Costco is a membership-based warehouse retailer that offers customers low prices on wholesale goods. In addition to a wide selection of merchandise, Costco also offers a number of specialty departments for gas, photo development, vision and hearing aids.
Costco started in 1976 as Price Club in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego. It began only by selling merchandise to small businesses, but realized it could gain buying clout with its providers by offering memberships to non-business customers. As of 2015, Costco offers three different membership levels: Executive, Gold Star and Business. If a member is not satisfied with his membership, he is free to leave with a full refund.