From toilet paper to coffee, Costco is renowned for offering daily basics in large containers. But now it’s moving closer to a category that includes gold, which some investors and survivalists also consider to be vital.
The bargain retailer announced this week that it has begun selling 1-ounce bars of gold, but that despite a two-bar maximum per member, demand is so great that it is unable to keep them in stock. The company is offering two different kinds of bars: a 1-ounce gold PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan bar with an elephant stamp and an impression of the goddess of luck holding a cornucopia, and a 1-ounce bar from South Africa’s Rand Refinery.
The length of each bar is roughly half an inch. The Rand bars have their own serial numbers, however the PAMP Suisse bars are registered and have a digital certificate that can be viewed with a QR code.
Absent for hours
The pricing isn’t officially indicated, but according to Yahoo Finance, the PAMP bar costs roughly $1,980, while the Rand bar costs about $1,950. Costco’s online store lists the bars as unavailable as of Thursday morning.
On an investor call this week, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti stated, “I’ve gotten a handful of calls that individuals have seen online that we’ve been selling one ounce gold bars. Yes, however we only allow two per person, so after we load them on the site, they usually disappear within a few hours.
Investors have always looked to gold as an inflation hedge and a source of financial security during choppy stock and bond markets. The price of gold has increased by 57% during the last five years, whereas the broad S&P 500 stock index has only increased by 47% in same time.
According to financial data provider FactSet, the Costco bars are being sold for a little bit more than the spot price of gold, which was $1,875 an ounce on Thursday.
Customers at Costco seem to like the product, and some have even commented on how much less expensive it was there than at other stores. Other reviewers made the observation that purchasers with Costco executive memberships and credit cards can receive a combined 4% cash back on their gold purchase.
“I was startled to learn that Costco sold actual gold. I’m hoping we can learn when it will be back in stock. It was gone really fast!” A customer left a 5-star review. “It was a simple and secure purchase because of Costco’s solid gold reputation.