In the company's quarterly earnings call on September 26, Costco’s chief financial officer Richard Galanti said, “I've gotten a couple of calls that people have seen online that we've been selling one-ounce gold bars, yes, but when we load them on the site, they're typically gone within a few hours and we limit two per member.”
Members can purchase the gold bars for just under $2,000 each, compared with gold’s spot price of about $1,820 per ounce at the time of this writing. There are currently two variations of gold bars available at Costco — PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan and Rand Refinery. Both are one troy ounce and made of 24-karat gold. They are available online only with a limit of two per member and are not eligible to be returned or refunded.
Costco ships the gold bars via UPS insured shipping and a signature is required on delivery.
Membership prices to increase soon
During the quarterly earnings call, Galanti was asked if a membership price increase was in Costco’s near-term plans. He responded by saying it was a “matter of when, not if.”
Galanti noted that Costco’s last price increase took place in June 2017, and six years is longer than its typical five-and-a-half year price increase cycle. “In terms of looking at the values that we provided our members, we continue to increase those in certainly a greater amount than even more than if and when an increase occurs,” he continued. “Stay tuned. We'll keep you posted.”
Costco has continued to expand its offerings to show the value of being a member, such as its addition of gold bars to its inventory and its new partnership with Sesame for discounted outpatient healthcare services.
And while the price of its membership may be on the rise, the price of its famous Costco hot dog and soda combo has remained steady at $1.50 since its introduction in 1984, as reported by Reader’s Digest.
Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.
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