costco.com items, and there’s no minimum-order
fee. Some e-tailers start with competitive prices and
then tack on a minimum requirement or exorbitant
freight charge prior to checkout.
Costco’s great prices don’t come at the expense
of delivery speed. Products are shipped within 24
hours of ordering, with the aim of next-business-day delivery in most markets for orders placed
before 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Everything and the kitchen sink
So exactly what products are available in the
National Business Supplies Program? Everything
is listed in a 576-page catalog, as well as in an online
index. I received one of the first catalogs and hurried
home to cozy up with my cache (I love catalogs).
The index reveals a strong focus on the “Office
Big Six”: paper and pads; office supplies; ink, toner
and ribbon; technology; cleaning and break-room
supplies; and furniture. I began my shopping with
paper products—I’ve always found a supplier’s
paper program a great indicator of overall quality.
Costco.com’s catalog is crammed with hundreds of paper selections, from standard copy to
specialty, photo and wide format. Industry-leading
suppliers include Hammermill, Boise Cascade, HP,
Georgia Pacific, Office Impressions, Wausau,
Weyerhaeuser and Xerox. Paper in the new SPLOX
system (it stands for “speed loading box” because
the paper comes in easy-to-handle, injury-reducing
cartons) is offered, too.
Also included is a full selection of Office
products cover every
business need, at a
Impressions products. This private-label brand of
107 top office supplies includes copy paper,
envelopes, file folders, labels, pens, binders, etc. All
are guaranteed to be top quality at great savings. (To
check this, I did a quick search on the Internet and
found a box of 500 brand-name No. 10 business
envelopes for $14.50, compared to the same Office
Impressions product at $4.99 on costco.com.)
I found bargains in the catalog on virtually anything a business needs: security paper to protect documents from fraud and identity theft, antimicrobial
top-tab file folders that guard against bacteria
growth, cordless rechargeable desktop keyboard and
mouse, sleek stacking chairs (attention, schools and
churches) and even typewriters—yep, typewriters.
One welcome category is environmentally
responsible products. The wide selection of recycled
items includes paper, calendars, desk trays, file folders and plastic clipboards. The Innovera line of
remanufactured inkjet, copier and laser toner cartridges is intriguing. All are manufactured to strict
specifications and meet all original equipment manufacturer standards. Typical savings run 20 percent.
The goal: upscale, diversified
“The aim of this program is to not only offer
everyday office essentials but also include upscale
business necessities normally not found with run-of-the-mill office supply retailers,” explains Ginnie. “We
include corporate gifts, salon and beauty supplies,
vending machines and products for a wide range of
business categories: education, child care, catering,
restaurants, hardware, health and medical, and more.”
As for the program’s nuts and bolts: It’s open to
all members, and deliveries can be made to business
or residential addresses. Orders are accepted online
only. The program’s catalog is available at any warehouse membership service desk or on costco.com.
But you don’t need a catalog to begin shopping.
All items and updated prices are on costco.com. Just
go to the red “Shop for Business Products” box on
costco.com’s home page and enter your zip code.
As for a guarantee of satisfaction, costco.com
offers convenient returns on any items that you’re not
completely satisfied with at any Costco warehouse. A
form is also included in the packing slip, with a toll-free number (1-888-320-3277) for pickup or questions. Members can also send an e-mail to
email@example.com for assistance.
This is another great program to save members
money. Smart move for business, Costco. C
Business Delivery Program
covers the greater metropolitan areas of Phoenix, San
Diego, San Francisco, Seattle
and Los Angeles.
“We differ from
costco.com’s model in that
we focus on Costco Business
Members only,” says
Costco’s Phil Lind. “Our
product lineup includes grocery products, cooler, deli
and freezer, fresh meats and
produce, and beverages. We
take orders via costco.com
as well as phone, fax or
walk-in. Our fleets of trucks
deliver within a local area of
about 60 miles.”
For more about the program, go to costco.com, find
“Customer Service” at the
bottom tool bar and click
on “Business Delivery
Expansion considerations to additional cities
are under way.
To access the National
Business Supplies Program,
go to costco.com, find the red
“Shop for Business Products”
box and enter your zip code.
You can also pick up a product
catalog in any warehouse or
Costco.com vs. Office Depot
Office Depot Costco savings
FireKing four-drawer lateral file $2,445.55 $2,999.99
Avery mailing labels ( 1,000-pack)
Scotch Magic tape (10-pack)
Brother TN350 toner cartridge