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 Miscellaneous Program Costs

This month we will be delving into the various costs, allowances, and discounts to consider before starting a program with Costco. Calculating your price is paramount to the success or fail of your product. A price that is too low may undercut your margin and result in a loss, while a price that is too high may be entirely overlooked by the buyers.

Before quoting to Costco, consider these costs that can pop-up in most programs:

  • Costco Advertising Fees
  • Costco Return Fees
  • Costco EDI Fees
  • Costco Retainer Fees
  • Costco Allowances
  • Costco Discounts / Markdowns
  • Building in these miscellaneous fees will allow you to obtain a practical margin and be successful long-term.

It is critical to secure a well-rounded cost structure before a program starts with Costco. To help ensure that you will be successful in this venture, contact sales@vendorco.com for more details about how our services will best serve you.

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 Shipping Preferred Carriers

Earlier this month we discussed Costco’s shipping terms and emphasized the importance in understanding the options available. This is also important when it comes to selecting a carrier.

Depending on the shipping terms selected by Costco you may or may not have the freedom to choose your carrier. Also, depending on your terms, you may need to decide on a carrier that offers full truck or LTL shipping. Imagine how detrimental to your costing it would be to quote the wrong way. Once you put your price in writing, you highly risk missing the sale for any potential increases. To insure you are accounting for any/all potential costs, and shipping, partner with a knowledgeable and respected Costco expert representative company like VendorCo. We have the tools and experience you need to obtain your highest potential for success!

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

If your product is accepted by the Costco buyers, you will be provided with all of the documentation that you need to be set up as a vendor. Often, it can be beneficial for potential vendors to review these documents prior to submitting their offer, so they know exactly what will be expected of them if a program is accepted.

Unfortunately, these forms can only be obtained through the vendor extranet, or through Costco’s buying staff. These documents are considered to contain proprietary information, and are not handed out to any manufacturer that asks for them.

VendorCo clients benefit from advanced knowledge of what is required in the necessary documentation. Often, this knowledge can help vendors develop an appropriate price point and strategies for optimized success. We help all of our clients understand what will be expected from them, from beginning to end of any program.

For more information about how VendorCo can help, contact us at help@vendorco.com or (949) 600-7688

Is there a step by step guide to Costco placement?

Costco does not provide a step-by-step guide for manufacturers. The information needed to proceed with Costco placement can only be obtained through years of experience or through trial and error. This places many hopeful vendors at a disadvantage.

Luckily, there is help available through VendorCo. We are a manufacturer representative with years of experience, and we can help our clients through each step in the placement process.

If you are interested in becoming a VendorCo client or would like more information, contact us @ help@vendorco.com, or (949) 600-7688

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 (866) 883-4480. We are happy to review your company and product to help determine your potential with Costco Wholesale.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Costco Specialty Departments

Costco has several avenues outside of those listed in the previous entries. Specialty Departments may include Costco’s Travel, Optical, Pharmacy, and many more. Some items may cross over to specialty departments, and if so, it is important to understand how they differ from other Costco avenues.

If you believe your product or service may fall into a specialty department and are interested in seeking representation, contact VendorCo today to get started at Costco@vendorco.com

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.