How to Sell Your Product to Costco

If you have stumbled upon our website looking for information about how to sell your product to Costco, then you have come to the right place.

We encourage you to stop now, and ask yourself how much time you have spent thus far researching answers and information regarding how to sell your product to Costco. Now imagine how much more time and effort you will put in before you are ready to actually move forward. Now think about eliminating all of that time, effort and energy spent researching a topic that is virtually inaccessible without firsthand experience.

You CAN eliminate the guesswork, by teaming up with VendorCo. With over 20 years of Costco specific expertise and experience, we have already done the research required to help you understand Costco. Whether you are interested in Manufacturer Representation, or you just want answers to your questions, VendorCo can help! We work with the Costco buyers on a daily basis, and we understand how to sell your product to Costco.

You may be able to locate general, public information about how to sell your product to Costco, but this information may not be accurate, and is certainly not tailored to your company, product, and specific department. VendorCo is your premier source for Costco help – tailored specifically to your items!

Contact us today, at help@vendorco.com for more information about our manufacturer representation, or view our services page to sign up for a consultation.

Costco Advertising

Costco Advertising – what opportunities are available for Costco vendors? What methods does Costco utilize to advertise, both internally to its members and externally for potential members?

If you are interested in learning more about Costco Advertising, follow this month’s blog posts with the following titles:

  • Costco External Advertising
  • Costco Advertising: In-store Options
  • Costco Advertising: Costco.com Options
  • Costco Advertising: General Options
  • Costco Advertising: Buyer Picks
  • Costco Advertising: Road Show Options
  • Costco Advertising: More Information

If you are interested in selling your product or service Costco, and wish to account for advertising opportunities, call VendorCo today to find out what options you have that would be specific to your product and company. VendorCo is a third party manufacturer representative that has helped countless of Costco potentials become Costco vendors.

Contact VendorCo at (949) 326-8909 or via e-mail at help@vendorco.com

Costco Delivery

What you should understand about delivering your product to Costco is that you are committed to the date that you propose. Late deliveries may result in penalties, or even a cancelled order. Additionally, you will need to include the time it takes for testing to be completed, all samples to be produced and approved, and many other requirements BEFORE you propose a delivery date.

So how can you plan for the unexpected and offer a timely, yet realistic delivery? Fortunately, VendorCo can help you plan for the unexpected! When you partner with VendorCo, you become part of a team of Costco experts that will help you prepare for a successful Costco program.

Contact us to get started, at help@vendorco.com

Doing Business with Costco

Doing Business with Costco has the potential to help your business grow in many ways. Costco serves millions of members throughout the United States from a high end demographic. These members continually renew their memberships from year-to-year (with a renewal rate of over 85%!), and their shopping habits are generally resilient to the changing economy. For these, and many more reasons, doing business with Costco can be extremely beneficial and lucrative.

However, you cannot simply walk into Costco and ask to sell your product. You have to know who to talk to, how to talk to them, and you must have a valuable product that is in high demand. Equally as important, you must understand the Costco business model and follow appropriate guidelines. But this is not always so easy to do. Information about doing business with Costco is not readily available for research as many important pieces are considered to be trade secrets. Information that IS available may not always be completely reliable or accurate.

So how do you do business with Costco? There are several ways to deal with Costco. You may plan on spending hours upon hours researching information that may not be available regarding Costco’s procedures, and hoping that your product is Costco material, OR you can seek help through a Costco professional. This is where VendorCo comes in. Having VendorCo on your side gives you a better chance at Costco placement. If your product is not appropriate for Costco, then we can steer you in the right direction rather than letting you waste your precious time.

Give one of our representatives a call today and get start your business relationship with Costco.

Contact VendorCo: help@vendorco.com or (949) 326-8909.

Costco Strategic Plan

Doing business with Costco requires a Costco strategic plan. This is a plan laid out specifically for your Costco Wholesale program, and includes planning for all pieces necessary for success. This includes, but is not limited to, accounting for the following:

  • Appropriate buyer identification
  • Costco friendly presentation creation
  • Appropriate pricing, including allowances
  • Sample requests
  • Testing requirements
  • Audits
  • Packaging (different if in-store, .com, road show, etc.)
  • Shipping requirements
  • Potential customer service issues
  • Returns and damages
  • Exit strategies

Each individual point does not stand on its own. For example, identifying the appropriate buyer requires researching which department your item would most appropriately fit (with Costco, this may differ from your other retailers), which method of communication is most appropriate (telephone, e-mail, mail, etc.), and which avenue of Costco you are pursuing (Costco.com, Costco In-Store, Costco Travel, etc.) As you can see, doing business with Costco can be extremely complex!

Costco is extremely unique in regards to their buying processes. Preparing for a Costco program is generally very different from other retail strategies. So how can you best prepare for doing business with Costco? VendorCo is the answer! We make it easy to develop your Costco strategic plan, providing you with our advice and guidance every step of the way. The proof is in our successful history of placing products, just click here to see a sample of our success stories: LINK.

You could be next! All you need to do is contact VendorCo, and get help with your Costco strategic plan. E-mail us at help@vendorco.com today!

Rejected Programs: failure to DELIVER

Costco may reject your program if you are unable to deliver on what you promise. Often, this literally means delivering product to the warehouses, depots, or the member’s home – depending on your agreement. If you are incapable of fulfilling orders or delivering product on time, then we cannot stress enough how important it is to be upfront and honest. Better yet, find a fulfillment center or a solution so you CAN deliver.

How do you know whether or not you will need assistance delivering your product? Luckily, VendorCo can help you better understand what is likely to be required from you. There are several avenues to Costco placement, and we can provide you with your options and the structure of each. This information can be invaluable in getting your product in front of the right buyers for your company.

If you are interested in getting more information about the different avenues of Costco and the requirements for each, VendorCo offers all companies the opportunity to speak with one of our executive account managers through the purchase of a telephone consulting session. Better yet, partner with VendorCo to receive free consultation services as a standard piece to your service. Check out our services page to find the best option for your company.

Rejected Programs – Inadequate Savings

Costco is committed to providing the best possible price point to members. If your product does not provide enough savings to members, you are likely to be overlooked as a potential vendor.

How much savings is enough? How can you position your price point to provide the best chance for placement? This information can be fairly difficult to come by. Fortunately, VendorCo understands Costco’s structure, and we can help our clients craft a price point that will fit with Costco’s standards. If you are interested in partnering with VendorCo and taking advantage of the many, invaluable services that we offer, contact us today.

What Not to Do: Pull Out of an Approved Costco Program

VendorCo created an innovative program for Costco that involved the sale of artificial turf. Our Executive Account Managers contacted a reputable artificial turf company to fulfill the program, and it was quickly approved by Costco. Because there was no preceding product like it, the expected return rate was unknown, and the vendor grew fearful of Costco’s return guarantee. VendorCo recognized that a new product carried enormous potential, and strongly advocated for follow through with the program. However, against the direction of VendorCo, the company informed Costco that they would no longer be moving forward with the program. Still, the Costco buyers believed in the program that VendorCo created, and they were able to source out another company that was willing to adhere to Costco’s return policy. Within the first year, the program sold over 2 million dollars worth of product. Unfortunately for VendorCo’s client, they lost a potential relationship with Costco due to fear, and the revenue that could have been theirs ended up in the hands of a competitor.

What NOT to do? Never pull out of a Costco program, unless you are sure that your company cannot handle the account. However, if your company is unable to handle the account, you should never waste the time of Costco buyers by even presenting it until you are. At VendorCo, we screen our clients for Costco readiness, and we are happy to tell you our opinion on whether or not your company is ready for Costco. If you are an established company that is willing to serve Costco and its members, contact VendorCo today and we can help you position your product for maximized potential.

What NOT to do: Underestimate Costco’s Demographic

An energy drink company was able to secure regional sales at Costco’s warehouses. After performing a sales analysis of their current distribution, which was largely to C-Stores, the company found that diet energy drinks were 30% of their sales volume, while regular energy drinks were 70% of sales volume. The company chose to base their Costco test on this sales data, providing 70% regular and 30% diet energy drinks to Costco. However, the company failed to take into account Costco’s demographic data provided to them, and they experienced a lack of inventory for diet drinks, and a surplus of regular energy drinks. Due to this miscalculation, the test failed.

What NOT to do with Costco? Never underestimate Costco’s demographic. It is extremely important to be cognizant of who you will see your product on Costco’s sales floor. VendorCo can help your company avoid costly miscalculations like this that can result in a failed test, as well as damage to your reputation and relationships with the buyers. Find out if your product qualifies as a Costco ready item, and contact VendorCo today for expert representation.