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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. Koala says:

    Some of these questions astound me. I.e. Can I use the product for 3-7 years, enjoy it and return it to get my money back? Or ‘I was using this item and slipped and fell. It broke, it was my fault but I want Costco to give me my money back. This is why Costco had to change their policy from #1 in the industry to something that is just o.k. The return policy was put into place so that if there was a legitimate reason you had to return the item, you wouldn’t be hassled. It has turned into a game of who can jack Costco out of the most money. No wonder they had to change it cause of shysters.

  2. uclalien says:

    I worked at Costco back when I was in college. It didn’t happen too often because few people had the nerve to try it, but you would see people bring in big screen TVs they’d had for 5 years and simply didn’t want anymore.

    Recently, I returned a printer that I was given as a gift about 15 months prior. Given that it was a fairly expensive printer, I had no qualms about returning it. I received a full refund (on a gift card) for roughly $185. I then went out and bought a similar printer for $50. Unfortunately, it appears that my wife may have lost the gift card. :(

  3. linda says:

    We bought an hp printer last august or September.
    It is terrible. We would like to know if we can return it and the inks we bought for it (ink unopened)We do not have the box for the printer.
    I do not know if I have the receipt but I did charge it.
    Thanks,
    Linda

  4. Acevedo says:

    Costco’s return policy is not what it’s cracked up to be.

    I recently bought a Vita Mix and had to go through all kinds of trouble to exchange it for another one. The manager made us jump through all sorts of hoops and it took us more than an hour to finalize the return. I wrote to Costco more than a week ago explaining the details, but have not received ANY response yet.
    I was going to buy a computer there, because I felt safe buying from them. Unfortunately, I have lost my trust in this company.

    • Tony says:

      I bought a similar product (maybe the same one) that cost an arm and a leg and I wasn’t satisfied with the shakes, smoothies and ice cream it was supposed to make. I followed the instructions perfectly and it never came out right. My ice cream came out as smoothies, and my smoothies came out as shakes. So I returned it and told them why I was returning it, and they gave me my money back w/ no problem. I’m sorry to hear you had to jump through hoops to get your refund.

  5. Ruth says:

    Hi -

    I purchased a presto heat dish heater a couple years ago and never used it until recently. Well it caught on fire and melted the motor and filled my home with a plastic smelling soot!

    They have a newer improved version of the heater. Do you think I could exchange it for the newer heater? Wondering if there was some manufacturing flaws on the original one.

    Thanks! :)

  6. Silver says:

    I had it confirmed by Costco today that electronics (computers, TV’s etc) purchased at Costco prior to February 2007 fall under a “grandfather clause” and may be returned regardless of warranty term.

    They cut off the electronics items at 90 days in 2007 because of folks that would buy something, use it for a year and then swap it out for a new one – repeatedly. They did NOT have a problem with regular customers upgrading after a few years, as they new it usually included purchase of accessory items and kept them loyal to Costco.

    But it was far too difficult to piece together an item-by-item policy, so they grouped all the “gadgets” under the new policy.

    I received the call as I’d sent an email asking – I’d purchased a TV in 2006 that recently developed problems – it was cheap in 2006 for an LCD, but I could replace it for more than the repair cost. I’d recalled the policy, found the receipt, sent an email with details simply asking what to do – and THEY brought up the “grandfather” clause,told me I didn’t even need the receipt if I’d registered it (and definitely NOT the box) – just take it to the nearest store. Each store is allowed to set policy to a point: a refund or credit.

    But it’s a fact – and the feeling I got is they actually encourage it. Again, it breeds customer loyalty.

    I was, to say the least, pleasantly surprised.

    The painful part will be retraining certain family members how to use a new remote!

    • Dan says:

      Did you email the website or Call a local Store?

      • LT says:

        Do you have a contact number? My local store denied my warranty even though I was before the new policy. What is terrible is that my TV started buzzing within months of purchase. Since it was in a spare room and mounted on the wall, we left it. Now, the buzzing is unbearable. The only reason I didn’t change it was because the store suggested I keep it until it completely broke. I would have been better off returning it at first.

    • JB says:

      Silver, can you forward that email to me please? My local manager is giving me a hard time on returning a printer I bought years ago that has been a lemon and a pain in the %^& dealing with Brother on…thx

  7. Andy says:

    Does anyone know what is Costco’s return policy in regards to appliances, i.e. refrigerators? I have “Kirkland Signature” fridge that is dying. I purchased it in early 2009 and was wondering if returning was an option. Thanks for any replies in advance!

    • Andy says:

      Did you findoutthe fridge policy. I have on that I bought four years ago and am thinking of returning, It just burned out it second fan motor.

  8. Stephen says:

    I used a cell phone upgrade to get a new phone – urged by the salesperson, since I could had 90 days to exchange it, and the new version was about 45 days away – the one I wanted. Given the price was low, I said why not.

    The new one has been delayed to launch, till day 91!! I asked if I could exchange now for another model, and would that extend my return for another 90 days? They said NO.

    I have never returned anything to Costco that wasn’t legit, and even then only twice in like 7 years. Any way to work this out?

    • dan says:

      I am going to take a set of Michelins in for a 100% refund. I bought them 2 years ago but I have only used them for 6 months spread out over 2 summers. The reason is that the salesman pressured me to buy a different size than what I asked for. And the costco website has the wrong tire size information on the website.

  9. dan says:

    I purchased a set of michelins for my c230 2 years ago. The salesman pressured me to buy a different size than what I asked for. Turns out the costco website listed the Canadian version of the car as the stock size and the US version of the car as a substitute size. I went in today to get some credit for my old tires towards the purchase of the correct tires. All I can say is don’t waste your time talking to those tire changing idiots. They have zero customer service skills.

  10. dominic tran says:

    On Costco’s return policy says cameras, ipods…. has 90 days to return. But it doesn’t mention about all other products! Or how long? I asked the guy who works there when i purchased a watch about it, he told me people keep a product for 10 years and return it without any problem!! Is it true?? There is no Guideline!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Usually for watches, it’s a reasonable time period. I usually just stick with the manufacturer’s warranty.

  11. Derek says:

    I can tell you that simply because of Costco’s amazing return policy, they have made a very loyal customer out of me. I buy things at Costco that are a bit cheaper elsewhere for the assurance that if something goes wrong, I’ve got ‘insurance’ on it; I buy things on impulse that I would not have normally, knowing I’m safely covered if I change my mind – and much of the time, I end up keeping these items anyway, and Costco just ‘suckered’ me into spending more money that I’d think much harder about without this policy.

    If you ask me, I think they’re geniuses for it, and it’s the one thing that makes me feel the money I spend on a membership every year is money well spent. The day they discontinue this policy is the day my membership will not be renewed.

    You can say Costco screws their suppliers to accomplish this – and that is probably somewhat true – but these suppliers are free to leave to many other stores if they wish. But for the sanity of us all, let’s not take back 10 year old used items – that’s just abusive.

  12. H says:

    Bought small appliance from Costco.com for my mom, found out mom didn’t like it and found it basically unused tucked away in her shed. Costco.com said they will not honor their satisfaction guaranteed pledge. Granted the appliance was over a year old but if they are going to have time limits they should really put it in writhing on their published return policy.

    • Carolyn says:

      Try another location. Or even try again. Sometimes it depends on the who is at the customer service desk. You are within your rights to get a refund. Just make sure it is clean, so that you demonstrate respect. A Lowes manager shared that with me once and I have never forgotten that tip.

  13. will says:

    got a telescope for christmas roughly
    (couldnt use it in the winter) 6 months ago, went to use it today and the motars are broke in it, think I can return it or is it to late?

  14. Richard Davila says:

    If this is true they should adv. it…
    I just bought a BBQ Grill, $700 and asked about an extended warranty as most of the under $1500 are made poorly and rust out.. The cashier said you paid with A/E which you get the 1st yr. after that, just return it….
    If this is true, I’m looking to purchase even more from Costco..

  15. Christine says:

    I purchased a 50″ Toshiba plasma TV just prior to the change in refund policy. I felt comfortable spending over 2K as they backed their products. Last month it literally exploded. Apparently it is a known Toshiba problem with that model. Toshiba won’t fix them. They say to go buy a mother board, etc. (www.fixya.com) I am a mom who does not have that particular set of skills. Will they return it and just give me some money to go towards a similar TV? Paying over $500 a year for a TV is a bit of a rip off. I truly expected a few more years and then I wouldn’t even consider asking for their help.

    • Christine says:

      UPDATE: I was shopping in Costco today and inquired about my plasma that went kaboom. They looked up my receipt in the computer and said to bring it in today for a full ($2200!!!!) refund as it was a known problem with the 50″ Plasma Toshibas. I am shaking a bit. What a relief. Really, they didn’t have to do that. I would have been happy with a small credit and their help to get rid of the darned ginormous thing. Wow, I am a COSTCO MEMBER FOR LIFE.

      • Christine says:

        PS: My TV was purchased December, 2006!!!!!!!!!!!

      • BROWNIE says:

        I bought a Vizio 42″ in 2008. It no longer powers up. From looking at various websites for Vizio, it appears this problem happens all of the time. Do you think Costco would replace it?

  16. Will Y says:

    I have a Wii game system and want to return it 60 days after purchase. Will I get a full refund, including shipping and handling, tax, and all extra fees?

  17. Shirley says:

    We visited a hearing specialist yesterday and found need for a hearing aid for my husband.

    She suggested visiting Costco for price and for the 90 day return policy. They consider hearing aids as electronics. Other companies offer 30 days on hearing aids. Nice!

  18. JD says:

    Would an electric pressure washer that only worked once be considered an “electronic” item and only have a 90 limit, or no? Obviously it’s electric, but I don’t see it in that item listed in the 90-limit returns.

    It worked once and I’ve reset and checked everything out. It’s dead. I bought over a year ago though and procrastinated, so I’m probably stuck with it.

    • Shirley says:

      Electric, but not electronic.
      However if you have only used it occasionally it should show very little wear and tear and so it would be worth a try. The guarantee time may have run out, but possibly the expected life of use has not.

      You can’t lose by trying.

    • Carolyn says:

      The 90 day return policy is ONLY for 6 items (cameras, ipods, computers etc). You STILL can return a GPS, rice cooker and DVD player for example. Don’t be a wimp. Go return it! Let them make a loyal customer out of you. Be organized, with your receipt, if you can. Make sure it’s clean and neat.

  19. Someone says:

    B.S. there is no difference for paying more at Costco. I bought an overpriced Vizio from them it died right after the warranty. It was fun throwing away a $900 TV after light use and the warranty expiration. Tried to return it in Lake Elsinore, CA. The manager pointed me to their tech support service.

  20. emili says:

    i bought panasonic digital camera from costco 2 months ago. i don’t like the function of the camera and i want to return it. But i can’t find the camera bag. can i still return the package??

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes, you have 90 days. They usually care about batteries, software and manuals. You don’t need the box. Just make sure the stuff is neat and tidy. If they still want a bag, then another camera bag that is similar. They usually don’t care.

  21. jinili calpe says:

    i purchased my samsung tv last march or april 2011, i notice the picture quality is fading, i should have return prior to 90days, can they still exchange my tv or upgrade to a different model?

  22. TEH says:

    Yes, this is true! I bought a home Safe a year ago from Costco and it locked in the open position. No matter what I tried, including looking on line for a fix, nothing would work. What I did find out on line, was that many other folks were having the same problem. I took the safe back to Costco and they refunded me the entire amount. A funny side note, the sales person said that she had purchaed the same safe and it could not be opened in the closed position. Thank you Costco. A very nice policy.

  23. Lawrencepv578 says:

    Okay I bought a Nikon D7000 w/ 18-200mm w/ carrying bag package in April of 2011 and until now October 07,2011. I have been having issues with the play back button to view images it has been not responding when i press it sometimes. And also have a dead pixel dead center noticeable in most dark images. Also in movie mode the same dead pixel is showing up in some of my videos. Anyways, I love this camera and everything about it, but not happy about those issues. I was wondering If Costco will except this return. I would really just like to exchange it out for a new one.

  24. JoeJoe says:

    Can I return used batteries from Costco ?

  25. JoeJoe says:

    To Someone:
    That’s exactly what you get for buying cheap brand poo-poo


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