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Costco Return Policy Without A Receipt (2022 Updated)

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Costco provides members with the ability to buy household goods and groceries in bulk sizes at discounted prices so that families can make fewer grocery trips and save money.

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Large grocery trips can get hectic, especially if you bring additional family members with you to “help.”

You may end up discovering that you bought the wrong product when you get home and finish unloading the car.

Can you return the item to Costco?

What if the kids accidentally threw the receipt away with the plastic bags and you can’t find it?

Can you return items without the receipt?

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We cover everything you need to know about returns at Costco (and whether you’ll need a receipt).

 

Costco Return Policy Without A Receipt

return policy

 

Costco proudly promises customers a “risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee” return policy.

To uphold its promise, Costco accepts returns of unused items with or without a receipt, in many cases, with no expiration as to when you can process the return.

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Costco will also process returns for used products and products that don’t contain the original packaging.

Some of the reasons you can return items to Costco include:

  • Change of heart
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Accidental purchase
  • Received incorrect item
  • Delivery refusal
  • Missing item (replacement only)
  • Lost shipment

Thanks to these generous policies, Costco boasts one of the best return policies in retail.

However, they still have some small regulations they follow regarding the items they will refund.

Costco will not accept returns for products that are missing accessories or products that have clearly been damaged by the customer.

They also can’t accept returns for exceptionally old perishables, such as three-week-old moldy bread.

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Essentially, they won’t take back any open perishables or any perishables past the expiration date.

You also must be a member to make a return at Costco.

At the very least, you will need to have the receipt or the membership ID of the buyer if you plan to return an item for someone else (if you make a lot of returns for a particular member, talk to them about adding you as an approved person on their account).

You cannot have another member return something you bought on an old membership.

If your membership expired before you could make a return, you will need to renew your membership or keep the item.

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You will no longer have access to the store or the online self-service return.

Even if you bought the item the day before and never took it out of the box, you must pay for membership to take advantage of the return policy.

 

How Costco Can Find Your Purchase Without A Receipt

Your membership card not only gets you into the warehouse, but it also connects all of your purchases to your account.

Cashiers can quickly and easily locate the receipt in question by looking at the transactions under your account.

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All refunds go back to the payment method used to make the purchase.

Costco accepts different payment methods in-store and online.

 

Return Exceptions

Home appliance in the store

 

While most products come with a lifetime guarantee, some products only have a 90-day return window.

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Costco items with a 90-day return window include:

  • Appliances
  • Camcorders
  • Cameras
  • Computers
  • Drones
  • MP3 players
  • Projectors
  • Smartphones
  • Smartwatches
  • Tablets
  • TVs

As you see, all of the items on the list are electronics.

Due to the fast-paced nature of the industry and planned obsolescence, the standard return policy just doesn’t make sense for the manufacturer.

Still, 90 days to return a television or water heater seems more than fair.

To reduce returns of electronics, Costco offers free troubleshooting services on electronic products with the hope that proper training will convince customers to keep the products.

When returning purchases you bought online, you will find the self-service system won’t allow you to process certain products that you will need to return at a warehouse location:

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  • Produce
  • Prescription glasses and other optical products
  • Digital media
  • Event tickets
  • Apple products

Some products you can return but the return comes with additional requirements.

For example, diamonds that weigh over one carat must pass inspection from a gemologist before Costco will accept a return.

Furthermore, some products can’t be returned at all, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Car tires
  • Car batteries
  • Personalized items
  • Gift cards

You also won’t be able to return products that have been used or don’t contain all of the accessories that came with them.

 

Returning Products Bought At A Store

Selective focus of volunteer pointing at card with donate today

 

Products bought at one of the Costco store locations can only be returned in-store.

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You can return the product to any location and not only the location you bought it at.

However, you cannot return items that you bought in a store online.

Payment methods accepted in Costco stores:

  • Cash
  • Visa credit cards
  • Debit/ATM Cards
  • Mobile Wallets (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay)
  • Costco Shop Cards (gift cards)
  • Checks
  • EBT cards

The notable missing link in this list is the other credit card companies outside of Visa.

Costco has an agreement with Visa.

As part of the agreement, Costco POS systems only accept Visa credit cards.

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You cannot pay for your items with a Mastercard, Discover, or American Express credit product.

You can use any type of debit card, though.

When you enter the store, you will head to the return desk with the product in question.

It does not matter if you have the receipt with you or not.

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At the return desk, the associate will process your return.

Return perishables as quickly as possible so that you don’t end up getting your return denied for waiting an unreasonable amount of time.

(Costco must have processes in place that ensure people don’t come back with abandoned food they left in the fridge too long hoping to get their money back.)

 

Returning Products Bought Online

costco website

 

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Items you bought online can be returned at a store or through the mail.

Payment methods accepted online:

  • All Visa Cards
  • MasterCard
  • Discover Cards (Including JCB and Diners Club)
  • Most PIN-based Debit/ATM Cards
  • Costco Shop Cards*

You cannot pay for your items online with your EBT card, checks, or your mobile wallet.

You cannot return an item you purchased online with a Discover card in store for a refund.

However, you can get store credit.

To process a return online, you simply log into your account and locate the items you want to return under the “Orders and Returns” tab.

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When you find the correct transaction, you will see an itemized list of the items you bought during that transaction.

Next to each product, you will have the option to select a box labeled “return item.”

Be sure to mark every product you want to return.

Remember that you can’t return produce and a couple of other items through the self-service return method.

Once you select all items you want to return, you will continue through a couple of screens to complete the refund request and receive a return label.

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Package all items in a shipping box and attach the shipping label to the outside of the box.

 

Returning Extra Large Items

moving refrigerator

 

It’s one thing to return a sweater or a pair of headphones through the mail.

It’s another thing when you need to return a refrigerator or a water heater.

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For extra-large items, you will need to schedule a time for Costco to come pick up the item for you.

You will get information about how to schedule your pickup after you process the return.

The freight carrier will arrive at your home and pick up the item in the same way it was delivered:

  • Curbside: Have your item dropped off outside in your driveway or near the curb. You have the option to select a delivery window and require a signature or not.
  • Threshold: Freight delivery where the delivery driver crosses the threshold just barely into your home to ensure your item doesn’t get left outside. Access to home and signature required.
  • White Glove: High-end freight delivery services that include unpacking and placing the item in the general area where it will be installed and inspecting it to ensure that the product arrived as expected.

 

Nonmembers Returning Gifts

Flat lay with colorful presents

 

What happens if you’re a nonmember who wants to return something to Costco they received as a gift?

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You will not get stuck with an unwanted gift just because you don’t have a membership to Costco.

Nonmembers can return gifts as long as they have the member ID of the person who bought the item.

They will get a store credit that they can use toward whatever they want.

 

Refund For Your Costco Membership

costco membership

 

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Costco allows you to refund your annual Costco membership up to 364 days after you purchase it.

It doesn’t matter how often you used the membership or not.

If you don’t like the service, you can get your money back for pretty much any reason as long as you request the refund on that 364th day or earlier.

Your membership will renew at 365 days.

At that point, you will not qualify for a refund on the previous year’s membership.

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However, you can get a refund for the renewal (although you may as well use it a couple of times first).

Despite the ability to get a refund for the membership, more people prefer to keep the membership and the savings they get with it.

 

What Does Costco Do With Returned Items?

Pensive happy cute redhead young woman thinking over white background

 

With such a generous return policy, you may wonder what Costco does with the returned products.

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Most unused products that still have the original packaging end up back on the sales floor at a discounted rate.

Costco practices an open-door policy when it comes to returned products and doesn’t attempt to disguise the products as brand new.

They mark down the rate appropriately, as well.

You can still return discounted items that someone else returned before you.

Of course, you will only get a refund or store credit for the amount you paid, not the full price.

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Used items and items without proper packaging that still work and look satisfactory get sold at liquidation auctions to make up as much of the cost of the item as possible.

Ruined items and perishables get discarded.

Costco eats the cost of these items.

 

How Costco Minimizes Return Expenses And Return Fraud

 

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With such a generous return program, it won’t come to you as any surprise that some customers will attempt to abuse the system, adding to the already expensive program’s cost.

For example, one customer returned an empty bottle of wine saying that it gave her a headache.

Yet another customer returned a dead Christmas tree in late January.

Both customers got the refunds that they asked for.

Clearly, Costco needs to put systems in place that reduce the likelihood of unnecessary returns and return fraud, especially considering their already low markup on the products they sell.

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Costco reduces the expense brought on by returned items and minimizes fraud in a number of ways:

  • Selling high-quality products
  • Attaching all transactions to member accounts
  • Offering tech support and friendly staff to answer questions
  • Using the impressive return policy to attract customers
  • Encouraging store credit as opposed to a refund
  • Disposing of unusable returns wisely
  • Accounting for returns in the budget
  • Tracking customer returns

Customers who make an excessive number of returns may get flagged in Costco’s system.

Customers who blatantly take advantage of the return policy can lose their membership.

(It’s unclear if they get a refund for the membership if Costco bans them as a member in the middle of their membership.)

It’s not fair to return a printer seven years after you buy it and expect a full refund, especially when the customer has made an alarming number of returns throughout their time as a consumer.

Costco only asks that customers show integrity in their choices when doing business with them.

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Violators can shop at Jewel or Aldi.

 

Saving Money At Costco

Costco Supermarket

 

Now that we’ve covered the Costco return policy in excruciating detail, we can talk about the actual shopping.

Use these tips on how to save on your purchases at Costco.

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1. Eat Before You Shop

People tend to buy more and buy things they don’t need when they shop hungry (I have a huge tub of cheese balls on my fridge that proves that theory).

Eat before you go shopping at Costco.

You can even buy a hot dog in the food court for a great price to stifle your hunger around all of the food.

 

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2. Opt For Kirkland Signature Brand

Costco makes all Kirkland Signature brand products themselves.

As the manufacturer, they can control quality and sell the products at a reduced rate.

The products reliably taste great and have a slightly lower price tag than the competition.

 

3. Know The Signs

Products that end in $0.97 are clearance items.

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If an item has an asterisk by it, that indicates that Costco will eventually phase that product out.

Buy before you can’t find it anymore.

 

4. Avoid Bulk Perishables

Some people get so excited about low bulk prices that they buy things they won’t use.

Buying extra toilet paper or cans of tuna won’t matter since you can store those items almost forever.

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However, some items will go bad before you manage to eat them all.

You may think that six packages of refrigerated lunchmeat for $20 sounds like a great deal, but if you only eat one package before the other five go bad, you would have been better off spending $10 on the one package.

If you simply can’t resist the savings, consider freezing some of your groceries for a later date.

 

Conclusion

Costco offers one of the best, if not the best, return policies of popular grocery store chains and retailers in general.

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Despite the extra cost to them, they manage to make it work by keeping customers happy and staying alert for customers who attempt to fraud the system.

If you do have a legitimate return, and we all do from time to time, rest assured you won’t have to search for the receipt.

The post Costco Return Policy Without A Receipt (2022 Updated) appeared first on The Cold Wire.



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Avon’s OT winner lifts Petes to win over Blazers, Memorial Cup semifinal berth

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. — J.R. Avon scored the game-winning goal 10:54 into overtime and the Peterborough Petes beat the Kamloops Blazers 5-4 on Thursday, earning a semifinal berth at the Memorial Cup.

Connor Lockhart, Brennan Othmann, Samuel Mayer and Brian Zanetti had the others for Ontario Hockey League champion Peterborough. Michael Simpson made 43 saves.

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Logan Stankoven, Olen Zellweger, Harrison Brunicke and Logan Bairos replied for host Kamloops. Dylan Ernst stopped 25 shots.

The Petes will next meet the Western Hockey League champion Seattle Thunderbirds in Friday’s semifinal for a chance to face the Quebec Remparts in the final on Sunday.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Remparts earned a berth into the final after opening the tournament with wins over Kamloops and Seattle.

Quebec later fell to Peterborough — which staved off elimination and forced Thursday’s tiebreaker with the victory — 4-2 on Tuesday in both teams’ final round-robin game.

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Lockhart opened the scoring 7:52 into the first period. Chase Lefebvre sent the puck across the end boards to Jax Dubois, who found Lockhart with a slick pass into the slot and he beat Ernst five-hole.

Stankoven evened it up 11:20 into the frame, sending the Sandman Centre crowd into a frenzy. Connor Levis took a point shot and the rebound came out to the Blazers captain, who scored his second of the tournament.

Zellweger put Kamloops ahead 12:45 into the frame on the power play. The CHL Defenceman of the Year nominee saved the puck from getting out of the Petes’ zone, moved into the slot and wired one past Simpson for his first.

With 2:27 remaining in the first, Brunicke piled it on for the Blazers. Peterborough’s Konnor Smith attempted to clear it from the end boards but the puck ended up with Brunicke at the point, where he got around a defender and beat Simpson just over his right shoulder with little room to spare.

Bairos gave Kamloops a 4-1 edge 4:23 into the middle frame. He fired a point shot that ricocheted off Simpson’s blocker, then over him and in.

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Just over three minutes later, the Petes began to swing the momentum back in their favour.

Othmann stripped Bairos of the puck as the Blazers defenceman tried to skate out of his own zone. Othmann then turned around and roofed it past Ernst as he fell to one knee.

Mayer made it a one-goal game on the power play with 2:23 left in the second. He took a pass from Lockhart and fired in a one-timer from the point.

Zanetti knotted the contest just over a minute later. He tipped in a pass from Tucker Robertson while streaking toward the net and beat Ernst five-hole.

Both sides struggled to capitalize on prime scoring opportunities leading to a scoreless third period and extra time to settle the winner.

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Following a dazzling effort by Zellweger that just missed, Owen Beck took the puck up ice for Peterborough and dropped it off for Avon, who put it past Ernst to seal the win.

WE MEET AGAIN

Kamloops defeated Peterborough 10-2 when the two last met on Sunday. But with 7:05 remaining in that game, Othmann laid a hit on Blazers defenceman Kyle Masters, who fell awkwardly into the boards.

Masters had to be stretchered off the ice and was taken to Royal Inland Hospital. Head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston said Monday that the blue liner was out for the tournament with a lower-body injury.

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