Understanding Costco Memberships: Business

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.

Costco Membership: More Reasons to be a Member

The benefits of becoming a member quickly outweigh the price of a club card. Members will appreciate the quality and value of products they will find at Costco. Costco also promises to

refund your membership fee in full at any time if you are dissatisfied. They guarantee satisfaction on every product they sell with a full refund. Despite popular belief, you don’t need a big family to enjoy all the value Costco has to offer. You can expect to save on electronics, designer jeans, home décor, tires, books, DVDs, gasoline, prescriptions, seasonal items, and more. Members receive coupons exclusive to Costco for everyday items to provide discounts on-top of already low prices. Another top reason to become a member is due to Costco’s outstanding customer service, offering a call center and concierge services for free technical support on set-up help and warranty assistance on any of Costco’s electronic products.

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 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.

Inside Costco Warehouses: More Information

The look of Costco warehouses are simple yet rather complex at times; the concrete floors and high ceilings averages up to 100,000 square feet. The decor of the average warehouse is little to none, with minimum fittings and fixtures. Unlike other retailers, Costco stores are rarely located in malls or highly crowded shopping centers. Furthermore, the overhead is kept low and allocates savings passed onto Costco members.

VendorCo is dedicated to help manufacturers sell their product into Costco warehouses. We work with Costco buying staff on a daily basis and provide expertise and knowledge to vendors, so they do not have to figure it out through trial and error. There are thousands of products that reach the buyer’s desk each day, we ensure your steps to achieve. Call one of our experts at 949-600-7688 or email help@vendorco.com.

Inside Costco Warehouses: Costco Signs

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 for vendors to understand how Costco establishes pricing. If you are interested in submitting your product into Costco, it is vital to calculate all of the costs associated with your product. Contact one of our experts at info@vendorco.com for more details about how we can best serve you.

Inside Costco Warehouses: Item Numbers

When shopping at Costco, you will notice a code that is listed above the item name. Item numbers can be up to 7 digits in length. This code, or item number, identifies the specific item, size, color, etc. and is used by the warehouse, buying staff, vendor, and the member to identify the item and for categorization purposes. Early in Costco’s history when the warehouse had not yet merged with Price Club, it offered a different style of numbering system. You would hear employees unloading a cart and yelling out the digits to the cashier, who would key in the item number into the system.

Today, Costco’s system has evolved with technology, but some of these original items numbers are still visible when you buy milk, some tobacco items, and eggs. Costco uses item numbers as a tracking number associated with UPC codes. It is the UPC codes that have sped up the Costco process.

Costco categorizes their products differently than other retail stores, it is important to learn how Costco uses item numbers and other techniques to identify their products. If you are interested in partnering with a manufacturer representative, and starting out your Costco program precisely, then contact VendorCo today at sales@vendorco.com.

Costco Advertising fees

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.

Non-Food Demos

Not all of Costco’s demonstrations are related to food products. In fact, there are several non-food items that can be demonstrated at Costco Warehouses as well. These stations would be set-up in alignment with the appropriate department you are selling to. Non-Food items demonstrations are a different approach than food items. Unlike food items, customers will not always have the “hands-on” approach and instant gratification to sample. Because of this, not all non-foods items would benefit from a demonstration, and those that do should be navigated carefully.

If you have a non-foods product and you are unsure whether a demo would be the best fit for you, then you may benefit from expert Costco representation through VendorCo. We become an extension of your sales team and help you make the best decisions for your company. To get started or for more information, contact us today at costcodemos@vendorco.com.

Costco Demos

One of the best ways to introduce new products into Costco Warehouses is through Demos. Demos are one of the most popular attractions that Costco has created, especially for foods items. This month, we will be probing into Demos, specifically the process of how Costco chooses to put products to demonstrate based on the geography and often based on company size.

To be discussed this month will be the following topics:

  • About Demos
  • Food Demos
  • Non-Food Demos
  • Demo Staffing
  • Demo Training
  • Demo Pricing
  • More Information

Visit our blog throughout this month for more information concerning the titles above. 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: Risks

Some of the risks of regional sales are fairly obvious, even with just a basic knowledge of the buying structure. Clearly, regional sales will produce purchase orders in a smaller amount than national sales. Lower quantity production runs can be more costly than national programs, potentially lowering your margin. Additionally, you are limited to a smaller geographic area and a smaller number of warehouses. This challenges your marketing potential as well. Not all members will be aware of your product, and not all members will have the opportunity to purchase your product.

It is important to fully comprehend the regional buying and sales process in order to assess the risks and make a determination for your company. Other than experiencing the process first hand, a manufacturer representatives account can be the next best thing. Our partners learn from our experience and benefit as a result. To learn more, or to speak with a knowledgeable Costco representative, contact us today at regionalsales@vendorco.com.