Costco is the USA’s largest wine retailer and sells over $4 billion worth of booze every single year.
They stock a wide selection of wines from all over the globe, including wines from France, Australia, and New Zealand, to more local wines from California.
If you’ve purchased a bottle of wine or perhaps a case from Costco but aren’t bowled over by the taste, have ordered by mistake or perhaps it’s an unwanted gift, you might be wondering what Costco’s wine returns policy is.
To help you with that, we’ve taken a look at the policy and will bring you up to speed with how long the returns window is, how to make a return, whether you need a receipt, and much more.
Let’s dive in…
What is Costco’s Wine Returns Policy? The Short Answer
Wine falls under Costco’s 100% satisfaction guarantee policy meaning that there is no returns window per se (i.e. a time limit on returns). However, some states prohibit the return of wine so it’s best to check your Costco Warehouse in advance to see whether they will accept your return.
You can also find this out by using Costco’s chat function during their opening hours by heading along to Costco Customer Services and clicking the “Chat Us” drop-down in the bottom right-hand corner.
Our research indicates that whether Costco will accept your return will very much depend on the laws of the state you purchased it from and the reason for the return.
For example, many stores will only accept a return on wine if it’s unopened or spoilt (i.e. gone bad).
Whereas with other food items like meat you can return it even if it’s been half eaten.
You can return bottles of wine that have been opened and drunk in some states, although we’d advise against making a habit of this as repeat, suspicious returns will likely result in your Costco account being flagged and then suspended.
However, you should be aware that the return-any-time policy doesn’t apply to electronics such as laptops and game consoles. For electronic items, the returns window is reduced to 90 days.
How to Return Wine to Costco?
The easiest and fasted way is to simply take your wine back to the Costco warehouse you purchased it from or to any other Costco warehouse you like.
Costco will process returns even if you purchased the wine at a different warehouse or online.
You can also use the online returns process. To do this do the following:
- Head along to Costco.com and log in to your Costco account
- Proceed to the orders and returns dropdown
- Complete the returns form
- Print off the USPS return label, attach it to your wine, and drop your unwanted item at the nearest USPS drop-off point
Can I Send Back to Wine to Costco for Free?
Yes, the USPS labels provided by Costco provide free returns delivery so there’s no extra charge to you.
Costco doesn’t charge a processing fee or re-stocking fee either
Costco Meat Returns Policy
Can I Return Wine to Costco With No Receipt?
As Costco works on a membership model, you shouldn’t have any issues returning your wine to Costco as the purchase can be traced using your membership card.
If you purchased it online, the order can also be proven by using the invoice that would have been sent to your registered email when the order was made.
How Long Will it Take to Get a Refund for My Returned Wine?
If you return the wine to one of Costco’s warehouses, you should receive an immediate refund.
However, how long the money takes to appear back in your account will depend on your bank or credit/debit card provider.
Many banks process return transactions fairly quickly now but SuperMoney says to allow between 3-10 days for a refund to a debit card. MintIntuit says to allow 7 days for a credit card refund.
If you return wine using the online returns process then we’d allow up to 14 business days as time will be needed for Costco to receive the return, process it, and then issue you your refund.
How Does Costco’s Wine Returns Policy Stack Up?
If you’re thinking of making a large order for wine; perhaps for a special occasion like a wedding, then it’s certainly worth browsing the market to see who offers the best returns window.
We’ve had a look at this for you to see how Costco measures up:
|Walmart||90 days (depending on state law and unopened to original store only)|
|Kroger||30 days (depending on state law and in-store purchases only)|
|Target||90 days (depending on state law)|
|Aldi||60 days (depending on state law)|
Costco offers the most generous policy out of the competitors we considered if state law does permit the return of alcohol in your state.
In summary, you can return wine to Costco at any time as part of its 100% satisfaction guarantee policy, state law permitting.
However, we’d strongly recommend getting in touch with Costco before you make the journey to one of their warehouses to make a return and before starting the online returns policy as whether you can return your wine is state-dependent and governed strictly by state law.