Like many Fortune 500 companies, the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet began as an idea for a theme camp at Burning Man.

Over Friday night beers, founders Lazarhed and Rico Thunder decided to create a theme camp at Burning Man, “because that would be, like, totally cool, MAN!” After some thought and several beers, the two decided to help the denizens of Black Rock City (where they eventually opened their flagship store) connect socially and find new friends and lovers (yes, like the Beatles song).

Of course, the problem for the budding retail magnates was that Burning Man does not allow the exchange of currency. This is why the Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet has become the largest company on the BURNDAC that never charges money for it’s services. Instead, Costco relies on a trade-in policy to maintain it’s inventory of used and dusty soulmates, which it then gives away (for free) to other parts of it’s own inventory.

Although some have claimed that this is some incomprehensible sort of ponzi scheme, more credible theorists have concluded that it is in fact a multi-decade-spanning attempt to collect the largest number of bicycles possible in one place. The theorists expect, that any year now, all the bicycles left out front of the camp will be liberated and the camp will never be seen again.

Whatever the truth, no one can deny that Costco’s soul-trading efforts have been the most successful since a certain apple-enthusiast snake (no, not Steve Jobs) got into the business around 4000 BC.

The theme camp was formulated in 1999 and has attended Burning Man as a theme camp, warehouse outlet, and extended family every year since.