What Does Costco Do With Returns? – Full Guide 2023

What Does Costco Do With Returns
What Does Costco Do With Returns

What Does Costco Do With Returns? – Full Guide 2023

With Costco’s wide variety of products and competitive price tags, the chain store is popular with shoppers!

But with all purchases being returned thanks to Costco’s generous return policy, what does Costco do with returns? I did some research, and this is what I came up with!

What Does Costco Do With Returns In 2023?

Costco typically places unused and undamaged returned items, such as household items and electronics, on the store floor at a discounted price beginning in 2023.

Costco sends these items to auctions of A/B grade clearance for used and damaged returns, and groceries. are discarded.

Read on to learn more about Costco’s return policy and what happens with returns!

What Is Costco’s Return Policy?

A 100% satisfaction guarantee covers customers, and virtually all items purchased in-store or online can be returned for a full refund.

There is no time limit on your returns, with few exceptions, and you can return items without the receipt or original packaging. Just make sure you have your Costco membership card so the returns desk can look it up for you.

What Does Costco Do With Food Returns?

Food is generally thrown away immediately for health and safety reasons, unless it is canned or even completely sealed, with no signs of tampering.

Also, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, eggs, and more are often thrown away and not put back on the shelves. Bread is the only exception: the bread vendor will pick it up, and Costco will receive credit for it.

What Does Costco Do With Defective Returns?

Defective items will be labeled unfit for sale and returned to the manufacturer, or Costco will dispose of them.

Any item found to be defective cannot be restocked and will be returned to the supplier for full or partial credit if possible. Otherwise, Costco will dispose of the item.

What Does Costco Do With Unused Returns?

Any unused merchandise has the best chance of being restocked on the warehouse floor, especially non-perishable goods like outdoor furniture, electronics, and other household items.

So if a product falls into this category and isn’t defective or damaged, Costco will usually stock it in a clearance section at a discounted price.

However, if the customer has opened any part of the packaging, the item cannot be returned to the sales floor. This unused but opened merchandise will be sent to Grade A/B Clearance Auctions.

What Does Costco Do With Used Returns?

It is common for Costco members to return items after light use, including wrong size or color, buyer’s remorse, product not satisfactory for customer use, things that do not fit, incorrect items, etc.

Costco’s returns depot will assess the item’s condition and look for missing parts and damage. If it is a perishable or medicinal item, it will be disposed of. If badly scratched or torn, the item is labeled Grade C/D and stored for clearance auctions.

Can You Buy Costco Returns?

Costco allows you to purchase returned items as long as they are in good condition and safe. All unused and damaged items, such as electronics and household items, end up on Costco store shelves for sale at discounted prices. The only things not for sale are perishable foods.

How to return products at Costco?

Costco members can return products at any time and even without receipts. Costco members need to show their membership card when returning the item; Costco guarantees a total return and refund on their products. Members must visit the Costco warehouse to make returns.

To return items purchased online, customers can also visit the store or request a refund through their website.

Do You Need Your Costco Receipt To Return?

You do not need your receipt to return anything to Costco. Bring your Costco membership card (or number) and the item you wish to return to the customer service counter.

They will be able to search all of their previous purchases and quickly find evidence of their investment and issue their refund.

What Are Costco Liquidation Auctions?

Costco works with several companies to purchase Grade A/B (opened) and Grade C/B (light wear/damaged) items during liquidation auctions. Companies work to restore merchandise and resell it or sell it as-is.

A strict vetting process ensures these items aren’t returned to Costco again, and Costco also holds auctions for other approved buyers.

Does Costco Keep Track Of Returns?

Costco doesn’t necessarily track each return (like Walmart, which may give return warnings), but the company does look at the number of returns customers make.

For example, customers who make frequent returns on expensive items or heavily used items could be flagged in the system. Costco remains lenient but guarantees a generous return policy.

What Items Cannot Be Returned Through Costco.com?

You cannot return the following items through the self-service portal at Costco.com:

  • Any Apple products
  • iTunes and Google Play gift cards
  • Jewelry items
  • Optical goods
  • Perishable items
  • Specialkioskorder items
  • Tickets and digital goods
  • Tires

For more information, check out our other related posts on when Costco restocks, if Costco price matches, and when the floor at Costco goes on sale.

Can You Make a Return Beyond the Manufacturer’s Warranty?

Based on some recent feedback I’ve received, Costco won’t recall an item if it’s past the manufacturer’s warranty.

The example in the comments section was HP printer ink “expired.” In this case, Costco would not accept it.

Who Takes the Loss on Returns?

Who bears the loss of a returned item? Well, usually, the seller will.

A small percentage of items are returned, which is taken into account when pricing items. Some vendors ask Costco to tell them how many of each item was returned or scrapped and give Costco the appropriate allowance. Others ask for the items to be returned to their facility, but this is usually more oversized or higher-priced items or electronics.

On Costco direct imports, Costco bears the loss.

When you return a set of eight glasses because one was broken, you can bet the other seven will turn up at a flea market, on the Internet, or at a store that buys them at Costco for a meager cost.

Costco knows the numbers down to the penny, and that includes how much they need to make on each item and the expected returns on each item, so all of these numbers are calculated into their selling prices. If there are items that keep getting returned, you can bet Costco will pull them out of stores and return them to their suppliers.

Does Costco resell returned items?

Costco has a policy not to resell items that customers have returned. Items are either sent back to the vendor, recycled, disposed of, or in some cases, donated if they are still in good condition.

What happens to returned electronics at Costco?

For returned electronics, Costco works with vendors and third-party processors to recycle the products if they cannot be resold. They follow environmental guidelines to dispose of e-waste properly. Some electronics may be inspected, sanitized, and resold through third-party vendors.

Conclusion – What Does Costco Do With Returns?

Depending on the item, its condition, and its perishability, Costco will either restock or dispose of it. Defective goods can be returned to the manufacturing supplier, and damaged or used items will be sold at liquidation auctions.

Food is almost always thrown away for health and safety reasons unless it is canned or still inside a security seal.

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