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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.


Inside Costco Warehouses: The Treasure Hunt

Susan Walker - Thursday, October 15, 2015

We can all agree that there are some deals at Costco that no one expected to find and buy upon arrival. Members do not shop at Costco merely to buy ordinary items, but they come for what co-founder James Sinegal calls the “Treasure Hunt”. The “Treasure Hunt” refers to the rare item or “rock bottom price” that the member cannot simply overlook. Like treasure, these items usually will disappear and be gone on the next visit. This type of turnover gives the members an urgency to buy before the offers are gone for good.

Members may go in for their routine staple purchases, but often come out with a bottle of Dom Perignon or Callaway golf clubs because they couldn’t pass up on such exceptional deals. These types of offers is what makes Costco an anticipated trip for members and keeps members coming back.


If you are interested in having your product enter a Costco warehouse, contact one of our experts to ensure a successful venture. Our experts maintain a high level of knowledge about Costco’s culture and buying process, contact us at help@vendorco.com.


Costco Allowances

Susan Walker - Thursday, September 17, 2015

Costco Allowances are an agreed upon percentage held from payment to settle any freight, demo, spoils, advertising, or other fees that may occur throughout the duration of a program. Allowances ensure that the vendor will not be burdened with an overbearing debit, thus protecting the vendor in the end. Allowance arrangements vary per item, department and Costco avenue and include considerations for shipping terms, payment terms, duration of the program, guarantee vs. full sale, geographical scope, etc. Some allowances pull from the full PO amount, while others (such as New Warehouse Allowances) only apply to the applicable units.

Many allowances are optional, but some may be required. With the flow of Costco’s buying process, if an allowance is required it may not be announced until after you have submitted pricing. It can be difficult to anticipate which allowances will be asked for. You clearly do not want to underestimate allowances, but you also do not want to build too much in that you overprice your item.

It is vital that allowance costs be factored appropriately into the price of your potential product. To successfully plan your price point and consider all possible allowances, partner with VendorCo – experts in Costco sales. Contact help@vendorco.com for more details about how our services best serve you.


Costco Advertising fees

Susan Walker - Thursday, September 03, 2015

Have you ever noticed that Costco commercials, print Ad’s, and other forms of media advertising are virtually non-existent? This is because Costco chooses to market products only to their members, versus the consumer population as a whole (with the exception of some popular social media sites). Because of this, advertising opportunities within Costco are minimal.

Advertising channels varies depending on where the product is selling within Costco. If a particular product is selling in-store, certain advertising opportunities on Costco.com may not be available, and vice versa. In-store advertising programs at Costco may be different than what you are accustomed to at other retailers. With the exception of roadshow items, Costco does not incorporate flashy materials in the display of their products. Vendors are generally limited to their product packaging, pallet skirts, and occasionally a display unit. However, there are some paid in-store advertising options including coupons, Connection Ads, end caps, front of store placement, and cages.

With limited opportunities available, there is a high demand amongst vendors to obtain one of the coveted spots available. If you are interested in creating a program with advertising, consider partnering with a manufacturer representative like VendorCo. Our team can offer more information and services on in-store advertising options; call us at (866)365-2925.


Non-Food Demos

Susan Walker - Thursday, August 13, 2015

Not all of Costco’s demonstrations are related to food products. In fact, there are several non-food items that can be demonstrated at Costco Warehouses as well. These stations would be set-up in alignment with the appropriate department you are selling to. Non-Food items demonstrations are a different approach than food items. Unlike food items, customers will not always have the “hands-on” approach and instant gratification to sample. Because of this, not all non-foods items would benefit from a demonstration, and those that do should be navigated carefully.


If you have a non-foods product and you are unsure whether a demo would be the best fit for you, then you may benefit from expert Costco representation through VendorCo. We become an extension of your sales team and help you make the best decisions for your company. To get started or for more information, contact us today at costcodemos@vendorco.com.


Costco Special Event

Susan Walker - Monday, July 08, 2013

Costco Special Events are often referred to as Costco Road Shows. Either term adequately describes the nature of a special event, which is to display product in the stores for a limited time. Special Events immensely contribute to the treasure hunt atmosphere of Costco, and members know these products do not last long.

There are many advantages, as well as disadvantages to participating in a Costco Road Show. Ultimately, it is important to understand that Special Events are very different from in-line, national sales programs. For more information about Costco Road Shows/ Special Events, VendorCo offers an informative webinar that is sure to address your most pertinent questions. The webinar concludes with a question and answer session, where the webinar coordinator will happily answer any questions specific to your product or company.

To purchase a webinar, visit our services page at www.vendorco.com/services

Costco Road Shows: A Complete Guide Webinar - $10 OFF LIMITED TIME OFFER

Susan Walker - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Formerly $89.95, for a limited time only we are offering this invaluable service for $79.95


Road Shows (also known as Special Events) are an invaluable service to companies who...

  • are unclear about the difference between Road Show, regional, national, and test placements
  • need advice about the right way to pitch their product to the Road Show staff
  • are moving forward with a Costco Road Show and are not sure how to go about set-up, tear down, etc.
  • are simply interested in getting more information about Costco Road Shows


Included in your webinar purchase is an opportunity for a question and answer session. During this time, we are happy to answer any questions that are specific to your company or product. Worried about other attendees listening in on proprietary information? We are happy to answer questions via e-mail or on a secure line after the conclusion of the webinar. 


Use Discount Code: RSweb10 to save $10 off your webinar.


How can I get more information about Costco Roadshows / Special Events??

Susan Walker - Saturday, July 28, 2012

Need more information? VendorCo offers a unique webinar, all about Costco Road Shows, also known as Costco Special Events. If you are interested in Costco Road Shows / Special Events and would like more information, you can count on VendorCo to get your questions answered! 

Click here for more information, or contact us today to sign up for a Road Show / Special Event Webinar. 

Who is the Costco Roadshow / Costco Special Event buyer?

Susan Walker - Thursday, June 21, 2012

This question may be a source of frustration for many vendors. Costco buyers vary based on the type of placement, such as full roll out, e-commerce, regional, international, Roadshow etc. Not only that, but Costco buyers also may vary based on departments within the placement type, such as housewares, domestics, electronics, etc. With that said, there may not necessarily be a universal buyer for your company, placement and products.

However, it is important to locate the correct buyer for the correct department; otherwise, your program may be seriously delayed. So how do you do this? And what are the differences between Costco placement types? These questions (and many more) are also addressed through attending a Special Event or Roadshow Webinar (click the link for more information). Sign up today!

How much will a Roadshow / Special Event cost my company?

Susan Walker - Thursday, June 14, 2012

How much will a Roadshow or Special Event cost you? (Remember, a Road Show and a Special Event are the same thing in Costco!) Once again, this is a complicated question that does not have a clear cut, universal answer that is true for all vendors or product/services. It can be a complicated calculation, especially if you are unsure of what costs to account for. We emphasize again that Costco Roadshows / Special Events have a unique structure from other forms of product placement.

As self-proclaimed Costco experts, we recommend that you fully investigate the costs associated with a Roadshow / Special Event before proceeding. How can you get this information? Our webinar we will walk you through several aspects of Costco Roadshows / Special Events that will provide a greater awareness of the costs that you may incur. Click here for more information about our webinars: Roadshow Webinar


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