If you’re familiar with Costco’s business model, it’s easy to see the similarities when researching Thrive Market (see our full Thrive Market review). Both buy bulk amounts from select brands to ensure their customers get the most savings possible.

By focusing on these select few, you can look forward to getting exceptional customer service and delivery. This goes a long way in giving customers reliable service they can count on. And when you need your items in a timely manner, this is one of the most important aspects of food delivery.

Costco is a respected name among retailers, and for good reason. They offer a huge selection of goods at incredible prices. But Thrive Market is no lightweight, either. Their prices regularly beat out the competition, so who is the better of the two?

Let’s dig a little deeper to see what kind of value they have and how you can benefit from them. Depending on what items you’re looking for, one may be better than the other. Read on to learn which company is better-suited to your needs.


Let’s begin with the most widely-known. Costco is a retail giant that carries a dizzying amount of products. They offer nice savings on everyday foods and household wares, while providing same-day delivery in many cases.

But to get your foot in the door, you first have to pay a membership fee. There are two tiers available: Gold Star and Gold Star Executive. The difference? Gold Star will run you $60 a year and give you access to Costco’s products and services.

Gold Star Executive, on the other hand, is double that amount, setting you back $120 a year. This membership comes with some nice perks not found in the former.

You can earn savings on select items and even earn travel points. It’s certainly geared toward a certain niche, but the savings are there.

Both memberships grant you access to Costco’s nearly 800-store reach, as well as all Costco fueling stations. The biggest benefit here, though, is the ability to get food delivered the same or next day.

Costco delivers anything from milk to produce, a service you can’t get with Thrive Market. Where the latter avoids perishables, Costco, for lack of a better word, thrives on them.

Costco also offers other bonuses not found with many online marketplaces. College students, for example, get a gift card and Google Nest device. Military vets and members get coupons and other freebies for signing up.

While all that sounds good – and it is – Costco takes a mighty big hit when it comes to paying for products. You see, they only accept Visa credit cards. As you can imagine, this causes some problems for cardholders who aren’t Visa carriers.

You can get around this by signing up for a Costco Anywhere Visa Card, but not everyone wants to do that. If you’re shopping at their stores, you can bring cash, but online? Customers are limited in how they can pay.

Costco clearly has a much bigger selection of the types of foods you can have delivered to your door. And many times, that delivery is PDQ. But if you have to jump through hoops just to pay for your groceries, is it worth the hassle?

Thrive Market

With Thrive Market, your hands aren’t tied like they are when shopping at Costco. You simply sign up for a membership and you’re free to buy whatever they offer.

Thrive Market focuses on non-GMO, organic, and many vegan-friendly foods. If you’re on a specific diet that limits what you can eat, you can rest assured that Thrive Market will accommodate your needs.

In order to gain access to their substantially-sourced foods and products, you’ll first need to pay a membership fee. This is paid yearly to the sum of $59.95. This equals out to $5 a month.

If you don’t think you’ll need to shop with them every month, you can choose a membership that you pay only on the months you need them.

This membership is twice as costly as the yearly one, running you $9.95 each month that you shop with Thrive Market. While this may sound like a lot, you’re likely to see that money back in savings.

On average, a Thrive Market member saves anywhere from 25 to 50 percent on items that you’d normally buy from large retail giants. Again, this is made possible thanks to Thrive Market focusing on a select few brands, while offering their own extensive line of products.

And let me tell you, Thrive Market’s private label goods are most excellent. From their supplements to their sauces, it’s hard to beat the quality you’re getting.

Another nice perk of being a member is that you are guaranteed to get your membership fee back one way or another. If you’ve not earned it back in savings by the end of your yearly membership, Thrive Market will apply the difference to your account upon renewal.

I’m also a big fan of Thrive Market’s business practices. Their warehouses are environmentally sound, producing zero waste. Even their packaging and shipping is planet-friendly. You can recycle 100 percent of their boxes and containers, causing less impact globally.

While Thrive Market doesn’t have the wide selection of products that Costco has, there’s still plenty to stock your shelves with. They currently carry over 500 brands, totaling more than 6,000 unique products.

Many of the products I compared between Thrive Market and Costco saw the former coming out on top. It’s kind of hard to break down, as Costco deals more in bulk. But from my findings, Thrive Market’s savings are hard to beat.

Bottom Line

Both Costco and Thrive Market offer excellent products. If you have to have fresh produce or dairy delivered to your door, Costco gets the win here. Just be prepared to adhere to their strict Visa-only purchasing arrangement. If you’re more in need of dried goods and foods, Thrive Market does it better, and they’ll save you a good chunk of change in the process.

Article reprinted with permission from – Thrive Market vs. Costco

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