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Old 12-28-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
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Batteries: Sams Club vs Interstate Batteries

I have searched the internet for an answer to this question with no results. Does anybody know or have an opinion as to why Sams Club and Interstate Batteries parted ways. I purchased four 6 volt golf cart batteries at Sams Club late last year for my MHDP and they had "Mfg by Interstate Battery Co". I asked the manager what was different about the batteries he sold for $30 less than the same battery sold at the Interstate Battery Dealer down the street. His answer was straight forward, "nothing", except Sams assumed most of the warranty liability and consequently bought them much cheaper. Recently, I returned to Sams to purchase two Group 31 starting batteries and to my surprise, they no longer sell ANY battery manufactured by Interstate Battery Company. I could not get an explaination. Anybody want to speculate??
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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No speculation offered on why you can not find these at Sams Club, however just today I was looking at them @ Costco. If you happen to be a member of Costco they seemed to have a decent price on them.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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WalMart and Sam's are famous for really beating up their vendors on price. A friend of mine was "stationed" in Bentonville for awhile, and had to go into the W/M "Rooms of Pain" on a regular basis to try to get the contract for his company's product line. He said it was the worst experience of his life, and he had spent years in the business dealing with other National Accounts.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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FWIW...Interstate is battery distributor and doesn't manufacture (their batteries come from Johnson Controls). It seems their contract with Sam's must have expiered.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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And from what I have been told Johnson controls may well be the company making the batteries both Sams and Costco sell..

There are very few battery manufacturers.. Most of the brands you see are re-labeled somebody or another.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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Batteries: Sams Club vs Interstate Batteries

Thanks Koop. You just solved the puzzle. Guess who manufactures the batteries Sams now sells, "Johnson Controls". Make no mistake about it, Sams/WalMart are the worlds BEST at vertical integration, going directly to the source. I think I will have no problem with a battery manufactured by Johnson Controls. They are one of the worlds largest manufacturers of electric and electronic controls, including batteries such as emeregency lighting and they rival the reputation of worldwide companies like Honeywell. Sorry Interstate. You win sometimes and you lose sometimes.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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One thing I will comment on.. Though I feel JLD as you do. (If Johnson controls makes 'em they should be good)

I note that Ford makes the pinto, and the Lincoln Mark VII.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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Just because a battery is made by Johnson Controls doesn't mean they are all made to the same specifications.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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I purchased those same energizer batteries last spring at Sams Club. The first trip out we had the batteries fizzle out on us. So i returned them when we got back home..no big deal. They exchanged them for 2 more. When i got home i put them on a slow charge before i installed them. They never took a full charge. So i returned them...again. The "tech" put them on their charger and a full charge was only at showing at 75%. I ended up getting a full refund. I am curious if they had sat their that long or if they never rotated the stock. End result....2 brand new Interstates. I am hoping my case was just bad luck but i wanted to pass this story along. And yes, i did check my inverter/converter.
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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I had Interstates that went bad and wouldn't hold a charge, they were only 7 months old. Interstate made every excuse they could and never did a thing. Went to Costco, got great batteries with great warranty and great support. No more problems !
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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I was at my local SAMS (Lafayette, LA) last week and they had "Energizer" Golf Cart batteries on the shelf.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #13
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My observation has always been that the product you buy and the service you get are no better that the dealer you deal with. A good dealer can make you feel good about a poor product and vice versa. The manufacturer is in the background infrequently becoming involved in a day to day sale of his product. However his public reputation often affects our decision to purchase initally and Bthomforde (above) drive this point home. Not every product is created equally (Sams and WalMart are the best in the world at squeezing out the frills that we are willing to forego for the sake of a cheaper price) but we still rely on the dealer (Sams) to make us happy. I have respect for Johnson controls but expect Sams to make me happy, at least in the "no hassle, free exchange, first year". Don't know what happens after that.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #14
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Johnson Controls, from Wisconsin you know it has to be good. Somewhat bias. Jim
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