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Understanding Costco Memberships: Gold Star

Susan Walker - Monday, December 21, 2015

Costco’s Gold Star membership is designed for consumers on an entry-level basis in terms of pricing and benefits. At around $55.00, this membership is for individuals who do not qualify for, or do not need a business membership. It includes a card for your spouse and gets you into Costco, saving money at any warehouse or online at Costco.com. This membership is suited for customers, who do not expect the return from the 2% “cash back” program.

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


Costco Membership: Rates and Retention

Susan Walker - Monday, November 23, 2015

To date,member renewal rates remain high as a result of constant value perception and product innovation. Because Costco is a low-margin business, they reward their members for being loyal and are successful by increasing the frequency and average purchase of club members. According to Trefis research done in 2015, membership renewal rates are on the rise and customers are visiting Costco more frequently. Costco’s ability to retain their members is unlike anything that has been seen before.

If you think your product would sell at Costco, pair up with one of our representative to develop your strategy today! Call us at 949-600-7688 or email help@vendorco.com.


Understanding Costco Memberships: Business

Susan Walker - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A step above the Gold Star Membership is Costco’s Business Member option. Business identification is required when applying for this kind of Costco membership. For $55.00 you can purchase the regular business member, or for $110.00 you can be part of the Executive club and earn rewards. Licensed businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, farmers, and ranchers can all join as a business member. It includes a card for your spouse and additional membership cards cost $35.00 each.

Prices are subject to change and may vary by region, check your local warehouse for exact cost.

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: Gold Star

Susan Walker - Friday, November 13, 2015

Costco’s Gold Star membership is designed for consumers on an entry-level basis in terms of pricing and benefits. At around $55.00, this membership is for individuals who do not qualify for, or do not need a business membership. It includes a card for your spouse and gets you into Costco, saving money at any warehouse or online at Costco.com. This membership is suited for customers, who do not expect the return from the 2% “cash back” program.

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

help@vendorco.com.


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: 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 help@vendorco.com.


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 help@vendorco.com.

Costco Retainer Fees

Susan Walker - Monday, September 14, 2015

One of the main concerns vendors have when starting business with Costco is related to the release of payment. Like any contract, when you partner with Costco you will negotiate payment terms; however, your terms will not necessarily guarantee the release of full payment. Consideration for end of program costs must be taken into account, and Costco will either require or provide the option of holding a retainer for some of these funds.

With Costco’s “Treasure Hunt” atmosphere, items are constantly moving in and out, and exit strategies must be planned appropriately. There are costs to consider with the end of a program, including potential markdowns, discounts, or other adjustments, shipping of returned product on a guaranteed sale, and of course, returns that may continue to come through after the product has been moved off the sales floor. A retainer provides the option for Costco to hold some of the Purchase Order funds to account for these costs. Although it may not seem ideal, retainers benefit and provide assurance to both the vendor and Costco. The vendor would otherwise be required to send a check each and every time the balance falls below zero – that would mean sending a check for each and every return, which could be an accounting and labor nightmare.

A knowledgeable manufacturer representative like VendorCo can help you plan your exit strategies appropriately, including an appropriate and reasonable plan for end of program costs. To set a strong foundation on your product’s prices, contact help@vendorco.com for more details about how our services will 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.


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.



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