Looking to get your products on the shelves and sell on Costco? You have chosen a hard but right path.
Costco is the second-largest retailer in the world after Walmart. But interestingly it has the most loyal customer in the world. The customer of Costco finds it to be the best place to buy a product and choose Costco over any other retail outlet in the world.
Today, Costco is available both online and offline world. At its online storefront, anyone can buy its products. But in the case of offline, it is members only. This business model makes Costco a more desirable place to be for the customers. A place where people are willing to trust and pay for a membership, just to buy the product that you sell in Costco.
Selling at Costco can help you gain instant trust and create an audience of your own – even beyond the retail store.
And the reason is simple. Only the qualified products can make it to the shelves of Costco.
In this article, you will learn how to sell at Costco and about all the processes that you should be prepared for. But before you put in any effort let’s go through the reason Why You Should Try To Sell On Costco?👇
Why Sell On Costco?
Costco is among the most renowned retail brands and has to build a business model like no other. They have strong customer loyalty both online and offline, which means you put your products directly in front of your ideal customer. According to a Statista report, there are almost 105.5 million members of Costco. Members that are willing to trust you and have the potential to be a loyal customer of your brand.
At a time where Amazon has captured almost every sector of eCommerce, Costco is on its rise and enjoying the steady growth of its loyal customers.
This loyalty further transfers to your brand when you sell on Costco, helping you stand out from your competitors and gaining a bunch of loyal customers for your products.
Things to remember before you start selling on Costco
Be prepared for a lot of paperwork before you sell on Costco. Before you get started you need to get yourself registered and prove your “worthiness”.
Not everyone can sell at Costco, and it is also the reason why its customers are so loyal to the platform. Moreover here are some points you must in order to sell on Costco.
- To sell on Costco, you will have to become a member of Costco first. Not only buyers but sellers are also needed to become a member of Costco before they start selling.
- Ensure that your product is price proof. Firstly, you will surely be competing with brands who can offer their products at a discount. Try to list out your best products that have high value for the customer and are available at the best price in the market.
- Understand the Costco sale model. They offer high-quality products at a lower price. How do they achieve this? By selling in bulk. Hence as a seller at Costco, pack your products in bulk for maximum efficiency in sales.
- Go for the best seller’s. That is if you are just starting out rather than trying to build your own niche, go for the best sellers. In the case of Costco, food is the most selling products.
- Choose your sales channel wisely. That is, with Costco you have options to sell your product online or offline. And while anyone can purchase from the online channel, offline products are only available to members of Costco. We will be discussing more these sales channel further in the article.
How to sell on Costco online and offline
And finally here are the steps to Sell at Costco. As discussed above you have two options to choose from (online or offline) where to sell your products on Costco.
- But either way, to get started you are first required to visit the regional manager of Costco. Here you will be asked some questions about your products, your companies, some other financial questions related to your product, and some questions about your marketability.
- You will have to go through the process yourself, or you can hire a broker to represent you. Once you get clearance from the regional manager, your application is sent to the Category buyer. This person will check if your product can be sold at Costco or not.
- Note that if you are trying to sell a product on Costco, which is already available there, your chances of approval will fall. Only if you are offering unique products that customers might actually be interested in, only you have a higher chance of getting your product selected quickly.
Finally, after getting selected by Costco, a team will arrive to inspect your facilities and work standards. So make sure that you are following all the labor laws and ensuring a good work environment for your workers.
After getting verified by the Costco team, you will be eligible to sell your products with Costco. Note that your products won’t be showcased on the shelf right of the beginning, but might be featured in the roadshows or events.
As soon as the members start showing their interest in your product through purchasing, it will be ranked higher in the list of Costco products.
Selling products on Costco online is the same as selling them in its offline manner. You need to pass on all the information that is required in signing up. In addition, you will also need a website for your product, which further you will have to link with Costco
And with this, you are all set to sell on Costco.
Cost Of Selling On Costco
Now that we have shared the easiest way to sell on Costco, the most important question is what are the membership fees of Costco. And to answer this here is a simple breakdown of the cost of selling on Costco.
|S/N||MEMBERSHIP PLAN||FEES (PER ANNUM)|
|2.||Gold Star Membership||$60|
|3.||Executive Business Membership||$120|
|4.||Executive Gold Star Membership||$120|
Other than this, some additional charges include:
- Food auditing charges – $1000 and above
- Warehouse per day sale charge – $50
- 14% commission on every product you sell through Costco warehouse
And with this, we would conclude this guide on How to sell on Costco. As you have seen in the above article, Costco is among the fastest-growing platform that you can connect with.
But moreover, you can learn from their business model to attract customers and make them a part of your eCommerce. If you are already running an eCommerce branching out to Costco can really help you gain a boost of customers.
Does Costco allow 3rd party sellers?
Costco allows you to sell your products on both their platforms – online and offline if you are eligible based on their conditions. You can sign-up for the registration and Costco will you guide on every step of the way.
What is Costco’s most profitable item?
According to recent reports, Toilet paper is the most profitable item that Costco is selling. The list is followed by Rotisserie chicken, Bacon, Hot dogs and Gas.
Is Costco retail or wholesale?
Costco is wholesale cooperation where bulk products are sold at a deeply discounted price.
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