Costco Return Policy
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Costco's Return Policy: 28 Products You Can Return With Ease

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Costco Return Policy
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Happy Returns

One of the biggest, and perhaps most overlooked, perks of Costco membership: the liberal return policy. The much-loved club store lets members return just about anything, regardless of cost or condition, and a viral TikTok even featured Costco workers claiming they would give a refund for used bed sheets and dead Christmas trees. "We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase price," Costco's return policy states, but even exceptions such as electronics, diamonds, cell phones, tires, and batteries tend to have return policies that rival those of competitors. (Note that Costco does draw the line on taking back booze or special-order merchandise.) The chain will even refund membership fees for dissatisfied customers. 


Not a Costco member? You can apply here.


Related: Surprising Finds From Costco

Air Conditioner
Costco

Air Conditioners

Summer is three months at the least. If an air conditioner bought in May conks out by August, how unhappy will Walmart's 90-day return policy for A/C make you as the weather goes on sweltering? Costco doesn't include air conditioners in its return-policy exemptions.


Related: How to Keep Cool Without AC

Lawn Mower
Costco
Samsung Curved 4K Television
Costco

Electronics

Costco puts rare limit on returns for televisions, projectors, computers, tablets, smart watches, cameras, drones, camcorders, MP3 players, and cellphones. Even then, the return window is 90 days (though phones vary by carrier). At Best Buy,  customers are given just 45 days to return an item. If that item is opened, must pay a $45 restocking fee or 15% of the purchase price for drones, cameras, projectors, and the like (some states are exempt from this policy due to law). Best Buy isn't alone: Kmart, Sears, Target, Macy's, and other outlets freak out about electronics and limit returns to 14 to 45 days. Walmart has a bunch of 30-day exceptions for consumer electronics and toys.


Related: Electronics and Accessories That Are a Complete Waste of Money

Patio Sets
Costco

Patio Sets

Home Depot gets stringent with furniture and limits returns to just 30 days, knowing what the elements can do to a patio set. Wayfair will take back a patio set within 30 days, but only if it hasn't been assembled and it's in its original packaging. If you bought a patio set at Costco a year ago and the wind turns its umbrella inside out tomorrow, you can return it for a full refund. Bottom line: You'd be wise to buy your patio sets at Costco.


Related: Tips for Reviving Your Outdoor Furniture

Stock Up on Staples
Cassiohabib/shutterstock
Books
Costco

Books

Amazon has a 30-day return policy on books (and most other items) and will provide a complete refund during that window. It will even take back Kindle ebooks for up to seven days. Barnes & Nobles gives customers 30 days to return a book. You could decide tomorrow that a book bought from Costco five years ago is just taking up space and return it for a full refund.

Underwear
Costco

Underwear

Victoria's Secret sees a lot of lingerie and other underwear returned to its shops, but their return window is 30 days (it used to be 90.) That policy demands customers return an item unwashed, unworn, and in original condition. Costco issues a full refund no matter how long you've owned them ... or what condition they are in when they arrive.

Signateur 5-Burner Grill
Costco

Grills

If your grill gets a summer of use but didn't really get the job done, where you bought it makes a difference. Home Depot and Lowe's will give 90 days to make a return, but may refuse if they see a grill as overused. Costco will take a grill back at any time, even if you make it to the next Labor Day and can't bear the thought of another season with it.

Costco Cyber Monday Deals
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Online Purchases

One would think we've reached the point of just bringing back any item bought online to a corresponding bricks-and-mortar store, but there are still some stores that don't quite play along. For example, JCPenney has restrictions for certain items sold only on its website. Costco will take back just about any item bought in its online store, meaning shoppers can return online purchases with ease.

1TB Xbox One S
Costco

Video Game Consoles

Costco does not mention video game consoles specifically in its return policy, but does sell consoles at stores and online. Costco has acknowledged that some folks return consoles when an upgraded version comes along, but hasn't slapped a hard return policy on them.

Sporting Goods
IlexImage/istockphoto

Sporting Goods

Dick's Sporting Goods has a 30-to 90-day return policy, but with some strings attached. Just about anything gas-powered can't be returned at all. Used baseball bats, electric scooters, and bicycles also can't be returned. Costco has a good laugh at just about all of the above.

Swimwear
Costco

Swimwear

Beach Bunny swimwear will accept unworn/unwashed returns only within 21 days of delivery date. Likewise PacSun and Zaful won't take returns at all if the swimwear's not in its original condition, and there’s also a 30-day window with them. PacSun at least will give a store credit after the window closes. Costco, which sells a lot of swimwear and seemingly keeps a blast furnace in the back of each store for burning compromised returns, will gleefully accept returned swimwear no matter where, when, or how it's been worn.

Area Rugs
Costco

Area Rugs

Yeah, stores don't like it when you walk all over their rugs. Home Depot, Macy's and Wayfair will give just 30 days to return a rug. At Bloomingdale's, it’s 14 days. Costco, once again, places no limits.

Pet Toys
Costco

Pet Toys

Pet stores are generally pretty understanding about returns. PetSmart and Petco have broad 60-day return policies covering the toys your dogs and cats don't love. If that toy gets lost for a month or two and the animal seems to wish it stayed hidden, though, Costco will take it back any time for a full refund.

Pest Pet Control
Costco

Pet Pest-Control Items

Costco sells flea and tick collars, among other pest-control items, and will take them back any time for any reason. PetSmart will do the same — for 60 days. Petco won't take back flea and tick prevention items at all if there's no receipt.

Pet Vitamins
Costco

Pet Vitamins

Costco has an almost shocking number of pet vitamins and supplements for just about any condition. Even more shocking? Neither PetSmart nor Petco will take back their own vitamins and supplements without the original packaging and a receipt, and then only up to 60 days.

18K White Gold Diamond Earrings
Costco

Jewelry

If you aren't feeling 100% sure about the prospects of an engagement or marriage, shop for wedding jewelry at Costco. JCPenney will give all of 60 days to return jewelry with a receipt, and Macy's also limits such returns to 60 days. Costco will take back jewelry, but diamonds of more than one carat don't just need all original paperwork (IGI and/or GIA certificates) to get a Jewelry Credit Memo, but must also be inspected for authenticity. That takes up to five business days.

Sleep Science Memory Foam Mattress
Costco

Mattresses

This is where return policies start to vary wildly. Kmart thinks mattress returns are icky and won't accept them after seven days. Ikea allows mattress exchanges for up to 90 days, while Sears will take back mattresses up to 180 days or 365 days for what they call their "Best Stuff". Macy's demands that the mattress be undamaged, unsoiled, and free of stains, but won't refund delivery fees and will charge a 15% restocking fee. Costco may not have the biggest selection of mattresses, but also doesn't care when you return it, why you're returning it, or what condition it's returning in.

AeroBed Opti-Comfort Queen Air Mattress
Costco

Air Beds

Target will not take back an air mattress once its packaging is opened and will offer only an exchange for a similar item. Costco has no such hangups about its air mattresses.  

Exercise Equipment
Costco

Exercise Equipment

Walmart will take back a treadmill after 90 days, but the customer pays to have it shipped back to a store. Johnson Fitness & Wellness will take back a product only within 14 days of purchase. Costco won't refund for shipping or setup, but will take back even the costliest elliptical machine at any time for a full refund.

Furniture
Costco

Furniture

Macy's has a 30 day return window for furniture. Sears will give seven days, Kmart gives 30, and JCPenney gives 60, and Ikea will give an entire year (with loads of caveats). Costco's furniture collection isn't bound by such restrictions, unless you've customized it.

Opened Medications
Costco

Opened Boxes of Medication

Waiting in line at the service desk of a local Costco, we watched a customer return multiple boxes of Prilosec OTC after noting that the tablets he'd taken for heartburn didn't have the desired effect. Had he tried to return an open package to CVS, it's likely that the store wouldn't have accepted it. A similar return at Walgreens may have stood a chance within the 30-day return window.

Whirlpool Refrigerator
Costco

Appliances

This is a bit trickier. Costco will give refunds for returns on appliances — of which it has surprisingly many — but may not refund for services such as installation or delivery. That's still a better deal than at Home Depot, which accepts returns for only 48 hours after delivery, and only if a product is damaged or defective. Lowe's offers the same 48 hour return policy on major appliances — unless returned in original, unopened, undamaged, factory-sealed packaging, then you get 30 days. Sears also offers 30 days (though cancellation, shipping, and restocking fees may apply). Costco's return policy on major appliances isn't as generous as for most other items — 90 days for refrigerators, freezers, stoves, dishwashers, and the like — but it's lenient relative to most competitors.

Shoes
Costco

Shoes

Zappos has an incredible return policy that allows returns for a up to a year with free shipping. Compare that with DSW, with a 90-day overall return policy (watch for 60-day policies too) and an $8.50 shipping charge deducted from a refund. But even that yearlong policy doesn't compare to Costco's open-ended returns for shoes. The selection isn't the same, but that isn't really the point.

Generac 5000W Diesel Generator with Electric Start
Costco

Generators

Generators are not typically items stores will take back after any amount of time. Neither Home Depot nor Lowe's will accept a generator return after 30 days. Costco has an array of generators that you can return any time they aren't working or fall short of expectations.

Kirkland Signature Upright 21.5-Inch Carry-On
Costco

Luggage

Samsonite, Ricardo Beverly Hills, and Tumi limit returns to 30 days after purchase, though Samsonite has extended it to 90 days for holiday purchases. If you decide three trips from now that the bags you bought at Costco get crushed too easily in the overhead or lost immediately on the carousel, turn them in at any time for a refund toward a different set, or purchase a gift card instead.

Christmas Trees
ImagePixel/istockphoto

Christmas Trees

Yes, a woman in California actually once returned a dead Christmas tree in January and got a refund. While that's some excessive frugality, we'll note that Home Depot and Lowe's will accept returned plants for up to a year. Unless you bought a Christmas tree with a root ball and planted it, though, don't expect a refund.

christmas garland
GMVozd/istockphoto

Holiday Items

There are some big retail scrooges out there once the holidays roll around. Lowe's won't let you return lights, lawn ornaments, or other Christmas-specific items after Dec. 26. Sears also won't take back Valentine's, Easter, Halloween, or Christmas items after the holiday has passed.