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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.


Training Options

Susan Walker - Friday, August 21, 2015

As we mentioned in our previous post, you as the seller have the option to enlist your own employees, or hire a third party company for staffing. It is recommended that your employees do not go into Costco with cold feet and no know-how. This can be easy to ensure when you are using your own staffers - but what about Costco’s third party companies?


Luckily, the designated third-party staffing companies used by Costco for demonstrations do allow you to train and educate their staff. Like any sales team you may encounter, some employees will shine above the rest, but overall, the team members are seasoned and dedicated to sell your product while on the warehouse floor.


Want to learn more about this process? Partnering with a third-party representative like VendorCo will allow you to have advanced knowledge regarding all aspects of Costco sales, including the best way to ensure adequate training of your demo staffers. To partner with VendorCo, contact us today at costcodemos@vendorco.com.


Costco Regional Sales: More Information

Susan Walker - Friday, June 26, 2015

The regional sales process, like all of Costco’s internal workings, can be complicated for new vendors to understand. There is no manual to help potential vendors navigate Costco’s buying processes. The time, energy, and resources that companies expend to research Costco will only pale in comparison to first hand experience. Trial and error is not the way to go with Costco. You often have one chance to prove your product/company success, and it’s important to make the most of it.


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 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 having to guess.


For more information about Costco regional sales, consider partnering with a manufacturer representative like VendorCo. Our knowledgeable and experienced representatives will lead your company through the complex Costco channels. We provide you with the tools to obtain the ultimate level of Costco success. Contact us today to get started at regionalsales@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.

How can I get a Costco vendor guide?

Susan Walker - Thursday, November 14, 2013

Costco has many “guides” available to existing vendors, including manuals for logistics, credit, quality assurance, and more. Once you become a Costco vendor, these guides are readily available to you through Costco’s vendor portal.

Many visitors to our site ask to obtain a copy of a Costco vendor guide, and unfortunately, this request is too vague to provide any proper assistance. Costco’s vendor guides are documents created by Costco and are proprietary to existing or new vendors only. If you are an existing vendor seeking a Costco vendor guide, this can be obtained through the vendor portal or through Costco’s buying office.

We assume this question is mostly geared to hopeful vendors looking for a guide to product placement, and unfortunately, no such guide exists. That is, there is no physical document created by Costco that guides vendors toward product placement; however, you may receive guidance through VendorCo!

Let us be your Costco vendor guide, and we will direct you, coach you, and lead you through each step in the Costco sales process. To find out more, contact us at help@vendorco.com, or (949) 600-7688

Costco.com - Additional Sales Opportunities

Susan Walker - Friday, August 23, 2013

One thing all can agree on is how effective and appreciated Costco samples are. +Costco samples may even be the driving force for a member’s visit to their local warehouse. It may seem as though nothing could match this appeal on Costco.com, but you may be surprised.

Costco.com also offers a sampling program that is designed mostly for non-foods items. Much like in-store sampling, there is a fee to be included in the program which includes prime positioning on Costco.com’s site. Additionally, you have the opportunity to opt in to marketing opportunities that will boost your products presence on Costco.com and visibility to the Costco.com member. (more details are available for our clients and Costco vendors).

In addition to the sampling program, Costco.com also offers the freedom to pitch your product in a way that cannot be done in the warehouse through website descriptive text, images, and videos. If your item is chosen for placement, you have the freedom to develop your website text and include images and video at no additional charge, and with buyer approval. This provides the opportunity to inform Costco members about your product, and to sway “on the fence” consumers to add-to-cart.

If you are interested in Costco.com sales, contact VendorCo today at help@vendorco.com or (949) 600-7688

August Blogs – Costco.com

Susan Walker - Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Last month, we introduced the various avenues of Costco Wholesale. This month, we will delve deeper into the processes of Costco.com, providing vital information that must be considered and accounted for before proceeding with your program. We will cover the following topics to help with your Costco.com program:

  • About Costco.com
  • Member Advantages
  • Vendor Advantages
  • Advertising Opportunities
  • Additional Sales Opportunities
  • Packaging  and Shipping / Fulfillment
  • Resources

Stay tuned throughout the month of August to read all about Costco.com!

Costco International

Susan Walker - Friday, July 26, 2013

Costco has several international buying offices outside of the US, including Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Australia. Additionally, Costco is always expanding. International programs operate differently from the US in many regards, including testing requirements, regulations, and procedures.

Working with international buying offices can be an extremely beneficial for several reasons; however, it can also be difficult to approach and navigate.

VendorCo can help hopeful Costco vendors manage their international programs. With a history of international success within Costco, we understand the processes and procedures necessary to create a long term relationship with the international buying offices.

For more information, contact VendorCo at costcointl@vendorco.com

Costco.com

Susan Walker - Thursday, July 11, 2013

Costco’s ecommerce products do not necessarily match the warehouse inventory. Not all products that you see on Costco.com are available in the warehouses, and vice versa. Costco.com offers a higher SKU count and a wider demographic, as you do not have to be a Costco member to make a purchase on Costco.com. This makes Costco.com an attractive option to manufacturers having difficulty with in-line sales placement.

Before you get too eager, you should know that Costco.com does pose certain challenges for the hopeful vendor. For example, you are typically expected to be responsible for your own fulfillment with capabilities to drop ship to any US address, included Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. It is important to account for this, and many other responsibilities that you will have as a Costco.com supplier.

For more information about what is required for Costco.com sales, or to speak to VendorCo sales representative, call us at (866) 883-4480 or e-mail ecostco@vendorco.com

Selling to Costco – Which Avenue is Right for You?

Susan Walker - Tuesday, July 02, 2013

VendorCo is all about helping manufacturers and service providers sell to Costco. There are many common misconceptions about Costco’s business that can be detrimental to potential vendors seeking a relationship with Costco.

One way that many companies hinder their relationship with Costco is by misunderstanding which avenue is most appropriate for their product. This month we are dedicating our blog to introducing and explaining the multiple avenues of Costco Wholesale. This month, we hope to help potential Costco vendors gain a better understanding as to where they should start.

Although we will explain the main avenues of Costco briefly, the information provided is in no way a comprehensive explanation of each area. There is much more to know about each area of Costco that can only be acquired through hands on experience, or by speaking to an expert at length.

An even better option is to have an expert by your side while you navigate each bump and hurdle. VendorCo offers representation to established companies that are prepared to work with Costco. We are happy to review your business and provide our opinion regarding your Costco readiness. If you would like to speak to a VendorCo executive account manager, or if you wish to move forward with a sales representative, contact us at help@vendorco.com.


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