Everybody loves Costco. In fact, according to ABC News, Costco’s now the #1 wholesale buying club in North America, with more than 55 million members, and it’s the ninth largest retailer in the world. So, ever wonder what makes Costco so successful? Here are some of the secrets behind their success, according to Costco executive Jeffrey Long:

  • They deliver what they promise. Costco’s able to maintain lower prices than any other store because they keep their overhead costs low. That’s why every store has a bare-bones look, with concrete floors and minimal displays. In fact, you won’t even find signs in the aisles, telling you where to find certain products.
  • That leads to secret #2: Costco lets customers get “lost.” Because they don’t know where to find what they need, customers can spend hours wandering around the store. Research has shown that the longer you spend wandering, the more you’re likely to spend.
  • Costco also succeeds by offering fewer products. Costco stores average only 4,000 unique products at any one time. By comparison, an average Wal-Mart carries 125,000 products! That’s important because it allows Costco to stock only items they can sell at steep discounts.
  • Costco doesn’t just attract people looking for cheap products. For example: Costco’s now the #1 largest wine retailer in the world, and one of the top chains for buying fresh salmon! Also, while toilet paper is Costco’s best selling product, the item coming in a close second is cashews. They sell $300,000 worth of them every week!

If you want to get the best deals at Costco, here’s what you need to know:

  • First: As you enter the store, remember that you just came in for toilet paper. Costco packs the front of each store with flashy items like jewelry, iPods, and flat screen TVs. If you want to save money, put your head down and move through that section quickly.
  • Also, all those freshly baked samples and delicious smells work – they do get you to buy things you normally wouldn’t.
  • If you want to find the biggest bargains, the most-reduced items at Costco end with 97 cents.