As one of the most popular stores in the US, Costco stocks a wide range of consumer electronics from brands such as:
- Samsung and
If you’ve purchased electronics from Costco but perhaps you’re not happy with the performance, you ordered by mistake, or you’ve simply changed your mind and you want to make a return, then it’s important to get up to speed with Costco’s returns policy.
Most companies have a reduced returns policy for electronic goods and Costco is no different so it’s important you act quickly to make your return.
To assist you, we’ve researched Costco’s electronics returns policy in detail and will bring you up to pace with what the return window is, how to make a return, whether you need the box/accessories, and much more.
Let’s take a look…
What is Costco’s Electronics Return Policy? The Short Answer
In short, for most electronics sold by Costco, the return policy is that you must return the item for a full refund or exchange within 90 days of receipt. However, this does not apply to all electronics as we will cover below.
Costco’s return policy is extremely flexible and allows you to return electronics for pretty much any reason such as:
- If the item was ordered by mistake
- If you’ve changed your mind
- Duplicate orders
- Unwanted gifts
- If the item is defective
- If you’re not happy with the performance
- If it’s the wrong item
Does Costco’s 90-Day Return Window Apply to All Electronics?
There is a misconception that the 90-day returns window applies to all electronics sold by Costco but this doesn’t appear to be the case when considering their written policy and their website listings.
Their written policy only stipulates these “electronics” items (plus major appliances) as having a 90-day returns window:
- Smart Watches
- Aerial cameras
- MP3 players
- Cell phones
If you go along to the product’s listing and look under the “Shipping & Returns” tab, you will find many “electronic” items where the 100% satisfaction guarantee policy actually applies which allows you to return the item at any time.
For example, this Denon AV receiver comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy even though we’d class it as “electronics”:
However, we have heard of people encountering issues when returning electronics to Costco due to Costco’s own staff not knowing their own return policy, so our key advice is to assume that all electronics are to be returned within 90 days of receipt but if you’re already beyond this timeframe to check the item in question.
You can do this by finding the item on Costco.com, clicking the listing, and then clicking the “Shipping and Returns” tab. It will usually say if the returns window is 90 days or if it’s covered by the 100% satisfaction guarantee promise.
For example, with this Hisense TV, you can clearly see that the 90-day policy applies rather than the 100% satisfaction guarantee:
How to Return Electronics to Costco
The fastest way to return electronics to Costco is by taking the item or items to any of Costco’s warehouses.
You can even take items purchased from Costco.com to their warehouses for a refund or exchange.
This is usually the fastest way to secure a refund or exchange if you don’t want to wait about.
The other option is to use the online returns process but this only applies to items purchased at Costco.com or on the app.
To start an online return, do this:
- Log into your Costco account
- Head to the menu and choose Orders and Returns
- Pick the returns option and complete the necessary steps
- You can then print off the USPS return label
- Place the label on your item and drop it off at your USPS drop-off location
You should note that for bigger items, you will be offered a pick-up service which you should be made aware of as you go through the returns steps we’ve listed.
This usually applies to electronics like TVs.
Does it Cost to Return Electronics to Costco?
No, Costco provides free pre-paid returns labels with USPS so it won’t cost you a dime.
They don’t charge a restocking fee and you will also be refunded your original shipping fees and any taxes.
How Long to Receive a Refund from Costco for Returned Electronics?
The fastest way to receive your refund is to take the electronics back to a Costco warehouse.
Your return will then be refunded there and then and you should see the money back in your account within a few days.
If you use the online returns process, then expect to wait up to 14 days in our experience as Costco needs time to receive the item, to check it, process the refund, and for the money to appear back in your account.
Your mileage may vary depending on how fast your bank or card issuer is at issuing refunds.
Can I Return Electronics to Costco Without the Box and Accessories?
Costco is one of the most lenient stores around when it comes to making a return.
In most cases, you won’t have any issues returning electronics with minor packaging missing.
However, you may encounter issues if key components such as chargers, cables, stands etc… are missing.
If you’ve misplaced key components, we’d suggest heading along to Costo.com and contacting them using the chat function (see the bottom right).
Explain your situation and see what they say.
The last thing you want to do is to make a return, only for Costco to refuse a refund and then refuse to send the product back to you.
What to Do Outside Costco’s 90-Day Return Policy?
If you’re already beyond the 90-day window, then there are a few things you can do:
- Firstly, check the exact terms of the returns policy for that item. As above, many electronics items are actually covered by Costco’s 100% satisfaction guarantee;
- If you’re just outside the 90-day returns window, speak to Costco using the chat function (see the bottom right of the screen) and explain your situation;
- If your item has developed a fault then remember that most consumer electronics come with at least a one-year guarantee. Many items come with guarantees much longer than that and even up to 10 years (some even come with lifetime guarantees). You can use the product’s guarantee to secure a refund, repair, or replacement in many cases;
- Another option is to simply have the item repaired. It won’t always be cost-effective to repair consumer electronics but occasionally it will be, especially if you use third-party repair shops which are usually cheaper than manufacturer repairs.
How Does Costco’s Policy Compare?
If you’ve not yet purchased the item or are looking to return it to Costco to buy it elsewhere, then it’s worth checking out the competition’s electronics returns policies to see how they compare.
Here is what we found:
|Best Buy||15-60 days (60 days if you’re a member)|
In summary, Costco offers a generous 90-day returns policy on most of its electronics but for many others, the return any-time policy will apply.
This makes Costco’s return policy for electronics one of the best around but we guess that’s why you pay extra for membership.
Together with a generous returns window, Costco provides free returns delivery, no restocking fees and they even refund your original shipping charges.