We recently completed a cost study for an engineering firm that did not have a lot of spending on office supplies so they didn’t think it would be worthwhile.  I was not surprised from the savings at Office Depot as we regularly see similar savings.  However, I was surprised by the savings from Staples.

Costco is the Gold Standard where we are located.  I come across this all the time, a business will say “I just go to Costco and buy my supplies”.  Buying your office supplies while buying consumer goods at the same time can be convenient but is it the best for your business’ bottom line.  I reached out to a CPA firm and they go through a lot of paper and they said that they would be willing to switch to Maxx Purchasing for buying paper if our price was lower.

So I set out to see how we stacked up with the competition at Costco.

First I went to my local Costco to see what office supplies they had in stock.  I took pictures of 22 office supply items as listed in the table below so I could try and match as closely as possible with Costco online and 2 of my vendors, Office Depot & Staples.  I was quite surprised at how much more Costco Business is compared to their instore prices.  The other thing that stood out is the savings by using Staples Business Advantage through our contracted pricing.

Here are the details or our comparison:

 

Costco Maxx Purchasing Prices
    In Store Price Online Office Depot Staples
Product UOM Price Price Savings Price Savings
Commodity Copy Paper CS $26.99 $31.79 $31.43 -$4.44 $28.50 -$1.51
Multi System Paper CS $28.89 $32.98 $31.43 -$2.54 $36.36 -$7.47
3M 3×3 Post-It Notes 2 DZ $15.79 $22.54 $5.33 $10.46 $4.10 $11.69
Tops Perforated Pad / Junior 2 DZ $5.69 $16.78 $6.34 -$0.65 $4.12 $1.57
Tops Perforated Writing Pad 8.5×11.75 9 Pk $8.99 $9.74 $5.05 $3.94 $3.17 $5.83
3M Scotch Magic Tape 3/4″ DZ $21.90 $22.69 $35.58 -$13.68 $6.17 $15.73
Tops 1/2″ Round Ring Binder 6 Pk $7.99 $9.09 $9.00 -$1.01 $8.04 -$0.05
Tops 1″ Round Ring Binder 6 Pk $8.99 $10.19 $9.24 -$0.25 $7.92 $1.07
Zebra Retractable Pens 40 CT $8.99 $14.15 $11.18 -$2.19 $7.60 $1.39
Pilot G2 Gel Pen Assorted 20 Pk $16.99 $17.59 $29.59 -$12.60 $19.99 -$3.00
Sharpie Permanent Marker 25 CT $13.49 $14.09 $18.92 -$5.43 $11.76 $1.73
Sanford Expo Dry Erase Asst 18 CT $12.49 $13.09 $18.49 -$6.00 $9.09 $3.40
Avery Heavyweight Clear Sheet Protector 250 CT $11.49 $12.79 $9.55 $1.94 $10.49 $1.00
Swingline 747 Desk Stapler Set EA $11.99 $12.69 $9.77 $2.22 $6.41 $5.58
Top Flight Clasp Envelope 10×13 150 CT $9.99 $12.59 $14.16 -$4.17 $9.89 $0.11
Avery Labels 1×2 5/8 4200 CT $27.99 $28.99 $8.30 $19.69 $8.19 $19.80
Top Flight #10 Security Envelope 500 CT $5.99 $22.73 $6.25 -$0.26 $8.70 -$2.71
Pendaflex File Folders Letter Size 150 CT $7.49 $9.19 $6.79 $0.70 $7.28 $0.22
Pendaflex Hanging File Folders Letter 50 CT $7.89 $9.29 $8.62 -$0.73 $9.85 -$1.96
Duracell Alkaline Battery 9V 8 CT $13.89 $17.49 $11.32 $2.57 $9.83 $4.06
Duracell Alkaline Battery AAA 32 PK $15.99 $13.59 $22.84 -$6.85 $11.96 $4.03
Duracell Alkaline Battery AA 40 PK $15.99 $13.79 $22.02 -$6.03 $12.63 $3.36
$305.89 $367.86 $331.20 -$25.31 $242.04 $63.85