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Understanding Costco Membership

Susan Walker - Thursday, November 12, 2015

In 1988, Robert Price, President of Price Club said, “We thought of it as a speak-easy. We tried to create a mystique.” At that time, the idea that you could charge people to shop was unimaginable and originally limited to businesses and members of select groups. However, Costco has created a business model that other retailers have since followed.

This month we will discuss Costco Membership, and shed light on the groundbreaking business model that no other retailer has quite been able to match. Included this month will be the following topics:

·         Gold Star Memberships

·         Business Memberships

·         Executive Cardholders

·         Rates and Retention

·         Added Benefits

·         Demographic

·         More Reasons to be a Member

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

Inside Costco Warehouses: Paper or Plastic?

Susan Walker - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Paper or Plastic?" is not something you will hear at Costco checkout line. More often than not you will be asked "Box or No Box". Costco received thousands of boxed products which creates a box overage. Instead of throwing these boxes away, Costco protects our environment by using these boxes in place of shopping bags. Besides, how else can paper or plastic bags store large packaged products that can hold the 40lb bag of dog food or a 10 pack of baby wipes?  The box offers a sturdy solution for the shopper and a great outlet for Costco to reduce is box inventory each day.   

If you are a supplier preparing to work with Costco or is looking to begin the process, VendorCo can help.  Call us at 949-600-7688 or email

Inside Costcos Corporate Office

Susan Walker - Monday, October 12, 2015

Costco has multiple regional offices with the national headquarters located in Issaquah, Washington. Originally, Costco’s corporate offices were stationed in Kirkland, WA. You may recognize Costco’s Private Label Brand name as Kirkland Signature, a way of paying homage to the origins of this retail powerhouse.

Former CEO, Jim Sinegal, was a native Californian but found Costco’s home in Washington, where Costco is now a household name. In fact, the city of Issaquah recently signed a 30 year agreement with Costco allowing them to expand its headquarters.

To learn more about Costco from our Executive Account Manager, who has experience working in their national headquarters, call us at 949-600-7688 or email

Costco Return Fees

Susan Walker - Monday, September 07, 2015

This may be disheartening or concerning to some vendors; however, most Costco returns can be re-sold and occur within the first couple of weeks. Additionally, Costco maintains a delicate balance between satisfying the member with their return policy, while preventing vendors from being burdened with returns. One of the ways Costco helps to prevent massive returns is by only purchasing high quality items that will ensure satisfaction amongst members. If your product is high quality and lives up to its promise, then Costco’s return policy should not be a detrimental concern.

To help ensure that you will be successful in your Costco venture, contact for more details about how our services will best serve you.


Susan Walker - Monday, August 24, 2015

Pricing for demos and staffing is determined based on the options you choose, and whether the demonstration is regular/combo event or a split events. Each event includes 6.5 hours of labor and requires standard fees for supplies and product. If you are using your own employees, you may want to consider sending at least 2 employees at a time, to ensure compliance with labor laws and allow the staffers to take breaks. The price is the same for both the food and non-food items, and all demos are subjected to tax; however, if you choose to demonstrate your product during the warehouses grand opening days, prices are subject to more than double the standard rate.  Additionally, you may experience advertising fees through Costco directly, again, depending on the option that you select.

With fees being so variable, it can be difficult to plan for the right amount of demonstrations, without undercutting your price point. This is where an expert representative like VendorCo can add immense value to your program. We can help train and coach you to make all the right decisions when it comes to your Costco program. If you want to partner with experts to help you make the right decisions, you can contact VendorCo at


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

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

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. 

What does a Costco Roadshow / Special Event look like?

Susan Walker - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So what does a Road Show or Special Event look like? As mentioned earlier this month, Roadshows are often confused for Demos, tests, or full roll-out placement - all of which have exceptionally unique processes and structures. However, you might see Costco Road Shows referred to as Costco Special Events, which is simply unique terminology used to describe the same avenue of Costco. It is not always easy to visually point out a Costco Roadshow, but chances are good that there is at least one Roadshow going on in your local warehouse.

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