Costco Return Policy: Food, Furniture, Clothing & More

Costco Return Policy Food Furniture Clothing

Costco offers an enticing shopping experience for its $60 annual members. Beyond its extensive range of discounted items and exclusive Kirkland Signature brand, what truly sets Costco apart is its remarkable return policy. This policy is so generous that it occasionally verges on being exploited by customers, including the infamous dead Christmas tree returns. If you’re curious about how this policy works, we have all the information you need before your next Costco trip.

What is Costco’s return policy?

At Costco, regarding their refund policy, it’s like having a universal “return anything, anytime” pass, no questions asked – with a few exceptions. This policy covers various items, from electronics to mattresses, even your membership. Yes, you read it correctly; if you’re not satisfied, you have the option to cancel your membership and receive a full refund of your annual fees. They call it the “Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee,” and it’s their way of ensuring customers leave happy.

It’s a hassle-free return process – even if you’ve opened that new snack or the clothes don’t quite fit. Having your receipt or original packaging helps, but it’s not always necessary. So, if you’re not entirely satisfied with your purchase, Costco’s got your back, and that’s what makes their return policy so extraordinary.

What do you do when your Costco receipt is nowhere to be found?

If you find yourself in a situation where your Costco receipt has mysteriously disappeared, don’t fret. When you check out at Costco, they won’t let you toss your receipt away casually. You’re required to show your receipt at the store’s exit. However, your receipt might slip out of your pocket in the parking lot. The good news is that, in most cases, you can still return items to Costco without a receipt.

Costco stands by its “100% satisfaction guarantee.” They say on their website, “Simply bring the product to any Costco warehouse, and our Member Services Team will be happy to assist you. Having the receipt or original product packaging can be helpful, but it’s not always necessary for processing your return.”

Here’s how it generally works: when you arrive at your local store, head straight to the customer service counter with the items you want to return. Present your Costco membership card, and a friendly customer service representative will look up the item and issue your refund, whether it’s a credit card refund or cash back into your account.

What Is the return policy for electronics and appliances at Costco?

Costco’s policy on returning electronics and appliances stands out from its lenient return process. For these specific items, you have a 90-day window for returns, including but not limited to:

  • Televisions
  • Projectors
  • Computers
  • Tablets
  • Smartwatches
  • Cameras
  • Aerial cameras (drones)
  • Camcorders
  • MP3 players
  • Cellular phones (subject to carrier contract terms)
  • Refrigerators above 10 cu. ft.
  • Freezers
  • Ranges
  • Cooktops
  • Over-the-range microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Washers and dryers
  • Range Hoods
  • Water Heaters

Costco provides a Concierge Service for its members who have inquiries or require help with their electronic devices. This service offers technical support, aids in troubleshooting issues, and guides product usage. It’s a complimentary service exclusively available to Costco members.

What is the return policy of Apple Products?

Costco offers a selection of Apple products, such as iPads, MacBooks, iPhones, and Apple Watches. However, when it comes to returning these electronic gadgets, there’s an extra step involved. Apple electronics fall under the general electronics return policy, which grants you a 90-day return window. Yet, in addition to this, you must perform a complete factory reset on the item in question before returning it to the warehouse, ensuring it’s unlocked and wiped clean.

Costco diamond return policy

Returning a diamond of 1.00 carat or larger comes with additional requirements. Costco states online that, “Members returning a diamond over 1.00ct must also present all original paperwork (IGI and/or GIA certificates).” For diamond solitaire rings and jewelry items exceeding 1.00 carat, the return process involves verification through Costco’s fulfillment center. A Costco Graduate Gemologist will assess the authenticity of the return within 48 hours. If you can’t make it to the store for the return, don’t worry; Costco offers a procedure for doing it from home, including UPS pickup.

Can you return Tires and Batteries?

Costco’s return policy for tires and batteries is customized to accommodate the distinctive nature of these products.

  • Tires: Costco places a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, and tire returns are considered on a case-by-case basis, taking factors like wear and usage into account. Defects or quality-related issues, as well as installation problems, are typically addressed by Costco. However, tires that have seen extensive use or damaged due to road hazards may not be eligible for return.
  • Batteries: Costco provides warranties for their batteries, with the terms and duration varying based on the battery type and brand. Should a battery fail within the warranty period, it is usually replaced.

In the end, it’s the store manager who holds the ultimate authority in deciding whether to approve the return, with tires being a particular area of attention. It’s essential to note that you should still purchase tires or batteries from Costco, use them up, and then attempt to return them for a refund. However, Costco provides a consumer-friendly safety net to prevent such situations. Their five-year Road Hazard Warranty offers protection against treadwear damage and tire failure for 60 months after purchase, ensuring your wallet stays safe.

Can you return online-purchased furniture? 

The furniture return policy at Costco is very straightforward. They will handle all the logistics, and the return process is the same as the delivery process of furniture purchased online. You will have to place a return request, and the carrier associated with Costco will contact users to schedule a convenient appointment. With Costco, it becomes possible to return any item even if the couch starts to sag, and it has been two years since the date of purchase.

Can you return opened or partially eaten food at Costco? 

It’s natural to think that for a food item with quality issues, a refund is only possible if it remains unopened. However, at Costco, they take it a step further and accept opened items that have been partially consumed if quality problems arise. Typically, the guideline is that you must be returning at least 50% of the item to qualify for a refund. For instance, if you purchased a two-pack of melons, sampled one, and found it lacking in flavor, you can often receive a refund, even if one of the melons is partially eaten.

Sometimes, you can even return a food product simply because you didn’t like its taste. However, it’s essential to exercise fairness and reasonableness in such cases. You can’t purchase a box of 24 Costco bakery cookies, consume 20, and then return the package with the remaining four, claiming they didn’t meet your taste expectations.

Is it possible to return a mattress to Costco? 

Indeed, returning a mattress is an option, but if you’re attempting to return one that’s been in your possession for over a year, you’ll likely have a conversation with the store manager. The manager will evaluate your purchasing history to determine if your overall spending at Costco justifies the return. Some have recommended returning the mattress to a Costco store outside your hometown, as returning an old mattress locally might make you the least popular neighbor.

Can you return the eyeglasses to Costco?

Eyeglasses bought from Costco’s Optical department include a satisfaction guarantee. In the event you’re not entirely content with your eyewear, you have the option to return it for a “repair, replacement, or refund.” Nonetheless, it’s advisable to contact your local Costco’s optical department for any particular policies or updates regarding their eyeglass policy.

What time does it require for returns involving freight shipments?

If you bought a larger item, such as a couch, from Costco, it may have been delivered through a freight service. If the item qualifies for return, the pickup process will mirror the delivery method, whether curbside, at your threshold, or using white-glove service. Please be aware that it typically takes five to seven business days for a representative to contact you to arrange the pickup. Once the item has been retrieved, you can expect to receive your refund.

Can you return gifts to Costco? 

You can return items to Costco that were gifted to you. Whether you’re a member, you can walk into the store and process the return. However, it’s essential to note that if you don’t possess the original receipt, you’ll require the membership number of the person who purchased the gift for you.

Can you return custom products?

In most cases, items that are obtained through special order kiosks or have been customized cannot be returned. For instance, at the Costco Photo Center, they offer various personalized photo gifts, including custom cards, mugs, banners, calendars, throw rugs, and more. It’s important to note that these customized items are generally not eligible for return.

Is it possible to return cigarettes and alcohol?

The possibility of returning wine, beer, spirits, and cigarettes depends on state laws, so it’s advisable to inquire with your local club for specific information.

Can you return Digital content?

Products such as downloadable software, movies, or music are generally non-returnable once accessed or downloaded.

Can you return Gold Bullion/Gold Bars?

Because of the unpredictable nature of gold prices and the distinct market characteristics, returns are usually not accepted for gold bullion and bars.

Can you return Shop Cards (gift cards)?

Gift cards cannot be refunded post-purchase, but their remaining balance can still be used to redeem products.

What are the refund options for travel bookings?

Costco members can book travel packages via Costco Travel, but it’s important to note that these bookings are only partially refundable. If you have unused airline tickets, hotel reservations, or other package elements, they will not be eligible for refunds. Additionally, if you decide to cancel a package trip, you may be subject to supplier fees, and it’s possible that airlines and hotels will not provide refunds. A wise practice is to inquire about the refund and cancellation policies before finalizing any travel bookings or vacation packages.

Are live performance tickets refundable?

Costco members have the option to purchase tickets for sports games, concerts, and live events through their website, often at a more affordable rate compared to other ticketing services. It’s essential to be aware that live performance event tickets have a strict policy: no exchanges or returns are permitted, making them entirely non-refundable.

Can another person handle a return on your behalf? 

If the individual is officially listed on your membership, then they will be able to make the return on your behalf. In such cases, you’ll need to make the return personally.

Is it permissible to return beyond the manufacturer’s warranty at Costco? 

Costco may decline returns for items that have exceeded the manufacturer’s warranty period.

Can you return an item if your Costco membership has lapsed? 

No, Costco’s policy dictates that you can only return items if you maintain an active and paid membership.

Is there a difference in the return policy regarding in-store and online purchases?

Items bought at a physical Costco store must be returned in person, while those purchased on can be returned at a store or through the mail once you’ve started the return process. However, it’s worth noting that there are more restrictions on what can be returned through the online self-service return option. For instance, you cannot return jewelry or perishable items using this method, as you would be able to do in-store.


In a world of shopping options, Costco is a paradise for large families, savvy bulk shoppers, and anyone who relishes saving big on groceries. However, it’s important to remember that some customers have been known to take advantage of the store’s generous return policy, and it’s best not to be one of them. Each store manager holds the final say on whether to accept a return. If they notice a pattern of behavior that suggests potential abuse of the return policy (like frequent returns of partially consumed food), they may reject your request. In the worst-case scenario, your membership could be revoked. Costco can terminate memberships without specific cause, and one reason for doing so is if they suspect a member is abusing their privileges. For more comprehensive information regarding Costco’s return policy, contact customer service at 1-800-955-2292 or refer to their website.