If you’ve ever shopped at Costco, you know the convenience of being able to return almost anything at any time. While it’s an excellent policy, you may wonder what happens to all the returned items. This article will look at Costco’s return policy and how the warehouse deals with different returns.
- 1 What Does Costco Do With All the Returns?
- 2 Can You Buy Costco Returns?
- 3 Where Does Costco Sell Their Returns
- 4 What is Costco’s Return Policy?
- 5 How To Return Products To Costco
- 6 What Items Cannot Be Returned To Costco?
- 7 Does Costco Keep Track of Returns?
- 8 FAQs
What Does Costco Do With All the Returns?
Like all retailers, Costco receives a significant number of returns in their warehouses. Here’s how the retailer deals with such products.
If there’s any unused merchandise, especially non-perishable products, Costco can restock them onto the warehouse floor. For example, outdoor furniture, electronics, or other home goods are put in a clearance section and sold at a discounted price.
However, Costco cannot place the item back on the sales floor if opened or used. Such products go directly to B-stock liquidation actions.
Costco doesn’t restock returned clothing if the package is already open. Such clothes go to liquidation auctions even if all the labels are intact and the customer hasn’t used them.
Open Box Returns
If the item is still in new condition, it’ll likely be put back on the shelf and sold at full price. If it’s a little worn out, Costco might mark it down and sell it at a discount as “open box,” which still guarantees the item will work properly.
When an item doesn’t meet those standards, it goes to the manufacturer for refurbishing or a liquidator who sells the product in bulk.
Defective items that are unsuitable for sale go back to the supplier. Costco will dispose of the product if it is entirely unusable or damaged.
Food and Perishable Returns
Food and perishable items aren’t sold again due to health and safety reasons, so Costco immediately disposes them. Canned foods are, however, not disposed of unless they are opened or have been tampered with.
Items such as eggs, frozen food, fresh vegetables, milk, and eggs aren’t re-shelved but disposed of promptly. However, Costco returns bread to the vendors for credit.
When Costco receives furniture returns, they first access their condition. If defective, they’re considered unsuitable for sale and returned to the manufacturers or disposed of. Costco also sells such items to several companies that refurbish and sell them. The companies may also sell the furniture on an as-is basis.
When someone returns an electronic product, it gets sent back to the manufacturer for testing. If there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s sent back to Costco and put on display again; otherwise, it gets scrapped.
If something is returned with missing pieces or damaged beyond repair, it can be sent back to the manufacturer for credit. However, if there’s nothing wrong with it, Costco repackages and sells it at a discount.
Can You Buy Costco Returns?
Costco gives you an opportunity to buy returned items as long as they are in good condition and safe for use. All unused and undamaged items such as electronics and home goods end up on the Costco store shelves for sale at discounted prices. The only products not sold are perishable food items.
Where Does Costco Sell Their Returns
Costco has a series of third-party companies that take their returns and resell them in stores and online. These items are Grade A/B or C/D liquidated products, restored to their original condition before being sold at auctions. Costco has a strict vetting process that makes sure the eligibility of the returned items.
What are Costco Liquidation Auctions?
A liquidation auction is essentially a chance to buy returned, overstocked, or damaged items at a reduced price. A liquidation sale can also help dispose of an aging inventory that may no longer be popular with shoppers.
B-Stock Solutions Inc. – an independent company – carries out the auctions at Costco. These liquidations can include any products such as electronics, furniture, food, and more.
How do you bid on returns at Costco?
To bid on returns at the liquidation auction, you need to;
- Once approved, go to the auction page and enter your highest bid amount. Enter your amount in the box next to “My maximum bid”
- Click on the “Bid Now” button. Note the message at the top of the page, which shows whether your bid is the highest
- For each successful highest bid, you’ll receive an email confirmation after placing it successfully
- If your bid was the highest, you’re required to pay within two business days after the close of the auction through wire transfer.
All auctions on the Costco Liquidations occur in Monroe Township, New Jersey. Each auction has a unique title and description that provides the physical location of the merchandise you are bidding for.
What is Costco’s Return Policy?
Costco’s return policy is one of the most consumer-friendly return policies. The company’s “100% satisfaction guarantee” means you can return anything you’ve purchased from Costco at any time for a full refund.
You only need to make sure the items are in their original packaging and carry the receipt. However, they have a 90-day return policy for electronics and major appliances. The company will also refund your membership fee if you are dissatisfied.
Costco’s Covid19 return policy
Costco temporarily adjusted its return policy to protect its employees and members during the Covid19 pandemic. They excluded items that most people hoard, like toilet paper, bottled water, sanitizing wipes, and rice.
They also put a limit on the number of people in their food court at any one time. However, the return policy has since reverted to normal.
Will Costco Pick up returns?
Costco will pick up the items that you need to return. When you initiate a return, the carrier will contact you within 5–7 business days on the phone number given when placing the order.
You can then set up an appropriate time for them to pick up the items. Costco will process your refund once the order is picked up and is in transit back to their warehouse. You may have to wait a few business days to get the refund.
What is Costco’s Return Policy Without Receipts?
If you don’t have a receipt when you return merchandise to Costco, you can still get a refund or exchange. To receive a refund for any item returned without a receipt, you must have a valid Costco membership card. Refunds are through the same payment method used at the time of purchase.
Will Costco Accept Returns After 90 Days?
Costco will accept returns after 90 days. The exception to this rule is on certain electronics such as televisions, projectors, computers, smartwatches, cameras, and major appliances such as refrigerators. Costco’s return policy for these items states that you have to return them within 90 days.
How To Return Products To Costco
You can return an item to Costco at any time for a full refund. In addition to the product, you need the original receipt (optional) and your Costco membership card or number. You can return your items either online or in-store.
Returning Products at a Costco Store
You don’t have to go where you bought the items to return your products in-store. Simply return them to your nearest Costco warehouse. Check the nearest Costco outlet using their warehouse locator on their website.
Remember to carry your Costco membership card or number. After accepting your return, Costco will process your refund immediately, including any shipping and handling fees.
Returning Products at Costco Online
To return or ask for a replacement online, follow these steps;
- Log in to your account
- Go to “Orders and Returns”
- Choose the appropriate order you’d like to return
- Click on the “Return items” button next to it
- Follow the prompts to complete your request
Costco will send you a confirmation email with the return label attached. Where eligible, you can make pick-up arrangements for the items. For large products, you’ll receive additional instructions on how to handle returns.
Costco will process the refund and credit the card you used at purchase. You’ll also be refunded all shipping and handling charges and won’t be charged for the return shipping.
What Items Cannot Be Returned To Costco?
Items that you cannot return to Costco either in-store or online include;
- Items with a short useful life expectancy, such as tires or batteries
- Special kiosk order items
- Apple products
- Optical goods
- Perishable goods
- Digital goods and tickets
Does Costco Keep Track of Returns?
While Costco doesn’t track your returns, they monitor them to ensure there is no abuse of their return policy. Customers who habitually make returns may be flagged in the Costco system and closely monitored.
Can you return something if your Costco membership has expired?
No, you can only return items to Costco if you are a current member. If your membership has expired, you need to renew it first to return an item.
Can you get cash when returning items bought with a credit card?
You cannot get a cash refund for items bought with a credit card. Costco will only process the refund to your credit card account.
Can you return gifts to Costco?
You can return items bought at Costco as gifts. However, if someone else purchased the gifts, you’ll need to carry the receipt or their membership number.
Is Costco accepting bottle returns?
Yes, Costco has automatic vending machines next to the parking lot where you can return bottles and cans for recycling. For every return, you can earn a small fee that you can redeem in-store at Costco.
Can you return mattresses to Costco?
You can currently return mattresses, air mattresses, and memory foam with or without a receipt to Costco.
Can you make a return beyond the manufacturer’s warranty?
Yes, Costco will let you return items even after the expiry of the manufacturer’s warranty period. If you bought a major appliance, Costco extends the warranty by two years.
Can you return something to Costco after two years?
Costco members can return items even after two years. The company has an open return policy that doesn’t put limits on the return period except for certain electronic items.
Can someone else make a return for you?
Only persons listed on your membership can make returns on your behalf. Otherwise, you’ll have to make the returns yourself.
Does Costco lose money on returns?
Costco doesn’t lose money on returns. In most cases, Costco informs the vendors about the items and gets allowances to cover the returns.
Costco will accept returns at all times except for electronics, which you must return within 90 days. Depending on their condition, the retailer will either restock or dispose of the items.
If an item is defective, it’s returned to the vendor for repair, while used items go for sale at liquidation auctions. Perishable returns get disposed of immediately for health and safety reasons.
What does Costco do with the things you return? ›
Costco will accept returns at all times except for electronics, which you must return within 90 days. Depending on their condition, the retailer will either restock or dispose of the items. If an item is defective, it's returned to the vendor for repair, while used items go for sale at liquidation auctions.What does Costco do with open box returns? ›
It's not uncommon for members to return unused merchandise to Costco. Even if the member hasn't used the item, if any portion of the packaging has been opened, it can not go back on the sales floor. This unused merchandise will be part of Grade A/B liquidation.Does Costco flag you for too many returns? ›
Making frequent returns can jeopardize your membership status. While Costco says there is no limit to the number of returns a customer can make, at least one member who spoke with Business Insider said her membership was canceled after making a number of returns.Where does Costco take their returns? ›
Products purchased at a Costco location need to be returned at the returns counter at any Costco warehouse. Items ordered online can be returned at any Costco warehouse -or- you can initiate a return through Costco.com.Does Costco track your returns? ›
You can find the status of your return or replacement order by following the below steps: Select Orders & Returns in the upper right of Costco.com. Follow the prompt to log into your account.Does Costco abuse return policy? ›
Costco is known for having one of the most lenient return policies of any major chain store, but it seems they can (and do) cut off those who abuse it. According to Business Insider, at least one customer claims she had her membership revoked when trying to make a return.Does Costco throw away returned food? ›
Food and perishable items aren't sold again due to health and safety reasons, so Costco immediately disposes them. Canned foods are, however, not disposed of unless they are opened or have been tampered with.Why is Costco return policy so good? ›
Costco always has the customer in mind and wants to guarantee that the customer feels fully satisfied with the product they are purchasing. So besides a few exceptions (no electronics after 90 days, diamonds needing authenticity after 48 hours, or cigarettes and alcohol), Costco's return policy is extremely generous.Can I return something I bought 2 years ago at Costco? ›
Pretty much everything in the warehouse is returnable with no time limit. No questions asked. This guarantee also includes your Costco membership. You have 364 days from the date you sign-up to try out the membership and see if it works for you.Can I return a mattress to Costco after 2 years? ›
Technically, there is no time limit on how long you can wait to return a mattress to Costco. We've even heard of customers returning their mattresses successfully after 2 years. At a certain point, you might start to get funny looks if you try to return a 5-year-old mattress, but hey… it's always worth a try, right?
What happens to unopened Costco returns? ›
If there's any unused merchandise, especially non-perishable products, Costco can restock them onto the warehouse floor. For example, outdoor furniture, electronics, or other home goods are put in a clearance section and sold at a discounted price.Why does Costco check receipts? ›
We do this to double-check that the items purchased have been correctly processed by our cashiers. It's our most effective method of maintaining accuracy in inventory control, and it's also a good way to ensure that our members have been charged properly for their purchases.Where does Costco sell their returned merchandise? ›
Costco does offer smaller loads of 2-5 pallets of returns through their auction marketplace. Contracts to purchase Costco returns are awarded to salvagors (you or I) for a specific amount of time, i.e. six months to one year.Does Costco have a clearance website? ›
Search the term “whilesupplieslast” at Costco.com in order to see all the Costco clearance online.What does Costco do with expired food? ›
Costco Uses Multiple Methods To Reduce Food Waste
A landfill is the last resort. Costco re-uses some products it fails to sell, such as turning rotisserie chickens into pies, soup, and wings (per Coscto's website). Meatloaf, stuffed peppers, and shepherd's pie are all filled using unsold beef, too.
The ground rule when it comes to Costco's refund policy is that you can basically return anything, at any time, no questions asked — with a few exceptions.Can I return a couch to Costco after 5 years? ›
Costco's return policy is risk-free and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This means that you can return furniture anytime, no matter the time-lapse since purchase.What does .99 mean at Costco? ›
If you're looking at a Costco item and the price ends in . 99, there's no rush to buy the item unless you need it now. The . 99 numbers signify that it's a full price item not likely to be discontinued anytime soon.Can I return a vacuum to Costco after 2 years? ›
Can I return an item to Costco after 2 years? Pretty much everything in the warehouse is returnable with no time limit. No questions asked. This guarantee also includes your Costco membership.What day is best to shop Costco? ›
Best: Tuesday - Thursday afternoon
Afternoons, Tuesday - Thursday is a sweet spot to shop if you have time during the weekday. Timing is of the essence — after the lunch rush, but before the after-work crowd.
How generous is Costco's return policy? ›
With few exceptions, Costco has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Simply bring the product to any Costco warehouse and our Member Services Team will be happy to assist you*. It helps if you have the receipt or original product packaging, but it may not be necessary to process your return.Do Costco refund your money if the item you bought is cheaper? ›
What is the Costco price adjustment policy? If the price drops on something after you buy it, Costco will reimburse you the difference. They'll refund the money to your original form of payment. The Costco price adjustment policy works on products purchased in the warehouse and online.Can I return TV to Costco after 3 years? ›
However, Costco will only accept a television for return if you have purchased it within 90 days; otherwise, you will be stuck with the television.
What is Costco's major appliance return policy? Costco will accept returns within 90 days from the date you receive the following Major Appliances: Refrigerators (more than 10 cubic feet) Water Heaters Washers Dryers Dishwashers Freezers Ranges...Can Costco look up receipts? ›
Sign in to your Costco.com account, select Orders & Purchases, and select the In-Warehouse tab. Find the purchase you're looking for then select View Receipt.Does Costco give cash back on returns? ›
Yes you can get cash back actually. The only time you wouldn't get cash back is if you paid with a credit card. Even if you don't have a receipt we can look it up with your Costco membership card. Does Costco give cash back on returns, or do they only exchange the item for another item in their store?Does Costco resell returned mattresses? ›
They sell it to auctions. The auction then places it right back to sell to the public and as is.Can you return something to Costco without the packaging? ›
You don't even need the original packaging. Sure, it helps if you have the receipt or original packaging. You do need all the parts and pieces that came with the item, but receipts aren't necessary to process your return, because Costco tracks your purchases on your membership account.Can I return a TV to Costco without the box? ›
Do you need a box to return a TV to Costco? No. Costco does not require original packaging for returns.What does Z mean on Costco receipt? ›
Top Bottom. Reply. Advertisement. Kez200 · 10/11/2022 20:29. Probably zero rated, it would be rare to be exempt from CostCo, but both zero rated and exempt have the effect on the invoice of no VAT being charged.
What does H mean on Costco receipt? ›
H= No taxes charged.What does Bob mean on Costco receipt? ›
If there are no items on bottom of basket scan BOB bar code a second time ( this will indicate on the receipt that there are no items on the bottom of the basket )What does 97 mean at Costco? ›
While 007 means Bond in the rest of the world, in Costco, 007 means Sale. Big Sale. “If you see an item marked down and its price ends in . 97 or in an even . 00 (say, $5.00), then you know it's on clearance,” Clark says.What is Costco 97? ›
“Any product sold at Costco that has a price that ends in . 97 is one that is on clearance and probably won't be sold again in the store once sold out. Costco does not advertise these sales and they vary from store to store and region to region.”What is Costco removing from shelves? ›
Monsanto's weedkiller, Roundup, has been linked to cancer in humans. One couple even won a $2 billion lawsuit over such a claim, prompting Costco to pull the chemical killer off shelves and remove all products that contain glyphosate.What does Costco do with the meat they don't sell? ›
Costco locations worldwide donate edible food products to food banks and other nonprofits in their local communities. Donation programs vary by location and by country. Costco continues to expand its program and partnership with Feeding America and other local food banks to prevent food from being wasted.What food is Costco getting rid of? ›
The following products will be disappearing soon: Nature's Intent Seed & Nut Keto Bombs. Hawaiian Host Toasted Coconut Milk Chocolate Macadamias. Clif Bar Builder's Variety Protein Bars.What does Costco do with the items they don't sell? ›
What does Costco do with the items they don't sell? Costco and suppliers work together on the best low- cost options for member returns. Some items are sent back to the supplier; others can be designated for donation.Can I return something I bought 3 years ago at Costco? ›
Pretty much everything in the warehouse is returnable with no time limit. No questions asked. This guarantee also includes your Costco membership. You have 364 days from the date you sign-up to try out the membership and see if it works for you.Can I return something to Costco after 10 years? ›
The ground rule when it comes to Costco's refund policy is that you can basically return anything, at any time, no questions asked — with a few exceptions.
Does Costco return expired items? ›
So, next time you try a Costco sample and want to buy it, you'll have literally nothing to lose. You can't return expired food, so be sure to return any food right away if you decide you don't like it or want it.