Costco and Other Retailers Refuse Returns and Refunds On Hoarded Items


Have you tried to bring back an item to a store if you realized it wasn't what you wanted? The answer likely was "we aren't taking returns right now." That's what I got at Kroger weeks ago when I bought the wrong supplement.

Other retailers are falling in line, but more of them did it after customers stocked up on hoarded items and then wanted to bring them back for a refund. One of them is Costco who recently began posting signs indicating that it will no longer accept returns on six items — toilet paper, paper towels, rice, water, sanitizing wipes and Lysol — that consumers have been stocking up in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Most stores say when the pandemic is over they will resume returns (so in the meantime I'm hanging on to my receipt). But people who brought cases of toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer may be stuck with them (good!) as they try to bring them back for a refund.

An employee at an Illinois Costco warehouse told Business Insider that the non-returns policy was for both sanitary purposes — to avoid the risk of tainted returns — as well as to discourage hoarding.

The move was praised on social media.

“This is such great news! I’m tired of all those people that buy toilet paper and think they can just return it later when they don’t need it,” one individual responded to an Instagram post.

Larger supermarkets will take back items that are inferior in quality, like spoiled or damaged items, but that's about it...for now.

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