Costco is experimenting with the idea of selling used cars.
Apparently the idea is not so far-fetched as it might initially seem. A testing program began last year in select markets and more than 1,200 cars were sold through it. So, the members-only warehouse chain thinks there is potential to roll it out to a wider area.
Here’s how it works, according to Automotive News:
“Participating dealers list vehicles for free, recondition them to their dealerships’ standards and agree to sell them to Costco members for at least $1,000 below their lowest advertised price or the midpoint between Kelley Blue Book’s wholesale and retail prices.”
So far, Costco is offering only late model used cars that have at least 12 months and 12,000 miles of new-car warranty remaining. These would be typically models that are five years, or less, old.
Costco began testing the program last January. Locations in Phoenix and West Springfield, Massachusetts were first to participate. By mid-2013, the program was also expanded to Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego and San Luis Obispo in California.
So far, about 135 dealers are participating.
If you want to check out the listings, they are available at costcoauto.com but only if you are a Costco member, and live in a zip code near those markets.
January 4, 2014