Shoppers looking to ride out a possible economic storm can now get their gold at Costco.
The warehouse store company is selling 1-ounce gold bars, and Costco CFO Richard Galanti told investors Tuesday at the retailer’s fourth-quarter earnings call that “they’re typically gone within a few hours.”
The Swiss-made bullion sells currently for $1,979.99, and online pricing is only available to members. No response from Costco was made as to how quickly that price changes to reflect market conditions.
The price of gold closed Wednesday at $1,870, the lowest price since March.
According to the Costco website, the north Fresno location at 7100 N. Abby St. had gold bars for sale with a limit of two per customer. The Clovis store did not list them as available.
Requests for comment from Costco were not immediately returned.
Costco Creating Gold Rush?
Thus far, Costco shoppers appeared pleased with the gold bars, giving them 4.9 stars out of five with 500 reviews. However, a 1-star review from Michigan roiled against the product, saying the buyer had to pay sales tax on the purchase.
Michigan does not charge sales tax on high-quality metals. California does not charge sales tax on precious metal purchases over $1,500.
Dollar’s Uncertainty and Gold’s Wild Swings
Gold sellers and buyers often tout the metal’s resilience against market downturns. But gold prices have defied conventional wisdom. In the years following the Great Recession, as the U.S. economy roared back, gold prices reached historic highs.
More recently, as the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates in 2022 to cool the economy, gold prices oddly spiked along with the cost of money. Gold prices and interest rates typically track negatively as investors see profit in other investments such as treasury bonds.
Talk of gold has also picked up steam internationally. Members of the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — have discussed alternatives to the U.S. dollar as a global currency.
There also has been speculation about Russia introducing a gold-backed currency to upend the power of the dollar. Members of BRICS added new six new member states, including oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Iran.
But not much came of the talk. India did reach agreements to purchase oil in their currency, the rupee.
The ability of the members to coalesce may prove difficult. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have been geographical rivals.
Disputes between China and India also reignited when China banned three Indian athletes from competing in the Asian Games 2023 because the three women came from the Arunachal Pradesh region, a province China claims for itself.
Also Available at Costco for Those Concerned About the Future
For those looking for a more nourishing hedge, Costco sells a pallet of emergency shelf-stable food for $3,000. The 36 buckets of food can last 25 years.
Dishes include teriyaki rice, vegetable medleys, various pastas, soups, and cereals.
Preppers on a tighter budget can also invest in smaller supplies closer to the $200 mark.