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 torefund 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 949-326-8909 or email [email protected].

Understanding Costco Memberships: Executive Cardholders

Are you a black Costco card holder? If so, you are at the most prestigious card holder level. Each executive member must decide if the card is used for personal use or as a business. Both offer the same rewards and extra benefits, such as lower prices on check printing, auto financing, and long-distance phone service.

Executive Gold Star Memberships and Executive Business differ for individuals who set-up under a business. This membership guarantees the “2% Reward” program, that allows members to earn 2% cash back each year. This exclusive membership costs $120.00 annually, but will receive numerous benefits. If you purchase an Executive Business membership, it is available to owners and operators of businesses who want the benefit of the added value of an Executive Membership. The executive member is offered an annual 2% Reward on most of Costco’s products and offered lower prices on member programs. These members are able to add extra cardholders for employees as an additional fee, which differs from only adding family under the Gold Star Executive Membership.

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 949-326-8909 or email [email protected].

Costco Retainer Fees

One of the main concerns vendors have when starting business with Costco is related to the release of payment. Like any contract, when you partner with Costco you will negotiate payment terms; however, your terms will not necessarily guarantee the release of full payment. Consideration for end of program costs must be taken into account, and Costco will either require or provide the option of holding a retainer for some of these funds.

With Costco’s “Treasure Hunt” atmosphere, items are constantly moving in and out, and exit strategies must be planned appropriately. There are costs to consider with the end of a program, including potential markdowns, discounts, or other adjustments, shipping of returned product on a guaranteed sale, and of course, returns that may continue to come through after the product has been moved off the sales floor. A retainer provides the option for Costco to hold some of the Purchase Order funds to account for these costs. Although it may not seem ideal, retainers benefit and provide assurance to both the vendor and Costco. The vendor would otherwise be required to send a check each and every time the balance falls below zero – that would mean sending a check for each and every return, which could be an accounting and labor nightmare.

A knowledgeable manufacturer representative like VendorCo can help you plan your exit strategies appropriately, including an appropriate and reasonable plan for end of program costs. To set a strong foundation on your product’s prices, contact [email protected] for more details about how our services will best serve you.

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 [email protected].

Costco Regional Sales

The buying structure within Costco can be a major cause for error with new business programs. Of the myriad of ways that Costco buys new items, which is the appropriate method for your company? Often, there are several options available, and it’s simply a matter of pinpointing the area that will provide the greatest value for your company. This month, we will be delving into Regional Buys, one of the ways that Costco makes a purchase based on geography and often based on company size.

To be discussed this month will be the following topics:

  • Departments
  • Buying
  • Regional vs. National Sales
  • Benefits
  • Risks
  • Regional Sales Test
  • More information

Visit our blog throughout this month for more information concerning the titles above. If you’re interested in pursuing a regional sales program and would like an expert Costco Representative to assist, contact us today at [email protected].

Costco Shipping Containers and Trailers

If you have any experience with overseas shipping and/or domestic full truck shipping, then you understand that there are various container/trailer sizes and methods of loading. Vendors often make the mistake of quoting the method and size that is most familiar to them. Perhaps you ship internationally on a 20’ Size container on particular style pallets. Or you may ship domestically via a flatbed trailer with floor loaded master cartons. However, your methods may not be accepted by Costco.

Additionally, all load capacities should be based on maximum utilization of trailer space. For example, loads on pallets need to be turned inside the trailer in a very specific way. Failure to do so may result in additional freight charges to the vendor. Any small change or discrepancy can result in a significant price difference. Don’t make this mistake. Be informed of all Costco’s shipping container/ trailer requirements and load diagrams, by partnering with a knowledgable Costco representative company like VendorCo.

We help our clients understand the “do’s” and “don’ts” of Costco shipping before a price is quoted to Costco, so there are no false assumptions, no guessing games, and reduced potential for losses based on incorrect price quoting. Contact us today to get started, at [email protected].

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 [email protected] or (949)326-8909

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 @ [email protected], or (949) 326-8909.

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 [email protected].

Defining Costco In Store Sales

Costco in-store sales can be defined in many ways. In-store sales may also be defined as in-line sales, national sales, warehouse sales, full roll out sales, or simply as Costco sales. In-store sales are the most common and the most sought after category of Costco sales; likely because they are typically the most profitable. When visiting your local Costco warehouse, most of the palletized items that you see on the sales floor are considered in-store sales (with the exception of Road Show and Test items).

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