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Costco’s Incredible Return Policy

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I know a lot of folks love Costco, I’m one of them. Did you know that their return policy permits you to return ANYTHING (except computers) with or without the receipt whenever you want as long as you still have the same membership. If you bought a pair of pants, as I did, and found that you didn’t really like them but tossed the receipt already… no fear, just go back and they have it all on record. Yes, I bought these pants two months ago and had been meaning to return them for two months. You can also use this as a (semi-free) extended warranty – buy a TV or DVD player and if/when it stops working after four or five years, just return it! The only exception to this rule is a computer purchase and that return period expires after six months.

Update: Costco recently amended their return policy. Televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones can only be returned within 90 days of purchase.

Don’t believe me? My friend David bought a mattress from Costco and emailed them to find out their return policy on mattresses. In short, he could return at any time, at no cost, to a store or arrange with customer service for pickup if you can’t get it to the store because of size and weight. Pretty sweet.

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746 Responses to “Costco’s Incredible Return Policy”

  1. Raquel says:

    I normally would not even think about returning it, but I only used a few times & now it doesn’t even get hot. I bought my crock pot at the same time, have used over a hundred times, and it still works perfectly. Only reason why I see justification in use of the “lifetime satisfaction” policy.

    • KittyGlitter says:

      I know.. it can be really frustrating. I think at this point though I would rack it up as a loss. It seems so many things are made to break, I am always excited when things actually work. Sad!

  2. mike says:

    what does Costco do with all those returned items? do they put them back out on the shelf and sell as new?
    Or do they discount returned items?
    I’d like to see 25% off for an item returned by someone else (like the ipod which had been sync’d).

  3. Steve - GEEK SQUAD says:

    Gentlemen.
    Costco has specific ID on each of their items which they can check by scanning through their computer. Their system is basically set up so that their customers don’t go through hell trying to return it. They do this in order to ensure customers keep shopping there if their policies seem to be this great (which in fact it is, returning something without a receipt is just marvelous) so you guys need to stop arguing because in the end, the corporates are still making more money than you think simply by keeping current members. It doesn’t matter how much you return something (Even if everything you’ve bought there you went to return), The moment you purchase the item their stock already increases. By the time you return it, they will already have profited from your purchase and it doesn’t matter if they have to give the money back to you for their product since they can simply refurbish it and re-sell it for a second profit. It’s as if you throw money in their stock but in return, you get the same exact amount of money back. In the end, Costco profits. End of story.

  4. Costco Employee says:

    STEVE – GEEK SQUAD You’re statement is totally incorrect. When something is returned at Costco, it is often destroyed and we take the entire hit. Sometimes we can salvage a product at 5-30% of the value. Rarely does Costco receive credit from the vendor. When something is returned, unless it is never opened/used, Costco takes the hit 95% of the time. That’s a fact.

  5. KittyGlitter says:

    Now I need a new Vac, looking at the Eureka Whirlwind® Plus Pet Lover Upright Vacuum. If I cannot find it at a Costco Warehouse and buy it online (from Costco).. can I return it to a warehouse if it breaks down?

  6. Will says:

    I bought a Sony 46″ LCD in March 2010. The TV started turning off on its own after 1-4 hours about a month ago. If i tried to turn it on immediately it would turn off immediately. Costco will not replace the TV for me and has me jumping through hoops with Costco Concierge Service. Is there anything else I can do?

  7. KittyGlitter says:

    That doesn’t sound right.. seems they should take it back.

  8. mike says:

    i bought an ipod nano 2 months ago from costco but lost the reciept. if i bought it on my membership than can i still return it?

  9. KittyGlitter says:

    They have it all on computer, and can run your card to track your purchases and returns.

  10. Tony says:

    Can I return an expired unopened, sealed container of salad?

    • Mark says:

      Yeah moron! They have a lifetime return policy at Costco.

    • KittyGlitter says:

      Are you mentally challenged?

    • Sueann says:

      If you want to be throughly embarrased, sure you can return it!…lol…the moment you walk away…the jokes start and everytime they see you again, don’t think that’s a friendly smile…that’s a “there’s that Azzhole that returned that old expired salad after he cleaned out his closet from 2005″….lolololol

  11. Anonymous says:

    So I called costco’s concierge service today to get my tv repaired. After jumping through hoops, they told me my I’d have to pay for repairs. I called the warehouse and spoke to a nice guy who told me to bring the tv in and they’d help me. Borrowed someone’s pickup and took the 60″ back. When I got to the store, I was greeted by some over-achiever who scooped up my membership and disappeared for 20 minutes. He returned to tell me there was nothing they could do for me. After calmly explaining the situation, they agreed to give me half of my $2399 back. Half ! To add insult to injury, the guy told me that he sells $300k in TV’s a month and I could cancel my membership at any time so he wasn’t concerned about me. How’s that for customer service?

    • Sueann says:

      Ok…so I’m curious to find out why the “Costco” concierge said it would cost you for repairs???? There is NO charge to you UNLESS it’s determined YOU broke the TV and NOT a manufactured defect. Example cracked,shatter, broken LCD/LED screen. But if you had it for some time. The whse manager has the right to offer 1/2 if he/she so pleases. Go to Best Buy, Sears, Target or any other electronic store…YOU’RE NOT EVEN GONNA GET THAT.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I bought a Xbox 360 from there the first year they came out. I have returned it three times for having red rings. You need to keep all the orignal packing and items it came with. They have not only replaced it but gave me the difference in price on a gift card each time.
    The warranty is lifetime satisfaction with there products.

    • Sueann says:

      So why DO YOU KEEP getting the red ring of death on 3???? My son’s have the XBOX for the past 5 years with no issues. FYI, there is NO lifetime satisfaction. With time, you WILL be denied a refund.

  13. Jerry says:

    Yes i have been a costco member for years. They have NEVER questioned anything I’ve returned. That is the one main reason for choosing Costco. I had an office chair for a couple years and the back broke. I tried to find a part to replace the back, but they no longer made it. I took it back to Costco, and they gave me a full refund and I bought a replacement on the spot. They are GREAT! Keep it up Costco!!!

  14. curiousconsumer says:

    I bought a beautiful leather sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman just 9 months ago. (about $3000.00 special- USA Italia). The style and leather is outstandinging but the cushioning is breaking down. Was thinking about contacting a reuphosterer to see if builtin cushions could be beefed up. Think it could be returned?

    • Jenna says:

      I definitely think it can be returned I bought a recliner and two bolts snapped off – the manufacturer actually has a warranty that covers the hardware/cushions for at least the first 5 years. You should talk to customer service at Costo. I have returned ALOT of bad products and they just give you store credit and you buy something else. They are very easy to work with. I have never had any problems.

    • Sueann says:

      Contact the manager at your Costco, they can have the manufacture replace or repair it for you.

  15. billy says:

    does the 90 day policy apply to earphones too?

  16. DENISE says:

    I SAID I HAVE PURCHASED AN 1800.00 VIZIO FROM COSTCO ALONG WITH THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FROM HAVING TO REPLACE MY HOUSE FIRE. THE TV WAS PURCHASED ALITTLE OVER A YR. AND WAS TOLD ABOUT THE 2 YEAR WARNTTY. LAST WEEK I HAD SOME NEW DOUBLE SECURITY DOORS INSTALLED AT MY FRONT DOORS AND SOMEONE I WOULD TAKE IT BRATTY KIDS SHOUT HOLES ALL THUR MY DOORS. THE NEXT TIME I WENT TO SIT DOWN TO WATCH TV IN THAT ROOM CAUSE BEING DISABLED I’M IN MY BED WATCHING TV I ALSO GOT FROM COSTCO IT WOULDN’T WORK. I CALLED COSTCO AND HAD VIZIO ON THE PHONE AT SAME TIME TO DO SOME TESTS ON THE TV TO SEE WHAT MIGHT BE WRONG. THE GENTLEMAN AT VIZIO SAID IT SOUNDS LIKE ITS BEEN DAMAGE BUT IT WORKED THE LAST TIME I TURNED IT ON. HE ALSO SAID THAT A WII CAN HAVE SLIPPED OUT OF SOMEONES HAND AND HIT THE TV. I KNOW THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN CAUSE I HAVE NO WII INFACT I’M JUST A DISABLED WOMAN WHO LIVES BY MYSELF SO I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT COULD OF HAPPEN. HE TELLS ME TO GET A CAMERA AND TAKE 2 PICTURES OF IT AND E-MAIL IT IN AND I SAID OK. NOT THINKING HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS I HAVE NO WAY OF DOING THIS, SO BEING VERY DEPRESSED AND NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL 55″TV ONLY A YEAR AND A FEW MONTHS COSTING ME 1800.00 WHAT DO I DO. IN THE MEAN TIME HOMEDEPOT WHO INSTALLED MY DOORS ARE WILLING TO COME OUT AND DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO FIX THE DAMAGE TO MY DOORS WHICH WEREN’T CHEAP AND HE KNEW HOW HAPPY I WAS WITH THEM. I HAD ASKED MY SON TO COME OVER AND HELP ME TO LOOK AT THE TV. HE SAID IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S BEEN SHOT AND THEN I KNEW, I JUST SAT DOWN AND CRIED AND YES IT WAS FROM THOSES WHO EVER HAS NO RESPECT FOR OTHER PEOPLES THINGS I DON’T EVEN KNOW NOW WHAT TO DO, CAN YOU TELL ME WHATS RIGHT AND FAIR.

    THANK YOU

    SINCERELY DENISE

    • KittyGlitter says:

      Denise,

      I just wanted to say that I am sorry you had this happen.. it’s awful. I’m glad you have a son who can help you. By the way, did you know that when you us all caps, it’s considered shouting and is difficult to read?

      I really hope that you have insurance that will cover your damaged tv, I would be crying too! Prayers to you.

    • Sueann says:

      So sorry to hear about your woes Denise, but your home owners insurance will cover all of the damage. And get someone to beat those kids down…lol

  17. OMGReally says:

    I can’t believe any of you idiots took Sam seriously.

  18. Anonymous says:

    2 years warranty from Costco SUCKS!
    My TV Still broken for 1 month they still never fix it.

  19. Booker says:

    Top HDTV rule: Don’t buy a Vizio. They’re disposable TVs. Sam’s and Costco shouldn’t be selling these and then not backing them up beyond the standard warranty, but they do, so buyer beware.

  20. Cant Complain says:

    Hi–Bought a Vizio P42HD in 3/06. It had a bad HDMI port out of the box but I dealt with it via component cables. But it recently started turning off after being on for more than an hour or so. So the TV is 4+ years old. I have the original receipt and kept the box. Can I return it and will I be challenged about it? I had returned another TV after about a year when I bought this one. Other than that I returned (actually exchanged) a defective roomba, which also turned out not to work so well. I don’t want to be the guy who returns everything in abuse of a generous policy, but I’d also like to have a working TV (and Roomba).

  21. Oh i forgot to mention, I never had receipts in any of the returns!! LOL

    COSTCO IS THE BEST!

  22. Kit says:

    Does Costco pay it’s employees to come on blogs and speak for them? Are they backing up their employees statements? Costco advertised it would refund any item purchased for any reason for a long time. They did it as a ploy to get customers. It was part of what you were paying membership dues for. As in member benefits. It worked. Regardless of whats being returned they still have made tons of money over the years. Every customer has a right to be treated fairly. Which would include that if john got his money fully refunded for a old broken tv then so should the lady in a different store. Costco has to honor what it advertises ethically speaking regardless of the customers intention. Costco shareholders have made a bundle off of it. Jim Senegal should be ashamed that any of his employees feel like they can bad mouth his customers or treat them poorly for asking for only what he himself promised them. That and I don’t get how a store level employee has the authority to negotiate company policy as they see fit. Is that written in their policy somewhere?

    • Sueann says:

      #1 This is NOT a Costco website. It’s a public blog where anyone can blog about anything.

      #2 Costco employees are NOT paid if they so choose to blog here or anywhere else. And what makes you think they are Costco employees?

      #3 Costco DOES NOT advertise.

      #4 The employees in ANY of the 500 stores have the right to protect the company assets if someone is truly scamming the company. Scams=higher prices=higher membership fees.

      #5 Costco should be proud that they have dedicated people that do their jobs.

      You’re always gonna have a few people including employees that will abuse their power. That’s just the nature of the human being. If you are offended by what is said here then make a simple choice, DON’T read anything!

      A blog is just that A BLOG.

  23. Deano says:

    I have a projector that I purchased a few weeks before the 90-day policy took effect. I was told by someone at Costco to buy it before this happened to ensure I could return it later on. Well I only used the projector around ten times, then put it back in the box. Had a reason to use it tonight and it keeps buzzing and flickering. Kept the receipt and everything, but the paper says I used a cash card. If they grant me a return, can I get the refund in cash or am I stuck with a giant cash card?

  24. el oh el says:

    so i had a vizio that i bought 5 years ago and spilled water in it because i wanted a new one. took it to costco and get the 3d one :)

    i also have a bou ray player that i bought last year, i took that back and returned it for a new model that plays in 3d

    i’m looking around for other things that i have from costco, i’ll take it back and get new things.

    i love costco, their return policy is life time. i can keep doing this and never buy another item again, talk about saving money!

    yay!

    p.s. my best was buying wine, drinking half and returning it for full refund. saved some good money there :)

  25. bobby says:

    bought a washer and dryer 4 years ago now having problems with a leaky washer. what do you think i should do? oh by the way i work at a costco.


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