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.

Understanding Costco Memberships: Gold Star

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: Added Benefits

The operating philosophy of Costco is simple: keep costs down as much as possible and pass the savings onto its members. Since Costco has such a large membership base and immense buying power, members ultimately get the best possible prices. Costco is able to keep markups low due to making most of their earnings on membership fees.

A key selling point of Costco is its private label brands, such as Kirkland Signature which was launched in 1995. These private brands are comparable in quality and will always cost less than brand labels, it is no surprise that these brands generate 20% of total revenue.

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 is the world’s largest membership warehouse chain, with over 72 million members. Costco may have competition, but their warehouses are unique in multiple ways.  For example, Costco takes pride in their “Treasure Hunt” strategy to keep members engaged.  This means that products offered at Costco continuously change to keep the shopping experience new and exciting.

Other successful business strategies include samples station, as no other retailer has been able to engage consumers quite the way that Costco does with these samples. Additionally, massive depots that distribute goods to the chain’s warehouses across the United States has been monumental to Costco’s success. This month, we will delve inside Costco Warehouse for a look into the unique aspects of their sales floor strategies.

In the coming weeks, we will cover the following topics:

  • Inside Costco Warehouses: Item Numbers
  • Inside Costco Warehouses: Costco Signs
  • Inside Costco’s Corporate Office: Issaquah
  • Inside Costco Warehouses: Paper or Plastic?
  • Inside Costco Warehouses: The Treasure Hunt
  • Inside Costco Warehouses: Reading Price Codes
  • Inside Costco Warehouses: More Information

If you are interested in bringing your product into the world’s largest member warehouse, contact info@vendorco.com. Our staff has 25 years worth of Costco experience and an in-depth knowledge of their culture.

More Information

Although getting your products through the early stages of program development is a step in the right direction, establishing a price is perhaps one of the more pertinent steps that a vendor will set out to accomplish. Establishing a price is paramount with what visions you have set out with your company and with Costco. This will take careful consideration of key costs and hidden costs that are most often times more difficult for the seller to anticipate.

It is important that you understand how Costco functions and operates when you negotiate pricing with the warehouse company. Costco’s pricing structure varies greatly from other retailers that you may be accustomed to. Partnering with a manufacturer representative could be the key difference piece to creating a Costco appropriate sell price. To learn more about pricing your product, get help from a representative at VendorCo to help get you situated. Contact us at: help@vendorco.com.

Costco EDI Fees

If you are interested in becoming a vendor at Costco, it is required that you use an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system prior to the start of sales. EDI systems are popular amongst retailers, and it is how Costco organizes and disseminates information concerning their complex logistical and ordering procedures. EDI systems allow two parties to electronically exchange documents without the use of email, fax or mail. For Costco’s purposes, these documents may include purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices, bill of ladings, and more.

This communication service can be pricey, and must be compliant with Costco’s requirements. Costco utilizes two EDI service companies for in-store or online ordering. If you are already set-up with EDI for other retailers, do not assume that you are prepared for Costco. There may be costs associated with set up, regardless of your current capabilities.

If you are interested in partnering with a manufacturer representative, and starting out your Costco program right, then contact VendorCo today at sales@vendorco.com. We will ensure you are fully informed of the EDI requirements, pricing, and procedures to get the most out of your program.

Training Options

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.

Food Demos

We can likely all agree that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to visit a Costco Warehouse without indulging in the many food samples on display. The Costco shopping experience simply would not be complete without trying a handful of choices. So it’s easy to see how a food demonstration can be a critical element to introducing your product to the Costco shopper. Not only do Costco food demonstrations allow members to taste their food products, but they provide insight about how to prepare the item. In this way, Costco Demos can be a great way to not only introduce your product, but educate the member as well.

As a seller, it is critical to make the step from sampling your product into having customers purchase your food items. With 25 years of Costco sales experience, VendorCo can help you make the most out of your Costco food demo. For more information, or to get started today, contact us as costcodemos@vendorco.com.