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 costcodemos@vendorco.com.

Costco Regional Sales: Buying

It may seem obvious, most products that are shown to Costco buyers can be purchased nationally, regionally, or internationally. The advantages for Costco to buy regionally are numerous. Regional department purchasing allows for specific tastes to be targeted in particular regions. The process is less complicated with a more narrow demographic and the perfect climate for new product testing. Conversely, the vendor benefits from a more locally based product penetration, if that’s your prerogative.

The choice to offer regionally is either forced (many departments can ONLY be purchased regionally), or the manufacturer’s choice based on unique company goals. If you are unsure where your products should be launched, then you could benefit from a manufacturer representative’s perspective. 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 understand that business decisions will be made internally, and 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 relying on trial and error.

Contact us for more information, or to get started at regionalsales@vendorco.com.

Costco Shipping Third Party

As part of Costco.com’s shipping options, vendors may have the opportunity to utilize a third party shipping account. Regardless of the amount of shipping your company does, it likely does not amount to the volume Costco.com experiences on a daily basis. Higher volumes lead to better, more competitive shipping rates, which is great for the vendor, Costco, and the member.

There are specific steps that you must take in order to qualify for and/or obtain a 3rd party ship account, and this starts with the presentation process. Is it in your best interest to obtain a 3rd party shipping account? Are you having trouble deciding? What more do you need to know about this process before moving forward?

A knowledgeable rep can help answer all of these questions, and more. If you choose to partner with a representative company like VendorCo, you will be more equipped and prepared to make the best decisions for your Costco program. Contact us today to get started, at help@vendorco.com.

Costco Shipping

Costco’s shipping logistics are complex to say the least. With such an efficient and rule-bound system, vendors must be up to par to make the cut. For example, all Costco Wholesale orders are considered “Shipper Load and Count.” What does that mean you might ask? Well, the vendor is therefore responsible to ensure the order is properly packed and loaded according to Costco’s guidelines and standards to prevent any transit damage and tampering. Everything is at the vendor’s expense and responsibility when it comes to the Bill of Lading, piece count of the load, and driver count and appointments. It is easy to let these pieces fall through the cracks.

This month, we will delve into the different areas of Costco’s shipping requirements, including the following topics:

  • Pallets
  • Shipping terms
  • Containers and Trailers
  • Preferred Carriers
  • E-Commerce
  • Third Party Shipping
  • And More

As you navigate Costco’s shipping requirements, you may find they are even more complex than you might have originally anticipated. Having an experienced representative to check your steps will ensure fluidity, so partner with VendorCo today by contacting us at costcorep@vendorco.com.

November Blogs – FAQ’s

Every day we receive thousands of visits to our website from people like you looking for answers or help with their Costco program. VendorCo is a Costco representative company, helping countless companies reach success with their program. We understand that not all manufacturers wish to work with a representative, and some of you are simply looking for answers to common questions.

Over the past 6 months, we have compiled a list of the top questions we receive through our website. Through this month and next month, we will address the top questions that we receive. November will be focused on answering your Costco questions. Here is a list of the top questions received through our website:

Is there a step by step guide to Costco placement?

How can I get a Costco buyer list?

How can I get a Costco vendor guide?

How can I gain access to Costco’s vendor portal?

Where can I send my products for Costco review?

How can I get a copy of the documents required for Costco vendor set-up?

What are Costco’s vendor requirements?

If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, contact us to see how we can help @ help@vendorco.com

Costco In-Store Testing

Before the buyers will commit to reserving space on their sales floors for you item, they need be absolutely certain that the item will be valuable to Costco members. One way Costco does this is by putting products through a Costco test. If your item is under review for Costco placement, you will most likely be required to participate in a test program before proceeding to a full roll out.

It is important to understand exactly what a Costco Test entails, so you are aware of how to proceed before, during, and after the program. For assistance, preparation, and answers regarding a Costco test program, contact VendorCo at help@vendorco.com.

About Costco.com

Initiated in 1998 by David Sinegal, son of former CEO Jim Sinegal, Costco.com is a fairly new and growing avenue of Costco. In 2012, approximately 30% of Costco members shopped on Costco.com. While this may seem like a low and perhaps even discouraging number for potential vendors, Costco.com still manages to receive millions of monthly page views and billions in annual sales. In 2008, only 12% percent of members shopped on Costco.com. This large increase in member traction speaks to the enormous potential Costco.com holds for the future.

While Costco.com product sales are certainly not as high as in-store sales, Costco.com does offer several advantages to vendors and members alike. Both parties have a lot to gain from pursuing this avenue, and our next posts will explore the many advantages Costco.com offers.

Visit our next blog to read all about Costco.com member advantages

Costco Regional

If you are interested in regional distribution, or if your item is a foods item, then you should focus on Costco regional sales. The regional sales buying group is separate from the national buying group, so you will need to keep this in mind before you move forward.

Additionally, you should understand the distribution of each region, including the number of warehouses per region and how the regions are geographically broken up. Once you understand how Costco regions are separated, you will have a better idea of which region(s) to target.

If you would like more information about whether or not regional distribution is right for you, contact Vendorco at regional@vendorco.com

Costco Business Delivery

Costco Business Delivery serves both the ecommerce and the brick and mortar markets, with a limited number of Business Deliver Centers spanning the US. This avenue of Costco is intended specifically for business owners, which make up a significant portion of Costco’s member demographic.

Items found in a Costco Business Center differ from a typical warehouse, in that many items intended for personal use are omitted and replaced with those serving a business purpose. For example, instead of personal garments you might find scrubs or janitorial uniforms. Instead of daily use pots and pans, you might find commercial kitchen appliances and equipment.

If your item serves the small to medium business market, then Costco’s business delivery may be a good fit for you. For more information about Costco Business Delivery, or to speak to a VendorCo sales representative, call us at (949)326-8909 or e-mail costcobd@vendorco.com

Become a Costco Supplier

When you become a Costco supplier, you have the potential to help your business grow in many ways. Costco serves millions of members throughout the United States from a high end demographic. These members continually renew their memberships from year-to-year (with a renewal rate of over 85%!), and their shopping habits are generally resilient to the changing economy. For these, and many more reasons, becoming a Costco supplier can be extremely beneficial and lucrative.

However, you cannot simply walk into Costco and ask to sell your product. You have to know who to talk to, how to talk to them, and you must have a valuable product that is in high demand. Equally as important, you must understand the Costco business model and follow appropriate guidelines. But this is not always so easy to do. Information about how to become a Costco supplier is not readily available for research. Many important pieces of information are considered to be trade secrets, and information that IS available may not always be completely reliable or accurate.

So how do you become a Costco supplier? You can do what many companies do, and spend hours upon hours researching information that may not be available regarding Costco’s procedures, and hope that your product in its current package is Costco material. OR you can seek help through a Costco professional, and gain an edge against the competition. This is where VendorCo comes in. Having VendorCo on your side provides you with access to a team of experts that are committed to helping you become a Costco supplier. If your product is not appropriate for Costco, then we can steer you in the right direction rather than allow you to waste your precious time.

Give one of our representatives a call today to get started! Contact VendorCo: help@vendorco.com or (949) 326-8909.

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