What does Costco do with Returns?

What does Costco do with Returns?

Costco stores are well-known in the U.S. for providing items at lower prices to its customers through its warehouses. Along with its warehouse stores, Costco is also known for its lenient return policy. But many will wonder about the items returned to Costco. Do they throw all the items, or do they sell all the returned products and how do they manage returned products? To find What does Costco do with Returns keep reading the items.

How to return products at Costco?

Costco members can return products at any time and even without any receipts. Costco members just have to show their membership card at the time of returning the item, Costco guarantees a full return and refund of its products. Members have to visit the Costco warehouse to make returns.

To return items purchased online, customers can also visit the warehouse or request a refund through its website.

Management of returned products at Costco

Costco uses or disposes of returned products based on their condition.

Unused and packed returned items

If the products such as electronic appliances, clothes, home furnishing items, etc. are returned in good condition and without using them, then Costco puts these products under the discount zone. Costco keeps those items that are still packed at the discount zone.

Unused but unpacked returned items

Items that are returned without use but the customer has unpacked the item, then it is sent to the grade A/B liquidation zone.

Returned food items

Costco only keeps completely sealed and canned items and disposes of all food items including fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken frozen food, etc. Costco returns the returned bread to the bread vendor and gets the credit. While Costco disposes of the returned grocery items.

Returned and defective items

Costco can send the defective items to the actual manufacturer or can also dispose of the items themselves. Costco also disposes of the medicinal returned items.

Used returned items

Items that are used and are in good condition are sent in the Grade C/D liquidation auction section.

What does liquidation auction mean?

The returned products are sold by other companies in association with Costco. This company will sell the Grade A/B liquidation and C/D liquidation items by restoring their condition. Costco ensures the credibility of returned items by its strict vetting process.

Record of returns at Costco

Costco does not keep track of returns made by customers. So any customer can make as many returns as they want while in other companies such customers who make repeated returns of used and unused items are flagged by the systems. While companies like Walmart keep track of customer returns.

Can Costco decline to refund for returns?

Although the Costco return policy is very generous, in some areas Costco is also strict. Like for some products like some electronic appliances if not returned within 90 days or diamonds not returned within 48 hours, and products with a limited life expectancy are not accepted for returns at Costco. So in these cases, Costco may turn down its customers.

It became important to incorporate this strictness by Costco in its return policy. Since many customers return appliances at Costco after using them many times and returning them ages after purchasing them.

Costco sometimes can cancel the membership of a customer if they request refunds repeatedly. https://www.businessinsider.in/retail/costcos-generous-return-policy-is-ripe-for-abuse-heres-what-could-happen-if-shoppers-take-it-too-far/articleshow/65443720.cms

Items Costco will not return or refund

As there have been instances where Costco faced customers returning items without valid reasons, that’s why Costco had lately brought some strict rules in its return policy.

For electronics including HD televisions, refrigerators, projectors, freezers, computers, water heaters, Smartwatches, drones, etc. Costco accepts returns within 90 days of purchase.

Costco accepts diamond returns only after watching all the original paperwork and after a Costco gemologist authenticates the diamond and that too within 48 hours of purchase only.

If customers return cigarettes or tobacco because its usage is prohibited in their area, then Costco won’t accept the return.


Costco decides to use the returned products based on their conditions. The returned items are either disposed of, used for sale, sent to the liquidation zones. Some companies help Costco sell these returned products by improving their conditions or as it is. But on the other hand, Costco also tries to maintain rigidity in its return policy by limiting some returns within a fixed period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1: what will Costco do with a completely unpacked flower vase I returned?

If the item you want to return is unused and even unpacked, then Costco can put it under a discount zone or can send it to Grade A/B liquidation.

Q.2: is it possible to return items purchased long back with Costco?

Yes, Costco’s return policies are quite lenient, so customers can return products at any time.

Q.3: Can Costco cancel my membership if I request a refund?

Generally, it doesn’t do so, but this is possible if the customer makes invalid return requests.

Q.4: can I return a laptop after 6 months of purchasing it from Costco?

Costco limits refund requests on some of its electronic appliances after 90 days of its purchase.

What does Costco do with Returns?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top