Lori’s Wigsite leveraged
Costco services for savings,
thriving while other
the prospective company, review, audit, visit
again. Frankly, I think
sometimes we drive
our providers crazy.
“But this is not
just a referral program. We guard and
protect the Costco
members; we are
the advocates. In the end, it all
boils down to knowing the people involved and having a strong impression of trust with the provider.”
Then there are the guidelines for pricing and
benefits when structuring any new service, including:
■ The best pricing and value that the provider
offers to anyone
■ The best value in a given industry
■ At least a 20 percent savings over the market
So the value is built in and guaranteed, the
brand name is meaningful and Costco stands
behind the relationship with the provider built on
Automatic Costco preference
For CEO Kerrie Page and her CTO (chief technology officer) husband, Jaret Hauge, running a
small business requires constant monitoring of
expenses. NovaSim, in Bellingham, Washington, is a
management consulting company that specializes in
constructing math models that help clients deal
with specific operational problems.
“I was already sold on Costco for the personal
side—well acquainted with the value that Costco
offers—so the first thing we did when starting the
business was to get the Costco American Express
corporate card,” says Page.
The services that Page has taken advantage of
are a mix of personal and business programs. Small-business line of credit, business check printing,
business phone service, Web hosting, online investing, money market account and credit reporting are
the primary services, and she conservatively estimates savings of more than $2,200 for the past year.
“I tend to turn to Costco first when I’m looking
for a new product or service,” says Page. “We already
had a Web site before Costco started offering
Value Web, but in small business how much you
spend matters. If I find something that’s a better
solution, we switch. It was simple to switch Web
hosts because Value Web had good instructions. And
it is such a good value compared to what we were
spending—a savings of nearly $500 a year.”
Turn of the table
Another CEO weighs in on the services, this
one from Denver. Jim Burness runs DealerMiles, a
company that provides car dealers the ability to
reward customers with airline miles.
“Savings from these programs is a no-brainer,
year after year,” reports Burness, who sees his biggest
savings on credit-card processing, business and personal use of the Auto Program and check printing.
But it is Burness’ unique insight as a former service provider that adds to his story. He had experienced Costco’s due diligence with an earlier version
of the auto buying program.
“Having worked with Costco as a provider in
the past, I’m certain that if Costco has selected a service, my homework has been done for me,” he says.
“I don’t have to worry about doing any more research.
I can safely go with that service and know that I’m getting the best level of service and the best deal possible.
It is a great way for me to save a lot of time, because
Costco has done all the vetting. I’ve seen it firsthand.”
Helpful service resources
A VISIT TO COSTCO.COM gives you access to
a gateway for previewing Costco’s current
service lineup via co-branded Web pages.
Simply click on the blue “Services” link at the
top of the home page. You’ll find an up-to-date directory of services there, along with
information on each program and announcements of any special incentives.
There are also extras to be discovered
about the various services, such as tools and
tutorials that may prove helpful in evaluating
needs or determining qualifications. Here are
a few examples.
ShareBuilder Online Investing. The
ShareBuilder site is rich in tools to help you
invest or learn about investing. There are six
main tabs on the page; the “Quotes &
Research” and “Learn & Plan” tabs take you
to essential resources. Investigate stocks,
learn about risks and goals, read news about
the industry or seek specialized tutorials.
Lending Tree. The Help Center on the
Lending Tree site provides links to helpful articles on borrowing basics, refinancing, buying
or selling a home, loans versus lines of credit
and calculators that help you determine how
much you can or should borrow and how
much your payments will be.
Costco Auto Program. Buying a car?
The Costco Auto Program site is a great
place to start. Read vehicle reviews, learn
about new safety features and find
rebate/incentive announcements. Do a
side-by-side comparison of up to four vehicles, or calculate the trade-in value of your
old car. Learn about financing, or try the
advanced search function to learn the cost
of your dream car, complete with all the