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Costco Shoppers Need to Watch out for This One Store Policy

Kiersten Hickman

Shopping at Costco certainly has its perks. From the bulk food deals to cheap vacations, cars, and even insurance, Costco knows how to treat their members well. Especially when it comes to their dynamite return policy.

Costco’s generous return policy

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. If you’re not satisfied, they’ll take it back.

“At Costco, member service is an utmost priority,” said one Costco spokesperson to Taste of Home. “We strive to ensure members have an easy, efficient and pleasant shopping experience. Our generous return policy and 100% satisfaction guarantee allow us to provide excellent member service.”

Again, Costco certainly knows how to treat their customers well through this return policy. But do customers know how to treat Costco with the same respect?

Some customers are abusing it

It’s probably safe to say that Costco’s customers do treat Costco with the respect it deserves. Costco is all about giving shoppers the best deals and experiences, and people are always proud to show off their Costco receipts with the taunting phrase “look how much I saved!” But there will always be a few outliers who take a generous return policy like Costco’s to their advantage.

After a small dive into a few Reddit threads, I was absolutely shocked to find out what customers have successfully returned to the store. Some people have seen soiled mattresses, decade-old boomboxes, empty bottles of wine (the complaint was how the wine gave her a “headache”), half-eaten cake, and ten-year-old Kirkland Signature sneakers. One person even tried switching out the barcode of his new laptop and brought his old one back to Costco! Learn the bizarre things you never knew you could find at Costco, too.

Costco’s workers certainly have seen some crazy returns, and they have a lot of secrets to share.

It’s a generous policy, but there’s a catch

Although employees accept most returns without batting an eye, some situations do raise eyebrows on Costco’s end. Business Insider recently reported on a situation where one person tried returning a printer she bought in 2010. When the return was declined, the manager had to express that this wasn’t the first time this particular customer had taken advantage of the return policy. After a bit of back and forth between this customer and Costco’s corporate offices, she was able to return the printer—but at the cost of her Costco membership, which was revoked.

Yes, Costco can actually revoke a membership if customers are abusing the return policy. In a statement to Taste of Home, Costco said, “memberships may be canceled due to abuse of the Member Privileges and Conditions.”

Should this catch stop you from getting a Costco membership? Not in the slightest. If anything, Costco’s policy is there to make sure your needs as a customer are fully satisfied. Next, find out the Costco shopping tips frequent shoppers keep to themselves.