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It Has Gotten So Sad for Costco and Sam's Club They Are Discounting Stuff on Groupon

When vendors sell on Groupon, Inc. (GRPN) , they are typically new businesses introducing themselves to customers, or companies with weak sales, which they're trying to perk up.

It's can only be the latter for Walmart Stores Inc.'s (WMT) Sam's Club and warehouse rival Costco (COST) , both of which have been hawking their memberships by sweetening them with discounts or freebies, on the e-marketer site, whose time-sensitive offers go to subscribers who pay no fee to join.

The recent Costco deal on Groupon, which is still active, gives subscribers new to Costco a $20 Costco cash card, coupons worth...