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Become A Costco Vendor

Susan Walker - Monday, June 03, 2013

To become a Costco Vendor is a dream of many (if not most) manufacturers and service providers. With the potential to place your products in hundreds of stores nationwide, with millions of members to view on monthly basis, who wouldn’t want to partner with this retail/wholesale giant?

However, only a select number of manufacturers and service providers actually succeed at becoming a Costco vendor. This is partially due to Costco’s limited SKU count of approximately 4,000 items per store (compared to WalMart and Target with upwards of 100,000 SKU’s!). But for most vendors, this is because the processes and procedures required to navigate Costco Wholesale can be vastly distinct from other retail avenues. Most executives and administrative personnel, even those who are avid Costco shoppers, are unaware of the unique buying strategies utilized by Costco’s corporate contacts. Obtaining this information can prove to be exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, and the sales techniques you are accustomed to using may actually serve to undercut your potential relationship.

So how do you become a Costco vendor? How do you become a Costco.com vendor?

Fortunately, VendorCo can help you. VendorCo is a full service manufacturer representative company specializing exclusively in Costco Wholesale programs. With over a decade of Costco specific experience, our Senior Account Managers can be an invaluable asset to your Costco program. We have helped many companies become Costco vendors, and you could be next! Read just a sample of our success stories, and imagine what you can achieve when you partner with a global retailer like Costco.

Ready to get started now? Contact VendorCo to speak with a Costco expert at help@vendorco.com 

Costco Members

Susan Walker - Saturday, June 01, 2013

It is important to understand the demographic of your retailer of choice. Costco has millions of members all over the world, including US, UK, Canada, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Australia, and Mexico. This membership continues to grow, and is likely to expand across the globe.

Costco’s demographic is unique to other retailers, and understanding who you are selling to can make the difference between a successful program and a failed program. Costco buyers do not have the time to educate you about the appropriate look, feel, packaging, and pack sizes that Costco members will look for. If you pitch your product to Costco without ensuring the buyers that you understand the Costco member, you may be quickly overlooked. It is up to you to assure the buyers that your product will be attractive to Costco members once it is in the warehouse or online.  

Luckily, VendorCo is an invaluable resource that you may utilize for your Costco program. We understand Costco and we understand the typical Costco member. We know what the buyers look for, and we can spot items that members will enjoy. Because of this vast knowledge and understanding, we can help you coordinate your presentation to reach greater success with the Costco member.

Why take a chance, when you can partner with VendorCo – a company with Costco expertise and a history of success? Call us today at (866) 883-4480 to get started!

Costco Product Testing

Susan Walker - Thursday, May 23, 2013

Before contacting Costco, you should be aware that Costco has its own unique processes and procedures for product testing. If you already sell to retail, you have likely been required to go through product testing before. Even if your product has passed testing inspections 1 or 1,000 times, you may need to go through this process again when you start working with Costco.

This is because Costco’s requirements for passing product testing may differ from other retailers, and may even be more stringent. For this and other reasons, Costco mandates the use of a few pre-approved testing facilities for all product testing.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your products will pass testing inspections; however, VendorCo can help explain Costco’s unique processes more clearly for our clients, so you are prepared for this requirement when it arises. 

To be better prepared for Costco testing procedures, partner with VendorCo today. Contact us by phone at (866) 883-4480, or via e-mail at help@vendorco.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Costco Delivery

Susan Walker - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What you should understand about delivering your product to Costco is that you are committed to the date that you propose. Late deliveries may result in penalties, or even a cancelled order. Additionally, you will need to include the time it takes for testing to be completed, all samples to be produced and approved, and many other requirements BEFORE you propose a delivery date.

So how can you plan for the unexpected and offer a timely, yet realistic delivery? Fortunately, VendorCo can help you plan for the unexpected! When you partner with VendorCo, you become part of a team of Costco experts that will help you prepare for a successful Costco program.

Contact us to get started, at help@vendorco.com

Costco Returns

Susan Walker - Thursday, May 16, 2013

If you are a Costco shopper, you are likely familiar with Costco’s guaranteed return policy (with the exception of certain electronic equipment). You may read Costco’s full return policy here: http://www.costco.com/returns-replacements-refunds.html.

How does this policy affect you as a vendor, or a potential vendor? Many manufacturers and service providers find the guaranteed return policy to be intimidating; however, the percentage of sales to returns is often much lower than many vendors anticipate. If an item has a larger than expected return rate, this is likely due to an issue with the product or the instructions, rather than the member simply changing their mind.

All in all, Costco’s guaranteed return policy should not be a reason to avoid the enormous potential a Costco program has. If this is a large concern, VendorCo can help put you at ease by efficiently planning for inevitable returns, reviewing your product instructions and packaging to keep the return rate low, providing data to explain typical return rates and reasons for return, and answering any unique questions you may have.

To take advantage of our expertise and understand of Costco’s return policy, contact us today at (866) 883-4480 or help@vendorco.com

5 Things To Understand BEFORE Selling to Costco

Susan Walker - Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If you are not aware of the benefits of selling your product to Costco, a simple Google search or cyber stroll through our website will provide ample proof as to the seemingly never ending benefits of the Costco climate. But before you get too eager to pitch your product to Costco, there are many things that you need to know.

With the prospect of selling to Costco being so attractive, the flip side of the coin is that Costco is very selective of whom they choose to work with. At any given time, there are only around 4,000 unique items per warehouse. Compare this to Wal-Mart and Target stores with over 100,000 skus at a given time, and you realize how fierce the competition is to place your product in Costco. When your item faces name brand competition, it is even more difficult, if not impossible to succeed. However, if you have planned well, have the right support to back you, and have a Costco appropriate item, your odds may be greater than you realize! That is, if you are able to effectively pitch your product to Costco.

The importance of your product pitch cannot be overemphasized. Your presentation can be the difference between a successful program or a rejected program, a long term relationship or a short term relationship, and a positive projection of your business or a negative one, to name a few. This month, we are providing you with 5 points that you MUST know before approaching the Costco buyers. Incorporating this information may not guarantee success, but it will certainly help you be better prepared.

In no particular order, here are the 5 things you should understand before approaching Costco:

Costco Returns

Costco Product Testing

Costco Delivery

Costco Advertising

Costco Members

For an even greater chance at success, contact us directly for tailored, ongoing assistance and a proven track record of success! (866) 883-4480 or help@vendorco.com

Costco Vendor Contact

Susan Walker - Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting in contact with the right people at Costco is a very important step in the product placement process. It may be difficult to properly locate the correct avenues and the correct Costco vendor contacts. All too often sales representatives are disappointed to find that they are completely lost within the Costco buying stream and unaware of who to talk to for various business interests. Making sure that you have the right connections is crucial for successful communication within Costco. So how can you locate the correct Costco vendor contact? Luckily, VendorCo is here to help connect our clients to the right people.

Rather than having to guess at who to talk to, communicating with VendorCo first will benefit you in many ways, including locating the correct Costco vendor contact and knowing what to say when talking to Costco’s key decision makers. Make sure you are prepared before approaching Costco, by speaking to one of VendorCo’s Costco experts. Contact us today to find out more about how VendorCo can help you sell to Costco, at (866) 883-4480, or help@vendorco.com

15 Elements of Successful Product Placement

Susan Walker - Monday, August 22, 2011
The 15 Elements of Successful Product Placement are the 15 essential steps that are necessary to achieve maximum retail success.

The Elements were crafted and developed by VendorCo's CEO, S.D. Walker through 20+ years of Costco experience, including buying, operations, distribution, and manufacturer representation. S.D. Walker has gained the knowledge and expertise necessary to succeed in retail.

To assist aspiring retail manufacturers and service providers, VendorCo now offers this knowledge and expertise in a short, easy to read book. The 15 Elements of Successful Product placement book is provided to you for FREE, you only pay shipping and handling. To order, visit http://vendorco.com/15-elements-of-successful-product-placement-booklet-1
OR, receive The 15 Elements of Successful Product Placement as a free add-on with your purchase of a 50 minute Professional Consultation, and your shipping and handling fees will be waived. 

Need help with your retail/Costco program, but looking for something different? Contact VendorCo today! We are happy to assess your company to see how we can help you. 
e-mail help@vendorco.com 

What's new with VendorCo?

Susan Walker - Thursday, May 12, 2011

Did you know that VendorCo is on Facebook and Twitter? Be sure to check out our links here:



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