Costco is known for selling essentials in large packages, from toilet paper to coffee. But it now enters a category also considered essential by some investors and survivors: gold.
The discount retailer said this week that it has started selling one-ounce gold bars, but demand is so high that it cannot keep them in stock, even with a limit of two bars per bar. member. The company sells two types of bars: a one ounce PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan gold bar, which bears the imprint of a silhouette of the goddess of fortune with a cornucopia, and a gold bar an ounce from the Rand refinery in South Africa, stamped with an elephant motif.
Both bars are approximately half an inch long. The PAMP Suisse bar is registered and comes with a digital certificate accessible with a QR code, while the Rand bars come with their own serial number.
Gone in a few hours
Since Costco’s e-commerce site lists the bars as unavailable as of Thursday morning, pricing is not currently listed, although the PAMP bar sells for around $1,980 while the Rand bar sells for around $1,980. $950, according to Yahoo Finance.
“I’ve gotten a few calls that people have seen online saying we’re selling one-ounce gold bars,” Richard Galanti, Costco’s chief financial officer, said on a call with investors this week. “Yes, but when we upload them to the site, they usually disappear after a few hours and we limit two per member.”
Gold has long been viewed by investors as a hedge against inflation as well as a source of financial stability when stock and bond markets are volatile. Over the past five years, the price of gold has surged 57%, compared to a 47% rise in the broader S&P 500 stock index over the same period.
Costco bars are selling at a slightly higher price than the spot price of gold, which stood at $1,875 an ounce on Thursday, according to financial data firm FactSet.
Costco customers appear to be fans of the product, with some noting that the prices were lower than those available at other retailers. Other reviews have pointed out that shoppers with Costco credit cards and executive memberships can get a combined 4% cash back on their gold purchase.
“I was surprised that Costco sold physical gold. I hope we can find out when it’s available again. It sold out very quickly!” » one buyer wrote in a 5-star review. “Costco’s solid gold reputation made it an easy and safe purchase. I’m not sure I’d trust any retailer, truth be told.”