Costco is one of the USA’s most loved stores, serving over 100 million members and employing nearly 300,000 employees.
They stock pretty much every consumer item imaginable including a wide range of watches from brands such as Citizen, Seiko, Versace, and Casio as well as smartwatches from Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit.
If you purchased a watch from Costco or are thinking of doing so, but you need to make a return, then you will need to know what Costco’s returns policy is.
To assist you there, we’ve examined Costco’s returns policy in detail and will bring you right up to speed with how long you’ve got to return it, how to make a return, what to do without a receipt/packaging/accessories and we’ve even looked at some other stores to see how their policies hold up.
Let’s dive in…
What is Costco’s Watch Returns Policy? The Short Answer
Analog and digital watches are covered by Costco’s 100% guarantee promise meaning you can return them at any time. Smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit can be returned up to 90 days from receipt for a full refund or exchange.
Costco’s policy is very flexible meaning you can return your watch for pretty much any reason including:
- It being an unwanted gift
- A mistaken order
- If you’re not happy with the performance
- If it doesn’t fit
- If you’re not happy with the aesthetics
- If it’s defective
You can even return it after you’ve worn it. However, we’d refrain from doing anything that can be constituted as abusing your Costco membership such as making repeated returns over a short period as your account could be flagged and suspended.
What About Costco’s Returns Policy for Smartwatches?
Costco reduces its returns window to 90 days for most electronic items such as laptops, monitors, TVs etc… and this includes smartwatches such as:
- Apple Watch
- Samsung Watch
However, it does not include digital watches such as those by Casio and you’ll still be covered by their 100% guarantee policy for those types of watches.
It’s quite typical that stores reduce their returns window for electronic goods due to their propensity to go wrong after a period in contrast to other goods that tend to last longer.
Costco’s 90-day returns policy for smartwatches is still better than many other stores as we’ll cover below.
How to Return a Watch to Costco?
You can return your watch either in-store or using the online returns process.
You can return a watch to any of Costco’s warehouses even if you purchased your watch online or at a different warehouse.
Simply approach the desk or checkout with your watch and your membership card and the return will be processed there and then.
You should receive an immediate refund or exchange (provided the product is in stock). You can use Costco’s handy warehouse locator to find your nearest branch.
You should note that all Apple products, including Apple smartwatches, must be returned in-store and not using the online returns process.
You can also use the online returns process (save for Apple products) by:
- Logging into your Costco account
- Choosing orders and returns
- Picking the returns option
- You can then have the option to print off a returns label
- You will then need to drop your watch at a local USPS pick-up point
Can I Return a Watch to Costco With No Receipt?
Returning goods to Costco is usually very easy as a record is generally made when you purchase something from there if you’re a member.
If you’re not a member and purchased something on Costco.com then you will have been sent an invoice with your order number one so we suggest you print or present this if you return your watch in-store.
If you can’t find your membership then we’d recommend taking a bank statement and the credit/debit card you paid on when making your return.
What About the Box/Accessories/Packaging?
Costco is one of the most flexible stores around if you’re missing packaging or boxes.
Probably less so if it’s key accessories you’ve lost and we’d advise speaking to a member of staff using the Costco chat function if you’ve lost key components.
However, for everything else you should still be able to make a return without issue.
Will it Cost me to Return a Watch to Costco?
There is no charge for returning a watch to Costco.
They don’t charge a restocking fee as some companies do.
Costco also provides free returns delivery using USPS so there will be no delivery charges to cover either.
The only time you may be charged is if you’re missing key accessories which would likely be deducted from your refund.
Costco Gaming Headset Returns Policy
Costco’s Beyond 90-day Returns Policy for Smart Watches
As above, analog and digital watches can be returned anytime but this is reduced to 90 days for smartwatches.
If you’re beyond the 90 days we’d suggest doing the following:
- Speak to Costco staff using the chat function as there may be some flexibility if the 90-day window has only just lapsed;
- If your smartwatch has developed a fault after 90 days then you will still have the product warranty to fall back on. For example, Apple watches come with a 1-year guarantee, and Samsung with a 24-month guarantee;
- Use your home insurance policy if it includes coverage for accidental damage, fault, or refund protection.
How Does Costco’s Returns Policy Hold Up to the Competition
We’ve compiled a handy comparison to see how Costco’s policy compares to some of its main rivals:
|Walmart||90 days (reduced to 30 for smartwatches)|
|Best Buy||15 days (extended to 60 for premium members|
|Target||90 days (reduced to 15 days for Apple watches and 30 days for other smartwatches)|
In summary, Costco’s returns policy is pretty much the best on the market we’ve found.
It’s therefore a great place to purchase your next timepiece, albeit its selection of watches isn’t the best on the market.
Costco provides a class-leading 100% satisfaction guarantee on most of its watches which is only reduced to 90 days for smartwatches, and even then that’s still the best policy around for those.
That together with free returns delivery, a flexible exchange policy, and a fairly decent selection, makes Costco the ideal place to source your next watch.