Last year, Costco slapped its Kirkland Signature label on some balls from a company called Nassau Golf, which had extras sitting around that it wanted to get rid of. The warehouse club sold them in containers of 24 for $30 and put them on the shelves, not realizing that it had created a sensation.
Golfers bought the balls because they were cheap, and spread the word on their courses when they realized that the quality was really good, comparable to the big-name brands that spend money on engineering and on sponsoring professional golfers.
“This will change the entire industry,” the owner of an equipment review site told the Wall Street Journal. Golfers, like most consumers, believe that you generally get what you pay for in the equipment market. The Kirkland balls disproved that.
Paradoxically, the balls that were a hit because they were so cheap are now selling on eBay for prices closer to the premium brands. The WSJ talked to ball-flippers who are re-selling them on eBay, making a profit of $10 per container. Remember, they retailed for $30.
If the Kirkland Signature balls ever return to Costco’s shelves, they’ll be more expensive next time Nassau Golf has a few batches to spare, and the company probably won’t be making huge quantities of excess balls available to discounters like Costco in the future.
An executive with Nassau Golf anonymously told the newspaper that the company’s biggest client, TaylorMade, is unhappy with the Kirkland Miracle, and so is Nassau Golf. The company believes that $45 per dozen is a more appropriate retail price for the product. Does Costco agree? Costco declined to comment to the WSJ.
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