The Costco Return Policy Rocks

Posted by Mrs Money on March 25th, 2010

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Costco’s Return Policy Rocks!

Even though I have advised not to forget to return things because it costs money, sometimes I fall into the trap myself. Back when we were installing the laminate flooring from Costco into our living room, we went a little overboard when we were buying and ended up with three extra boxes. Needless to say, they sat in my basement untouched because I thought that I may need them or we may decide to replace the flooring in another room.  That didn’t happen.

I thought I would search for the Costco return policy.  I decided that it was time to take the bull by the horns and try to take it back to Costco for store credit.  I was hoping they would be able to look up when we purchased the items by using our membership card.  If they wouldn’t return it, I wasn’t going to complain because I was the one that made the mistake of not keeping my receipt and paying attention to how long I had the items.  I was willing to take responsibility because it was my fault I lost the receipt.

I drove the boxes back to Costco, loaded them onto a cart, wheeled them into the customer service area, and waited for someone to come available.  I walked up to them, explained that I would like to return these but didn’t have a receipt.  They looked it up with my membership card, made the return, and gave me cash in hand. Wow.  I was very happy.

One of the best Costco membership benefits is that they have such an awesome return policy.  I think it’s innovative that they can search for your purchase using your card.  If other stores would do the same, it would be much easier to return items at other stores.  Of course, if you paid cash, your receipt wouldn’t be able to be located using your credit card or debit card number.

I have always heard great things about Costco, and will continue to be a loyal customer.  I am so happy with Costco’s return policy.  I think that’s awesome that they are able to look it up by membership card, so that in case you are scatterbrained like me you can still get your money back.  What a great example of awesome customer service.

The Costco return policy isn’t the only benefit of having a Costco membership.  One of the main reasons we purchased a Costco membership was because their dog food is such high quality for a good price.  We had been purchasing a lower quality dog food because other brands were too expensive for us.  Once we found Costco’s Kirkland brand dog food, we were hooked.  They also carry many organic vegetables and fruits, especially frozen fruits, which we use a lot since we learned how to make a green smoothie.  I love that we can afford to feed all of our family well using our Costco membership.

Do you shop at Costco or Sam’s?  What do you like most about them?

The Costco Return Policy Rocks!


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27 Responses to “The Costco Return Policy Rocks”


  1. Clearly, I no longer shop at costco here in France, but I used to! I think their return policy, as you note is excellent. Also, I used to get my glasses and contacts there–very cheap!

    But you have to watch out for roaming spender-spouses. Mine gets a little glassy eyed in the Costco and heads directly for the electronic (toys) department. . .

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Simple in France- I have heard great things about Zenni Optical at Costco. My hubby does the exact same thing looking at the tvs!

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  2. I shop at Costco all the time. There are some standard things that we get there because they are much cheaper than other places. Of course sometimes they aren’t always cheapest so you have to be careful.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Saving Money Today- I am bad about the mindset that it’s cheaper there because we’re buying in bulk. That’s one downfall about shopping there- I end up spending $100 each time I go and it seems like I didn’t get anything!

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  3. I LOVE Costco! We’ve bought some of the best wines, kids’ clothes and books there for fantastic prices. As with Simple in France I do get my contacts there. And we have a rewards card with American Express thru Costco, so we get rebate checks on a regular basis that we can then spend – anywhere (we tend to spend them at Costco :)).

    But some of the things I really love about Costco are not cheap or even close. It’s so easy to be tempted by the yummy packaged food or to buy nonessentials. So long as you remember that Costco isn’t always the cheapest place to buy things, you get a lot of benefit from belonging.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    ami- I haven’t gotten wine there- I’ll have to look into that! I should look into the American Express Rewards card. My mother in law has one I think.

    The packaged food looks so good sometimes I want to get it! Then I realize how expensive it is and I talk myself out of it.

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  4. Money Funk says:

    I just love Costco for their products and price.

    Well, okay… I am disappointed they stop carrying the Big thing of Mrs. Dash that I paid the same price as that tiny one at the grocery store.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Money Funk- That stinks! You should send them an email. It might help!

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  5. H Lee D says:

    I would like to shop at Costco, but they just don’t sell enough of what we eat to make it worth the cost of the membership and the time of adding another destination to the shopping rounds :(

    (Well, they sell produce, but only two of us can’t eat it fast enough!)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    H Lee D- I know! Sometimes I run into the problem of not using spinach up fast enough. That is frustrating!

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  6. I agree. Costco has a great return policy! We go there a lot but have to try very hard to stick to our list!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Random Thoughts of a Jersey Mom- I need to make lists when I go. I always end up getting extra items!

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  7. I don’t have a costco membership anymore, but I did hear that their return policy was awesome!

    I have a friend who returned her camera that she had used for 1 year or so, and got a new one!!
    I don’t even think she had the receipt either! I think they just looked up her info on her membership.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    youngandthrifty- WOW! Now that is really good. I bought a digital camera from Costco awhile back, and it’s worked perfectly!

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  8. You are right about Costco… Here is another good story for you. Just when the market was beginning to collapse in CA we were selling. To entice a buyer we picked up a big flat screen TV at Costco and offered to give it away to anyone signing a contract the weekend of an open house. On Monday we took it back with no hassle. While we didn’t give away the TV it was memorable enough that one of the couples that toured ended up buying the house two days later!

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    LeanLifeCoach- That is a great marketing idea! I love that. You are so ingenious. I’m glad that you could take the tv back and someone bought the house!

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  9. Derek Clark says:

    Very nice. I’ve toured Costco a few times with a friend who has a membership, but haven’t joined yet. They do seem to have some good deals though. How much is the membership again?

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Derek Clark- It’s $50 a year. I would make sure that you would go enough to justify it first, though. :)

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  10. Little House says:

    What an awesome return story! I have to admit that I don’t shop at Costco, mainly because with only two people in my household, the bulk items end up not being as cost effective for us. However, now that I know they have a terrific return policy, maybe I’ll renew my membership! ;)

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Little House- I know, I was so happy! We only have two people in our household too, so I know what you mean. I try to make sure we only get things that we will use. I am bad about going overboard sometimes!

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  11. moneyhoneysf says:

    Costco Rules! I love their food court and the berry sundaes.. and all the free treats at the stands.

    Read here about my Costco Auto Program.

    http://moneyhoneysf.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    moneyhoneysf- I agree! I love all those too. And the berry sundaes are the best!

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  12. Anne says:

    We love Costco, and I have sent my husband to return something without the receipt. The interesting thing was that they told him that he really should have it in the future. I don’t know if the employee was having a rough day, or what, because it’s never been a problem in the past and the item being returned wasn’t a large dollar amount thing. He simply told them that his wife told him to do it–we love being able to use each other as excuses because most employees of the same gender understand completely.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Anne- Bummer :( I try to keep my receipts but sometimes you just lose them! I am glad they took it back for you. :)

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  13. Ruben says:


    Dear Ruben,

    Thank you for your e-mail to Costco Wholesale. All orders or items over two years old is up to the discretion of the warehouse or online Returns department. Since these orders are past the 2 year time frame they would be denied.

    Thank you,

    Tryfena
    Costco Wholesale Corporation

    Date: 12-29-2010

    [Reply]


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