What Does Costco Do With Returned Items

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

Costco is a famous shopping destination thanks to its large selection of goods and low prices!

But what does Costco do with all the products that are returned as a result of Costco’s generous return policy? What follows is the fruit of my research!

What will Costco’s return policy look like in 2022?

As of 2022, Costco often sells unused and undamaged things, such as home goods and electronics, at a reduced price on the store floor. After being sent to Grade A/B liquidation auctions, Costco disposes of any returned or damaged goods.

Learn more about Costco’s return policy and what happens to returned items in the following paragraphs!

Is there a return policy for Costco’s merchandise?

In-store or online purchases can be returned for a full refund if the customer is not satisfied with the product.

Returns aren’t subject to a time limit, and you don’t need to have the original packing or receipt. Keep your Costco membership card handy so that the returns desk can identify you.

What Happens to Food Returned to Costco?

Food that has been opened or tampered with is normally thrown out as soon as possible, unless it is in a can or is still completely sealed with no signs of tampering.

Frozen food, fresh produce, meats, poultry, and eggs are just a few of the items that are frequently thrown away rather than reshelved. The bread seller will pick up the bread and Costco will be credited for it. Exception:

What is Costco’s Return Policy?

Costco will mark defective products as unfit for sale and either return them to the manufacturer or throw them away.

It is not possible to resupply damaged items, thus they will be returned to the vendor for a full or partial refund. If you don’t return it, Costco will throw it away.

What Happens to Unused Returns at Costco?

Non-perishable products like outdoor furniture, electronics, and other home goods have the best chance of getting supplied on the warehouse floor.

Typically, Costco will offer a product that fits into this category and is neither defective or damaged in a clearance section at a lower price.

When a customer has opened any part of the packaging, it is not allowed back on the sales floor to be returned to the store. Items that have been opened but are still in their original packaging will be auctioned off at Grade A/B liquidation sales.

What Happens to the Used Returns at Costco?

After only a few uses, Costco members are prone to returning things for a variety of reasons, including incorrect size or color, buyer’s remorse, poor quality, an item that doesn’t fit, or an error on the part of the manufacturer, to name a few.

When you return an item to the Costco Returns Depot, they will inspect it for damage and missing parts. It will be thrown away if it is perishable or medicinal.

Grade C/D items are stored for liquidation auctions if they are severely damaged or missing parts.

When and Why Do Costco Liquidation Auctions Take Place?

During liquidation auctions, Costco works with a number of companies that will purchase Grade A/B (opened) and Grade C/B (minor wear/damaged) items, which companies restore and resell, or sell as-is, depending on the condition of the merchandise.

In order to prevent these things from being returned to Costco, they go through a rigorous verification process. Additionally, Costco organizes auctions for other qualified buyers.

Are Returns Tracked By Costco?

Walmart can provide return warnings because they track individual returns, but Costco does keep track of the total number of returns.

This includes customers who return high-priced products frequently, as well as people who return items that appear to have been heavily worn. A generous return policy is maintained by Costco, which remains lenient.

Exactly what products can’t you return to Costco?

Certain appliances and gadgets must be returned within 90 days, but there may be exceptions for products with a short shelf life. Costco does not accept returns on following items:

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Batteries for automobiles and tires have a limited lifespan.
  • Items ordered through a specialkiosk

What products can’t be returned via Costco?

On, you cannot return any of the following items:

  • Anything made by Apple
  • Gift cards for iTunes and Google Play
  • Objects of adornment
  • A wide range of optical merchandise.
  • Consumable goods
  • Items ordered through a specialkiosk
  • Purchases of both physical and digital tickets
  • Tires

Check out our previous entries on Costco restocking, price matching, and when Costco flooring goes on sale for additional information.

Bottom Line

When it comes to the condition and perishability of an item, Costco will either refill it or toss it. Liquidation auctions will be held for broken or used goods, and defective goods can be returned to the manufacturer.

Food is nearly always thrown out for reasons of health and safety, unless it is canned or still protected by a safety seal.

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