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Costco Membership: Demographic

Susan Walker - Monday, November 30, 2015

Did you know that 85% of Costco members are from upper income groups? In fact, more than 50% of Costco shoppers are from households with two to four people. Statistics also show about 70% percent of female wholesale shoppers are under the age of 55. These figures indicated the type of demographic segmentation Costco falls into.

This type of information can be valuable for manufacturers. What type of products would sell best to this member base? Costco has gained a reputation and is well regarded by prestigious consumer-goods makers. When Costco first started, well known brands such as Levi’s and Cuisinart would refuse to sell to Costco because of their misconception that it would degrade their reputation. Now, big brand names compete for the coveted and limited space on Costco’s sales floors.

If you think your product would sell at Costco, pair up with one of our representative
to develop your strategy today! Call us at 949-600-7688 or email help@vendorco.com.

Understanding Costco Memberships: Gold Star

Susan Walker - Friday, November 13, 2015

Costco’s Gold Star membership is designed for consumers on an entry-level basis in terms of pricing and benefits. At around $55.00, this membership is for individuals who do not qualify for, or do not need a business membership. It includes a card for your spouse and gets you into Costco, saving money at any warehouse or online at Costco.com. This membership is suited for customers, who do not expect the return from the 2% “cash back” program.

If you are a supplier who is seeking to bring your product into a Costco warehouse or are interested in beginning the process, VendorCo can help.  Call us at 949-600-7688 or email

help@vendorco.com.


Reading Price Codes

Susan Walker - Thursday, October 29, 2015

In all retail establishments, items found on the sales floor will be accompanied by a price sign. Costco signs include the same basic information: a description, an internal identification number, a price, and supportive details about the item. However, Costco signage can often give away secret clues that can add to a shopper’s experience, but may be easily overlooked if you don’t know how to identify them.

Important to note, prices typically ending in “.97″ have been marked down.  Other non-standard prices — such as items ending in .49, .79, .89 — are a sign that this is a special deal from the manufacturer.  Sometimes there will be an asterisk (*) on the upper right-hand of the price tag, this indicates Costco does not have plans to re-order that product once the stock is sold out, so it’s important to move fast!

It is important to understand how Costco establishes pricing among vendors. If you are interested in submitting your product into Costco, it is vital to calculate all of the costs associated to your product. Contact one of our experts at info@vendorco.com for more details about how our services best serve you.


Costco Miscellaneous Program Costs

Susan Walker - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

This month we will be delving into the various costs, allowances, and discounts to consider before starting a program with Costco. Calculating your price is paramount to the success or fail of your product. A price that is too low may undercut your margin and result in a loss, while a price that is too high may be entirely overlooked by the buyers.

Before quoting to Costco, consider these costs that can pop-up in most programs:

·         Costco Advertising Fees

·         Costco Return Fees

·         Costco EDI Fees

·         Costco Retainer Fees

·         Costco Allowances

·         Costco Discounts / Markdowns

Building in these miscellaneous fees will allow you to obtain a practical margin and be successful long-term.

It is critical to secure a well-rounded cost structure before a program starts with Costco. To help ensure that you will be successful in this venture, contact sales@vendorco.com for more details about how our services will best serve you.


Demo Staffing

Susan Walker - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

As a vendor, you can choose whether or not to enlist a third party for in-house demonstrations. There are many points to consider when making this decision, including location, pricing, training, and staff availability. Costco has 2 third-party companies that they recommend, both of which will abide by and adhere to all of Costco policies and standards. Additionally, all staff members will be food safety certified. If you choose to elect a third party for demo staffing, you will be charged an hourly fee by the designated company. Often, using third-party staffers is the more convenient, but more costly choice. The best choice can vary based on your company's specific goals.


Need help deciding which staffing option is right for you? VendorCo helps coach all of our partners through the arduous decision making process that will arise throughout your Costco program. If you want to partner with experts to help you make the right decisions, contact VendorCo at sales@vendorco.com.


ABOUT COSTCO DEMOS

Susan Walker - Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The formulation of Costco demos did not start until 5 years after the company’s establishment in 1983. These demonstrations were instituted as a way to promote relatively unknown products in Costco’s early stages of development, and over the years have experienced incredible success and popularity amongst Costco members.


Demos are designed to to enroll Costco members by increasing brand awareness and informing members of product attributes and benefits. Most importantly, these demonstrations allow the customers to experience the products for themselves. Many vendors associate Costco demos with food items only; however, the opportunity exists for both food and non-foods items. In fact, non-foods demonstrations are typically even more elaborate than non-foods.

Planning a Costco program with Costco Demos can be taxing. it’s important to consider Costco demonstrations are different from in-line, national programs. Sampling your company’s product in Costco warehouses can be beneficial, but not every seller will be successful in the process. If you’re interested in having your product demonstrated at Costco warehouses and would like an expert Costco Representative to assist, contact us today at costcodemos@vendorco.com.


Costco Regional Sales: Buying

Susan Walker - Tuesday, June 09, 2015

It may seem obvious, most products that are shown to Costco buyers can be purchased nationally, regionally, or internationally. The advantages for Costco to buy regionally are numerous. Regional department purchasing allows for specific tastes to be targeted in particular regions. The process is less complicated with a more narrow demographic and the perfect climate for new product testing. Conversely, the vendor benefits from a more locally based product penetration, if that’s your prerogative.


The choice to offer regionally is either forced (many departments can ONLY be purchased regionally), or the manufacturer's choice based on unique company goals. If you are unsure where your products should be launched, then you could benefit from a manufacturer representative’s perspective. With over 25 years of Costco experience, VendorCo’s sales representatives are experts in Costco’s procedures, and sensitive to the needs of companies small, medium, and large. We understand that business decisions will be made internally, and we are passionate about making sure our partners are fully informed of all options, benefits, risks, etc. Having an inside source can help your company make a clear decision of how to proceed, without relying on trial and error.


Contact us for more information, or to get started at regionalsales@vendorco.com.

Costco Shipping Third Party

Susan Walker - Monday, May 25, 2015

As part of Costco.com’s shipping options, vendors may have the opportunity to utilize a third party shipping account. Regardless of the amount of shipping your company does, it likely does not amount to the volume Costco.com experiences on a daily basis. Higher volumes lead to better, more competitive shipping rates, which is great for the vendor, Costco, and the member.


There are specific steps that you must take in order to qualify for and/or obtain a 3rd party ship account, and this starts with the presentation process. Is it in your best interest to obtain a 3rd party shipping account? Are you having trouble deciding? What more do you need to know about this process before moving forward?


A knowledgeable rep can help answer all of these questions, and more. If you choose to partner with a representative company like VendorCo, you will be more equipped and prepared to make the best decisions for your Costco program. Contact us today to get started, at help@vendorco.com.

Costco Shipping

Susan Walker - Monday, May 04, 2015

Costco’s shipping logistics are complex to say the least. With such an efficient and rule-bound system, vendors must be up to par to make the cut. For example, all Costco Wholesale orders are considered “Shipper Load and Count.” What does that mean you might ask? Well, the vendor is therefore responsible to ensure the order is properly packed and loaded according to Costco’s guidelines and standards to prevent any transit damage and tampering. Everything is at the vendor’s expense and responsibility when it comes to the Bill of Lading, piece count of the load, and driver count and appointments. It is easy to let these pieces fall through the cracks.


This month, we will delve into the different areas of Costco’s shipping requirements, including the following topics:


  • Pallets

  • Shipping terms

  • Containers and Trailers

  • Preferred Carriers

  • E-Commerce

  • Third Party Shipping

  • And More


As you navigate Costco’s shipping requirements, you may find they are even more complex than you might have originally anticipated. Having an experienced representative to check your steps will ensure fluidity, so partner with VendorCo today by contacting us at costcorep@vendorco.com.



November Blogs – FAQ’s

Susan Walker - Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Every day we receive thousands of visits to our website from people like you looking for answers or help with their Costco program. VendorCo is a Costco representative company, helping countless companies reach success with their program. We understand that not all manufacturers wish to work with a representative, and some of you are simply looking for answers to common questions. 

Over the past 6 months, we have compiled a list of the top questions we receive through our website. Through this month and next month, we will address the top questions that we receive. November will be focused on answering your Costco questions. Here is a list of the top questions received through our website:

Is there a step by step guide to Costco placement?

How can I get a Costco buyer list?

How can I get a Costco vendor guide?

How can I gain access to Costco’s vendor portal?

Where can I send my products for Costco review?

How can I get a copy of the documents required for Costco vendor set-up?

What are Costco’s vendor requirements?

If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, contact us to see how we can help @ help@vendorco.com


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