New Costco return policy is dividing viewers

@voiage_beauty/TikTok Juan Llauro/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘That is just [expletive] wrong’: Viewers divided over Costco’s ‘crazy’ return policy

'I don’t know who can sit with themselves and think that that’s an OK thing to do.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Jan 27, 2024   Updated on Jan 27, 2024, 12:03 am CST

When a TikTok starts with, “So tell me if I am crazy in thinking this,” there’s a good chance it’s about to spark a conversation. Take creator @voiage_beauty’s recent video about big box chain Costco’s incredibly generous return policy and one person who took full advantage of it.

It has more than 840,000 views and almost 45,000 likes.

The video, which is titled “Costco return policy is crazy,” features @voiage_beauty sitting in her car and reacting to a video from another user, though the original video was not stitched and its creator was not specified.

“I just watched this woman’s video, and she was going on about how she was so nervous to take back her couch that she bought at Costco,” says @voiage_beauty. As she recalls, the original creator purchased the couch 2 and a half years prior, and when asked by a Costco employee whether there was anything wrong with the piece of furniture, said that she just didn’t like the color of the couch anymore.

“They took it back, because Costco has this crazy return policy,” @voiage_beauty says, adding, “Am I the only person that thinks that that is just [expletive] wrong?”

She continues, “You bought something. You used and loved it with your kids, your animals, your whole house and your whole family, and you used it for 2 and a half years. And just because there’s a little loophole in this store’s policy, you think that it’s morally right to take this couch back and get a full refund for it?”

The creator acknowledges that some people think there’s nothing wrong with making a big box store absorb the cost of a return, but that’s not the point, she says.

“I don’t know who can sit with themselves and think that that’s an OK thing to do,” she says.

The Daily Dot reached out to Costco and @voiage_beauty for comment via email.

While @voiage_beauty’s TikTok did not provide identifying details about the original post depicting the couch return, it was likely a viral video from user Jackie (@xojacckss). The Dot reported about that TikTok on Thursday, including details that Jackie confirmed the return would be OK with the Costco before making the attempt and that she was told the couch would either be donated, resold, given back to the manufacturer for a tax credit, or refurbished. Her original video about the return, which racked up more than 1.2 million views, appears to have since been removed, though a follow-up post remains.

Commenters had lots of opinions on @voiage_beauty’s stance on using the return policy, with some agreeing that returning a used couch after multiple years is problematic.

“You are not wrong. People abuse Costco’s great return policy,” one commenter wrote.

“I think it’s tacky to return it after 2.5 yrs,” another commented.

“Never could I do this. It would be different if it was a warranty issue,” a viewer added.

“I’m with you. I was in line behind someone returning almost empty shampoo/conditioner because she said they didn’t work anymore,” someone else wrote.

“That is the EXACT reason why companies change their return / refund policies and become soooo strict that makes it difficult later,” one person commented.

Still, other viewers saw no problem with using Costco’s return policy to the letter.

“MY husband works for Costco and says that the Co. receives money from all of the returned items. I am not ashamed to return my items,” one comment read.

“I think its wrong they charge me an annual fee to spend my own money at their store. So i dont find it wrong,” another commented.

“Honestly it’s a big company if it doesn’t affect you I don’t think it’s a problem I’ve never done it but I bought a couch 2 years ago I hate the color now wish I could return it,” someone wrote.

“If they offer return services like that then why wouldn’t you?!?” a comment read.

Even viewers claiming connection to the retail giant were torn. One commenter wrote, “I work for Costco. Don’t get me started.” Another wrote, I have about 5 family members who work at Costco and they love the return policy and seriously,the workers don’t mind at all!”

Costco’s website touts a “Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.” According to the company, “We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase price.” 

There are a few exceptions, according to the Costco website, including electronics (which have a 90-day return window), diamonds (which have additional return requirements), cigarettes, alcohol, and products like batteries and tires.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Costco does not require receipts due to its membership model, which keeps track of purchases. A retail consultant told the outlet that the “membership system offsets losses from returns processing and encourages good relations between the store and consumers, which is a win for everyone.”

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*First Published: Jan 27, 2024, 12:05 am CST