Luxury for Less

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Buying anything in bulk is the norm at warehouse stores, but buying your bling?

That's right stores like Sam's Club carry everything from engagement rings and handbags to high end watches.

"We have name brand watches also like Kenneth Cole, Gucci watches, different name brand watches that we can get and we can also special order what we don't have," says Sam's Club's Jerry Bebeau.

Items consumers can supposedly get at a deep discount.  Bebeau says shoppers will find some prices slashed up to 50% or more.

"For example, we have our Burberry colognes that would be like a suggested retail of $65 that we carry here for $34."

But how can consumers tell if they're really getting a good deal?

A recent Consumer Reports Shop Smart Survey found items at warehouse stores with discounts of more than 60%.

The survey listed examples like Escada sunglasses for $90 at BJ's that retail for more than $200.  They also found a Cartier diamond watch at Costco for $15,000 less than the retail price.

We wanted to see if we could find similar deals at our local Sam's Club.

The store carries Judith Ripka jewelry, normally sold at high end retailers like Neiman Marcus and with a higher price tag.

In the handbag section, we specifically found an Allison Scott leather satchel online for $233, Sam's sells it for $100.

Besides knowing if you're really getting the best price, some consumers could be worried about winding up with a fake!

"As far as the watches we do have certificates of authentication, so we can show that we are getting genuine merchandise," adds Bebeau.

He also says shoppers get another layer of protection.

"We do have warranties on all our items, so if they find it at a better price or somewhere else, or they find out for some reason that it could not be real, we'd definitely take it back."

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