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Understanding Costco Membership

Susan Walker - Thursday, December 17, 2015

Understanding Costco Membership


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 help@vendorco.com.


Understanding Costco Memberships: Executive Cardholders

Susan Walker - Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Are you a black Costco card holder? If so, you are at the most prestigious card holder level. Each executive member must decide if the card is used for personal use or as a business. Both offer the same rewards and extra benefits, such as lower prices on check printing, auto financing, and long-distance phone service.


Executive Gold Star Memberships and Executive Business differ for individuals who set-up under a business. This membership guarantees the “2% Reward” program, that allows members to earn 2% cash back each year. This exclusive membership costs $110.00 annually, but will receive numerous benefits. If you purchase an Executive Business membership, it is available to owners and operators of businesses who want the benefit of the added value of an Executive Membership. The executive member is offered an annual 2% Reward on most of Costco’s products and offered lower prices on member programs. These members are able to add extra cardholders for employees as an additional fee, which differs from only adding family under the Gold Star Executive Membership.

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

help@vendorco.com.

Costco Regional Sales vs. National Sales

Susan Walker - Thursday, June 11, 2015
The regional sales buying group for Costco is separate from the national buying group. The national buyer makes decisions for all regionals, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. This does not necessarily mean that a nationally purchased item will be placed in every Costco warehouse; however, it is a possibility. It is important to differentiate between the two so you understand how to fine tune your sales strategy. As noted in the previous entry, regional buys are either a Costco requirement or vendor choice. Regional buys may be the superior choice for smaller companies with saturated distribution in just a few regions. It is an effective way to test the success of your products and a good solution for mid-sized companies not wanting to take on too much risk. 


Before moving forward with Costco, vendors should understand the distribution of each region, including the number of warehouses per region and how the regions are broken up geographically. This will help you to pinpoint which region(s) to target. If you would like more information about whether or not regional distribution is right for your company, you may want to consider partnering with a manufacturer representative. 


Contact VendorCo to get started at regionalsales@vendorco.com.

Costco Advertising: In-store Options

Susan Walker - Thursday, August 07, 2014

Advertising options to Costco vendors vary depending on the avenue through which a product is selling. If an item is selling in-store, certain Costco.com advertising opportunities would not be available, and vice versa.

If you have ever walked into a Costco Warehouse, you understand that the layout is vastly different from typical retail stores. There are few to no flashy signs, extravagant displays, wall hangings, etc. (with the exception of Road Shows). Instead, all products seem to have a very uniform, clean look. The absence of extravagant features, drawing the members’ eye to specific products, means all products have an equal chance at developing and maintaining successful sales. However, there are opportunities available to increase the visibility of your product in the warehouse, and thus increasing the sales potential.

Opportunities typically include highlighting a product through strategic placement. This may include end caps, front of the store placement, or on Costco’s cages. Of course, there is a cost to these options.

If you are a potential Costco vendor looking for more information about Costco in-store advertising options, contact a VendorCo Account Manager today at (866) 365-3925 or via e-mail at help@vendorco.com.



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