy.

Samples – Samples? Online samples?

Boxed.com lets customers choose from two different samples each time they place an order. The samples are free. Boxed.com has a curated selection of samples to choose from at checkout. It’s a nice way to try something new out!

Sale items

Warehouse retailers always offer bulk buy products at affordable prices. They have monthly sale items (as does Costco), but Boxed Up customers save an additional 20% on sale items. Talk about a deal!

Boxed.com Order

We recently placed an order with Boxed.com a few weeks ago and we were pretty satisfied with our experience with them. Our order was supposed to arrive between 2-3 days; it came in exactly 3 days. Once we opened the package, we were greeted with a more than generous amount of bubble wrap – they really make sure all the items get to their destination safe and sound.

We placed an order for Vaseline, a pack of 10 Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, and Prince & Spring 3L Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We also received a free sample of the Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee Thin. Boxed.com was hosting a giveaway when we placed our order – get a free 6 pack of Prince & Spring toilet paper when added to the cart.

Everything came in perfect condition – with the exception of the olive oil. It was a bit slimy? It may have been a residue of some sort, but it was no big deal. Stuff like that happens all the time. (Once, I ordered shampoo and conditioner from Amazon and it came with a bit of a residue of sorts). All in all, I’d say our experience with Boxed.com was a positive one.

Prince & Spring is boxed.com’s house brand. That is something I did not know until I was browsing through products, and noticed the number of Prince & Spring products. So just like how Costco’s got Kirkland, Boxed.com has Prince & Spring.

boxed.com vs costco

The only two products I can compare are each house brand of toilet paper. Kirkland’s is more on the thinner side, whereas Prince & Spring’s is much softer and thicker – a little goes a long (well more) way compared to Costco’s toilet paper. The Prince & Spring 30 count of toilet paper retails for $16.99, while Kirkland’s 30 count retails for $18.99.

Prince & Spring Olive oil - Boxed.com

The Price & Spring 3L of Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been great for everyday cooking in our household. We typically purchase Kirkland’s 2L of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for $16.99, but Price & Spring’s EVOO retails for $21.99 (so for around $5, you get an extra liter of EVOO). You do the math on that one.

Boxed vs Costco – Who Wins?

And that’s the lowdown on Costco and Boxed.com. They’re both wholesale retailers that offer bulk buy products. Both are ideal one top store to shop for whatever your household needs – and more. It’s up to you to try out both if you have not already and make your own opinion. Do you want to pay annual membership fees or not?

It is always great to see how your products look in person, but if it’s household essentials you have been using for a while you may not think that’s necessary. But how about the free samples right in front of you?

At first, as I was writing this article and doing my research, I thought both retailers were a win-win.

Boxed.com was convenient; with a few clicks, my groceries would be on their way without me ever having to leave my house. Then it dawned on me that Costco has their online store, Costco.com (duh). So I think it is safe to say that Costco wins this one. While I had no problems with Boxed.com, and actually prefer the layout and interface of their site to Costco’s, there’s just more to purchase and do at Costco.

I'm Stephanie. Coffee lover, desserts baker, and excessive shopper. Because I love indulging in all three I'm always on the lookout for the best deals out there- and sharing them with people.

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