Costco offers an affiliate program – let’s check out the details and the pros and cons.
Costco Wholesale Corporation, founded in 1983, is a US multinational corporation that manages a chain of membership-only warehouses.
Costco, one of the largest retailers worldwide, offers brand-name products and its private label brand, Kirkland Signature, in bulk at reasonable prices.
The retail giant also has gas stations, optical and hearing aid centers, pharmacies, and travel services.
Costco’s brand dominates, with 100 million members, a quarter-million employees, and over 750 locations.
With multiple membership categories, a dedicated customer base, and hundreds of locations, you might be wondering if Costco offers an affiliate program so you can bring in some cash yourself.
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How Does Costco’s Affiliate Program Work?
Costco’s affiliate program works through cost per sale (CPA). That means when a potential member decides to take advantage of a required membership, you get paid.
The commission rate is up to $6 per membership, with one-time, nonrecurring payments.
The cookie duration is session-based (not product-based).
The payment threshold is $50, with payments going to your bank account.
Costco Affiliate Program Pros
Costco employs a full-time affiliate marketing manager that speeds up the overall process – ultimately supporting you, the affiliate. So that’s good news!
Also, Costco has established brand recognition. Just two words, but they are compelling. Costco is well-known in the United States and globally, making it easily recognizable to new members.
Costco Affiliate Program Cons
First of all, if you go to look for official Costco affiliate program information on their website, you won’t find it. That’s tough for those looking to create partnerships, who might not even realize the program exists.
But maybe that’s ok because Costco’s commission rate is meager.
Unlike other affiliate programs, Costco does not provide affiliates with marketing materials, such as banners or other creative substance.
A major con is that the company does not pay commissions on the number of products sold through your website, just the total memberships.
Even that depends on membership level, with affiliates earning only $3 for standard membership purchases and $6 for more expensive executive memberships.
Also, Costco’s conversion period is what we believe is “session-based.”
Costco does not offer deep linking, allowing partners to generate links to send traffic directly to Costco.
And finally, Costco isn’t driven by online sales, like Amazon or Walmart. The retail giant depends on actual, live customers walking through physical doors to make money. Online sales lag far behind competitors.
Costco may be a household name that does well for itself, but that doesn’t mean affiliates will reap the same rewards.
How To Do Affiliate Marketing With a Website
Choose a specific niche in which you will create content for. Start with low competition, low difficulty keywords. You can find these using a keyword research tool such as SEMrush, JAAXY, or spyfu. (I use SEMrush).
Create great content. On average, it takes months for a page to climb as high as it will go on Google. Give yourself time to see the payoff. Create content as much as you can without sacrificing quality. You might like Ballen Brands for content.
Use Grammarly for spelling checks, plagiarism inspections, and to safely store your content.
Join Affiliate Programs offered at affiliate Networks like ShareASale, Viglink, and FlexOffers, and begin promoting your offers by including affiliate links and banners on your blog posts. I use Thirsty Affiliates to automate my affiliate links.
For Youtube, you’ll want to create product review videos, sample how to use something, or create an audience through other interesting videos. Include your affiliate link in the video description.