Costco Gold Bars – Here’s Everything We Know So Far (2024 Update)

Posted - May 16, 2024
Costco Gold Bars - Here's Everything We Know So Far (2024 Update)

At a Glance: 

    • Costco now sells gold bars – but with a few notable restrictions. 
    • Costco gold bars may be easy to buy, but selling them is another story. 
    • Read about everything you need to know about Costco gold bars on this page. 

 

Costco Gold Bars – Are They Worth the Money? 

Last October, big box retailer Costco began selling gold bars. Available exclusively to members, the bars have been flying off of Costco’s shelves. For now, the company only offers two gold bars: the 50 gram and 1 oz versions of the PAMP Suisse Fortuna Gold Bar. According to recent reports, gold bar sales have accounted for $100-200 million in revenue since they went live on the Costco website in 2023. 

Not all that glitters is gold for fans of Costco’s entry into the precious metals market, though. Business Insider reports that many customers are having trouble finding buyers for their newly purchased Costco gold bars. Precious metal products are not eligible for refunds or returns, according to Costco’s return policy. Although the company’s new gold bars tend to sell out within hours of being listed on their website, buyers are finding out the hard way that it may be easier to buy gold than to sell it. 

Are Costco gold bars worth the money? Costco gold bars can be a good deal for investors who already have a membership, but the cost of storing and eventually selling them can quickly eat into their value – and your profit margins. 

What Are Costco Gold Bars? 

Costco, a company known for its bulk grocery inventory, now sells gold bars. Precious metals were added to the retailer’s inventory in October, drawing significant coverage from news outlets. Initially, only 1 oz versions of the classic PAMP Suisse Fortuna Gold Bar were on offer. Now, the company also offers 50 gram weights of the gold bar to help investors stack gold on a budget. 

It is worth noting that Costco is only selling their gold bars to members. A Costco membership costs at least $60 per year. In other words, investors who buy a membership in order to purchase Costco gold bars should add $60 to the total cost of their investment. 

When Did Costco Start Selling Gold Bars?

Costco began selling gold bars in October of 2023. Since then, the 1 oz PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Gold Bar has become one of their biggest profit-drivers. Some news sources and commentary from executives estimate that Costco now sells $100-200 million per month in gold bars. It seems that Costco’s experiment to gauge market interest was successful – and Costco’s gold bars are here to stay. 

Costco Gold Bar Options 

As of May 2024, Costco only sells one gold bar in two different weights. Costco’s gold bar is the PAMP Fortuna Gold Bar, an intricate 99.99% fine bullion featuring beautiful artwork of the Roman Goddess of fortune, Fortuna. This bar is available in both 1 oz and 50 gram weights, according to Costco’s website. 

PAMP Fortuna 1 oz Gold Bar
Costco Sells the PAMP Fortuna Gold Bar

The Real Price of a Costco Gold Bar

The price of a Costco gold bar changes daily, based on availability and the current spot price of gold. According to some sources, Costco gold bars are being sold at a premium of around 2% above spot price. These premiums put Costco’s gold bar prices on par with most other online gold dealers, but Costco gold bars may have a couple of hidden costs. 

First, investors should consider shipping fees when calculating the total price of a Costco gold bar. At the moment, Costco gold bars are only available online. Investors need to be quick, though. Costco tends to sell out of their gold bars within hours. Even if you manage to score a gold bar, high shipping might eat into your investing profits if you buy Costco gold bars online. 

Membership fees are another hidden cost of buying Costco gold bars. Like a few other big box stores, Costco restricts certain items for sale exclusively to paying members. Costco gold bars are one of many members-only items for sale on the company’s website – and memberships cost money. Right now, a standard Costco membership costs $60 per year. 

For investors who already have a Costco membership, Costco gold bars are sold at a reasonable low premium and might be worth buying. Investors who are not currently members, though, should factor the cost of membership into their budget before picking up a new Costco gold bar. We do not recommend buying a new Costco membership just to buy their gold bars – investors would save more money buying gold from a reputable online gold dealer

Are Costco Gold Bars a Good Deal?

Costco gold bars can be a good deal – but only for members who are quick enough to buy one. Without a membership, buyers will need to subscribe to Costco’s cheapest membership, which costs a whopping $60 per year. If we add this fee to the total cost of a Costco gold bar, it might be more expensive to buy from Costco than from a dedicated gold bar dealer

For investors who already have a Costco membership, their gold bars sell at a reasonable low premium over spot price. Despite the low premiums, budget investors should remember that Costco is generally not the cheapest way to buy gold. If saving money is your goal as a gold stacker, your best bet is to look for Any Mint, Any Condition (AMAC) gold bars. Hero Bullion offers some of the lowest premiums in the market for our AMAC 1 oz Gold Bars

Hidden Costs of Costco Gold Bars

The two main hidden costs of buying gold from Costco include membership fees and shipping costs. 

PAMP Fortuna 5 gram Gold Bar
Costco Does Not Yet Offer the Inexpensive 5g PAMP Fortuna Gold Bar

Because Costco gold bars can only be purchased online, investors should factor shipping fees into the total cost of their investment. Shipping fees for Costco gold bars vary based on a buyer’s location and preferred shipping method. High shipping fees are one of the biggest profit-killers for bullion investors, and all too many gold stackers underestimate shipping costs when calculating the total cost of their gold bars. 

Membership fees may also play a role in making Costco gold bars less of a great deal than some news outlets may lead investors to believe. For people who already have a membership that they use frequently, Costco gold bars are very competitively priced compared to other online dealers. However, individuals who need to purchase a new membership before gaining access to Costco’s gold bar deals should consider this cost as part of their investment. 

Comparing Costco to Online Gold Dealers

How do Costco gold bars stack up to other online bullion deals? In this section, we’ll compare Costco with other online gold dealers to help readers figure out whether or not Costco gold bars are really a good deal. Costco differs from other online gold dealers in three ways: price, reputation, and customer service. Let’s take a closer look at how Costco compares to traditional online gold dealers. 

Costco  Online Gold Dealers
Premiums of around 2% per troy ounce Premiums vary – as low as 2-3% per troy ounce over spot
Any quantity pricing Premiums vary based on quantity purchased
Limited to 2 per customer No limits to purchases per customer
Limited availability – quick to sell out Always in-stock, no risk of selling out
No returns or refunds allowed Refunds and returns allowed (usually)

Price Comparison 

Costco gold bars are currently selling at a premium of about 2% over spot price per ounce, making Costco a cheaper option than most online retailers. Costco also offers this price at any quantity, which is another reason why Costco is one of the most affordable options for buying gold bars right now. 

This price can be misleading for a couple reasons, though. First, Costco charges a membership fee annually – and Costco gold bars are only available for active members. At $60 per year, this membership can quickly kill any discounts investors receive by buying gold through Costco. In fact, the $60 Costco membership fee brings Costco gold bar prices remarkably close to the cost of buying the same bar from a reputable, dedicated online gold dealer. 

Second, this price doesn’t include the cost of shipping your Costco gold bar. Shipping costs for Costco gold bars vary, depending on several different factors. Some customers may end up paying so much to ship and insure their gold bar that they pay more for a gold bar from Costco than they’d pay for the same bar from another dealer. 

Any Quantity Pricing 

One advantage to buying gold bars from Costco is their “any quantity” pricing. Typically, bullion dealers offer scaffolded discounts for larger quantity purchases of a given product. For example, it is generally cheaper to buy 10 1 oz gold bars than just one. Costco does not change the cost of buying a gold bar depending on the number of gold bars a customer buys. In other words, the price of a Costco gold bar is the same, whether you buy one or two. 

This “any quantity” pricing comes with a big downside, though. While it would be great to get the same solid deal for several Costco gold bars, the company has limited gold bar purchases to 2 per customer. 

Costco Gold Bars - Here's Everything We Know So Far (2024 Update)
Any Mint, Any Condition Gold Bars Are a Cheap Way to Buy Gold
Limited Availability

Costco’s choice to step into the gold market made international headlines. Equally story-worthy was their tendency to almost immediately sell out of their gold bars. Indeed, Fortune reported last month that a “herd mentality” has led to Costco selling out of gold bars almost as quickly as they go live. 

Costco keeps selling out of gold bars. Experts warn rush is more ‘mob mentality’ than sound investment decision

Adding to the scarcity of Costco gold bars is the limit placed on how many units each member can order. In an effort to keep the bars from being gobbled up by large investors, the company only allows each member to purchase two gold bars at one time. Stackers who want to stock up on PAMP Fortuna Gold Bars should consider doing business with a traditional gold dealer – who won’t place restrictions on how many gold bars each customer can buy. 

Reputation Comparison

Costco has an excellent reputation. For decades, the members-only big box store has been one of the most respected bulk grocery stores in the United States. As a gold dealer, however, it’s still too early to say how well Costco stacks up to more traditional distributors in the market. Costco certainly is not the only large retail chain to step into the gold market. Both Walmart and Sears began selling gold online in 2018, according to CoinWorld Magazine

The company’s reputation as a legitimate seller of a wide array of products is without contest. What remains to be seen is how Costco will stack up to tried-and-true gold bullion dealers when it comes to customer service, consistent pricing, and transparency. 

Customer Service Comparison 

In general, Costco’s customer service is well regarded among its peers. Seasoned gold stackers should know, however, that customer service looks a bit different in our industry than in other markets. So far, Costco offers very few investor resources, and it is unclear whether or not their gold bar business is being run by established professional bullion traders. 

Perhaps more troubling for new gold stackers is Costco’s no-refund policy they’ve applied to their gold bar product line. Business Insider opines that this policy is one reason some gold investors got more than they bargained for when doing business with Costco: 

Gold bars are one of the few items that Costco does not allow returns, refunds, or price adjustments on, so the only way to get your money back is to find someone else who will buy it from you — and that’s more complicated than some expected.

Not only do dedicated online gold dealers offer robust refund policies, but many leading precious metal companies also buy products back from customers. Selling gold back to a dealer is a good way to guarantee an exit strategy for your investment. As new investors flock to buy cheap gold from Costco, many consumers are realizing just how hard it is to sell gold for a profit

Costco Gold Bars - Here's Everything We Know So Far (2024 Update)
Selling Gold? We Can Help – Click this Image to See Our Offers!

Overall, Costco offers excellent customer service, but they don’t yet offer the resources and tools that make gold dealers so popular among investors. 

Is it Worth it to Buy Costco Gold Bars? 

It is worth it to buy Costco gold bars for investors who:

  • Already have a membership
  • Don’t want to buy more than two gold bars, and;
  • Have a plan for selling their gold bars. 

Consumers who will need to purchase a new Costco membership to buy Costco gold bars should factor both the cost of this membership and any applicable shipping fees to find the total cost of their investment. Selling gold bars should also be an important part of your investment planning; dealers like Hero Bullion offer convenient refund and buy-back policies to help you profit once gold prices increase. Costco does not yet provide these services. 

Does Costco Sell Silver? 

In addition to gold bars, Costco now sells silver coins. At the moment, their offerings are restricted to the most popular North American silver coins. Costco sells both the American Silver Eagle and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. These coins are only available in bulk – 25-count and 20-count options are available for now. 

2024 1 oz American Silver Eagle Coin Reverse (BU)
Costco Sells the American Silver Eagle Coin

Customers have voiced complaints about the packaging and quality of Costco silver coins, so we’d recommend that customers do a bit of research before doubling-down on silver coins from their favorite big box store. 

How to Sell Costco Gold Bars

Many customers report having trouble selling their Costco gold bars. The good news is that investors have several options for selling Costco’s newest product line. Selling gold bars has never been easier. Hero Bullion buys gold bars, and we make competitive offers on all products that our customers show us. Read more about how to sell gold bars at the end of this article. 

Here’s What We Know So Far About Costco Gold Bars

Costco’s cautious first steps into the gold market turned into a dead sprint earlier this year. After racking in $200-300 million monthly in gold bars, the company seems to be doubling down on selling beautiful gold bars to its customers. 

Are Costco gold bars really such a great deal? The answer is that it depends. If we consider the cost of shipping and a yearly Costco membership, their gold bars are hardly affordable compared to other online gold bullion dealers. For customers who already have a membership and don’t mind the company’s purchasing limits, Costco could be a good source of relatively cheap gold bullion. 

You might also be interested in: 

About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.