This TikTok Hack Could Get You Banned from Costco

Before you return items at your local store, better read this first.



When it comes to shopping at Costco, most go for the good deals and bulk items. However, if you’re an avid shopper there, you may also know about other membership benefits, such as the company’s pretty lax return policy. But just how lenient is it really?

You may have seen the viral TikTok video where a woman returns a two-year-old couch at her local Costco and the store takes it back. There was no receipt, but the original purchase was found in the system.

This was by far one of the most extraordinary returns, and while it has inspired a new TikTok trend, it’s one you may want to be wary of, since it could get you banned from shopping at Costco.

What Is Costco’s Return Policy, Anyway?

While it appears Costco may accept just about any return, there are some stipulations. Costco’s website says the company provides a “100% satisfaction guarantee…on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase price.”

It does not provide a particular timeframe for when you can no longer return your items, except for electronics which have a 90-day window. Other items such as those with a “limited useful life expectancy,” which can include batteries, may come with a specific warranty and timeframe for a return. Certain items cannot be returned at all, including cigarettes and alcohol, customized products, and shop cards.

Costco’s website also states its membership conditions, including that it reserves “the right to refuse membership to any applicant, and membership may be terminated at Costco's discretion and without cause.” When digging deeper online, it appears that one of the main reasons memberships get canceled is that some members take advantage of the return policy.

It can be hard to tell what taking advantage actually looks like, considering that Costco agreed to take back an old couch. Returning items too often might be the thing that gets you flagged. Your return might be within Costco's guidelines, but if you develop a pattern of purchasing and returning expensive items repeatedly, this could look suspicious and your membership might get revoked.

While this couch return was something you don’t hear about every day, it is not the first of its kind. According to the online community over at Reddit, one user started the thread, “You really can return anything” after witnessing someone in front of them in line returning a "half eaten container of pickles," among other items.

Other commenters added that they’ve seen anything from “dead live Christmas trees” to “800 bucks of lamb” being returned.

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