How can effectively buy wholesale items to sell on Costco?

Apr 17, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Flipping a product is a good way to make money without developing your own product. Basically, this is buying a product from a seller and then reselling on Costco it at a higher price.

To obtain substantial profits, retailers must find sources of goods that are cheaper than retail prices. With the help of the B2B market, such as, this should be relatively easy to achieve.


This article will discuss everything you need to know about finding cheap wholesale items to resell Costco online.

We will discuss where to find these products before looking at 5 types of products for resale.

Finally, we will carefully study how to purchase products on




How To Sell Your Products To Costco?

Selling your products to Costco can be a lucrative opportunity given their large customer base and global reach. However, getting your products into Costco involves a thorough and strategic approach. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you sell your products to Costco:

1. Understand Costco’s Business Model

  • Bulk Sales: Costco focuses on selling products in bulk at discounted prices. Ensure your product is suitable for bulk packaging.
  • Membership-Based: Costco operates on a membership model, attracting customers looking for quality and value.
  • Limited SKU Strategy: Costco carries fewer items than typical retailers, meaning your product must stand out.


2. Prepare Your Product

  • Quality and Value: Your product should offer exceptional quality and value. Costco prioritizes products that provide significant savings to their members.
  • Packaging: Ensure your product packaging is durable and suitable for bulk display. Consider Costco’s pallet display requirements.
  • Compliance: Make sure your product meets all regulatory standards and Costco’s compliance requirements.


3. Market Research and Competitive Analysis

  • Identify Competitors: Research products similar to yours that are already sold at Costco. Understand their pricing, packaging, and features.
  • Customer Needs: Identify what Costco members look for in products similar to yours. Tailor your product to meet these needs.


4. Prepare Your Business

  • Scalability: Ensure your business can handle large orders and meet Costco’s demand without compromising on quality.
  • Supply Chain: Establish a robust supply chain to ensure timely and consistent delivery.
  • Financial Stability: Be financially stable to support the production, marketing, and logistics associated with large orders.


5. Create a Compelling Proposal

  • Product Information: Include detailed product descriptions, benefits, and unique selling points.
  • Sales Data: Provide any existing sales data to demonstrate market acceptance and success.
  • Pricing Strategy: Offer a competitive pricing strategy that provides value to Costco members while ensuring profitability.
  • Marketing Plan: Outline your marketing and promotional strategies to drive sales within Costco stores.


6. Contact Costco Buyers

  • Identify the Right Buyer: Find the appropriate category buyer for your product. Costco’s website and LinkedIn are useful resources for identifying buyers.
  • Initial Contact: Reach out via email or LinkedIn with a brief, compelling introduction of your product and business.
  • Follow-Up: Follow up persistently but professionally if you don’t get an immediate response.


7. Attend Costco’s Regional Buying Events

  • Vendor Fairs: Participate in regional vendor fairs and trade shows where Costco buyers are present. This provides an opportunity to showcase your product in person.
  • Networking: Build relationships with Costco buyers and other vendors to increase your chances of getting noticed.


8. Leverage a Broker or Distributor

  • Experienced Brokers: Consider hiring a broker or distributor with experience in dealing with Costco. They can help navigate the process and connect you with the right buyers.
  • Network: Use their network and expertise to get your product in front of Costco buyers.


9. Prepare for the Meeting

  • Presentation: Create a professional presentation that includes your product samples, sales data, and marketing plan.
  • Address Concerns: Be prepared to address any potential concerns the buyer might have about your product’s viability in their stores.


10. Negotiate Terms

  • Pricing and Margins: Negotiate pricing, margins, and payment terms that work for both parties.
  • Logistics: Discuss logistics, including delivery schedules, inventory management, and point-of-sale promotions.


11. Finalizing the Deal

  • Contract: Review and sign the contract, ensuring you understand all terms and conditions.
  • Compliance and Documentation: Provide all required documentation, including proof of insurance, product certifications, and compliance reports.


12. Maintain the Relationship

  • Consistent Quality: Ensure consistent quality and timely delivery of your products.
  • Communication: Maintain open communication with Costco buyers and promptly address any issues that arise.
  • Performance Monitoring: Regularly monitor the performance of your product and work with Costco to optimize sales.


By following these steps, you can increase your chances of successfully selling your products to Costco.

It requires thorough preparation, strategic planning, and persistent effort, but the rewards can be substantial given Costco’s vast customer base and high sales volume.





How to Get Wholesale Items to Sell ?

There are many places to buy cheap wholesale products to sell. Here are a few options:

  • Online wholesale marketplaces: There are many online wholesale marketplaces where you can find a wide variety of products at wholesale prices. Some popular options include Alibaba, AliExpress, and DHgate.


  • Trade shows and industry events: Trade shows and industry events are a great place to learn about new products and meet with potential suppliers. You can often find good deals on wholesale products at these events.


  • Direct from manufacturers: If you know which manufacturers make the products you want to sell, you can often contact them directly to buy in bulk at wholesale prices.


  • Local wholesale suppliers: There may be local wholesale suppliers in your area that you can buy from. You can find them by searching online or asking around at local businesses.





9 Best Wholesale Websites to Buy Products

Looking to buy wholesale products to sell? There are many wholesale websites available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here is a list of the 10 best wholesale websites, along with a brief overview of each:

1. Alibaba

Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce website that is one of the largest wholesale marketplaces in the world. It offers a wide variety of products at competitive prices, including clothing, electronics, home goods, and more.

2. AliExpress

AliExpress is a sister website of Alibaba that is geared towards smaller businesses and consumers. It offers a similar selection of products to Alibaba, but at slightly lower prices.

3. DHgate

DHgate is another Chinese wholesale marketplace that offers a wide variety of products at low prices. It is a popular choice for businesses that are looking to buy in bulk.

4. Global Sources

Global Sources is a B2B website that connects buyers and suppliers from all over the world. It offers a wide variety of products, including industrial supplies, electronics, and fashion.

5. SaleHoo

SaleHoo is a membership website that provides access to a database of wholesale suppliers. It also offers a variety of tools and resources to help businesses find and buy wholesale products.

6. Worldwide Brands

Worldwide Brands is a similar membership website to SaleHoo. It offers access to a database of wholesale suppliers, as well as a variety of tools and resources to help businesses find and buy wholesale products.

7. The Wholesaler UK

The Wholesaler UK is a UK-based wholesale website that offers a wide variety of products, including clothing, electronics, and home goods.

8. eBay

eBay is an online auction site that allows businesses to buy and sell wholesale products. It is a good option for businesses that are looking for specific products or that want to negotiate prices.

9. eSources

eSources is a B2B website that connects buyers and suppliers from all over the world. It offers a wide variety of products, including industrial supplies, electronics, and fashion.




10 Strategies to Find the Right Product for Your Business

Sellers can find suitable products for their business in a variety of ways.

Let’s review the top 10 strategies for choosing the wholesale items to sell in an online store.


Solve the Problem

People buy things that can help them solve their problems. Whether it’s medicines to relieve diseases or kitchen gadgets that optimize cooking methods, people buying things will make their lives better in some way.

This is why identifying a common pain point and providing a solution to that problem is the standard way to succeed in any business. There is usually a market for problem-solving products.

To do this, you should first brainstorm and identify a problem. It may be something you experience in your daily life, or it may be something you observe in other people. Once you have selected a problem, it’s time to find a product that provides a solution.

You don’t have to worry about your solution being unique or something you invented yourself. It can be an improvement to an existing product.

The great thing about this approach is that it helps to lay the foundation for your marketing strategy from the very beginning. Your sales promotion and marketing materials can focus on the pain points you started with, making it easy to position your product in a way that resonates with your audience.


Jump on the Trend

Think about the products that have come and gone over the years. Think of fingertip spinners, Tamagotchis, jelly sandals, and other iconic items. These products may not be popular today, but in their day, they are must-haves.

The key to the success of this method is to identify and catch trends as early as possible. If you wait too long, your chances of profiting from it may decrease.

One way to find popular products is to monitor social media platforms, especially TikTok and Instagram. Pay close attention to the buzz surrounding a particular type of product or trend. Also, pay attention to the products that influencers are talking about because simple suggestions from accounts with many followers can trigger trends.


Use your Professional Experience.

If you are an expert in a specific industry, please rely on your professional experience when searching for products. While working in this industry, you may have encountered many possible products for sale without even realizing it.

As a professional in your field, you have a special advantage that can help you determine which products are relevant and useful.

Take some time to reflect on the industry’s needs or requirements you have encountered or observed. This can serve the professionals you work with, the companies in your industry, or the customers you serve.

Likewise, you can develop a brand new product, reinvent a product, or just choose something that has already been sold.

For example, many doctors and healthcare professionals create businesses that focus on products that support their practice areas. Dentists may sell safe teeth whitening kits, and dermatologists may sell unique skincare products.


Attract a Niche Audience

Choosing a niche is a business hack that can help aspiring entrepreneurs create targeted offers for very specific audiences. This approach may be helpful when choosing products to sell in an online store.

Hobbyists and enthusiasts have very niche interests and passions, so being specific is valuable. Maybe you can choose to sell products to sports fans, and then you can further narrow the scope to provide services to sports fans in a particular city.

Take, for example, a sports fan from New York City. There are various sports teams, including the Mets, Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Islanders. You can create an entire business by selling T-shirts with these different team logos. Even selling merchandise for one of the teams is valuable.

Some other popular niche audiences are gamers, exercise enthusiasts, outdoor enthusiasts, artists and magicians. With nearly 8 billion people in the world, you can take advantage of many unique hobbies and also provide niche products.


Listen to Consumers

Another good way to choose a product is simply listening to what consumers want. There are several ways to obtain this insight.

  • One way is to read customer reviews on various product listings. You can do this by looking at the list of products on B2C platforms such as Amazon and First look for recurring complaints and dissatisfaction. In the existing available products, what can be improved? These will be the problems you can solve with the product.

Be sure to pay attention to positive factors. What do people like about the current options on the market? What are the other brands doing right?

This is easier to do if you have a general understanding of the product you want to sell because a quick search for the product will yield many results in various markets. However, if you start from scratch, this is also possible.

Many online marketplaces will generate suggestions for other products you might like based on your search results, so just start with the random product that comes to mind and click on the suggested item. This may make you wonder at first, but it should help you develop some new ideas.


Click on Keyword Data

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful marketing tool. However, many people don’t realize that search engine data is useful for other parts of business operations.

You can use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, or Keyword Everywhere to generate reports on the product users are searching for.

Each of the tools we mentioned operates slightly differently, but they all provide similar data. These data include:

    • Search volume: How many people search for keywords each month.
    • Competition/Difficulty: The difficulty of ranking in the current results of the keyword. Here, low competition means easier ranking, and high competition means harder.
    • Cost-per-click: The average cost-per-click of paid ads for this keyword.

In order to find viable products for sale, you will need to pay attention to search volume. Look for products that have a lot of search volume in the target audience.

Once you think of some products, just run the keywords and analyze the statistics through the tool of your choice.

There is no magic number to look for in terms of search volume, but if the keyword has absolutely no search volume, you will need to switch to other options. Usually, a higher volume is preferred. However, don’t knock down volume keywords because targeting niche audiences is valuable-as we discussed earlier.


Follow the Money

Some online sellers choose products based on possible profit margins. Obviously, you will need to consider the profit margin of any product you choose. Using the potential profit margin as a guiding force in choosing a product is certainly a viable approach.

View the cost of selling different products. Look at the sales prices of these products and consider other costs associated with selling them. Calculate the difference between the cost and the rate at which you can sell each product to see how much you can make a profit. Finally, compare different products to see which options can make you the most money.


Lead Magnet Experiment

If you have several products in your mind and you are not sure whether they will be popular, it is a good idea to test the willingness of your audience to initiate transactions.

A common method is to ask users to join the waiting list by providing their email address. This shows a greater commitment to the brand or product, not just checking your website. You can direct viewers to this magnet through advertisements.


View Popular Products

Many e-commerce platforms, including B2B and B2C, provide lists of trends and best-selling products on their websites. Check these lists to get ideas about your own products. This is a particularly good strategy for a wholesaler because it means that the retailer can move the product you are viewing. This creates a demand for reliable suppliers for retailers and is where you come into play.


Follow Your Passion

Last but not least, following your passion is a great way to choose or create products for sale online.

Think of artists, craftsmen, musicians and similar creators. They all have something to provide for the world they have created with their passion and talents. They provide various products or services based on their passion.

Following your passion does not entirely mean creating something by yourself. Do you like dolphins? Find some cool dolphin statues to add to your storefront. Are you passionate about health? Collaborate with high-quality supplement manufacturers to sell vitamins. When your passion is prioritized, the opportunities are endless.





Mistakes Are Often Made When Choosing Wholesale Items to Sell

When you start choosing wholesale items to sell online, you should be aware of some common mistakes.

Here are some of the most common mistakes sellers make when choosing products to sell.


Failed to assess needs

A major mistake many sellers make is failing to assess the demand for the products they are trying to sell. If you try to sell goods that are not in demand, you will be trapped in a large amount of unsold inventory.

Various tools can be used to generate data trends on demand. The best demand planning tools include NETSTOCK, Blue Yonder’s demand planning, Logility Solutions, and Oracle Demantra.

Some B2B e-commerce platforms, such as, have built-in demand forecasting tools, which of course, will come in handy.

As we discussed before, keyword research is another good method for an initial needs assessment.


No need to research to choose

Some people decide to enter a business without doing too much industry or product research. They act on emotions rather than logic. Although this may work, you must thoroughly research the industry and product you choose.

Even if you are following your passion, you should still do your best to ensure that your product has a market. You should also conduct research to ensure that your current or anticipated business model will work with that particular product.


No need to test to choose

When choosing a specific product from a manufacturer or supplier to resell to your own customers, personally testing Trial products is very important. Invest in some trial units to ensure that the product quality is what you want.


Have unrealistic expectations

When choosing products to sell online, be sure to control your expectations. For example, if you choose to sell products related to a particular holiday, it is unreasonable to think that your sales will be consistent throughout the year. It is possible to choose this product, but you must develop a plan to maintain your business throughout the year.

To do this, treat your expectations realistically so you can operate in a calculated and strategic way.




10 Examples of Common Wholesale Items to Sell Online

We have discussed many options for choosing wholesale items to sell. However, if you don’t have a general understanding of the direction of your e-commerce business, it may be challenging to get started.

Here are 10 common product examples that you can use as inspiration in the product search process:

1. Clothing: men’s wear, women’s wear, children’s wear, baby wear

2. Accessories: clocks, smartwatches, hats, bags, jewelry

3. Toys and games: puzzles, board games, card games, craft kits, sensory toys, fidgeting

4. Health and fitness products: yoga mats, weight kits, fitness trackers, resistance bands, other exercise equipment

5. Food and ingredients: dry goods, canned food, spices, health food, meat, dairy products, seafood

6. Pet supplies: cat toys, dog toys, dog beds, animal food, fish tanks, cages, carriers

7. Home improvement and decoration: furniture, mirrors, paint, curtains, electrical appliances

8. Office necessities: office furniture, office supplies, printers, filing cabinets

9. Electronic products: smartphones, tablet computers, smart home devices, security systems, TVs, sound systems, other digital devices

10. Electronic product accessories: mobile phone charger, mobile phone case, tablet holder, car phone holder, ring light, tripod

These products are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many things to choose from, but I hope this list can inspire you.







If you plan on starting anywhere, I will start with a product you would buy or something in a dynamic field. By doing that, you will already know more about what your target consumer would want and the price they are willing to pay because it’s similar to your interests.

Jumping into something more random might be a whole lot riskier. For example, unless you know your watches, I can tell you from experience that this has many more moving parts that make it a bit more challenging to enter into as a beginner. If you need to import wholesale items to sell from China, we would be happy to help you. 

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