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.

ABOUT COSTCO DEMOS

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 Test

Costco purchases are often made by the Truck Load. Even regional items can be purchased as full trucks, depending on the product and the pallet loads. If a product is not successful, a full truck load purchase can result in a huge surplus of inventory which is costly to the vendor and to Costco. In order to protect the vendor and limit liability, Costco will often perform a sales test before launching a full roll out.

The structure of a regional test will be very similar to that of a national program, with the exception of the geographic breadth and units purchased. Product will be sent to a small percentage of stores covering a diverse geographic areas in order to determine if and where a product will see the most success. This allows the buyers to see if sales are strong in one area over another, so they can order accordingly during a full roll out.

Will a regional test be required for your product? How many units will be purchased and to how many warehouses will the product be distributed? These questions and more can be explained by a knowledgeable Costco expert. At VendorCo, we have over 10 years of Costco specific experience that lends us the ability to prepare our clients for the worst, so they can achieve the best results. To partner with VendorCo, contact us today at regionalsales@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 Pallets

Understanding Costco’s pallet requirements is an important piece to shipping, as well as quoting your final price. Depending on whether you are shipping domestically or internationally, you may need to account for the cost of pallets in your final pricing. Additionally, Costco’s pallet requirements could be vastly different from how you are accustomed to shipping. If your price is quoted with the wrong pallets, it could be a potential pricing and logistical disaster. Your pallets must meet particular sizing, construction, and heat treatment guidelines to avoid shipment refusal, and all may vary by country.

So how do you plan ahead? Costco provides the detailed pallet specifications as a part of the new vendor packet; however, at this time, pricing would have already been submitted. Costco’s vendor documents are not easily found, and will generally not be provided until a program is accepted.The best way to plan ahead is to partner with a 3rd party rep like VendorCo. Contact us today to find out more information about our services, and how you can cut out the guess work: help@vendorco.com.

Costco Sales Assistance

If you are looking for sales assistance with your Costco program, there’s no need to look no further than VendorCo. We are a representative company with experience, focus, success, and commitment to service.

Our focus on Costco Wholesale specifically guarantees that we communicate with the buyers on a daily basis. We are not distracted by the processes, procedures, rules, and regulations of other retail companies, because we ONLY serve Costco, making us experts in Costco product placement.

If you are interested in learning more about VendorCo, feel free to browse our website, send us an e-mail at help@vendorco.com, or call us at (949) 326-8909. We are happy to review your company and product to help determine your potential with Costco Wholesale.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Starting Fresh – Prospective Vendors

It is a dream of many manufacturers and service providers to work with Costco Wholesale, and to have their products viewed by millions of Costco members every day. Some move forward to make this dream a reality, and by doing so they reap the benefits of working with one of the top retailers and the number one warehouse chain in the USA. But what separates the companies that succeed from the companies that fail? From our experience, having the right knowledge and the right partnerships can separate the Costco vendors from the Costco hopefuls.

Some manufacturers and service providers view a relationship with Costco as a far fetched goal that is not within reach. If you have thought about working with Costco before, start fresh this month by partnering with an expert manufacturer representative. An expert can provide you with the knowledge to navigate Costco Wholesale, and strong relationships with buyers that make the decisions about your product or service.

Get started today by contacting VendorCo, at www.vendorco.com/contact-us

Rejected Programs: flawed PRESENTATION

The importance of your product presentation cannot be stressed enough. If your presentation is flawed, you risk missing out on an exceptionally lucrative relationship. It is important to note, that when we refer to flawed presentation, we do not mean simple errors that could be noticed by any writer, marketing expert, financial representative, etc. When we refer to flawed presentation, we are referring to presentations that do not provide adequate information that is specific to a Costco program.

Did you know that some Costco departments have a checklist for the information that they require to be included? Missing information may result in your presentation being overlooked entirely. Costco buyers view countless presentations on a daily basis, and they simply do not have the time to hand-hold every offer and provide you with a detailed list of what they need. It is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary information is provided.

However, there is a balance between providing enough information, and providing too much.  Too much erroneous information and fluffy dialogue can distract from the points that Costco finds exceptionally valuable. As previously noted, Costco buyers are busy! They certainly will not be interested in a 50 page presentation that requires a large chunk of their time to analyze, especially when the information they require should easily fit on just a few, simple pages. It is important to include all important details, while still respecting the buyer’s busy schedule. The easier you make their job…well, I’m sure you can imagine the benefits that will provide you.

VendorCo has perfected the presentation process based on years of experience working with Costco buyers. We are aware of the information the buyers are looking for, in the format they prefer, through the avenue they appreciate. As a VendorCo client, we can even create the presentation for you, providing you access to our trade secrets that can only be acquired through years of experience. If you are interested in taking advantage of VendorCo’s knowledge of the Costco processes, contact us today!

Reasons for Rejection – Inadequate Value

One of Costco’s top priorities is to ensure that members receive an added value from all of the products on their sales floor. You should ask yourself: what value does your item offer Costco members that they are not already receiving from existing products, services, or programs? It is not always enough to say that your product is available at a better price!

Do you know how your product compares to Costco’s current offerings? Does your product offer enough of a value to Costco members? Send us some information about your product, and we will let you know if we believe your product is a viable fit for Costco. Contact VendorCo today to take advantage of over 20 years of Costco specific expertise.

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