Costco Return Policy 101 | Your Key to Stress-Free Holiday Shopping!

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..The Costco return policy is beyond generous. Here’s what you need to know before hitting the store!

Costco Membership Card in front of Costco

On your way to a quick Costco run? Here’s what to know before you go.

Costco members are extremely enthusiastic about how wonderful Costco is; sometimes that excitement can lead to buying a little too much or accidentally buying the wrong thing.

Luckily, the Costco return policy is incredibly generous. It’s short, sweet, and simple, so there will likely be no issues regarding your return!

With the holidays approaching, many of us are shopping for family members and hoping our gifts will suite their needs. Costco’s flexible return policy gives us some peace of mind which makes it one of our favorite stores to shop at during the holidays.🎄🎁

If you’re unfamiliar with their policy, don’t fret. To save you the research and help you with your shopping, we created this simple guide based off the terms posted to Costco’s website.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Costco return policy!

hand holding a Costco membership card in front of groceries

The Costco return policy: What, when, & where.

In terms of the membership itself, Costco has a risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are unsatisfied at any time, Costco will cancel and refund your membership fee.

As for merchandise, every item sold from Costco can be refunded for the full price you paid, aside from a few exceptions noted in the post below.

Items purchased in-store must be returned at a store’s location. To make a return, simply visit the Costco returns counter. Items purchased online can be returned in-store at any Costco or returned online at Costo.com.

Costco’s return policy does not mention how long you have to return an item. Although it varies per item, most items that are not electronics do not have a return time frame! 🙌 I double-checked this with a Costco representative, and they confirmed this information.

Restrictions and exclusions may be in place, so be sure to check in with your local membership counter if you have any questions.

woman holding a Costco bag in front of the Costco membership counter

Here is a breakdown of the Costco return policy by department:

Costco electronics return policy

Electronic returns are accepted within 90 days of receiving your product.

These electronics include all major appliances, televisions, projectors, computers, touchscreen tablets, smart watches, cameras, aerial cameras (drones), camcorders, and MP3 players. Cell phones are also included but the exact terms will depend on your phone carrier.

Costco mattress return policy

Believe it or not, you can return a mattress anytime to Costco (provided it is in decent condition). While you may get some unusual looks for returning a gently used mattress, the store will accept it. One couple even recently returned a mattress to Costco two years after purchasing it.

If you think you might end up returning a mattress, consider purchasing it online. That way you won’t have to lug it back into the store to get a return. Instead, word on the street is that Costco will arrange a pickup directly from your home.

leather couch

Costco furniture return policy

Like the rest of Costco’s merchandise, you can return furniture at anytime simply for being “dissatisfied with the item.” Even better, if you purchased the furniture online and had it delivered, you can initiate a return online and arrange for Costco to pickup the item from you (where eligible).

Costco clothes return policy

Clothes bought from Costco are returnable in-store at the location purchased. If bought online, you can return in-store or online through Costco.com. No time limit is specified in the return policy so it is safe to say you can return clothes at anytime. It helps to have your receipt, but according to Costco’s website, that may not be necessary to process a return.

costco membership card displayed on a christmas tree

Costco jewelry return policy 

Jewelry is one of the exceptions to the Costco return policy. In the jewelry department, diamond items that are 1.00ct or larger, along with all original paperwork, can receive credit upon return. A Costco Graduate Gemologist will inspect the jewelry within 48 hours to verify its condition.

Costume jewelry and other products fall under the standard return policy and are eligible for a 100% refund with no time limit specified.

Costco cart with prepared foods

Costco return policy on food

You can return unopened and even partially opened food to Costco. If you are dissatisfied with the product or it, you should receive a full refund even if you ate some of it.

In general, it is best practice to return food in a timely manner and with at least 50% of the product remaining.

costco big bottle ready to drink golden margaritas

Are there any other exceptions to the Costco return policy?

Yes! You cannot return cigarettes and alcohol in some states. These types of returns may be prohibited by law at your location so make sure to ask before buying.

Items that have a limited useful life expectancy may have their own product-specific warranties. Expect to see this on items like batteries and tires.

You cannot return or refund a custom or personalized product unless it is defective or made incorrectly.

What other items cannot be returned to Costco?

Other items that are non-refundable include airline and live performance event items, gold bullion, gold bars, and shop cards.

front of a Costco cart

Now go out there and shop ’til you drop with satisfaction guaranteed!

From delicious groceries to amazing deals, Costco has it all. With such a fantastic return policy, shopping at Costco is a no-brainer. What a relief to know you’re getting the shopping experience you deserve!


While you’re there, eat at the Costco Food Court for $3 or less!


About the writer:

Kaitlyn has a Bachelor's Degree from St. John's University with 2 years of writing experience for LinkedIn, Celeb Magazine, and other various publications.


Join The Discussion

Comments 29

  1. Ron

    Love Costco ❤️

  2. Dawn

    I believe you can return food that is packaged if you have more than 80 percent left. I tried some noodle cups that we did not like, Costcos took them back without any problems.

    • Monique

      My mom has worked at Costco for 16 years it’s actually 50% and has to be not expired 🙂

  3. Christine

    The Costco return policy is one of the best things about going there. You may not get the absolute best price but you won’t get ripped off. There are some things I only purchase there because I know I can bring it back. Like those electric blankets that stop working after three months.

    • IrishND98

      Always the heated blankets!

  4. Jeremiah2911

    Love their return policy, AND how the associates are happy to have you use it! Just last week I returned broken sunglasses that I thought were from this past summer, but turns out they were from 2020. Once they told me the date of purchase I assumed I’d just be tossing these, but the associate kindly bragged about their return policy and said they’d absolutely still refund it! I also appreciate that you don’t have to worry about saving receipts since everything is tracked under your membership card.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow! That’s amazing. Thanks for letting us know about your recent return experience! Glad they could still give you a refund! ❤️

  5. Jeremiah2911

    Also, because their return policy is so generous and easy to use, if I’m ever hesitating on purchasing something that is extra $ off for a limited time I just buy it when I see it on sale with the peace of mind it’s no hassle to take back!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Great tip! 🙌

  6. Ana

    I like Costco but I’m pretty disappointed in the companies they contract out for installation on appliances.
    Our dishwasher went out 5 years to the day after we bought it (so the warranty was over) and when my husband pulled it out it was unbelievable how badly it had been installed. The guy wrapped the extra water line tightly around the pipes, because he didn’t arrive with the right one that was supposed to be included so he used one we had here. He shoved the outlet into the wall and cut around it. I wish I could show you pictures. It was so disappointing and not even safe. From now on I will make sure my husband is here at least part of the time.

    • ScrapGal

      I had a very different experience with installation. When we bought a new washer and dryer from Costco they found the water shut off to our existing machine was rusty so they couldn’t hook up the new one. I called a plumber to fix the water problem and the delivery people came back a different day to complete the install and take the old equipment away. I was very pleased that they didn’t charge for coming out a second time.

      • Ana

        Sounds like you got good installers 👍
        I appreciate the fact that everyone is different and some will do a good job and some do not.

        • ScrapGal

          Yes, it sure does make a difference who they contract out too. I’m sorry you didn’t have the same quality of work I did.

  7. blakorian1

    They’ll take back any food as long as it’s not expired. I returned a caramel tres leches bar cake half gone with no problem. And I’ve seen one guy ahead of me returning a Kirkland orange juice bottle half full, when it’s sold as a 2 pack.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing that! 🤗

  8. acgold

    I am a frequent traveler for work. I have a lot of luggage and usually carry on. I was going on a trip that I had to transport heavy books. i bought a very well known heavy duty duffel at Costco. I get to London and a wheel and the casing was off. The airline gave me duct tape so I could get on with my trip.They told me to make a claim in the US. The warranties almost never cover wheels and handle- no matter how expensive. I came home and no questions asked- Costco took it back! I only buy luggage there for myself and gifts!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      WOW! Thanks so much for sharing about your hassle-free return experience at Costco, acgold! 🙌

  9. Tracey

    But can I return my live Christmas tree after Christmas when it is all dried up??? 🤣🤣
    Costco is great about returns; I’ve never had any problems there and don’t get the 3rd degree about anything once I state the reason.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SO glad you’ve had such a great experience with their returns, Tracey. As for the Christmas Tree that may fall into this category of items that have a return limit – “Items that have a limited useful life expectancy may have their own product-specific warranties.” 💞💞

      • Tracey

        I read a news article a few years ago about someone who returned their dried out tree after Christmas to Costco… Who would even do that?? SMH!!

    • Monique

      My mom who works there says people have brought back dead trees (non Xmas) I’ll ask her about a Christmas tree specifically and get back to you 🙂

    • Monique

      Talked to my mom who has worked there for 16 years you can return a Christmas tree although like the person after said who would do that 😂 🤦‍♀️

  10. Roni

    What’s their policy regarding vacuum? I’m thinking about buying the dyson they have on sale but want to make sure they would return it if something goes wrong it.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      It looks like that would fall into the electronics / appliance returns. You could always double check with your store before purchasing to be certain. 🤗

    • Monique

      My sister has bought several shark vacuums from there a couple have broken she has been able to take them back every time hassle free 🙂

    • Monique

      My mom said you are able to return the vacuum it is not considered an electronic 🙂 she has worked at Costco for 16 years

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        Thanks so much for the helpful responses! Good to know how each of those may work as returns! ❤️🙌

  11. Sharon Owens

    I purchased 2 queen size mattresses online in 2020. Recently, I noticed that they both were starting to sink in the middle and no longer felt as firm as they claimed to be. I contacted Costco Customer Service. They arranged to have the mattresses picked up and since they still had the ones that I ordered in stock, they replaced them! Hassel free pickup/delivery. I’ve been a Costco member since 1993!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh wow! That’s awesome, Sharon! Thanks for taking the time to let us know about your experience with returning mattresses! Happy to hear how easy that was! 💞🙌🎉

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