Dec 15, 2023 - Business

Shoppers snap up $100M in gold bars from Costco in last quarter

A Costco store in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Dec. 9. Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shoppers are turning to a lesser-known gold retailer for their precious metal needs – Costco.

Driving the news: The company sold $100 million in gold bars in its first quarter ending Nov. 26, Costco CFO Richard Galanti said during an earnings call Thursday.

  • The retailer sells 1 oz. gold bars for just over $2,000 a pop, with a limit of two bars per Costco membership, per the online store.

Yes, but: The bars usually sell out hours after being posted on the retailer's online store.

  • The 1 oz. Gold Bar PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan was unavailable on the site Friday.

Thought bubble, from Axios' Felix Salmon: Buying physical gold is an investment strategy that's thousands of years old, and Costco has made it easier than ever.

  • A single bar of gold is both expensive enough to be a store of real value and cheap enough that a large proportion of Costco's membership can afford it.

The big picture: Costco's annual revenue is $242 billion, so $0.1 billion in profit from the gold bars isn't likely to move the needle.

  • But gold isn't the only high-ticket item the company is selling.
  • Costco sold an autographed Babe Ruth index card for $20,000 in the same quarter.

The catch: With gold, if it goes up in value and you want to cash in your gains, it's much harder to sell than it is to buy.

Go deeper: What China's economy has to do with record gold price

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